10 Online marketing tips for direct website bookings
The digital roller coaster of 2020. Fear, tension, prickly feeling, having ideas, being out of control, but still wanting to continue. Recognizable? Online visibility is especially now completely unthinking from our existence. Times change, including online behavior. Everyone is now online more than ever and is stimulated by the online flow of information. I'll give you 10 online marketing tips for free. You're in a lot more control than you think. How fun is that!
The events and hospitality industry has been hit hard by all corona measures. Step by step we can get off the roller coaster. I speak to a lot of people who ask me if I know any other online ways, outside the booking platforms for their location, which delivers customers. All locations will recognize whether you are a venue, hotel/B&B or restaurant. Often the customer journey and the purchase process are the same. Some notice little result and others have been doing it for years or for their brand awareness. Actually, they don't want a commission, I hear a lot. Pssst… you would prefer to be found immediately and first contact with the customer. Is this recognizable? How do you handle this? From click to customer. Discover 10 online marketing tips for more direct bookings via your website. Are you reading along?
Target and target audience
Every organization has a mission, vision and purpose. Why is your location great? What can you offer your guests? Most people know who their target audience is. Nevertheless, it is clear that describing this is difficult. That's why describe a buyer persona first. That's a fictional person who represents your ideal customer. Who is looking for a location and why do they want to meet or sleep with you? Give these a name, geographical area, age group, needs/interests, personality traits, values etc. Such a buyer persona helps you visualize and get more customers. This is the basis for any marketing strategy.
This seems superfluous to ask, you might think. More than half of your website visitors look on their mobile. Mmm still there are a lot of old or free websites running, which have not set this up by default. Nowadays, many content management systems such as WordPress themes are designed to be responsive for any device. It's easier to use clear-of-the-matter scrolling, so people don't drop out. Does your website show well on any device?
Technical and local SEO
SEO is the golden keyword to attract more customers to your website! If you know what your audience is looking for in Google, you're 10-0 up. SEO stands in Dutch for search engine optimization. It may be very technical, but this makes for online visibility the most. Once you have a solid base, it saves half. Of course, your website must be of valuable content and stay up-to-date. In short, four SEO related topics, which are discussed differently. Or do you want to get started with this right away? I can help you with this at length.
Robots & sitemap
Robots search the internet for new and updated content that's on your website. These search engines sift through everything. How can you store all the content well and make it clear for the robot? You need a site map for this, so that you can be found even more easily by e.g. Google robots. In this site map is the menu structure and all links to pages of your website.
Make sure your website loads quickly, even with lots of photos. Nothing is so annoying when you lose potential customers as a result. There are several ways to do this. One of these ways is to test your site speed. When your website is slow, you don't score high in Google and you'll be punished haha and you don't want to.
Before you start building a website with a theme or updating, think carefully about what kind of products/services you have. Then create a visual plan with pages and a menu navigation. Google likes structure. Then you will delve into a theme and build.
Especially for locations this is important, because you are a physical location with various competitors in a geographical area. Local SEO is central to improving interactions based on organic map results and local searches. Bv. people are looking for 'Italian restaurant in Leiden' or 'staying overnight in Brabant' then of course you want to come forward. If not at the top. You can technically set up your website for this.
In short, make sure you're easily found by Google. I'll make a nice little bridge to my next tip.
Google is your best friend
Normally I say, of course; Make sure customers become your ambassador and best friend, but first you need to become friends with Google. Check out three free google services below.
Create an account and Property in Google Analytics. Then you can connect your website to Google Analytics. This will show you statistics from your website and can enter targets here. This gives you insight into the behaviour and number of website visitors, where do they come from and how long are they on your website and what pages they visit etc.
Google Search Console
Create a domain property. That means you own your domain. Register your website address (full URL) with Google Search Console. Before this, I was talking about creating a site map. You can export this site folder to Google Search Console. This allows the robots to easily monitor and analyse your website and promotes online findability.
You also get a monthly report with search results for your website.
This service can also be connected to Google Analytics for even more overview. Sounds good, doesn't it?
