Beyond ‘contact us’: Six website features hotels can use to increase engagement & bookings

My Post (2).jpg

Every hotel website has a ‘contact us’ page, a page where people can find the most basic details.

Such a passive posture, however, is a missed opportunity for hotel teams to facilitate interaction and funnel a user’s focus while they’re actively engaged.

Customer service is supposed to be at the core of hospitality, yet that “extra mile” ethos doesn’t always translate into the digital sphere. The integration of enhanced contact tools on hotel websites has been moderate, and not just among smaller properties with modest budgets.

L2’s recent Digital IQ: US Luxury Hotels report revealed that while nearly every global hospitality brand analyzed has a dedicated “contact page” on their website, only about one in four allow users to request a call from a customer service agent, and even fewer offer a live chat feature.

Adding more sophisticated contact features offers a competitive edge and leads to direct bookings.

Here are six website enhancements for contact that converts. – Read more

How a Few Pages Can Make or Break Your Website

My Post (1)

A prospect unequivocally disagreed with a recommendation I made recently.

I told him a few pages of content could make a significant impact on his site. Even when presented with hard numbers backing up my assertions, he still balked. My ego started gnawing: would a painter tell a mathematician how to do trigonometry?

Unlike art, content marketing and SEO aren’t subjective. The quality of the words you write can be quantified, and they can generate a return for your business.

Most of your content won’t do anything

In order to have this conversation, we really need to deal with this fact.

Most content created lives deep on page 7 of Google, ranking for an obscure keyword completely unrelated to your brand. A lack of scientific (objective math) process is to blame. But more on that later. – Read more

 

5 Tips to Choosing Your Winning Business Domain Name

My Post (88).jpg

Back Rub, Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo, DrivUrSelf, Research in Motion, Sound of Music.

Wonder if these big brands had been as successful if they hadn’t chosen to go by Google, Sony, Hertz Rent-A-Car, Blackberry or Best Buy?

Unquestionably, the name of your company is the face of your brand. It’s the first thing your audience sees or hears about you, so choosing a business name that catches their attention and evokes credibility is paramount.

And in our competitive world today, your name online is what matters as much as it does offline. So, it’s critical to take the time to do your research before choosing your company’s domain name. Consider these following five tips to help you find the winning one:

Pick your domain name BEFORE you register your business
Or do it as soon as possible. Whether you’re scribbling ideas on a napkin, in the early stages of development or a year away from launching a website, register your domain name and hold onto it until you’re ready. – Read more

5 Common Mistakes Small Businesses Make With SEO

My Post (85).jpg

Small businesses, in particular, can dominate local search if they employ good search engine optimization (SEO) techniques.

However, according to Chris Rodgers, CEO and Founder of Colorado SEO Pros, there problems most small business encounter when it comes to their website copy. He shares the five most common SEO mistakes you can avoid with just a bit of awareness and planning.

Mistake #1: Waiting until after you launch a website to consider SEO

“We have seen more than a few horror stories where small business stakeholders decided to only start looking at SEO after their newly designed website was launched — only to tank all of the site’s existing rankings and traffic performance because proper SEO planning was not at the core of the website redesign and launch,” Rodgers says. Web developers, even great ones, are often not looking at all of the SEO factors that must be considered if you’re going to retain current SEO performance after launch. Rodgers says you need to consider SEO across the board when redesigning or re-launching a website. “The content created, the layout of the site, the information architecture, individual page content, all pages added and deleted, pages with URL changes — and especially 301 redirect mapping — can all have a massive impact on what happens to SEO after launch. If you don’t have an experienced SEO professional involved in the process early, you are rolling the dice. If you have any SEO equity built up, you may lose it all without a chance to regain it.” – Read More

5 Tactics to Drive Website Traffic That Aren’t SEO

My Post (83).jpg

Although all businesses with an online presence should invest in search engine optimization, it isn’t the end-all, be-all when it comes to driving traffic to a professional website.
It’s no surprise that driving traffic to your website is the key to higher conversions and increased revenue. After all, if people aren’t visiting your business online, they certainly won’t be completing ecommerce purchases.

However, it seems as though every business in 2018 has gone all-in on search engine optimization (SEO) to increase traffic to websites.

