Are you a Hotel and Restaurant Business Owner looking for some solid online marketing solutions to grow your hotel and restaurant business online? Well, you have got to the right place.
Hotels and Restaurants are a fastest growing sectors of the economy that offers unlimited opportunities for people to work in different areas of interest and still get employed within the industry. The industry is a multi-billion dollar and growing enterprise globally. It provides refined services to its customers and is like a reservoir from where the foreign exchange flows. Hotels can be categorized under different sections based on their operational criteria such as the type of accommodation they provide, location of the property, type of services provided, facilities given, the clientele they cater to, and so on.
The industry offers many career options, regardless of what kind of works and services we are engaged in. Because hotels and restaurants are a complete production, distribution and service unit, managers are involved in a broad array of activities. They design new products in order to meet the needs of their customers, produce training programs for employees, and implement challenging advertising, sales promotions and marketing plans. As the demand for skilled professionals in all departments of hotel increased, so was the need for specialized training institutions. Today the level of training in the catering industry is highly advanced and specialized with the use of modern technology and the very best of what professionally trained hotel personnel can offer.Here we are providing step by step online marketing guide for hotel and restaurant industries to enter into hospitality platform with grand success
Why Online Presence is Important For Your Business?
The internet has a new, faster and more efficient way to reach customers by the help of which many businesses have become successful. And, when you are a restaurant business owner, the internet can be used in order to introduce yourself and your venue to your customers in a more efficient way. This way they can establish business visibility and online presence. It also allows for conducting business related processes like managing orders and deliveries effectively. By establishing your online presence, you can easily deliver the information of your business as most of the customers are using the internet in order to search for the desired restaurant services.
Even if you cannot afford highly effective marketing strategies, being online can help you with online affiliate sites that will bring you the customers you need for your business. You will have all your services offered to your consumers at an affordable price, no matter how much volume of traffic you have. It offers a unique customized platform where you can easily transform your paper menu to a fully operational online restaurant menu where customers can pay for pickups and deliveries. While using online ordering system, your services can be paid directly which will charge you only a small fixed monthly rate. This will build existing customer retention and create an element of trust for potential customers.
Elements To Achieve Online Presence Effectively:
Below are the elements described in details regarding how exactly can you grow your hotel and restaurant business online.
A. An Online Hotel Web Shop
The foundation to any online marketing strategy is a successful web shop that follows and maintains basic search engine optimization guidelines. It can generate and capture sales, making your marketing aims to proceed further and communicating the accurate hotel information to your customers. An online hotel web shop acts as an important lead generator, booking path, marketing apparatus and revenue manager to the respective owner. It allows online consumers to search room inventory and rates, initiate a reservation and come out with relevant information about the property as easily as possible. Every hotel has a reservation system, and an online reservation system is more accessible by consumers, the best of which can connect with other systems in an open standardized way. An online hotel web shop works effectively by allowing consumers to make reservations, see real-time rates and availability, while updating inventory counts and monitoring room allocation to third party sites simultaneously.
The following are the ways in which an online hotel web shop works:
1) Online Reservation –If your hotel web shop is equipped with online reservation system, your customers will find it really convenient and can get convinced to stay at your establishment. This feature will make it possible for your potential customers to make reservations without personal appearance and phone calls.
2) Hotel Facilities – Your hotel website will include all the information about hotel facilities and room specification so that the customers can get the idea about your hotel. You can include photos and videos in your website for your customers and guests to get an idea about all your facilities and interior themselves. This way, your operating costs would decrease as this will eliminate the need to hire employees for the purpose of promoting your hotel.
3) Guest Reviews – You dedicate a section of your website for your guests to leave their unbiased comments and reviews that would lend a good feedback to potential customers. The guests are free to elaborate in details about what services they are satisfied with and which of the services or features dissatisfied them as well, enhancing you to improve your products and services for the betterment of your hotels and restaurants.
Extensive database –It provides an extensive database like for choosing hotel lodgings that best suits your accommodation needs. People are able to compare prices, room rates that matches heir allocated budget, and check room availability by using the search engines.
4) Electronic Advertising – You can place any new events and its details on your hotel website which supplements the electronic advertising and print media in the hotel. This also gives suggestions to visit the website for more information. This also includes any changes in the progress of the hotel for your clients, general public, as well as the interested parties ought to know.
Website features of a perfect Hotel and Restaurants Web Shop:
I. Multimedia Gallery –People are naturally drawn towards visually appealing websites. A rich visual media showcases the story of a hotel and allows consumers to imagine the experience they could have there. A proper multimedia gallery should include quick loading media, high-resolution images and videos, virtual tours, well-organized and easy-to-navigate layout, and a media that fits the screen dimension of every device like smartphones in portrait and landscape. This means it should be mobile-optimized too.
