Give Your Local Business A Revenue Boost This Fall
Did you know that there are over 1,000 of online business directories out there on the internet? There is also the top 50 that your business need to be on if you want your local customers and out of town visitors to find your store or services. If you are not listed on major search engine directories such as Google Maps, Facebook, Bing, Yahoo, Foursquare, Yelp and White pages just to name a few, your going to get passed by the masses that are using their mobile phones when they are in your area.
Making sure your listed, or your listing is correct across all of these channels will give you a boost to your revenue for the rest of 2016!
GET A FREE DIRECTORY NO OBLIGATION REPORT ON YOUR BUSINESS
SEE THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE
People are not always looking for a big sign, or a fancy emblem or logo on a front of a building anymore. No they are turing to their smart phones, and tablets to research services and stores in the area they are currently in, or going to be traveling too. If they cant find you on their mobile phone they are going to simply drive right on pass you and go to your competition.
Boost Your Sales Now By Listing or Updating Your Online Directory Listings Today!
Call New Simple Marketing Today at 563-265-2717 Or Email Our Senior Consultant and Owner Keith Eastman at email@example.com
We will take care of this whole process for you, for a one time low fee.
We will do the following if needed:
Create and or Update Your Business Listing
Add pictures of your business (you supply us with the pictures)
Add Your Listing and Business Information Into the Top 50 Online Directories that will be used by mobile users
Business Directories Such as Google Maps, Facebook, Foursquare, Yelp, White Pages just to name a few.
Customers that are using their mobile device will see your business when they are in your area or traveling to it.
So if your sitting in a great location where there is a lot of traffic, but not too many people walking through your doors this service is a must for you.
Hotels are losing more and more bookings to online travel agencies now more then ever, and some hoteliers are scratching their heads wondering why. There are quite a few reasons for this. Travelers are wanting to get more information on their lodging choices. They want to know where the hotel is located, what events are being held in the area, what businesses the hotel is located next too, etc. Major brands do not do this correctly on there brand.com websites. Brands have been more focused on marketing there brands and over all company then marketing individual hotels. The online travel agencies also known as OTA's are doing this for every hotel that is in their system. They are building a strong online presence not only around their brand, but also around your hotel, which means that the content from the OTA's are more likely to be seen then your information on your hotels website.
If you do a search for your hotel in your local area, look at the search results. If you have not invested in creating a strong local online presence of your hotel, your going to see more ads, listings and content created by large OTA's such as Expedia and Priceline.com. Did you know that Priceline bought a hotel website marketing company that is now called Booking Suite? Why they are creating an online presence for your hotel, they are still getting 15% commissions why taking guests that would normally book directly with the hotel to their websites, and booking channels. Causing you to loose out on revenue and profits.
Hotels in the US will see a strong rise in occupancy this year, but will also be loosing in profits due to the fact that the OTA's are now starting to gain over 40% of online bookings due to there marketing efforts. Why most independent hotels depend on OTA's for there online bookings it does not have to be this way. Whether your a hotel that is with a large brand, or an independent hotel that has no flag, you can still take back bookings from the OTA's and send them to your lowest cost channel which is your own website or your brand.com website.
While hotels need to still do a local marketing effort by calling on local businesses, and reaching out to event coordinators, having a strong online presence is crucial now for any hotels success and profitability. Being on Social Media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and having a blog are necessary tools for operating a hotel now and well into the future. Keeping up with online reviews, making sure your reputation is being well managed, and that you have current and consistent information on all booking channels is a must!
I have heard from some hoteliers and management companies that they are shutting down there social media pages, because the brands they are associated with are already doing there social media marketing. I can't tell you how truly wrong they are in this way of thinking. So we went and looked at various brand social media pages and what we discovered is that they are promoting the brand, promoting their loyalty programs, and promoting just a few hotels that are in heavy travel resort destinations. They are not promoting your hotel or your local area. Most brand.com websites have events posted on your hotels page, that don't even happen in your area. So for these companies and hotels that say there brand is marketing them on social media and so they will shut down there pages because they don't have the time to manage them properly, are making a big mistake and handing the business over to OTA's or even worse there competition.