Now, SEO is an effective digital growth strategy. Google alone drove 72 percent of all global desktop search traffic to websites in the past year, according to Net Marketshare. However, as the internet grows and more companies continue fighting to rank No. 1 for the same keywords, the odds of ranking and driving enough traffic dwindle. Therefore, it’s in brands’ best interest to explore other ways of increasing site traffic.
Before marketers implement a new site traffic campaign, they should first take stock of their current traffic and analytics. Use tools such as Google Analytics and SEMRush to determine where your traffic is coming from, how long users are exploring your site, the web pages and content they enjoy the most, and when during their user journey they typically leave your site. Access to this information will empower you to create a better, stronger strategy on the channels we’ll be exploring and improve your potential click-through rates. – Read more

How to Optimize Your Website for Voice Search

My Post (40).jpg

 

As we are all aware at this point, voice recognition technology is continuing to get better and better, in fact, it is now believed to be 95% accurate.

As users, we’re adapting to this new voice revolution rather quickly (almost 1/4 of mobile search queries are voice search), yet marketers and SEO specialists seem to be lagging behind a bit when it comes to optimizing for this new way to search.

If you’re in the marketing world, it’s time you start paying attention to voice search optimization to help you show up in search results via this method.

While optimizing for voice search requires slightly different tactics than the search engine optimization techniques we’re used to, they can benefit your website as a whole, regardless of how a person is searching for you, so implementing these best practices is really a win-win. – Read

The Untapped Potential of About Us Pages (And How to Write Your Own)

My Post (29).jpg

Along with FAQ and Contact pages, the About Us page is one of the first supporting pages you’ll likely create for your website, regardless of the industry you’re in.

They may go by different labels—“About”, “Story”, “Mission”—but these types of pages generally serve the same key purpose: to be the go-to page for a brand to say, “This is who we are.”

When a visitor wants to learn more about you or your business, it’s the page they’ll look for.

Unfortunately, About Us pages are too often treated as an obligation rather than the valuable opportunity they are to connect with your customers by selling your story, your vision, your mission, and what makes you, YOU. – Read

The ultimate checklist for a successful website’s launch: Marketer’s edition

My Post (21).jpg

It’s the 11th hour and the launch of the new website is imminent.

Prospects and customers are primed and colleagues and senior management are stood in the wings, waiting in anticipation for this all-singing, all-dancing new website – god forbid that once it goes live something catastrophic happens. Every T should be crossed and each lowercase I dotted.

Marketers put complete faith in web designers and developers, but it’s worth knowing things to look out for – sometimes the small things get overlooked, and these can make all the difference to a successful website launch.

The checklist below is a sense check – an opportunity to make sure everything runs smoothly and launches without a hitch. – Read

Top 5 Landing Page Software 2017

What is a landing page? Any page on a website is technically a landing page in the literal sense, as it’s a page visitors ‘land’ on when arriving at your venue or hotels website. However, more commonly the phrase ‘landing page’ correlates with standalone web pages used for online marketing and advertising.

Landing pages give hospitality marketers the ability to remove distractions and tightly control the message presented to the visitor. For example, a person looking to book a winter event is more likely to make an enquiry when shown a webpage only about winter events, rather than having to review your whole website.

In 2017, online software platforms enable us to quickly create fantastic, highly custom and bespoke landing pages – perfect for long term marketing aims, as-well-as limited run promotions, such as for a ticketed event or seasonal booking special offer. Below LeadDigital review five of the top landing page software tools available today:-

Pagewiz | pagewiz.com

pagewiz.png

Pagewiz is a platform created for marketers and business owners who want to get landing pages built and live fast. The WYSIWYG style drag and drop software means you don’t need to be a web designer to create basic landing pages, and there’s even a collection of pre-designed templates available. You won’t win any awards for incredible web design using Pagewiz, but it’s great for quick production.

Pros: Drag & drop designing, integrations with popular software like Salesforce and MailChimp, quick for everyone to get ‘up and running’.

Cons: Template designs aren’t overly inspiring, limit on number of page visitors and domains, simplified builder compared to alternatives.

Cost: Free 30 day trial, then from $25 (£19) per month for the basic package when paying annually. Four plans available, structured on the number of page visitors and custom domains.

Lander | landerapp.com

lander.jpg

Along the same lines as Pagewiz, Lander is another drag & drop, non-technical landing page builder, ideal for beginners. The editor is modern and easy to use, you are able to create great pages fast and A/B testing features help you test up to three different versions of your landing page at any time. You can also integrate closely with Facebook, adding tabs to your new landing pages in just four steps. Other integrations are available, but most are premium features.