II. User Interface – The user interface is the foundation for a perfect functional website. By taking your average user in to consideration such as who is your ideal customer?, are they tech-savvy or computer illiterate?, and so on. This information helps create an image of your ideal customer while designing for your website and plan accordingly. Make sure to offer everything on your site which would interest them to become a subscriber. Your navigation should be easy to spot and should be consistent through the entire website so that people are able to click, both in terms of primary navigation and for links within your content areas.
III. Attractive Content –Content is king. You should provide meaningful and knowledgeable content about your hotels and restaurants which should be incredibly helpful as well. You can include descriptions of what your hotel has to offer which will give people a better understanding of your property that cannot be displayed visually. Always use fonts and languages that is easy to comprehend even by the average user and avoid grammatical errors in order to gather reputation among the users.
IV. A Strong “About Us” Page – As people are more than anxious to know who is behind the hotel or the hotel blog and try to find out about the writer or hotelier, you can include information on your background and how it pertains to your business and expertise. This “About Page” is most popular and gives potential clients more information about you and creates a personal bond among you and your clients. They can have a better sense of connection and will be able to relate to you.
V. Easy Navigation – Navigation is the GPS of your website that helps users get there where they need to go for certain information. Therefore, the navigation should be easy and uncluttered. You need to plan your website design in advance to have an easy navigation through different pages of the website design. You should perfectly set the web page based on the title you have given for the link so that the users can land on their desired page without any hassle.You can also have a search toolbar where the users can type in what they are looking for and directly land on that page.
VI. Sitemaps – Sitemaps are a structured list of all pages of a website. If you are unable to add a search feature to your website, you can create a sitemap to list out every page of your site in a hierarchical format, showing clearly the relationship of pages in terms of primary pages with sub-pages. An HTML or PHP sitemap is used for visitors to your site and an XML sitemap for the search engines. You can also provide a link to the sitemap which you can place down at the footer of your site.
VII. Call To Action –This feature of your website can urge your website visitors to take an immediate action on your website by clicking to purchase your products and services. You need to analyze what works best for your kind of business and your audience. Make sure to use actionable words and check the placement, color and the size for a better performance.
B. Achieve Top Positions In Google/SEO:
Google, being the most powerful and popular search engine today, offers a lot of great resources as well for making your business searchable more easily.
B.1 Why Achieving Top Positions In Google/SEO Is So Important?
Most internet users use search engines to find what they need. This makes search engines a natural tool to promote your website. And, if your site gets displayed in the top results page of search engines, your website will have greater opportunity to get more website traffic. Attracting more traffic to your site is an important part of online success. Achieving top position means that you have almost achieved half the target goal as many potential customers will get to see your products and services and, thus, help you reach out to a wider market. You are able to develop a positive reputation by having authenticity in all the information which you have in your content. With top organic ranking on Google, you can be sure to find a surge of traffic to your website and hence, more exposure of your business online.As your website gets listed on the top pages of search engines, it will earn you brand recognition, reputation and respect from the viewers and customers for gaining top position and will get popular as well.
B.2 How To Gain SEO Benefits For Hotels And Restaurants
To popularize your hotel and restaurant business you need to be active in SEO process and must be aware of all upcoming strategies.
A. Organic SEO: Content Marketing Importance And Features
Content marketing is the active process of creating relevant content with the end goal of attracting your target market and your target audience so that you are able to stick in their eyes and minds. It is the creation of content and publishing it which in return, connects you to a screened audience and their needs, to attract new relationships and strengthen existing ones. Successful marketers develop an integrated content strategy that focuses on the user experience, from market research to distribution, from site copy to images, and from search engine rankings to measurement. On the internet, content is a virtual reflection of your reality the quality of which determines your brand, company or product quality. With the help of content, you can make people understand how your brand, company and services will meet their needs and, as a result, make a purchasing decision.
Content marketing strategies for hotels and restaurants are:
- Blogs – A well updated blog allows you to take your audience through every aspect of your service offering in an interesting and informative way. You can make use of your solid links with other local businesses and can even ask them to write a guest blog for your site. This provides an opportunity for free publicity to their target audience.
- Keyword Strategy – You can review the hotel’s keyword strategy by determining the different keywords from the pages meta content and the copy on the page for which your hotel is striving to rank in the search engines. You can perform a manual search for keywords on Google.
- Get Social –You will be able to stay current with daily messaging, offers, events and promotions available on social channels. This also allows you to gain key insights into what your competition is doing on social media and what their weaknesses and strengths are. This can make you really stand apart from your competitors to get highly engaged with fans and effectively establish your hotel as an authority of the area.
