The more people that visit your website + the more time they spend on your website = a better ranking on Google.
That’s the simple math of how to improve your website’s ranking. The question is, how do you get people to use your site?
You could either spend thousands to let a company draw viewers for you, or you could try these three hacks that I have used for my clients.
1. Add an FAQ to your website
How many times do you get asked the same question?
- When is check-in time?
- What time do I have to be out of my room?
- Are towels provided?
- What is there to do on the property?
- Do you have a bar?
I could go on and on.
Now, think about all those emails and Facebook messages you have responded to with the same reply, over and over again.
The solution: create a Frequently Asked Question page on your website.
You are probably thinking, “How does this help with my Google ranking?!” Think about it. When a guest sends you a question, you can simply send back the link to your website for the FAQ page. They then click over to your website and spend time on the site looking for an answer to their question. Once there, they may go and check out other pages on your website! Clever, right?
Now, you may be thinking, “I don’t know how to do that!” Of course you do. If you’re in charge of updating your website, simply add a page. Go to your emails and look for the last five questions your guests have asked. Copy and paste these questions on the page and write down a standard, generic response to each one. Congratulations! You have an FAQ page!
If you have a website developer looking after your website, this is even easier. Just send them the questions and answers and they will take care of it.
TIP: If you want to go a step further and cut down on the time you waste even more, set up an autoresponder on your emails and Facebook messenger. In the auto-reply, include a link to your FAQ page on your website.
2. Get better photos
I feel like a broken record giving this piece of advice, but it is too crucial not to mention again! Get a professional photographer to take your room photos. Unless you were a professional photographer in a past career, don’t skimp on the cost here.
Your photos sell your property. It’s not your hotel copy, it’s not your great website, it isn’t your outstanding customer service. It’s your photos.
I can easily spot when a property has hired a professional to take their photos versus when they have gone up with their iPhone to just “do the job.” Better photos on your website will keep the potential booker on your website longer.
If the budget is tight and you can’t afford to hire someone, then get creative. Approach the local college in your town and ask if they run a photography or media class. Ask the teacher if there are any students who would like to come and take photos of your property to fulfil course requirements. Or, post out a competition for local budding photographers to come and take photos of your property. The winner will win a free two-night stay.
(Tip: In the T&C, state that you get to use all photos for marketing purposes).
3. Work with influencers
Influencer marketing is new. It’s so new, in fact, that businesses are yet to fully take advantage of it. Don’t underestimate the power of influencers. People on YouTube are now earning more than people on television!
Your customers are more easily swayed by someone they follow on social media than by any tv or radio advert. The good news for small hospitality businesses is that influencers are easily accessible and they love a free holiday!
I have taken advantage of influencer marketing for The Grainary and it was worked very well! Take this blog by Eat Sleep Love Travel, for example. They have over 50,000 followers on their social media channels and were voted one of the top three travel bloggers in the UK in 2016.
I reached out to the guys who run it and invited them down to the farm for a few nights’ stay. All I asked in exchange was a write-up and some posts on their Instagram and Facebook pages while they were here.
From their blog alone, our website traffic and eventual bookings recuperated five times our investment in their room and food.
Bringing this back to your Google ranking, keep in mind that the search engines love it when popular websites talk about you and especially when they link back to your website. (“Link back” means that they mention your website on their website. Here’s a link back to The Grainary: www.grainary.co.uk)
Now it’s your turn! Go out and put these hacks into practice. If you need any help, or if you have any questions, please get in touch.