Domestic Travel Series: Website Optimisation
We have explored how to adjust both the product and the personas to optimise your hospitality offering for domestic travel. Now it’s time to establish a number of different ways we can tailor your hotel website to make the best use of this change in demographic.
This post is designed to be read and implemented in conjunction with the other articles in the series so please check them out if you haven’t yet had a chance to read them:
Domestic Travel: Optimising Product
Domestic Travel: Creating Personas
Updating content to reflect the updated product
Leading directly on from the first post we wrote about adding new features and services within the product itself, such as pet-friendly, parking included in the room rate for city hotels, parents packages etc this does require updating the content of the site.
Our domestic market personas might have remained similar, but what is important to them (‘The Jobs to Be Done’) has most likely changed – what was once a bustling bar with a great atmosphere is now a source of anxiety about social distancing. The first important task is to review each page on the site through the lens of the updated persona and then adjust the content to align persona expectations and product details.
We have already written about 2020 being the year of search and the year where the increase in aspirational content and local SEO will become more important than ever. I would argue that Covid-19 has actually accelerated both of these points. I will discuss the aspirational, long-tail content shortly but it is essential that we focus on local SEO, more than ever before. Questions to ask ourselves will be:
- Is my ‘Google My Business’ listing completely up to date, not just with information but with offers, photos, updated features and Covid-19 messaging? Google has actually released a unique schema markup for Covid-19 messaging.
- Have I linked the internal pages of my site between blog content and sales content effectively? Now we are moving to more storytelling and inspirational marketing it is essential to connect content to conversions.
- Do you have location pages set up on your site for local attractions, reasons people come and stay or perhaps just itineraries from previous guests that connect the location to your hotel?
- Your content should be the local authority of the area. Where are the best 5 cycle routes? If you could choose Sunday lunch within 10 mins of the hotel where would it be? Who runs the best walking tours?
- Absolutely get your NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) right on your website – please please please make sure all the contact details are consistent across website, Google, social media and all directory listings.
- Directory listings are important, as much as they are a pain to manage sometimes – perhaps look into tools like Yext that will help this.
Now is a great time to properly bake Schema markup into your website – this will clearly communicate features and specific details with search engines beyond the scope that keywords alone can achieve.
Language appropriate to domestic travel
We now have a unique opportunity to resonate with guests that have been through the exact same thing as us – lockdown, Boris Johnson, shortages of PPE, not being able to find flour in shops, reminders to wash our hands, homeschooling, clapping for our carers. All of these are things that are currently very much in the minds of domestic guests. If you can align your message and story with their current status quo then we are more likely to build rapport.
Work through your content and ask yourself if it is generic or if it aligns with the expectations and the mindset of the times.
Inspirational and aspirational, not functional
The state of the buyer’s cycle is a topic for another article entirely but in short, the industry has been stuck in the ‘awareness’ phase of the cycle. This means there is a disproportionate number of people that are browsing and looking for inspiration. Now is not the time for selling features and functionality, it is time to tell the story of your business, to reflect and strengthen your brand. Perhaps bringing NHS workers into the hotel will be part of your brand for years to come? Certainly, some London hotels that were converted into field hospitals in the war still retain some of that identity in their brands today. The Landmark London is a great example of this.
While the hotel is empty, let’s get some photos sorted and put together content for our website that inspires people and tells the story of who we are.
Geo-Targeting can be used as a way to supercharge the point I made about local content. Ask yourself, would I sell my hotel in the same way to someone from Central London compared to some coming from rural Cornwall. Firstly, they are most likely different personas with different ‘jobs to be done’ (expectations and considerations). Geo-targeting gives you a mechanism to deploy different messaging to different occasions, all the way down to postcode targeting.
This opens up a great opportunity to tailor promotional codes (like BATH20), display testimonials from people closest to the prospects’ location as well as simply refining the message “Escape London” vs “Home from Home”.
Taking the point around geo-targeting even further, it is possible to have different landing pages for different personas or locations. Whether this is an on-site logic or simply tailoring the landing page on specific adverts.
Time and time again, we see higher conversion rates for ads and other traffic acquisition on pages that are geared for a specific persona and point in the buyer’s journey. Take the example above around “Escape London” vs “Home from Home”. Both could be compelling reasons to come to your hotel but we need to have specific pages (or use different versions of content at least) to display based on what campaign someone clicks on and from where.