HotelFAQS.com Helping Hotels Elevate Visibility on Google

Last month Google significantly changed its algorithm that determines search results. The new system interprets the “inferred meaning” of a search, rather than providing listings that contain exact keywords used in the query. Google’s rational is this: by requiring sites to deliver improved content that answers searchers specific questions, it will provide a more reliable resource, and in turn, improve the site’s visibility and viability. In an effort to help hoteliers improve booking conversions, Lodging Interactive launched a new service called HotelFAQs.com that provides comprehensive responses to these exact types of pressing and personalized questions.

“Content that travelers like, Google will like,” said DJ Vallauri, Lodging Interactive founder and president. “Google wants hoteliers to stop obsessing over keywords and instead answer the questions that travelers want to have answered to differentiate themselves from the competition. While this theory has its merits, it poses a lot of challenges to hoteliers. Trying to answer all of the questions that potential customers ask online not only is an exercise in futility, but operators could lose business because of it. This is where HotelFAQs.com comes in handy.

“Created by our team of hotel marketing experts, HotelFAQs.com is a service that provides a clean, interactive Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page that resides on a hotel’s website,” he said. “Before lookers become bookers, they want to know: Is a lifeguard is on duty at the pool? If yes, during what hours? What time is the continental breakfast served, and is it free? Does the property offer a babysitting service? If yes, what are the age parameters? HotelFAQs.com customizes the web page specific to each hotel, differentiating it from all the others in the area. By allowing lookers to find out everything they need to know when they are considering booking, it leads to higher conversions.”

HotelFAQs.com by Lodging Interactive drills down and provides details on happenings in and around each hotel to provide richer content for travelers. A Check Out Our FAQs float button appears on every page of the hotel’s website. If information is not available on a specific topic, a Suggest a Category or Question button is provided that encourages travelers to submit a question so that Lodging Interactive can search and post the answer. This not only heightens customer service, but it is a great way to capture prospective guests’ email information for future marketing efforts.

“If a potential guest poses a question, Lodging Interactive will research it on the hotel’s behalf . . . find the answer . . . and respond to the customer to stop booking abandonment,” Vallauri said. “We’ll even update the FAQs on a hotel’s website to reflect the new information. But that’s not all. Lodging Interactive will also create and maintain a list of attractions and events local to each area to drive potential visitors to a hotel and close on more business. Not only does HotelFAQs.com help hotels to attract more bookings, but its a cool new way to provide phenomenal customer service and improve upon the hotel’s online reputation as the best place to stay in your area.”

HotelFAQs.com from Lodging Interactive provides an easy and affordable way to:

• Increase bookings online
• Improve two-way hotel-to-guest/guest-to-hotel communications
• Capture customer information for ongoing marketing efforts
• Boost organic SEO value for vanity websites
• Communicate product and service differentiation
• Leverage local events, attractions and exhibits to increase loyalty
• Documents hotel policies
• Build ongoing FAQ content
• Stay relevant in light of the new Google Hummingbird algorithm changes

HotelFAQs.com easily integrates into any hotel’s Facebook page and blog.  Fully mobile compatible, HotelFAQs.com enables smartphone users to also benefit from vital FAQ content, thereby supporting and increasing mobile booking conversion rates.

An informational video is now available by clicking here.

Are You Posting Properly to Facebook?

Today, there are more than 1.5 billion active Facebook users, with 699 million people logging onto Facebook each day and 4.5 billion "likes" generated daily as of May 2013, according to the leading social media giant. More important to note is that 16 million local business pages have been created since June, which is a 100 percent increase from 8 million in June 2012, Facebook reports. Hoteliers who want to compete effectively and maintain a competitive edge need to know how to best utilize Facebook and ensure that their efforts stand out and reach intended audiences. CoMMingle by Lodging Interactive, an outsourced social media marketing agency that develops customized solutions for hotels, restaurants and spas, has a simple list of suggestions to make the most out of a Facebook social media campaign.

