As a hotel owner or as part of a hotel’s marketing team, you have probably often wondered – should there be a blog on our hotel’s website? The short answer is yes! Writing a hotel blog is a potent, efficient part of a holistic content marketing strategy. Hotels are at the heart of hospitality and your blog is your chance to show the world what hospitality means to you. Read on for the main why’s, what’s and how’s of hotel blogging.
We have discussed SEO tactics for hotels in previous posts. One of the main takeaways is the importance of keyword research and offering content on your website that addresses the keywords you wish to target. A good hotel blog broadens your content, allowing you to address more topics that are relevant to your potential guests. These topics are not always practical to discuss on your main pages (your homepage, your room and services pages for example).
Your hotel blog provides a connection between your social media channels and your website and is superb for organic reach. Blog articles can give extra power to your social channels and keep followers engaged by offering a variety of content which can be presented in a variety of formats. Win – Win.
A well-thought-out blogging strategy that compliments and promotes your hotel brand will help you build authority and trust. Blogs help create and maintain brand awareness too – especially important if you are not a chain hotel. Your inside knowledge about your location can be featured on your blog and targeted to the right audience whether they be corporate travellers, brides-to-be or outdoor enthusiasts.
Through your blog, you can show that you understand your customer and their desires, needs and emotions. By thinking of what your ideal customer is looking for, answering their questions in a blog article and using well-researched SEO keywords, they will find you.
By including local partners and businesses in your blog and showcasing them, you can help support your community. Helping to promote others by featuring them on your blog paves the way for a mutual promotion strategy and makes it easy for your customers to plan their stay by learning more about which local businesses you recommend and work with.
These advantages apply to every kind of hotel, but are particularly applicable to smaller boutique hotels and hotels which are in more ‘off the beaten track’ locations. A blog really allows you to showcase your hotel, location and activities and influence your readers to choose to take their next holiday in your region (and book accommodation with you).
Setting up a blog on your hotel website is a simple process. Most website content management systems (CMS) including WordPress, which we use, are easy to use, don’t require detailed technical knowledge and are much like word processing. Proper planning is important. Your blog needs to be professional, compelling and consistent. Brainstorming post ideas, writing the posts, sourcing images and other media and posting regularly requires good time planning and effort.
Do you or your colleagues have hidden talents as a writer? Or would you like to outsource to the professionals so you can get on with the business of running your hotel? It is an important consideration. Writing easily and effectively is a skill not everyone is comfortable with. Time considerations are also important. We recommend a minimum of approximately 750 words for blog posts. They can be a bit shorter if it is a simple announcement type post for an event, more in depth guides on destinations and special interest attractions may be 3000+ words. Needless to say, all that writing take time. Either way, you should have an idea of what kind of articles you want to have on your blog, as well as the visual content such as images and videos that will go with them.
Publishing consistently is an integral part of search engine optimisation and organic growth of your followers. Each time you post a blog, search engines crawl it. Our recommended minimum is once to twice a month during the off season and up to once a week during booking and high season. It really does depend on your resources however. If you cannot reasonably publish as frequently as we mention above, that does not mean you will not get any value out of less frequent publishing and offering as much value as possible with the blog posts you do publish. Quality over quantity is the name of the game.
Two or three day (or more!) travel itineraries with the best sites and activities in your area make great content for your blog and are a fantastic way of giving your guests a good reason to stay for an extra day or two. You can write as many as you like, for different seasons or for special interest travel themes (wine tasting tours, outdoor adventure, cultural highlights, the possibilities are (almost) endless.
Highlight your local knowledge, especially when it comes to wining and dining options. Top 10 restaurants in [your location], Gourmet dining in [your location] and similar themes are a great way to emphasise your insider knowledge of your area and today’s travellers are looking for this kind of information. Keep the foodies coming back with regular updates about food and produce in your region. Feature regional specialities, must-tastes and traditional fare.
Parents always want to know how they can keep their kids entertained on holiday. Highlighting activities offered by your hotel or in the wider area is a great topic for your hotel’s blog. Where relevant, be sure to include options for kids of all ages, those cute babies grow into demanding teenagers in no time, but Mum and Dad still need to keep them entertained.
Are there any historical sites, battlegrounds or other cultural heritage sites close by? Attract the history buffs with a blog feature on local historic events. Every hotel and every location has little known historical stories (and even folklore) that your guests will find fascinating, you just have to let them in on the secrets.
Is your area great for hiking, climbing, horse riding, rafting, scuba diving or sailing? Writing blogs on these activities will attract outdoor adventurers looking for information and who will need somewhere to stay. Best walks in your area, best cycling trails, best dive sites, there are many options depending on your location and the activities available.
Instagram and tourism are like wine and cheese, they just go together. Everybody is on Instagram these days and tourism is surely the industry with the most relevant content for those hungry eyes. Blog posts detailing the top Instagrammable spots in your area are a sure fire way to excite and inspire your guests.
Personalise your blog and tell the story of your hotel and the people behind it. Telling the story of how your hotel was started and how it is evolving adds a personal touch that potential and returning customers alike will appreciate and cherish. Interviewing staff and allowing them to add their own personal thoughts on why the hotel and the region are special to them is another great way of adding unique tips that your guests will love.
OK, we have gone through the practicalities of setting up and planning a blog, but how about some examples? There are a lot of great hotel blogs out there, but there are also quite a few that look like they have been thrown together without a lot of thought. Don’t let your blog fall into the latter category. Here are a few examples of some hotel blogs we have seen recently and thought “nice job”.
Why we like it: The team at Pera Palace have really taken the time to produce content for a wide variety of occasions with an emphasis on the many things there are to do in Istanbul. A truly great example with lots of inspiration for any hotel looking to get started blogging.
Why we like it: Another great example of variety in a hotel blog. We really like the emphasis on the environment and sustainable practices, especially relevant for this hotel’s location on the west side of beautiful Vancouver Island.
Why we like it: The focus on experiences not only in the specific city but Malta as a whole. Posts detailing the most Instagrammable places and best spots to view the sunset are great subjects for many hotels around the world.
Feeling inspired? Starting your hotel blog may seem overwhelming, but with these pointers and ideas you can be confident that you have the main bases covered. Consistency is key, so keep going once you have started. You will learn a lot on the way. If you need any more advice or want to outsource your blog writing to the pros, get in touch with Kollective for a no obligation consultation.