Now that almost every brand under the sun has its own blog, businesses have to work harder than ever to ensure their content gets read and even more importantly, that it actually converts.
Although competition for your guests’ attention online is fierce, there are still plenty of easy to implement, backed-up-by-data tactics you can employ to maximise your blog’s potential to drive bookings.
1) Eye Catching Visuals
With the skyrocketing success of Pinterest, Instagram and most recently, Snapchat, marketing has become increasingly visual.
Research reveals that on average, the top result in Google SERPs features 9 photos, and if those pictures are interesting and engaging, they are likely to get an impressive 121% more shares on social media. With this in mind, it’s important to add visual interest to your blog articles with crisp and beautiful photos, striking graphics and any other relevant graphics you can think of. Whatever kind of images you choose, a blog design that converts is one that is fully optimised to make high quality visuals the focal point.
2) Super Fast Loading Times
Unfortunately, beautiful images often come with their share of speed and loading issues. But this needn’t (and mustn’t) be the case.
Most people expect website pages to load within 2 seconds or less. So, if your hotel’s blog design isn’t optimised to facilitate high resolution files, you could be missing out on a significant number of bookings from guests who get frustrated waiting for images to load. One of the best ways to avoid this is by compressing image files so they load almost instantly while you still have your audience gripped.
To pinpoint the exact load times you should be aiming for, use Google Analytics to find out how long the average user spends on your site. If the time is low but your bounce rate is high, slow speeds could be the culprit. Use a tool like pingdom to check out your blog’s exact load speed and then enlist the help of a web developer to help you reduce this number if necessary. Even an improvement of a second or two could lead to a big turn around in your bounce rate and by turns, your number of online bookings.
3) Mobile Responsive Design
Lots of people like to check out blog content on the go, so make sure you provide the best possible user experience for your guests by ensuring your pages work beautifully across devices and screen sizes.
Responsive design is generally the most effective way to do this, as it automatically adjusts all the fonts, images and formatting of your website pages to suit whichever device your guests are using to browse. The alternative is to build a separate version of your website, specifically to cater to mobile guests.
Whichever you opt for, providing a consistent and seamless user experience on both desktop and mobile means your guests can read your content and book, however, whenever and wherever suits them.
4) Cross-Browser Optimization
Just as you need your blog to work perfectly across devices, you need it to perform optimally across different web browsers too.
You definitely don’t want to drive away a previously engaged reader simply because they’ve switched from an Android to a Mac, so spend some time on cross browser testing to create a uniform experience for your entire audience.
5) Social Share Buttons
Including prominent social share buttons is a simple but effective way to harness the power of word of mouth marketing and improve your hotel’s reach online.
Studies show that users who only read around a quarter of an article are in fact more likely to share than those who read it all the way through, so don’t forget to include a social share button with every piece of content you create. The more eyes you can get on your blog, the more chance you have of gaining new email sign-ups, social media fans and bookings.
Have you optimised your blog to maximise conversions? Let us know in the comments below!