"Approximately 42 percent of marketers claim that eMarketing via Facebook is crucial for business success," said Rosella Virdo, Director of CoMMingle Social Media Marketing. "That leaves 58 percent of marketers who seem to be missing the big picture. Utilize Facebook as more than just another vehicle to advertise or promote your property. Social media marketing has become an extension of your customer service. With that knowledge and focus, you can then speak with your fans about your property and offerings, drive engagement and create loyalty. Then social media marketing becomes an all-encompassing vehicle to reach, speak and mingle with your audience, paving the road for a successful marketing campaign.

"Social Media Marketing has a different approach than traditional marketing," she said. "No longer do you shout your message, now you share your message to those listening and encourage them to share spread the word. Today with social media, hoteliers have the opportunity to share, connect and listen to their fans/guests, and most importantly, offer the level of customer service they come to expect while still sharing all you have to offer. This new way of marketing includes reputation management, customer service, traditional marketing and giving a human voice to a brick and mortar business. To help hotel marketers put their best Facebook post forward, the CoMMingle team is offering the following tips."

10 Tips to Facebook Posting Success:

1. Keep it short: Share just a bit of what you’d like to say, but be brief. Try to keep the post to around 250 characters, without losing the message you want to share.

2. Photos / Videos: To make your message stand out, a photo or video will bring the eye to the message. Give viewers an inside view of what makes the hotel tick. An example: Showcase your employees. Adding a first name and a face from the person to the service they received or will be receiving, offers that personal touch. Display a front desk clerk welcoming a guest . . . the housekeeper hard at work . . . or your marketing manager smiling at their desk. Always ask the employee for their permission before you post.

3. Call to Action: Engage your audience by asking questions or suggest a link to visit, "like" the post, or share an experience.

4. Offer a perk to your Fans: Create a special offer with link, exclusive to your fans. Links and calls to action add value to a Facebook campaign.

5. Participation: Ask your audience to participate in the process of building your next package or promotion. For example, request feedback from your fans on what type of amenities they would like to see in a package? Free Internet, Free Parking, Free Resort Fees, Dinner for Two, etc. Use the feedback to create the package then let your audience know that they were a vital part of the process by their input. 

6. Be consistent and current: Post about local events around the hotel. Make sure that you offer links, and post consistently (once or twice a week is good).

7. Create a Social Media Calendar: Plan a strategy to compliment your off line marketing initiatives. Topics, times, frequency that work best with the hospitality industry. Remember that these “best practices” of when to post are not relevant to every industry and every audience. Learn your audience; learn the audience of your industry.

8. Target: You can create posts on Facebook specific to an audience. If you have a package available to only the  residents of your state, then target post to the audience in that segmented location demographic.

9. Schedule posts: You can schedule posts up to six months in advance in 10 minute intervals. This will help you manage your time more effectively.

10. Have fun. Keep the “social” on your social network. Post fun trivia facts about your location; create engaging puzzles focused on your brand or city; send encouragement of support to your local sports teams, etc.

"According to Infodocket, the average time spent per Facebook visit is about 20 minutes," Virdo said. "You have a small window of opportunity to share your message and speak with your audience. Knowing effective ways to reach them could make all the difference in your success. If you are still unsure as to whether or not your message is effective, give CoMMingle a call today."

Lodging Interactive Named Among the ‘Best Interactive Agencies Worldwide’

Lodging Interactive was recognized as one of “the best interactive agencies, designers and creators worldwide” for its creative excellence in website design by the International Academy of the Visual Arts. Last week, the full-service digital marketing and social media engagement agency exclusively servicing the hospitality industry was presented with three 2013 W3 Silver Awards in both the Hotel & Lodging and Travel categories, one for Green Mountain Inn, and two for Lakeway Resort and Spa. Also in September, Lodging Interactive earned a Gold Magellan Award from Travel Weekly also for the Green Mountain Inn product.

“On behalf of the more than 500 members of The International Academy of the Visual Arts, we are honored to recognize our winners as they continue to set a high standard of excellence for Web development,” said IAVA Director Linda Day. “We were amazed at the caliber and quality of work we received this year.  Our winners continue to push the envelope of Internet creativity and web design, and it is gratifying to see such great work from the smallest agencies to the biggest firms.”

