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5 easy ways to increase online bookings for your hotel, hostel or BnB

The competition for online bookings and traffic is tough, and it might be very daunting for the smaller hotel manager or BnB owner. Digital or online marketing might seem very expensive and difficult for the untrained eye, but don’t be put off by the fancy terms used by all those big shot agencies. There is a lot you can do with minimal time and money spent, and it’s actually not that hard.

 Here is a list of simple things you can start off with when diving into the world of online marketing for your hotel. 

  1. Check your website is search, user and mobile-friendly. I’m assuming that you have a website. If you don’t, get one up and running asap.

    Start using Google Analytics to see what pages your potential customers tend to “land” on. See whether people seem to leave your website on a specific page and look at that page critically, what could you change? If you have room in your budget, you should set up an AdWords account, and use keywords that are as specified as possible for your area and the type of hotel or hostel you run to avoid having to compete with the big chains.

    Bonustip! Ask your customers what they thought of your website and whether they booked the room online. Asking the audience directly might seem crass but in reality people love to give their opinions and you will learn tons.

  2. Have a presence in the social media. Setting up a facebook page is easy, free and is downright mandatory for businesses today. At check-in tell your customers to have a look at your facebook page for local tips for restaurants and things to do nearby during their stay. Use it as your channel to keep in touch with your customers so they remember you when a friend asks for a recommendation.  

    Again, if your budget allows it, consider doing some paid advertisement on Facebook. 

  3. Set up a blog to do some content marketing. Content marketing is the biggest thing right now, and the internet is flooded with information on it. I won’t get into more detail on the whys and hows, but you can read what HappyBooking CTO thinks about it here.

  4. Make your rooms bookable directly through Google. You probably already know you should have your rooms available on sites like booking.com, trivago.com and hotels.com, but booking directly through Google makes it one step easier to search for available rooms in an area.

    To keep it simple you need to contact an integration partner. You can find a list here. The integration partner is needed to make sure Google gets your rates and availability information automatically from your system.

    This is a tricky one, so you can contact us if you need more advice.

  5. Focus on being unique and don’t be afraid to show it. Not having money to spend on expensive marketing strategies does not stop you from getting started with online marketing for your hotel. Be personal and communicate it. Pick an angle to use, and stick with it. Whether you are a classic BnB a boutique hotel or a themed hotel, use that charm and your imagination to the fullest.
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Nina is a marketing technologist based in Helsinki, Finland. Nina believes having a comprehensive view of all marketing activities is the only way to live. If you have any questions, comments or proposals you can contact Nina at nina@wannado.fi.

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