So if your looking to take back your bookings to where you make the most profit, you need to have a strong online presence. What will be even better is hiring an online sales team. Now before you think that your going to increase your payroll, and that its just another added cost, you need to look at your Start Report, and drive around your area and look at other hotels parking lots. Is your hotel gaining market share or are you loosing out to your competition who might have a stronger online presence then you. Then look at your P&L from the past years, and see where your booking and reservation costs are rising. Then ask yourself can you not afford to hire an online sales team?
Hiring an online sales team by utilizing a company that has experience in marketing hotels is not going to cost you a fortune as the services they provide will be driving traffic to your lowest cost booking engine, and gaining more travelers viewing your hotel online so you can gain new guests. Increase bookings and profits.
Time To Refresh Your Online Content
Why your maintenance department is getting your rooms refreshed for the new year, your sales department should be doing the same with your online content, and local event marketing. 2014 is almost to a close and 2015 looks to be a good year, but you need to make sure you are positioned to be seen to ask for the business. Too many times hoteliers dont spend as much time on their online presence as they should. So if you want to make a splash in 2015 with higher occupancy you want to make sure you have all your revenue channels optimized and ready to go.
Your sales department or online firm needs to start gathering information for 2015 events. People have already experienced being turned away at various hotels for not making reservations, and booking windows are already getting bigger. So an event happening 4 to 5 months away, could have guests already making plans and reservations. You will want to make sure the following is done, and information updated so your hotel will come up in better standings in searches when these future planners are looking to book their stays.
1.Up Date Information- Any Pages you have for past events on the internet take them down, or hide them from the search engines. If these events happen every year, update the information to reflect the 2015 date with a link to that events official website. Any events that are not happening in 2015, delete the pages.
2. Refresh Blog Posts- If your hotel runs a blog and you write about local events as part of your content marketing strategy, you need to refresh those blogs for the new years events. This does not mean you have to re write the whole thing, but simply go in, write some new content about any changes to the event for 2015, and change the title to reflect the new year and new date.
3. Refresh Your Pictures- Make sure you take new and different pictures of your hotel and post them to your website and social media channels. Pictures and video are going to be the new median when it comes to hotel marketing and is already taking hold. If you start too late, you will be playing catch up for some time.
Now this is quite a bit of work for one person, so if you have more people on your sales team make sure everybody is doing their part, other wise put aside at least 2 hours a day for your sales person to work on this so its done by the end of the month. We will be writing more on how to gain more occupancy in 2015 in the very near future and announcing soon on how you can hire New Simple Marketing to be your online sales team.
Not Receiving That Many Online Bookings?
With us being well into the 2nd quarter now, many hotels are reviewing their reservations and occupancy reports and probably scratching their heads on why they are not receiving many online bookings. There are many factors as to why your hotel is lacking bookings from this major channel and the one main reason is that your site and other online content might not be up to date.
When people turn to the internet to search for hotel rooms in a local area they are searching by various searches. When you might think that your city with hotels next to it is the most popular search you could be wrong. We did some keyword research in the area of the hotels that we manage and found out that our main search keyword phrase has been falling at a fast pace. People are actually trying to tighten down their searches to events, businesses, or attractions that they are visiting. So this all goes back to your website. Are you updating your content on your website pages enough?
What events are being held in your area this year that were not there last year?
Do you still have old events from last year posted on your site? Or Even worse are there events from 2 to 3 years ago?
You will need to really take a broad look as to what is going on in your area this year, and make sure your website content reflects that. If you have not updated your content on your webpage for quite some time, you need to invest the time to get this done. One key thing you need to always remember is that Google likes Fresh Content. They also like to see fresh content to local areas, when it comes to hotels. Google handles hotel searches a bit differently then they do with other business searches.