Green Mountain Inn and Lakeway Resort and Spa websites were chosen from among 4,000 entries. The W³ Awards honors creative excellence on the Web, and recognizes the creative and marketing professionals behind award winning Websites, Web Video and Online Marketing programs. The W3 Awards is sanctioned and judged by the IAVA, an invitation-only body consisting of top-tier professionals from a “Who’s Who” of acclaimed media, advertising, and marketing firms.

“We are delighted to have been recognized once again by the IAVA for our team’s talent in designing websites that drive business,” said DJ Vallauri, Lodging Interactive founder and president. “The competition among full-service agencies is getting harder and harder every year. That pushes specialized digital marketing agencies such as ours to work even harder to develop online marketing programs and products that make our customers stand head and shoulders above the rest. To have been selected from among a group of some of the biggest the Fortune 500 agencies and international organizations is truly a testimony to our skill and commitment to customers.

“Lodging Interactive consistently wins awards because we consistently develop the latest website management tools to maximize results,” Vallauri said. “Website design is just one piece of the puzzle. We combine our design expertise with a unique ability to manage website content, guest reviews, and our customers’ overall online reputations. It is this full-service approach to online marketing that makes our customers’ websites stand out and achieve maximum optimization.”

Since 2001, Lodging Interactive has provided more than 650 hotels, resorts, spas and restaurants in more than 35 countries with proven ROI-driven online marketing services, including: website design and development, search engine marketing, social media marketing, and online reputation management. The full-service agency also has developed website management tools for optimizing search, maximizing bookings and protecting each hotel’s online reputation.

Lodging Interactive Named Among the ‘Best Interactive Agencies Worldwide’

Lodging Interactive was recognized as one of "the best interactive agencies, designers and creators worldwide" for its creative excellence in website design by the International Academy of the Visual Arts. Last week, the full-service digital marketing and social media engagement agency exclusively servicing the hospitality industry was presented with three 2013 W3 Silver Awards in both the Hotel & Lodging and Travel categories, one for Green Mountain Inn, and two for Lakeway Resort and Spa. Also in September, Lodging Interactive earned a Gold Magellan Award from Travel Weekly also for the Green Mountain Inn product.

“On behalf of the more than 500 members of The International Academy of the Visual Arts, we are honored to recognize our winners as they continue to set a high standard of excellence for Web development," said IAVA Director Linda Day. "We were amazed at the caliber and quality of work we received this year.  Our winners continue to push the envelope of Internet creativity and web design, and it is gratifying to see such great work from the smallest agencies to the biggest firms.”

Green Mountain Inn and Lakeway Resort and Spa websites were chosen from among 4,000 entries. The W³ Awards honors creative excellence on the Web, and recognizes the creative and marketing professionals behind award winning Websites, Web Video and Online Marketing programs. The W3 Awards is sanctioned and judged by the IAVA, an invitation-only body consisting of top-tier professionals from a "Who's Who" of acclaimed media, advertising, and marketing firms. 

"We are delighted to have been recognized once again by the IAVA for our team's talent in designing websites that drive business," said DJ Vallauri, Lodging Interactive founder and president. "The competition among full-service agencies is getting harder and harder every year. That pushes specialized digital marketing agencies such as ours to work even harder to develop online marketing programs and products that make our customers stand head and shoulders above the rest. To have been selected from among a group of some of the biggest the Fortune 500 agencies and international organizations is truly a testimony to our skill and commitment to customers.

"Lodging Interactive consistently wins awards because we consistently develop the latest website management tools to maximize results," Vallauri said. "Website design is just one piece of the puzzle. We combine our design expertise with a unique ability to manage website content, guest reviews, and our customers' overall online reputations. It is this full-service approach to online marketing that makes our customers' websites stand out and achieve maximum optimization."

Since 2001, Lodging Interactive has provided more than 650 hotels, resorts, spas and restaurants in more than 35 countries with proven ROI-driven online marketing services, including: website design and development, search engine marketing, social media marketing, and online reputation management. The full-service agency also has developed website management tools for optimizing search, maximizing bookings and protecting each hotel's online reputation.