- Press Releases – Press releases inform customers and the professional community for your business’s most recent endeavors, accomplishments, announcements and upcoming events. These include the name of your business and relevant keywords as well as language. They offer a valuable and credible way to reach your SEO goals.
- Photos and Videos – You can engage customers with appealing photos and videos as these are an excellent way to drive traffic and lead them to your website with the help of accompanying links. Videos are a great way to integrate content across sources and the same video can be posted on your business’s website and social media channels and get shared by your fans.
B. Local SEO: Business Listing Importance and Features
Local business listing is an online marketing technique of advertising yourself on local search engines which not only informs people about what your business is all about, but also allows them to find you using a map. Your business will be found when someone searches within your location along with the keyword. This kind of business listing is mostly targeted for local businesses. People are able to search for main keyword or businesses and also find where the location is and how to reach on that location. These are based on local markets and mainly consist of local businesses so that one can easily get his business flourish with more exposure and less competition. Having a business listing will make it easy for people to connect with your hotel with the click-to-call feature. Your hotel will receive the most visits and as a result, convert the most bookings.
People will start booking on your brand site. For hotels not ranking on the first page of results, this strategy exposes the hotel on other pages of the site.
Important business listing strategies include:
- DMoz Directory – The DMoz directory is one of the most trusted and authoritative directories which makes submission of your website easy for consideration. It reflects your website along with a brief and concise description of your business.
- Yahoo! Local Listings –The directory is an authority figure so far as directories are concerned. This allows you to select whether you want to invest in the enhanced listing or keep it free and basic. It provides for easy submission process and is a great source for citations where you can get your business mentioned on another website.
- Citations –The citations refer to the mention of your business name, business information and contact number, etc. on other websites. The more citations you earn, the greater strength you will gain in the Google Local search results.
- Google Places – Establishing a presence in Google + Local or Google Places involves a social element. So you need to include a solid description, quality images and videos about your business. The reviews submitted by people appear in Google search.
- Claim Google Listing – This allows you to optimize your listing in Google and more relevant to keywords which makes Google track exactly how to categorize your listing and makes visitors understand your offerings better.
- Website URL – You should add your official website URL, your business products and a clear view of the contact details about your business information. This way you can make your website perfect and gain top position on the search engine listings.
- Google AdWords – As it is more than important to insert the most essential keywords on your business website texts, you have to access the Google AdWords webmaster tools that allows to choose the right keywords based on the SEO factors, business requirements and user expectations.
C. PPC Marketing Importance and Features
PPC Marketing is a targeted and cost-effective way to drive high-value customers directly to your site. It is an effective tool for generating traffic to your website and increasing bookings. Thus, it has revolutionized the way hotels and restaurants promote their websites. This strategy allows hotel business owner to display simple text ads to a motivated audience in his website. It is also known as Paid Search Marketing where your ad shows as a text link under “Sponsored Links” section when people search for information that is relevant to your hotel business.
You only pay when the consumer clicks on your ad and the position of your ad depends on the bid, ad quality score, relevancy of your landing pages, and so on.
Some PPC Marketing strategies are:
- Banner Advertising – You can display ads target groups of users who visit certain parts of your website and demonstrate interests in them. This way you can display your hotel’s ad to a user based on his past interactions with your website that allows you to target more relevant user and provide a more useful ad that excites them. This increases brand awareness and builds interests among users who may not even know about your hotel.
- Keyword Research –Choosing the correct keywords and new keyword phrases is fundamental to the success of any campaign. You should develop an exhaustive list of relevant keywords that make sense for your hotel and will result in a positive return on investment. You need to perform a real time ROI tracking for every keyword in order to make sure that you are getting the most qualified and profitable traffic.
- Bid Management –You should bid on strategically chosen keywords available in your website. Bids are incremental and are distributed across sets of keywords and periods of time to ensure maximum results. You are able to closely monitor the entire process to make sure you are always getting the most clicks for your business website.
- Targeted AdGroups – If you want to improve your Quality Score, try not to include all of the same keywords in one AdGroup and separate them as much as possible. For example, if you own a hotel business, your accommodation keywords, lodging keywords and hotel keywords should all have separate adgroups.
- Relevant Landing Pages – You want users to find exactly what they are looking for when they click on an ad, directing them to your site and providing them with relevant information when they arrive on your site. Avoid sending every ad to your homepage and if your ad is targeting ‘cuisine’, send them to a landing page that has ample information about your food service.
D. Social Media Optimization Importance And Features
Social media is one of the most powerful forms of communication available today, allowing to interact with guests and future guests worldwide from a single platform within minutes for hotels. It is not only a potential communication tool to interact with customers, but a key element that impacts organic search rankings for your business. The businesses that utilize this strategy gain significant benefits in terms of revenue and online placement.