Pros: No technical knowledge required, superb collection of integrations with other tools, templates built by designers to achieve conversions, powerful analytics included. Well rounded.

Cons: Some integrations only available as premium features, technical support only available on ‘Pro Plus’ package, limits on custom domains.

Cost: 14 day free trial. Then from $16 (£12) per month for the basic package when paying annually. ‘Professional’ package required to use integrations and for more than 3 custom domains.

Instapage | instapage.com

instapage.png

Instapage are ranked highly, not just because of the software but also the customer support they provide. Whilst offering a simple and easy to use landing page builder similar to other, Instapage also have a huge collection of resources available to help optimize landing page results. They are also one of the only companies to give unlimited pages, visitors and domains on a basic price plan.

Pros: One of the only companies offering unlimited pages, visitors and domains on their basic package. User friendly interface, high quality selection of conversion tested templates.

Cons: No A/B testing on basic package and limits on integrations.

Cost: 14 day free trial. Then from $29 (£22) per month for the basic package when paying annually.

Leadpages | Leadpages.net

leadpages

Leadpages takes landing page creation to the next level. Built specifically with conversions in mind, everything about this platform is focused on converting traffic into buyers. You have next level landing page design tools, all the integrations you could want and an incredible collection of templates – plus lead capture forms and subscriber tools, powerful analytics and AB Testing features. All of this and the basic package offers unlimited traffic, leads and responsive pages!

Pros: All of the above, plus a huge library of resources including guides, certifications, tutorials and an active community of users.

Cons: This is a more complex, feature-rich software platform so may be overkill for some companies. A/B testing and advanced integrations only available on ‘Pro’ and ‘Advanced’ plans.

Cost: 30 day money back guarantee. From $25 (£19) per month for the basic package when paying annually.

Unbounce | Unbounce.com

unbounce.png

Last but not least is Unbounce. As with Leadpages this is an advanced landing page development tool, and whilst you don’t need to be a qualified designer to use it, the features are more complex. Yes they have all the landing page building abilities you’d expect, but Unbounce’s true strengths lie in the testing and optimization of each page to achieve industry leading conversion results. This is the most expensive of the software tools we’ve reviewed, however its next level features help make the investment worthwhile.

Pros: Advanced features but still easily usable without a technical background. Powerful optimization and testing capacities. Always releasing new services, including ‘Unbounce Convertables’, targeted overlays for any web page.

Cons: An expensive investment and less integrations than some alternatives.

Cost: 30 free trial. Then from $79 (£61) per month for the basic ‘Essentials’ package when paying annually.

Conclusion

As with any new software purchase your primary concern should be ‘what do I actually need’, rather than simply buying from the industry leaders. The landing page software tools reviewed above are just a handful of whats available today, but all provide those core functionalities needed to create web pages that look good and convert sales.

If you’re still not sure which landing page software best fits your venue or hotels needs then have a chat with us anytime. LeadDigital have over 20 years experience in hospitality marketing and have designed hundreds of landing pages, so can advise on the best fit for your hospitality business.

 

Interested in Landing Page Software for Your Company?

Contact Us Today

 

10 Examples Of Awesome Venue Websites

Venue websites must be beautifully designed and engaging to entice visitors into choosing their location over the various alternatives available. It’s not simply enough to have an online presence in 2017, venues must also think about a website’s goals and functionality. Keep in mind your website may be the first interaction a new customer has with your business, so it will speak volumes about your brand and quality expectations.

With this in mind, here are 10 UK venues that have awesome websites live today!

Tower Bridge

towerbridge.png

“The most famous bridge in the world houses three stunning venue areas, each one a unique and memorable setting for celebrations of every kind.” – This is both a practical and structurally well designed website for event planners, making it simple to learn more about Tower Bridge and make an enquiry. The use of virtual tours aids in providing insight into the venue before a real world visit.

Twitter: @TowerBridge
Instagram: @towerbridgeevents
Website: www.towerbridgeevents.co.uk

One Events

oneevent1good.jpg

“Whether you’ve popped the question and you’re looking for somewhere intimate to tie the knot, you’re looking for somewhere to impress clients and colleagues, or you’ve got something to celebrate, you’re sure to find the perfect event venue with us.” – One MaryleboneOne BelgraviaOne Embankment and the recently added One Adelphi make up four of the most prestigious venues in London, all under the One Events brand. This sense of quality and exclusivity is mirrored on their website, with the use of gold, luxury fonts and detailed information on each venue (including 3D tours).

