While the experiential aspects of a hotel are often hard to articulate via its website, there are certain digital elements that can assist a marketer in doing so. One very important one: its blog. A hotel’s blog not only conveys the personality of a property or brand, it also offers a valuable and underrated real estate to help improve its website’s SEO. In this sense, the opportunity is dual fold: Through its blog, a hotel can connect with the consumer in a more personal way, plus improve its website’s search ranking.
With this opportunity comes challenges – its not enough to simply have a blog presence – the content must be engaging, on-brand, and relevant.
Here are tips on getting started when creating a hotel blog.
Be a Travel Authority
When developing a blog, position it less as a “hotel blog” and more as a “travel blog.” This means skipping the temptation to write solely about the property and, instead, focusing on informative, travel-centric content that covers all areas of interest. Kimpton’s blog, The Suite Life, does an excellent job of doing this, offering tips on everything from the top art exhibits to check out in Washington, D.C. to the best cities for biking. The results? A hotel blog that reads like an insider traveler blog – and has the search equity of a travel blog.
While creating more expansive travel content is a great idea for a national brand, local brands should focus on curating content that is specific to their location. Affinia, a New York City hotel collection, does this very well on their Happenings blog, which offers a comprehensive take on everything New York City. In approaching their content strategy this way, Affinia captures location-specific searches on a broad variety of topics: From what to do on the Fourth of July in NYC to the top food markets in NYC.
The SEO benefits from a hyperlocal travel blog are endless. Be sure to link to relevant locations and events for maximum link building success. We’ve written about hyperlocal SEO strategies for hotels here and here.
Be the Brand
Yes, a hotel’s blog should be relevant. And yes, it should be informative. But a blog should feel like a unique expression of the brand itself, where such intangibles like a brand’s voice can be expressed. Standard Hotels, a luxury hotel collection with an artistic, offbeat personality, executes that perfectly with their blog, which happens to be hosted on their website’s landing page (experimental, indeed). Here, the quirky, creative essence of the brand is captured perfectly with posts on topics like the Frieze art fair and downtown Los Angeles’ coffee culture. While this approach is definitely more unconventional, it can work if a hotel has a really specific style and tone – namely, one that bucks convention and is confident in its branding.
Let’s not ignore the fact that a blog is an excellent marketing strategy. Not only can a brand position themselves as a local expert, but it also provides the opportunity create value for the customer. Being customer-centric is THE core principle of any successful inbound marketing campaign. The concept is of earning the customer’s attention by being relevant and helpful.
Build Your Hotel Brand with Blogging and Social Media
Hotel blogging also gives a brand the opportunity to connect with customers using social media. Tweeting out to twitter followers and sharing posts with facebook fans can dramatically increase online exposure. The more interaction a brand can get online the better as it takes much more than one visit to prompt a casual browser to follow through with a reservation.
Hotel bloggers can answer questions, either directly on the blog or through social media. A hotel can even use Google My Business to answer Frequently Asked Questions which will create more activity on the listing, pushing user closer and closer to booking online.
In the end, blogging is another effective way to bring in more targeted traffic to a hotel website. Use these tips to start building your readership or reach out to Galileo Tech Media, experts in travel SEO, to help jump start your blogging success!