Based on our experience designing websites for hospitality venues such as The Botanist, The Watershed Hotel and SoCal Sydney, we’ve learned that many hospitality marketing managers want to blog, but don’t see it as time-efficient or cost-effective. That’s why we compiled the Hospitality Marketing Manager’s Guide to Blogging, which outlines a 10-point content strategy showing you how to maintain a profitable, lead-generating blog on your hospitality website, even if you only have about 10 minutes of spare time a week.
Tip #1 – Stay Close to Home
First we’re going to look at the location of your blog. While some businesses have their blog on the same domain as their main website, others have it on a separate domain because they think it’s easier to manage that way. Does it really matter one way or the other? Actually, it matters a great deal. You’ll see why after we do a bit of role-playing.
Put yourself in the shoes of your ideal customer. They may discover your venue through a variety of online channels, including social media and search engine results. Suppose they see one of your blog posts listed after a Google search. They read the description and click on the link. Where does it take them? Perhaps to a separate website you’ve set up for the blog. More often than not, this website will contain the blog and not much else besides some social sharing icons, comments and hopefully a link to your main site. You could make it more sophisticated, but then you’d have a full-on website like your main one, and how would you justify the extra cost to build and maintain it? No, blog domains are usually just focused on the blog itself.
So imagine you’re this ideal customer who lands on your blog domain. Suppose you like what you see and want to learn more about the venue. You could search for a link to the main site on the blog or go over to social media to find it, but you don’t have a lot of time. And the more time it takes you to get to the main site, the less you like this new venue you’ve discovered. Even if you find the link and go the main site, you may not spend much time there because your interest has already waned. What’s the result of all this? The venue gets a couple hits on the blog and the main site, but no booking to show for it!
The remedy for this is simple: keep your blog on the same domain as your main website. It may be tempting to separate them, but keeping them connected will pay off in the end. Go back to being your ideal customer for a moment. You click on the blog link in the search results and instead of landing on a separate blog domain with little to offer, you land on a well-designed site with a handy navigation menu where you can simply scroll up and click on things like Menu, Functions, Gallery, What’s On and Contact. Everything is there at your fingertips so you can convert that interest into action by booking a room, making a reservation, signing up for an event, making an enquiry, etc.
By anchoring your blog on the same domain as your main site, you’ll ensure that your visitors will always be right where you want them, leaving the potential open for bookings and enquiries.
Thank you for reading the first installment of our series, the Hospitality Marketing Manager’s Guide to Blogging. You can download the full series as a zip file FOR FREE by clicking the link below. The zip file contains the Guide in PDF format for easy reading, as well as a Hospitality Blog Template in both PDF and Word format to help you get started.
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Image © Andrey Burmakin