It saturates the search engine results page, your social circle being a significant search engine ranking factor. It helps monitor your online brand reputation and conversations. And connect with customers at the hyper local level. It increases ROI for your organic and paid search strategies and helps improve products from a real-time focus group.
Effective social media optimization strategies include:
- Facebook –Facebook enhances thebusiness’s organic listing, improves brand reputation and allows the business to offer unique deals. You need to set up and optimize your Facebook page with customized content based on keyword research so that you are able to increase your fan base, engagement and loyalty with your Facebook optimization.
- Flickr – Flickr is a photo sharing website by Yahoo that allows you to increase traffic to your website by making your business discoverable through image searches. You can tag the photos under right categories which not only assists in SEO, but also results in clicks from the photo-sharing websites and increased rankings in search engines.
- Articles And Online PR – Hotels can use online articles and online channels to enhance their web presence and increase their search engine optimization by using online news channels like PR Web and Business Wire in order to release articles and news information for the hotel business.
- Reviews – You can also increase reviews for your business as most purchasers check online review sites before making any purchases. Search engines consider these review channels as an important part of their algorithm. This includes both traditional review sites and social media channels.
- Response To Comments – Each and every comment should be responded to. Negative comments are to be responded in a very thoughtful and neutral manner. Those who leave negative comments become loyal to you faster. Make sure that none of your guests are ignored and take their comments seriously.
E. Mobile SEO Importance And Features
Mobile marketing is the largest growing segment of the internet and will continue to get stronger with the increased and rapid use of smartphones. Mobile users are more task-oriented while approaching websites and search for local content or a specific brand. Therefore, your hotel website needs to be mobile-friendly and quite experienced in order to engage them. Not only will this help with your rankings in search engines on mobile devices, but also provides a better user experience for all its users searching for information relevant to your business.
If you have a restaurant, be sure to make it easy to find you for the mobile users, whether by optimizing your Google Places Page or by having a strong presence in social media or by standing out on location-based services like FourSquare.
Some mobile SEO strategies include:
- Mobile Website –You should have a mobile version of the current website for the people searching on mobile platforms. It should be easy to navigate, mobile-friendly, and provide the basis for all future mobile marketing strategies.
- Mobile Apps – You can build a mobile application which should meet the ultimate goal of any good hotel app. Although this is not cost-effective and appropriate for each client property, it will retain and motivate your guests, ensuring that your application is a good investment.
- Coupon Mobile – Sending mobile coupons is a great way for hotels to offer discounts to regular customers. It is a wonderful tool to gradually sell services for guests by providing guided tours, discounts on food and beverages, and spa services, etc.
- Click-To-Call – Your hotel website should display the contact number prominently to enable direct click-to-call for the users while accessing your website. Make your mobile website easy for international users to call your hotel.
- Simple Booking –You can capitalize on your hotel’s mobile website by providing a multi-touch booking experience. While hotel booking through mobile websites is fairly new, an average of mobile visitors actually book a hotel reservation using a multi-touch booking engine. Click through rates for pages that are formatted for mobile is generally higher than pages that are not mobile-optimized.
F. Inbound Marketing
Inbound marketing for hotels and restaurants is about creating and providing relevant, useful and educational content for hotel websites so that your target customer can find you and buy your products. You provide relevant content with good quality images of your rooms and amenities on your website and on the appropriate social media sites like Pinterest and Instagram that will educate your prospects on the benefits they can get form your products and services. You also add images of your hotel ambience and environment that will make your services irresistible to your target market.
It helps you create content with images of delicious menus that will make your target customers hungry to the product and services you are offering. Apart from this, you need to update your posts frequently on your website and social media networks. You are also able to increase the number of your customers by actively responding to the discussions in social media networks and encouraging your happy customers to share their experience with your business. Negative comments are to be responded intelligently and with prompt and courteous responses which will make your delighted customers eventually be your promoters.
How Can Fedobe help Your Business?
Fedobe Solutions is pioneer in catering to Web Development, SEO and Google AdWords for Hotels and Restaurants. Our unique web development and SEO services can increase your web presence, no matter whether you own a hotel, or a restaurant. We provide our hotel partners with measurable results, and our full service model means you can count on us for unlimited maintenance and updates for your hotel website. Our specialist team uses the latest technologies and proven methodologies to help you reach your marketing goals.
We focus on the latest tools, web trends, as well as technology, and leverage these components into a unified hotel internet marketing strategy that consistently outperforms your competitors while offering a great return on investment. We can create a unique website on the basis of inputs provided by you and your own personal choices. We possess a highly skilled design team that can create a distinctive looking website which is a treat for visiting customers. We make use of buttons, high quality images and clickable links to create a simple, yet easy to navigate website that helps increase your sales.