There is now a proliferation of small hostels, bed and breakfasts (B&Bs), and inns that offer lower rates compared to hotels. With travel now more affordable than ever before, more people have joined the bandwagon in wanting to get out of their states and countries to explore places they’ve never been to before.
In the past, before the advent of cheap flights and accommodations, only the rich could afford to travel frequently. Some people even wait until they retire before they get to visit. These days, thanks to airlines and hotels ready to flex their prices, and with a willing crowd in tow, almost anyone can travel. Money is now not the most substantial hurdle, but time. Can you take time off work? Can you ask the school to excuse your kids on a weekday? Can you arrange a dog sitter for your puppy? These are some of the concerns that stop people from traveling.
Due to the increased demand for travel-related services, there are now so many options for people to choose from. From airlines, accommodations, tours, to restaurants, the competition is even fiercer today than how it was a decade ago.
It is said that France received almost 84.5 million tourists in 2015, making it the top destination in the world. It still receives lots of tourists even with the threats of extremists as of late. Imagine, if you are a small hostel and you want to sell your brand, how do you beat your thousands (and even millions) of competitors? It is a terrible time to be in, but also one of the most rewarding if you get to hit the right marketing strategies, under the tutelage of a digital agency partner.
If you own a small hostel, B&B, or inn, what are some SEO strategies that you can use to promote your brand effectively? Here are some of our top recommendations:
1. Wow your audience with your website
Since you are targeting foreign and local tourists, your website is your only verified voice online. It is not like being in a trade show where you can interact with potential customers, and you get to answer their questions straightaway. When you have to market yourself online, give your best shot in the content, layout, and design of your site. If you are not a professional website developer, consider hiring one. It may cost you some money, but the dividends will be worth it. Make sure that your site is fast-loading, responsive, and easy-to-navigate. Update your blog content, and publish high-quality articles that have the potential to pull in a large audience. Do not also forget to secure your site, because this gives people the confidence that you are a company with integrity.
2. Have excellent customer service
Having an excellent site is nothing if you cannot deliver what you promise. Make sure that you have agents available who can give quick, professional, and friendly responses to potential customers on all your contact details posted online. Make sure that your email, landline, and mobile number are all appropriately manned. Invest in training your staff, so they don’t just read off a script. Many customers still prefer to talk to a person when making their booking, so have service-oriented people whom you deem perfect for this job.
The boom in the travel industry is great news for small hostels, B&Bs, and inns. However, it can be tough to fight against the millions of competitors along the same industry. Make sure you build an audience online so people will start noticing you. Differentiate yourself from the rest of the competition.