4 Clever Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Hotel Website
Not getting enough people to your hotel website?
Trying to get more traffic can feel daunting, like looking up at a towering mountain before a climb.
But it doesn't have to be that difficult.
Here are 4 clever ways to drive more revenue-boosting traffic to your hotel website.
1. Write Magnetic Content
Every hour of every day, your potential customers are picking up their phones and searching for information online.
While planning a trip to your area, they might be searching for:
Fun things to do in (your city)
What to bring to (your city)
Family-friendly restaurants in (your city)
Hotels with pools in (your city)
And so on
If you create helpful content that answers those questions, soon enough you'll have travelers coming to your website in droves.
And because you're giving helpful advice for free, your visitors more likely to trust you (and make that booking).
Even if they don't book, your name will stick firmly in their minds when they travel again.
For best results, make sure you're using SEO keywords—in other words, write about what your guests are searching for, in the words they use to search for them.
Another important tip: stick to one main keyword per page or article.
For example, you could add a section to your website featuring sample travel itineraries or seasonal packing lists for your city, or a page ranking the top 50 places to go sightseeing.
This technique is called "SEO marketing," and it takes a bit of time to see results. But over time, these articles can bring in hundreds (if not thousands) of visitors to your website every month.
Plus, you can get traffic more quickly by promoting your best content on social media. If your content goes viral, you could get a huge boost of traffic for several days.
(And yes, it's important that your content is written well. People know badly-written content when they see it, and they'll leave your site as quickly as they came. Google watches this, and will lower your website in its search rankings as a penalty.)
Here are some great pieces of travel content to inspire you:
And while you're waiting for your SEO traffic to come in, try this second way of generating traffic:
2. Put Click-Worthy Ads in the Right Places
After content, ads are the second best way to get more traffic.
Online ads let you target specific people based on their location, age, gender, likes and dislikes, hobbies, or what they're searching for in the moment.
It's a powerful tool. You can reach the people who are most likely to book with you, and send them a message perfectly tailored to them.
Place ads on Google search results, on social media platforms (like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn), or on popular websites through Google Ads.
Which one is right for your hotel? First, determine what kind of people you want to reach and where they spend most of their time online. That's where you want to start.
And don't stop at advertising your hotel and what you offer. You can also advertise helpful content for people who are researching for an upcoming trip.
This method of generating traffic is called SEM or search-engine marketing. Results come faster than with SEO marketing, but ads will cost you money as long as you run them.
If you're new to online ads, it's helpful to choose one ad platform and get used to it before branching out.
Track how much you're paying for each ad versus how many people click on it (and how many actually book with you). If you're paying too much per click and not getting enough bookings, it's not worth running the ad anymore.
Better-written ads attract more people and lead to more bookings, meaning more return on your investment. Consider hiring a copywriter to help you write effective ads for your hotel.
Here's how other hotels are using ads to get more visits to their website:
When searching for "hotel chicago":
When searching for "boutique hotel chicago":
Now, if you're not able to wait for SEO traffic, but don't want to pay for ads (or can't pay for much), here's another way to get organic traffic:
3. Steal Traffic From Popular Websites
To get the most revenue for your bottom line, you want to get direct bookings through your website. Online travel agencies (OTAs) may help you fill up rooms, but they take a huge chunk out of your profit.
Good news! With a bit of extra work, you can steal traffic from OTAs and get direct bookings anyway.
Get traffic from booking sites
How? When people want to book with a hotel they find on an OTA, they will usually open the hotel's website in a new tab. They want to see photos, read more about the hotel, and gauge how good of an experience it will be.
When they visit your website, you can do these 2 things to keep them on your website and (hopefully) book directly:
Advertise exclusive deals only available through you
Include more details than the OTA provides
By the way, this isn't limited to booking sites.
You can get traffic from blogs and online publications, too.
Get traffic from blogs
If you can get travel bloggers, influencers, or journalists to write about and link to your hotel, not only will their audience potentially visit your site, your website will also rise up in search results.
These are called "backlinks," and they let Google know your website is trustworthy, because other trustworthy websites are linking to you.
(BUT... do NOT buy links, because if Google finds out, you'll be penalized.)
If getting a write-up seems too difficult, you can take a grassroots approach by commenting on blogs, videos, and articles that your potential guests are reading. (Articles like the ones linked above!)
The best comments are ones that are genuinely helpful and appreciative for the article. If you can add more information or tips to the article, readers will appreciate you for it, and they'll form a good impression of your hotel.
Get traffic from review sites
Don't leave any potential online real estate undeveloped.
Get your hotel listed on Google Businesses, Yelp, Trip Advisor, and other free profiles that can potentially lead people to your hotel.
And why not ask your guests to leave a review when they check out?
Get traffic from Twitter
Brandon Dennis of SmartGuests.com wrote a helpful tip for generating traffic through Twitter. He suggests tweeting at people who mention traveling to your area and offering them a discount or free gift to book with you.
Of course, you want to include a link to your website in the tweet.
Not only will you possibly capture a new booking, you'll also reach more people through the tweet.
And if the person accepts the offer, they'll want to tell their friends what an awesome experience you gave them. Win-win-win.
Finally, when those potential guests finally land on your online doorstep, you want to make sure that your website is the best it can be:
4. Create an Impressive and Easy-to-Use Website
If you've already got the traffic, why is it important to have a good website?
Remember how readers will leave immediately when they sense bad content?
It's the same for your website.
If your site isn't easy to use, people will leave it quickly. Then Google will penalize your website and lower your position in search results, cutting off your traffic.
What makes a great website?
It should be visually appealing. First impressions really do make the difference between winning or losing a booking.
Include lots of professional photos that show off your hotel, its facilities, and the surrounding area. You want your visitor to be able to imagine herself stepping into your hotel and having a good time.
A good website should also have a headline that grabs your reader's attention. It should make them excited about staying with you.
Don't write boring text about what you can offer as a hotel. Instead, paint an exciting picture that speaks to your reader's emotions.
Great headlines sound like this:
"Discover an ancient world right outside your door."
"Feel the heartbeat of the most celebrated city in America."
Next, you want your website's navigation menu to be easy to understand. Your menu should only include links to pages people want to see most: rooms, prices, dining, experiences at the hotel, and of course, a link to your booking page.
Here's a valuable tip: Don't write clever titles for these, or you'll confuse your reader and lose them. Words like "Stay," "Dine," and "Book" are simple and show your readers what each link is for.
Finally, it's crucial that your website is written well, and in a way that leads people to book with you.
If writing a great website seems like a daunting task, consider hiring a copywriter. He or she can write words that shine and convert a potential guest into a lifetime customer.
Looking for a copywriter that specializes in hotel websites and content?
Look no further.
I can help you write website copy and content for your hotel (or Airbnb, Bed and Breakfast, villa, tour guide, experience...), the kind that hooks potential guests and encourages direct bookings.
Click the button below to get in touch with me.