Ingress Online Website Design / Development and Online Services Wangaratta North East Victoria

I build small business websites,

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How to promote your Accommodation Site

26-Mar-2010 I get a lot of my clients asking me about SEO, they put all their focus and energy on being number one in Google without thinking about any other maketing.

In some industries, like accommodation, the competition is so strong that unless you have unlimited budget, it is nearly impossible to compete with the big accommodation websites, so why not join them.  I spoke to one of my SEO guru's the other day and he said that Accommodation is an extremely competitive SEO Keyword and therefore very difficult to get anywhere near the front page of Google.

There are things that should be done on your site to give you solid on page SEO eg the basics in SEO and optimise the site for search engines, but there would be greater benefit gained by putting your money and effort into a holistic internet marketing.

If you haven't read them already, below are some articles on content for your website and a great starting point to get your website content ready.

There's more to online marketing than SEO

10 reasons retail businesses must be on Foursquare

Website Content – Stop procrastinating and start writing

Tips on how to market your accommodation website once it is live

When your site is first launched you may have great expectations of having hundreds of new customers visiting the site and reaping the rewards.

The reality is that the building of a new site is just the beginning, after the site is live that is when the hard work of marketing and building a database of visitors to start converting them to customers.

Register on lots of directories (Search: accommodation direcitories) as well as http://www.siteminder.com.  I know that my SEO guru's say clients who own holiday accommodation receive lots of bookings through directories rather than their own website.

Marketing Ideas to keep you customers coming back

  • Send seasonal newsletter to all past customers - email them regularly and invite them to stay, give them incentives eg is there something special on for instance Wine Festival in the area to promote.  Give them a reason to book accommodation.
  • Give them a reason to come back - If the busiest time of the year is say June and the slowest is say November then give them an incentive to book in November eg if you pay in June for your November holiday you get xx off the price or 7 days for the price of 5 or 5 days for the price of 3, something like that.  Let them know before they arrive in June so they can plan, email them before their stay and after there stay to keep in contact.
  • Ask for feedback - Get them to fill in a survey each time they stay and ask them for feedback on how you can make their say better, if it is a good idea implement it and send a newsletter out to promote the new thing.
  • Update your website - Add a news article/blog at least once a week then tweet about that article/blog so you can get people to comment on it (NOTE: always monitor these comments and make sure you comment back so your website visitors know that someone is listening, see below), maybe reference that article in a forum or other social media.  If that mention of the article creates more discussion then maybe write another article on the comments and the cycle continues.
  • Tie in your website and your accommodation - Print out the latest newsletter and give it to each guest that stays make sure there are references to the website as well as an option for them to subscribe to the newsletter, try and give them a reason to subscribe, special offers in the future maybe?
  • Cross promote with everything that you do -  make sure that everyone that comes in contact with your brand or products know you have a newsletter and encourage them to subscribe.
  • Join the community - Search the forums, blogs etc for discussions using keyword phrases like"holidaying in Provence" or "accommodation in Provence" as well as "accomodation in Provence" (only one m) eg if someone is wanting some help finding or choosing you could help to clarify by answering the questions asked.  I know many companies that have great opportunities to clear things up EG Chop Chop chicken, Chicken in Can.  In a forum the questions was asked "How long does it last for" This was a great opportunity for the company to clarify and connect directly with the customer.  When commenting always have a link back to your website or even better link to an article on your website.

Some interesting Statistics

Every day, millions of consumers converse in online communities, discussion boards, blogs and social networks. They turn to the Internet to share opinions, advice, grievances and recommendations. Are you listening, connecting and responding in a way that protects and promotes your brand? 

Excert - http://www.nielsen-online.com/products_buzz.jsp?section=pro_buzz

Research International reports that 80% of Australian consumers do research online before making a purchase of products and services.  The majority of consumers started with a generic keyword search, with no brand involved.

Excert - http://www.aussieweb.com.au/blog/default.aspx?id=91&t=In-Australia-online-research-is-an-esse

Users who contribute product reviews or post messages visit sites nine times as often as non-contributors do. Contributors also make purchases nearly twice as often. (McKinsey & Co./Jupiter Media Metrix study, January 2002). 

Excert - http://www.bazaarvoice.com/industryStats.html

Customers are people, and people are superficial; it's just that simple. It's up to you to embrace that fact and compensate for it when you present your company to the world. If your website is bulky and hard to use, the visitors are going to think your company is bulky and hard to deal with. 

Excert: http://www.meticulous.com/hrbiz/presentation.php

Good luck with your online marketing and let me know if you would like some further help with any of the above marketing tips.


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