Google My Business
Do you remember the Yellow Pages? A thick yellow book with all addresses and phone numbers of companies in alphabetical order. For a free business listing on Google, create a one-time business profile at Google My Business. When people enter your company name in Google, if it's okay, your website will come out on top and then your business listing with a Google Maps map. You can post your address details, phone number, opening hours, logo and photos. Update regular photos and adjust your opening hours, especially in this time. But also very important; reviews of your location. These reviews are immediately visible in Google. That's why invest in Google for free, you're much more self-employed than you think.
In english marketing terms, the customer journey. I happen to have graduated on this subject. I then created a marketing model with all the touchpoints (customer contact moments) that a guest makes from an interest, purchase, experience during and after. These customer contact moments are called the moments of truth. In other words, where you can make a difference as a location. Bv. your target group is looking for a suitable venue, good food and wherever everyone can sleep. The journey starts nowadays when searching the internet, does a visitor get an immediate answer to the questions on your website? If not, call them for more information or send an email. H
How is the atmosphere of your location and how is the reception? All these components are customer contact moments, because you have contact with a potential customer. So make sure you have this in the picture. If you know this, you can adjust your sales funnel (phases of the sales process) accordingly.
It sounds cliché, but it really is! An image says more than a thousand words. What does your website look like? Do you show your stay, restaurant and venue well? Make sure the photos are up-to-date and sharp. Can you enlarge them, but do you load them quickly? How's the quality? Were they made by a friend of the foot club, even with your mobile or by a professional? And i can go on like this for a while, you can see it all this is my passion. Oh yes and pictures are good for your SEO. Google also loves photos. With good photos you show all your online business card, so invest in this. I can take interior, atmosphere and ambient photos of your location. Please inquire about my rate.
Own booking system
This is also a customer contact moment. Do you already have a reservation system on the website? Or do you want to do this yourself? If this is up, you're still in control. You can choose when you're open and available. You will receive a notification if someone responds, after agreement the customer will receive a confirmation and that reservation will be finalised. It is good for your SEO to have this under management yourself. Once this is technically, all you have to do is keep up. In terms of time, this is not so bad. Of course, it depends on how big your capacity is. People want to see at a glance; what your current capacity is. Are you full or do you still have room? Let this also be clearly highlighted on your website with your contact details, this makes deciding easier and the step towards a purchase by your target group greater.
Content is the collective name of all kinds of content information that is shared. That could be text, image or sound. Writing content is very important. This is how you can show it; what you or your location stand for. If you create and distribute a lot of valuable content yourself, you can get an engaged and loyal audience that can bind you and your location and activate it.
I notice that people often find it difficult to write about or that there is not enough time. Or rather be in control yourself. It's a shame, because content marketing is so important and very accessible. Especially for SEO and therefore your online visibility in Google. And then you have to be used to writing SEO-proof texts. But write mainly for your target audience. Examples may include: origin of location, environment, unique values, introduce the team, look behind the scenes, how to take care of, show your products etc.
Do you have an FAO on the website yet? That's a web page with frequently asked questions. These questions and answers help your audience. If this is valuable, Google will also like it and you will be high in search results.
Do you need more inspiration or a stick behind the door? I can write SEO-proof texts for your website or think along in your content strategy with e.g. a content calendar.
Building a targeted audience community is also nice. You can do this easily by letting people join e.g. a newsletter. Are you already doing that or have you ever thought about it? There are several programs that have an easy tool eg. Mailchimp is very well known. You share knowledge in your newsletter and write articles that refer to your website. This ensures that you are connected to your target group and help them. They help you by visiting your website and maybe booking something themselves. You can also include a nice offer in your newsletter. Possibilities and ideas abound.
Last but still least, social media channels. You know them all: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tik Tok etc. Some sit on it every day and others don't like it. What is especially important to you; what channels are your target audience on? Then the circle is round again, because at tip 1 I indicated; what is your goal and target audience? If you clearly map this, you'll know where to publish content. You can easily share blogs on your social media or fun anecdotes. All kinds of examples of content at tip 8 can be communicated here with e.g. a link to your website. In addition to traditional word-of-mouth advertising, Google and Social media are the channels, how people come to your website.
I wonder if you're already applying or going to apply one of these 10 online marketing tips? Let me know. I'm happy to help you step by step with knowledge, text and image to show you your amazing location. Put your location in the spotlight!
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