Twitter: @oneeventslondon
Instagram: @oneeventslondon
Website: one-events.co.uk

Burley Manor

burley-manor.jpg

“Tasty food and bespoke services, offer you the chance to create your individual event in this beautiful rural location that is sure to impress your guests.” – A modern yet warming website, Burley Manor have clearly put a great deal of thought into the design, creating an impression of rustic luxury. From a visual perspective, we particuarly like the use of animated text on each page, which grabs the attention of visitors.

Twitter: @Burley_Manor
Instagram: @burleymanor
Website: www.burleymanor.com

Woods’ Silver Fleet

silverfleetgood.jpg

“Create a stunning top deck canapé reception followed by an intimate dinner in the River Room, or invite a larger guest list to enjoy the entire vessel and the drama of your own private yacht, luxurious in space and service.” – Woods’ Silver Fleet create some of the most exclusive events in London, held on the iconic River Thames. A clean design and simple layout make this site easy to navigate, whilst contemporary fonts and images are on-brand and resonate the luxury status of the venue.

Twitter: @WoodsThames
Instagram: @woods_silver_fleet
Website: www.silverfleet.co.uk

Urban Guild

urban-guild.jpg

“Big grins, flip flops, happy staff and happy customers, inspired, energetic environments.” – Urban Guild own a number of bars, restaurants & hotels on the UK’s south coast. For events, their ‘Urban Reef‘ restaurant offers a unique and beautiful beachfront location, perfect for private and corporate occasions. Their website mirrors the brand’s bright and exciting style, with an informal, yet high quality finish maintained throughout.

Twitter: @theurbanguild
Instagram: @theurbanguild
Website: urbanguild.co.uk

Natural History Museum

naturalgood.jpg

“It’s magnificent architecture and collections create the perfect backdrop for any event.” – Already an icon of London, The Natural History Museum offers event planners an incredible opportunity to deliver any type of occasion within this spectacularly stunning setting. Their website is very practical and has been created to handle the wide range of activites going on at the museum. The venue hire area provides quick access to the different events the building accomodates, and makes it easy to get in contact.

Twitter: @NHM_London
Instagram: @natural_history_museum
Website: www.nhm.ac.uk

8 Northumberland Avenue

8northgood

“8 Northumberland Avenue is one of the finest and grandest venues in London. Our team are dedicated to making every event a success. For the best venue hire London has, look no further.” – This is a venue website that’s all about the photography! This is not just a case of using high definition, beautifully shot art, but also how it has been intelligently placed across the site to create the biggest impact. Colour management is another core strength of this site, and the venue look to highlight the reactive 16 million colour lighting system they have available.

Twitter: @8Northumberland
Instagram: @8northumberland
Website: www.8northumberland.co.uk

Aynhoe Park

aynhoegood

“A country house of stories and surprises – a place where the extraordinary happens every day.” – Aynhoe Park consider themselves a venue for unique and creative celebrations, promising a countryside escape like no other. From corporate retreats, to filming, weddings and even children’s parties, this venue has the flexibility to make any occasion magical. The website is very modern and sharp, with the bold use of charcoals on a crisp white background, alongside inspiring, artistic photography.

Twitter: @aynhoepark
Instagram: @aynhoepark
Website: aynhoepark.co.uk

The View From The Shard

the-view-from-the-shard.jpg

“The only place to take in over 1,000 years of the capital’s history all at once.” – “Pretty damn spectacular” is how TimeOut described The View From The Shard, and honestly there’s no better way to explain this exclusive venue. Up to 400 guests in the summer can marvel at the London panoramic, with premium breakfast and evening events and a dedicated support team available throughout. The website makes it quick to book an event, and celebrates the venue’s niche on every page.

Twitter: @shardview
Instagram: @shardview
Website: www.theviewfromtheshard.com

Château Rhianfa Hotel

chateaugood

“A host of elegant rooms and outside spaces to choose from, opt for a private dinner starting with drinks in the Wine Caves. Or go all out and take over the whole Château with an exclusive ‘house’ party like no other.” – Château Rhianfa is a fairytale venue in the heart of North Wales, that offers a variety of exclusive party hire options that are unique to the location. On their website they tell the hotel’s story, with romanticised content and the promotion of previous guest experiences.

Twitter: @ChateauRhianfa
Instagram: @chateaurhianfa
Website: chateaurhianfa.com

Subscribe to the LeadDigital Blog above to receive more information on hospitality digital marketing. Find us on Twitter.