5 Free Web Marketing Tips for Accommodation Providers (& Some Other Tips)

I’ve been doing some work on our little Hobart accommodation site today and giving a bit of thought to how an accommodation provider – be that a motel, hotel, hostel, whatever – should market.

  1. Have a web site – obvious, but you’d be surprised how many businesses don’t have a site.  Update it frequently/engage your audience/have conversations.
  2. Create a Facebook page (free) – and update it frequently/engage your audience/have conversations.
  3. Have a Twitter account (free) – and update it frequently/engage your audience/have conversations.
  4. Encourage and respond to Trip Advisor reviews (free).  Promote these reviews like this site does.
  5. Add your place to Google Places (free).
  6. Work your ass off to get a high search engine ranking for the terms people search for when looking for accommodation in your niche/area.  Here’s some tips.
  7. Add Google Analytics (free) to your site – and review the very detailed web site statistics at least weekly.
  8. Maybe try Google AdWords (can be tricky and bloody expensive) and see if you can get them working for you.

Do the above and your bookings will go up – guaranteed.


How To get More Bang For Your Buck

I’ve had a few emails and calls regarding this blog post about Google AdWords advertising from a couple of days ago.

The main question being how do you get campaigns so efficient.

Well, the first answer to that is start measuring what happens on your site.

Here’s an email I sent a client today (I’ve stripped out the identifying stuff obviously) – it might give you an idea of what you can do to measure the effectiveness of what you’re doing with your web site generally, and Google AdWords specifically.


A note on how we can now measure the effectiveness of the web site:

In the AdWords campaign yesterday, we set up 4 pages:

*Action 1 thank you
* Action 2 thank you
* Action 3 thank you
* Action 4 thank you

and applied conversion code to them.

What this tells us is how many times the forms have been used as a direct result of the Adwords.

If you look at today (11/11/2010) numbers, you’ll see that right now (8.57 am) you’ve spent $41.25 for 4 conversions.
And you’ll see they’re all from the ******* campaign.
So each conversion has cost you $10.31.

Goals in Google Analytics

In addition to those conversion, in Google Analytics (Go to the Reporting Tab, then down to Google Analytics) we have set up ‘Goals’.
That is, each time these 4 thank you pages are visited is counted as a goal.

If you dig down a bit (by clicking Goals in the left side menu), you’ll see that for yesterday we had 12 goals reached:

* 3 for Action 1
* 1 for Action 2
* 5 for Action 3
* 3 for Action 4

Goals are different from Conversions in that Goals are overall for the site.
Conversions are the leads generated by only the Google AdWords.

Make sense?

Now importantly, don’t just count the conversions and goals as the end result.

You’ll also have telephone calls, word of mouth referrals, etc generating in from web site visitors.
And, very importantly, with the unique content and positioning of that content you’ll also benefit substantially from increased branding benefits.


Hope that helps you develop a more efficient AdWords campaign.

There’s lots more to a great campaign than the above, but if you can measure the effectiveness of what you’re doing you’ll have the information to make better decisions.


Your Goals Should Drive Your Web Development

An important (super important) consideration when you develop your web site is what’s driving the development?

  • Do you want the site to look pretty?
  • Do you want it to make sales?
  • Have you got a goal of getting 10,000 newsletter subscribers within the first 2 months of operation?
  • What’s your marketing plan for the site?
  • Is your product or service something your target market will search for on Google?

Understanding that the site goals are what drives the development of your web site is one major key to developing a successful site.

The Simple Example

The simplest example I can give of this is this:

If one of the goals of your web site is to get 10,000 e-newsletter subscribers within 2 months then you’ll need your e-newsletter subscription on the home page of the web site, along with a range of incentives to join up the newsletter.

That is, of course, going to affect the development of the site.

If you’re developing your site based on just the design, then you’re doing it the wrong way.

Make sense?


Newsletter Sent

If you’re not subscribed to Tailored News (you can by sticking your email address in the field top right of this page – it’s 100% free) then odds are your certifiably insane.

And yes, that’s a medical opinion from me ;o)

I’ve just sent out the latest edition titled “Marketing Disaster – $320 Per Night to Be Slagged Off!

Tailored News June 2010

Tailored News June 2010

Newsletter & Blog Archives

I also have a bunch of old newsletters here.

And don’t forget you can check out over 7 years of Tailored blogs here.

If you don’t want to read 7 years worth right now ;o), you might like my 3 most popular posts ever:

  1. How Miss Spinks Taught Me Everything I Ever Needed To Know About Customer Service At 8 Years Of Age
  2. 8 Lessons I Learned From A Hooker
  3. The No BS Way To Get A Job


Yes, That Was A Hint

And yes, take the post below as a hint that Facebook needs to be part of your online marketing strategy.

It’s a gimme.



Social Networks Now Outstripping Google & Friends

Some interesting information with UK Hitwise claiming that “social network sites now receive more UK Internet visits than search engines…..May was the first ever month that social networks have been more popular than search engines in the UK.”

Of the social network sites visited in the UK, Facebook accounts for 55% of all visits, almost three times as many as the next most popular social network.

The really interesting bit of the graph put together by Hitwise is the steep growth of social networking sites, opposed ot the pretty flat line for search engine visits.

I, for one, certainly expect that growth to continue.

You might remember back in April I wrote “Why Social Networking Is Going To Kick Search Ass” – looks like I might even be on the money (there’s a first for everything!).

P.S: Hat tip to Tech Crunch.


Don’t Let Being Perfect Stop Your Success

Chatting with a client last night about her web site design.

One thing I often point out is not to dwell too long on the web site design.

Sure, the web site has to look good, but it doesn’t have to be perfect.

Your web site content, offer and content are way more important to be spending your time on.

Being a perfectionist will reduce your chances of success.


There’s Only 2 Types Of Marketing

There’s really only 2 types of marketing:

  1. When customers are looking for you
  2. When you’re looking for your customers

Here’s what I mean:

1.  Customers Are Looking For You

Let’s take Jack’s bike lift web site as an example.

Customers are looking for the product sometimes by doing a search in Google – so we make sure we have high rankings in Google and we might take Google AdWords ads for the sort of terms they’d search for.

2.  You’re Looking For Customers

But, you see, not a lot of people know about the product.

But when they see it they think “What a great idea – I could use that.”

So we want to find these people too.

When we’re looking for customers (who don’t realise they might like the product) we find associated areas when we might make them aware.

Some examples might be:

  • taking space at Bike Expos
  • buying ad space on cycling related web sites

Make sense?

Are you doing the 2 types of marketing?