Helpful tips for promoting your business online

Helpful Hints
Promote on many channels
Make the most of your website
We have some handy tips for making the most of your online adverts including what helps your entry get picked up by search engines, how images can have an impact on booking conversions and how to take advantage of social media for marketing.

Content

To encourage customers to book and make the most of your advertising we suggest putting effort into the details displayed for your business.


Property details

Regular updates to your content encourages more web traffic as your page will have a fresh look and feel especially for returning customers.

Ensure you have included all your key selling points using keywords that customers will search for and mention your property name to appear more prominently on search engines results.

Make sure you add all the facilities you offer at your property if you have something that is really special then you want to make sure you capitalise on it. Adding room descriptions can also help a customer choose which room really suits their needs.


Images

Images are a perfect way to appeal to guests especially if you update your pictures seasonally. If you are planning a summer holiday then you would not want to see pictures of properties in damp, wintery conditions you want it bathed in sunshine!

Make sure your images are good quality, customers see this as a sign of professionalism and care so you are more likely to see a higher conversion rate.

Ensure you give images titles and descriptions, these are picked up by search engines so try to make sure your property name is mentioned in there too!

Don't forget to add images to your rooms/units as this will really showcase what your property has to offer! Customers will appreciate being able to see the room they will be staying in so they can start imagining their stay with you.

Already using Guestlink? Why not contact us to help with updating your entry?

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Marketing channels

 

The key to getting online bookings is getting your property in front of the right audience. Listing your property on local, regional, national and global channels increase your visibility and will increase bookings.

Many customers like to have the opportunity to click through to your website for a more personal experience so if you purchase listings make sure that a link is included.

If your business is located near a major attraction then see if they have local accommodation listings that you can become a part of. Visitors to that attraction are more likely to book nearby when the property is recommended by the attraction.

Booking.com is one of the biggest online travel agents in the world so don't miss out on that market. Although Booking.com can be more expensive you can list your last minute availability to ensure your rooms are never empty.

Find out more about how Guestlink can help market your business on all these channels.

Market your business

Take bookings on Booking.com
Take bookings through TripAdvisor
iknow-uk
Cumbria Tourism
Show me Wales
Discover Yorkshire Coast
Discover Carlisle
Visit Hampshire
English Riviera
Visit Isle of Man
Visit Isle of Wight
Visit Dorset
Visit Ryedale
Go North Wales
Lake District National Park Authority
Long Distance Walkers Association

Your website

Customers are three times more likely to make a booking on your website rather than an online travel agent. The customers generally feel they are going to get the best deal so why not give it to them!

Make sure you invest in your website to make sure it gives a professional but friendly impression. Just as with your listings on other channels it is important that you include high-quality images, search engine optimised descriptions and offer an online booking facility.

Check out the competition! If you are new to online marketing then why not look around for ideas from your competitors when designing your website? Make sure your home page is eye-catching and appealing. You will want to grab the potential customers attention so the images and the main content need to encourage them to book with you!

The main complaint from web users is websites which are difficult to navigate so make sure you think about your navigation and the purpose of each page.

If you really want to get those bookings in then ensure that you have an online booking link which is prominent on each page.

When getting your website built make sure you have a clear idea of what you want before you go to the designers. Web designers will be able to give you guidance but you want to be proud of your website so think about the colours and the overall feel you want to achieve so they can match your vision.

Remember to ensure your website is mobile friendly as this is important to search engines and enables customers to book on any device.

Want to start offering online booking? Why not read about how Guestlink can help?

Marketing on your website

Online payment

Take online payment
 

If you are taking online bookings customers will expect to pay online too. You can choose from a range of merchant account providers who will all have their own charging structure and payment terms. Shop around and don't be afraid to negotiate with the merchant account providers to get the best deal for your business.

Read the small print! Make sure you know exactly how much the online payments will cost you and the minimum term of your contract. Most businesses find that there are some charges they were not expecting so make sure you fully investigate before you commit to anything.

Find out more about what Guestlink has to offer by contacting us.

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Password Security

A strong password is your first line of defence but there are other things to consider to keep your account information secure.

Never give out your password to anyone. Remember you can setup a user for each person accessing the Guestlink account and this allows logging of changes made and by whom.

Don’t just use one password for all your accounts. This will mean that if anyone gets hold of it they will have full access to all of these accounts.

Newest advice: Use a pass phrase. Security experts are now recommending a “pass phrase” rather than simply a password. Such a phrase should be relatively long – perhaps 20 characters or so and consist of seemingly random words strung together along with numbers, symbols and upper and lower case letters. Think of something that you can remember but others couldn’t guess. Avoid using famous quotations that might be easy to guess.

Make the password at least 12 characters long. The longer the better. Longer passwords are harder for thieves to crack.

Don’t post it in plain sight. This might seem obvious but studies have found that a lot of people post their password on their monitor with a sticky note. Bad idea. If you must write it down, hide the note somewhere where no one can find it.
Consider using a password manager. Programs or web services let you create a different very strong password for each of your sites. But you only have to remember the one password to access the program or secure site that stores your passwords for you.

Don’t fall for “phishing” attacks. Be very careful before clicking on a link (even if it appears to be from a legitimate site) asking you to log in, change your password or provide any other personal information. It might be legit or it might be a “phishing” scam where the information you enter goes to a hacker. When in doubt, log on manually by typing what you know to be the site’s URL into your browser window.

Make sure your devices are secure. The best password in the world might not do you any good if someone is looking over your shoulder while you type or if you forget to log out when leaving your computer. Malicious software, including “keyboard loggers” that record all of your keystrokes, has been used to steal passwords and other information. To increase security, make sure you’re using up-to-date anti-malware software and that your operating system is up-to-date.

Customer Reviews


With companies such as TripAdvisor becoming one of the first places customers go before booking your need to be inviting your guests to complete a review after their stay. You could even offer a little incentive if you wanted, after all, having reviews means you are listed on yet another channel!

Promote those excellent reviews! It is important you show your customer reviews on your website and shout about all the brilliant feedback. Make it easy for potential customers to find out more rather than having to click away from your website and possibly find somewhere else to stay!

Want to collect and display reviews? Check out what Guestlink has to offer.

Find out more

Display your customer reviews

Social Media

Promote on social media
 

Social media is an extremely powerful way of getting your business out there and in front of potential bookers.

Facebook recently reported that they have a community of 2 billion users! Imagine how many bookings you could generate if you appealed to even 0.1% of those users! It doesn't have to cost you too much time either, one or two posts a week with images and positive content will help to promote your business.

Find out how Guestlink can help with promoting your business

 

Guestlink offers all the tools you will need to promote your business and we are happy to discuss any aspect of your marketing so why not contact our helpdesk who can offer friendly advice and support without any commitment.

Contact us today!