Surprisingly, many small, independently-owned hotels do not have a website or social media accounts. Unfortunately, this can translate into lost business since your website and social media accounts are critical for marketing. After all, online marketing for local businesses can make a big difference. Small changes to your strategy can improve business for independently-owned hotels.
Showcase Your Hotel
Since you are trying to encourage people to book a room, it is important to showcase what your hotel has to offer. Taking high-quality pictures of each room type you offer will give visitors to the website an idea of what they can expect. Be sure to include pictures of various amenities, such as breakfast buffets, vending machines, and any other feature that can be attractive. It also helps to have pictures of the outside of your hotel so visitors are less likely to become lost, especially if they are traveling from outside the local area. In addition to pictures, it is important to list amenities and be honest about what you offer. One problem many people face is a hotel might claim to offer internet access, but upon arrival they find it is not free or the reception may be poor in different areas of the hotel. These types of missteps will only lead to poor reviews of your hotel.
Have Online Booking
Most people looking for a hotel expect to book through your website. It can be off-putting if you must call to make a reservation or go to a third-party to book a room. When you offer online booking directly on your website, you do not need to rely on third-parties and more of the sales go to your hotel. Additionally, this feature might be helpful in boosting your rankings in search engines. You can capitalize on many of the keywords people might search for online. In addition to searching for a hotel within a specific area, they might also include "reservations" or "booking" in their search. If you do not have these features on your website, you will likely be overshadowed by other hotels in the area, especially chain hotels.
The easiest way to integrate reviews is to have a business account on social media platforms. It is often easier for guests to leave a review on social media since they likely use their accounts frequently. You should also have an accurate business page on search engines to increase the likelihood of having your hotel reviewed. An accurate business page combined with reviews can also help with marketing your hotel, since it is more likely to appear in search engines. Consider adding some of the best reviews to your website to further attract new guests. Although positive reviews are good for marketing, the way you handle negative reviews can be equally important. Remember, people are more likely to leave a review if they have an extremely good or bad experience. People who have an average experience are less likely to leave a review. A few negative reviews will not destroy your business, unless you handle them unprofessionally.
Independently-owned hotels do not have the brand recognition associated with chain hotels. This means you will need to invest additional efforts in your marketing and online presence to stand out.