They want to make sure that people who are searching for area hotels get the hotels that are close to what they are looking for. A couple of years ago, hotel searches would show up any site that was ranking high in key words. This is no longer the case. Your site has to be an honest site about where it is at locally, and has to tie into what is happening in the local area. So the first thing you will want to do is get that first page updated, and if you have an event page you want to make sure that is updated as well.
Check Your competitions websites and look to see how they are representing the area that they are in. This will help give you ideas as to how to change your home page wording, and even driving directions that might be on your website.
Pictures and Blogs
Now your main website is not the only thing that needs updated and has to have fresh content. Your social media, and blogs need to reflect fresh content too. When was the last time you remodeled your hotel? Do you have new pictures on your website but not on your blog? This right here can be a very dangerous situation as you were blogging at one time, and then you have it sitting out there with old content. One thing you need to keep in mind is that when you have a blog, and you don't update it, it still is getting some kind of traffic, and Google and other search engines look at it as your connection to your website. So if you have made some changes at your hotel, then blog about it and post pictures!
Do you still have pictures of your rooms with old bedding but your hotel has gotten new bedding?
Do you have the new pictures of your new lobby with the new carpet?
Do you have new employee pictures posted on your social media or blog?
Remember with this day and age having fresh content on your sites representing your hotel is very crucial in getting online bookings. Start reviewing all of your online content today, get it updated, and then drive traffic to it to let people know that your property is staying with the times. Also this will tell Google that there is something new about your hotel and your properties content will start coming up in new searches for your area.
Are You Using Your Guest Service Agents To Their Full Potential?
Most hotels are not utlilizing their front desk agents to their full potential when it comes to increasing their occupancy and ADR. This is due to lack of training, and thinking outside of the box. I have used my front desk agents as sales tools many times over in various hotels. Your guest service agents are on the front line and can be used to increase your hotel occupany and ADR more then you know. There are many ways that you can tap into this revenue generating source if you implement the following plan and make sure that you keep up with it. Over a period of a few months after training you will start seeing a difference.
Reservation Training- Are your front desk agents trained in asking for the sale? Do they know the area that surrounds your hotel? Do they know the hotel as far as the services and amenities that you offer? Placing time and money into training your front line staff is crucial to any hotels success. When taking reservations they guest service agent needs to know how to qualify the guest, know whats going on in the area during the time that the guest is making the reservation, and needs to let the guest know the amenities and services that come with their hotel room, before giving out the rate. I cant tell you how many times reservations are not made because the guest service agent does not know that much about the hotel, or the area, and simply just gives the guest a rate when they answer the phone. If you would like a step by step reservation technique simply email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send what I use at the hotels I manage.
Marketing Mailings- Another great thing i have our front desk do at our midscale hotel properties is send out a thank you letter to the guests with in a day after they check out. Simply thanking them for their stay and offering them a 10% discount on their next visit into their area. You can also start a maling campaign to area businesses by letting them know about any promotions your doing, or any new renovations that are taking place or have been completed at the hotel. Create the letter and let the front desk do the heading and addressing them to local businesses.
Grabbing Leads From Current Guests- Your Front Desk if your first line of defense once that guest comes into your hotel. Train your front desk agents to ask what brings the person to the area, and when they say business, make sure they are noting the business in the company profile of your PMS. This way you or the Director of Sales can follow up with the company to see if they have more people coming to your area.
Newspapers- Your area newspaper is a great resource of information on whats going on in your area. Have your night auditor read the daily paper and highlight things that are happening that could generate room nights for you. Then you and your sales manager can follow up by contacting them and asking them for the business. Large companies that are hiring, special local events, engagement announcements are all great things to generate a few extra room nights for your hotel.
If you start to implement just these few items, you will start seeing an increase in occupancy at your hotel. Also if your Front Desk Agents are well aware of the services and ammenities at your property, and they qualify the guest they have the opportunity to up sell them to higher priced rooms based on their guests needs and will close more reservations sales then having them hang up and call your competition.