Web 2.0 and Your Resort:
“Web 2.0” is the growing trend in online communities. It involves businesses using online content made by web users, as opposed to traditional publishers. This new trend ultimately incorporates online technologies focused on social media and interacting with users instead of merely, providing them with information.
The emergence of this new type of interactive web, is affecting the way the tourism industry operates online. There are many more options available now to hotels and resorts if you know how to utilise this new technology properly.
Many tourists now use online searches as their first point of call for making a reservation at a hotel or resort. 80% of these users begin their searches using a search engine such as Google or Yahoo. Ultimately if your hotel cannot be found online, you are missing out on a large amount of business. So make sure your site has an effective SEO strategy in place.
Users want to be able to engage with your website and navigate around it easily. This also includes making it easy for users to book using your site.
If they can’t book online or establish contact via email or telephone, they wont book.
Some things to make your site Web 2.0 friendly:
Firstly you will need a website that meets the needs of the demanding target market. This includes simple, easy, user-friendly pages, with helpful information.
Your Website should:
- Be social media friendly – set up a Facebook Page or a Twitter account for your hotel!
- encourage interaction
- have a blog function
- make the most of content sharing such as YouTube
It is also a good idea to make your hotel visible on the third-party distributor sites such as Wotif.com, Last Minute (as they have a broad reach and often rank highly in search engines)
Additionally, you should monitor every third party website you are listed on. (You can do this by using Google Alerts). You want to ensure the information the third party sites have is current, positive and helpful to users.
It’s important to remember that technology is ever changing and thus so is your website. You need to be prepared to update your site according to the evolving technologies. One of the biggest mistakes to make it to assume your site cannot be improved.
Online users are impatient so you need to ensure that if you are sent an inquiry that you respond quickly. You don’t want your users to feel you are not interested in their inquiry. Remember your online presence reflects your offline presence so ensure that you project the right image both on and offline.
Your users are human and want to be able to place trust in your website and your business. It is important to make your Website interactive and friendly so they feel they want to engage. If you follow the above guidelines and hints on the Web 2.0 strategies, your website is sure to not only get more positive buzz, but additionally generate more online traffic. Web 2.0 is the way of the future!