Effectively marketing and care of your hotel or bed and breakfasts online reputation is very important to the success of your business and you can help improve by following these into 9 significant details.
- Keep your Website Design Simple
A business website layout can be crucial to the success of your online appearance and often websites are overlooked when it comes to trying to present a property’s persona. Although it’s great to include as much information as possible on your site, it is important to know what can be seen by visitors the first time they open your site website especially what they can see before scrolling down. At the top of the page, you should have at-a-glance information to show exactly what you offer, such as your location, number of rooms, and contact information. Once you have grabbed their attention, you can add more details for them to click on and explore.
- Who is your target market?
An enormous part of marketing is thinking about who will stay at your hotel or bed and breakfast.
- Economical vacationers
- Romantic getaways
- Business travellers
Once you have chosen two or three specific kinds of customers, you can write your website content for them. Don’t be shy about it – include a promenade box on your website that says your property is ‘perfect for walking holidays – family getaways – romantic weekends’ whatever works for your target market to get their attention!
- What Makes Your Property Special?
The first thing a potential guest will ask themselves when they check out your hotel or bed and breakfast is “why should I stay here?” so it’s is important to ask yourself the same thing.
You don’t have to be a 5 star boutique hotel or Bed & Breakfast, with ocean front views to have something special – whatever or wherever you are located, there are selling points. You just have to find them!
Emotion can be a great selling tool
When describing your property be informative and impressive – you’re letting guests know what they can expect from a stay at a hotel or B&B, as well as highlighting a few important features
- target market (e.g. award-winning)
- philosophy (e.g. eco-friendly)
- breakfast (e.g. organic food)
- location (e.g. outdoor activities)
- style (e.g. log fires)
If you do not include information about what makes your property special and the majority of readers might not keep going.
- Ways to use your facts well as content
- short sentence, bullet points, numbered lists and boxes with key words are all easy ways to get your message across.
- Make sure your content sounds professional. It’s easy to check grammar and spelling in a word processing program and have others proof read before uploading. You’d be surprised how many properties websites have awful spelling errors!
- Too many capitals, bolds and colourful fonts can also be distracting – you don’t need to highlight certain words on the page if everything you have written is interesting and informative!
- Side-step the Traps
If marketing and writing aren’t your strongest points, there are some cliches which it’s easy to fall into when trying to describe your property.
Here are some of the top things to avoid:
- Don’t use the same words or facts repeatedly – it’ll sound frantic, not emphatic
- Don’t state the obvious like ‘for business and pleasure’ or ‘we offer great service’ – most property’s welcome tourists and business travellers, it’s only worth mentioning if you have specific facilities such as desks and WiFi in every room or conference amenities and it is a given that everyone should offer great service.
- Don’t use ‘very’, ‘truly’ and ‘perfect’ unless you can really back it up – one person’s perfect is another’s nightmare!
- Be more specific about why you would describe your property. Don’t use informal and meaningless adjectives like pretty, pleasant and tasteful.
- Express your policies
All property’s have different policies regarding things like drinking, smoking, pets, children. It’s much better to make it clear from the start than end up with disappointed guests on your doorstep!
Don’t forget about that target market – if you don’t allow children, this could make your bed and breakfast more attractive those who are looking for a quiet or romantic weekend away.
What is important information?
You must keep in mind what guests think of as important, as well as yourself! Here’s a checklist for what to include so that your guests are well informed and satisfied customers.
- Cancellation terms
- Check in and check out times
- Contact details for you and the property
- Driving directions
- Nearest train, bus and airport
- Parking facilities
- Policies – pets, children, drinking, smoking
- Accepted forms of payment
- Bathroom types
- Internet access and cost
- Major piece of the puzzle – Images
Photographs can be the most eye catching part of your website or listing – so if they’re not done right, they stand out in the wrong way and can actually put off customers. Ask yourself a simple question – in this day and age would you book something with no idea what it looks like?
Here are the crucial things which images add to your online profile:
A first impression – what impression are you giving? That this is a quality property or dark and a little unkempt?
Care and attention – how much effort you put into photos reflects your dedication to customers.
The real thing – customers don’t have to use their imagination and they won’t be disappointed when they arrive.
You and your property– this is what you have chosen to represent you and your marketing skills.
A couple of thing to Avoid
People shots. Customers want to see what your bed and breakfast has to offer, not other customers enjoying themselves.
Use a good quality camera and in good light
Unflattering angles. A picture tells a thousand words – make sure they’re positive ones.
Mess or clutter. Always take a picture just after cleaning and tidying for a new customers when the room is at its best.
Believing less is more. One room might not be as big – but if you miss this one out, you’ll have disappointed customers arriving.
Outdated pictures. Does the room still look like the photograph? If not, take a new one!
Using the first shot. Take plenty and choose the best one instead.
Use larger images – higher resolution
- Add a Virtual Video Tour
Even better than images…. video! In the digital age, customers expect to be able to research their holiday thoroughly! A simple video showing a panorama of the property will show off the best bits much better than still images, and you really don’t have to be a movie director to put this together nowadays. It is much easier than you think or there are company’s who can put a video together for you at an affordable price. Then, just add a URL for the video to your website.
How to make contact
When you’re setting up your website, it’s essential for potential customers to have a way to contact you. The most popular way today (especially if these customers are browsing at work!) is by email, so you must include an email address which you check regularly. If you use WordPress to design your website, you can take it a step further and have a ‘contact’ link at the top of the page, which will have an automatically generated enquiry form. This helps prevent any customer emails being lost in your spam folders and keeps all enquiries together.
When responding use your personality
Add your name, expertise and photos to give customers an insight into what to expect on their vacation. It’s also great if you can bring your personality (and that of the property) to life with the tone.
- Always respond to inquiries and negative comments
You have to remember that happy guests are free marketing, so dealing with unhappy guests or negative reviews is imperative.
There it is, out in the world, for everyone to see. Will a bad review sink you bed and breakfast? The answer is no – but bad management of that review most certainly could.
Here are three ways you can use to turn dissatisfied guests into something positive.
Don’t ignoring the feedback– even if you think it is unreasonable ‘by not justifying it with an answer’, you’ll be wrong.
By not dealing with it online, future customers will see it and will assume everything it says is true or will think you don’t care. Either way, it reflects badly on your property.
If you have any questions or feedback you can leave them in the comments section or visit our website
Lets work together to put heads in your beds.
Until next time, have a fun day.
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