Hotel Internet Marketing: Google + Your Hotel = Visibility

In hotel Internet marketing, the name of the game is getting your hotel’s name in front of as many pairs of eyes as possible. Marketing experts have said that it takes an average of seven views for potential customers to start remembering a name. A relatively new tool from Google+, “Google My Business,” could help up your chances of making it to that magic number.

What is Google My Business and how does it work?

Google My Business makes it easier for hotel owners to get their business information up on multiple Google platforms. Even if you already have a website and a Google+ page for your hotel, firing up Google My Business will connect you to all Google’s platforms, ensuring accurate information shows up on Google organic searches, maps, and Google+.

How do I sign up?

  1. Go to https://www.google.com/business and click the blue “Get on Google” button on the top right. You’re now on the way to “claiming” your business as yours to manage.
  2. On the map, use the search box on the top left to find your business by name and address. From there you can create a Google account and Google+ page for that business.
    – If you already have a Google account for your hotel but not a Google+ page, click the drop-down arrow on the top right, next to the “gear” icon. Click to “Create a New Page.”
    – If you’re starting from scratch and want to get your hotel in front of local and non-local customers, click the “Not a local business?” link just to the left of the gear icon, and use the Brand option to get started building your hotel’s Google presence.

What if my hotel brand has more than one location?

Once you’ve created your hotel’s Google My Business presence, it’s easy to add and edit more locations here.

What are the possible drawbacks?

Google My Business does require regular monitoring to make sure the information presented to potential customers (hotel name, address, local phone number, basic features) stays accurate. The reason for this is that Google pulls information for a wide variety of sources when a user conducts a search. If, for example, an address or phone number is typed wrong on one site (like Yelp), the incorrect information could appear. That’s why you need to ensure that wherever your hotel’s information appears on the web, its information is updated and accurate.

Your hotel + SmarteHotel.com’s services = a powerful marketing combination. Contact us today!

Video: Creating Your Hotel Internet Marketing Brochure

Travelers are on the move. Why should your hotel Internet marketing plan stand still? An effective way to add some movement to your marketing is with an eye-catching video. A video serves as an electronic version of a colorful, printed brochure, except no trees have to be sacrificed to bring it to life.

Site Matters

What’s the best place on the web to post a video? With the popularity of YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram, it’s a no-brainer that the finished product should be uploaded to those easily accessible sites. Who wouldn’t want access to over a billion viewers per month?

The problem is, a YouTube, Facebook, or Instagram viewer is one click away from your competitors’ videos. However, someone watching a video on your hotel’s web site is one click away from booking a stay. That’s why an attractive, informative, and—most of all—functional web site is critical to draw in and hold a customer’s interest, from the home page right through to the booking confirmation page.

What Moves a Viewer?

The answer is “Movement!” Sure, it would be easy to string together a couple dozen static photographs, tack on some canned music, and call it a video. However, that’s more like a slide show. When’s the last time you enjoyed someone else’s vacation slide show?

You may also be tempted to produce the video yourself, assuming that paying someone else will be too expensive. However, figure in the costs of equipment and video editing software, not to mention the hours spent writing an effective script and learning to use the software, and you’ll be further ahead to hire a professional. The increase in bookings will more than pay for the investment.

Let Us Help

SmarteHotels.com can help your hotel Internet marketing move into the spotlight with a great marketing plan. Contact us today for more details.

Hotel Internet Marketing Might Just Be What You Need to Increase Business

Providing a designated wedding and event planner for your small or independent hotel is not quite as simple as pointing at a member of your existing staff and announcing, “You’re it.” If you’re serious about increasing the number of wedding, business meeting, and private event requests for proposal (RFP) coming across your desk, you need someone with a specific skill set – including hotel internet marketing savvy.

Here are a few qualities to look for in a good event planner for your hotel:

  • Training and Certification
    It doesn’t take a bachelor’s degree to become a wedding and event planner, but the possession of at least one certification indicates someone who is dedicated to attaining and maintaining high standards. Look for someone who has completed an apprenticeship program, online program, or college-based certification.
  • Professional Membership
    Membership in a professional organization is always a plus. Look for membership in Meeting Professionals International (MPI), International Special Events Society (ISEC), or the Convention Industry Council (CIC).
  • Industry Knowledge
    A good weddings and event planner should know where the brides are – online! A well-placed hotel PPC (pay-per-click) ad on just a few of the most popular bridal web sites will not only boost your visibility to your target audience; it will boost your rankings in internet search engine results. It’ll be some of the best advertising dollars you’ll ever spend.
  • Organizational Skills
    Someone who is detail oriented – and the ability to lay hands on the right detail at the right time – is essential. A thorough knowledge of spreadsheet programs and filing systems, not to mention commonly used hotel systems, is a must in order to produce the exact event the customer is paying for. It is critical that a planner know how to coordinate perhaps dozens of different vendors to bring the event off on time and within budget.
  • Business Savvy
    Clients want good value for the money their spending, even if they’re throwing a lavish wedding celebration. A planner with the business skills to negotiate prices will increase your profit margin and give you the flexibility to bid competitively for lucrative events.
  • Creative Genius
    Creativity doesn’t just mean taking a bride’s ideas and making them reality. It’s taking those ideas to the next level… and having a backup plan when things inevitably go wrong. Like a DJ that doesn’t show, a cake that falls, or table decorations that are nothing like what was ordered.
  • Customer-First Attitude
    “Never let ‘em see you sweat,” is a top-notch planner’s mantra. A client must feel that she can pick up a phone or send an email, and have her concerns addressed in a calm, professional manner.

When interviewing candidates to take the reins of your wedding and event business, ask yourself, “Would I want this person planning the most important event of my life?” Your answer will help you choose the right planner.

Whether it’s through hotel internet marketing or PPC, let us show you ways to say “I do” to more wedding events at your hotel. Contact us today!