#AskDJV – Episode 22: Domain Name Registration

Thanks for watching this week’s episode! Today, I’m addressing a question we often receive from prospects:

“I’ve purchased domain names that I’d like to set up to drive more traffic to my website, how do I do that?”

Want more #AskDJV? Visit our website to view all of the episodes we’ve posted.

You can also check back here each Friday for the latest episode.

Do you have a question for me?

Tweet me @DJVallauri using the hashtag #AskDJV, and your question could be featured on the show!

Until next week!

 
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#AskDJV – Episode 21: Real-Time Marketing: How Does it Affect the Hotel Industry?

On this week’s episode of the #AskDJV Show, I’m talking about real-time marketing and how it affects the hotel industry.

 

Want more #AskDJV? Visit our website to view all of the episodes we’ve posted.

You can also check back here each Friday for the latest episode.

Do you have a question for me?

Tweet me @DJVallauri using the hashtag #AskDJV, and your question could be featured on the show!

Thanks for watching!

 

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Catch DJ Vallauri Livestreaming on Meerkat & Periscope!

You know DJ is on Twitter and on YouTube where he answers your questions each week on the #AskDJV Show, but did you know you can catch DJ livestreaming his adventures on Meerkat & Periscope?

Follow Lodging Interactive’s Founder & President on Meerkat by simply clicking the button below.

DJ Vallauri on Meerkat

 

Search @DJVallauri in Periscope to follow him there!

Oh, and while you are at it, follow Lodging Interactive on Twitter too!

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Mobile Website Essentials

Having a mobile website is essential for your hotel, but what are the essentials of a mobile website?

With the continuous increase of mobile users, it’s important that your website be mobile-friendly. We’re seeing more and more customers who try to access a site that isn’t mobile friendly, getting frustrated with the lack of ease in searching the site, so they leave. This effects the site’s traffic numbers and increases the bounce rate.

If you’re going to keep up with the trend of mobile users increasing, then you need to make sure you have a responsive website. Studies show that the majority of users that encounter a mobile friendly site are more likely to make a purchase, while the majority who encounter a website that is not mobile-friendly are more likely to leave. So, as a business owner, you could be losing customers to the competition.

The benefit to having a mobile-friendly website is that it is easily viewed on smaller screens without compromising any of the website’s important information. Thus, making it easy for your customers to navigate their way through the site as if they were viewing it on a desktop or laptop computer. A customer who comes across a website that is not mobile-friendly is also apt to not do business with the company at all because the lack of a mobile-friendly website might lead one to believe that a business owner is not concerned with the ease of their customers’ experience.

Now that we’ve established why it’s important to adapt to the increase in mobile usage, let’s explore what the mobile website essentials are — what you need to make the most out of your customer’s mobile experience. First and foremost, your site needs to load quickly, meaning 5 seconds or less. Customers do not want to waste time waiting for a site to load. Typically customers will view websites on a mobile device because they are on the go, so the need for speed is critical for this audience. You should have mobile-friendly features, including, large buttons, visible navigation, and limited scrolling and pinching required. Make sure the booking widget or Book Now button is clearly visible as soon as the site opens so that there is no question in the customer’s mind as to how they need to complete a transaction.

Additionally, it is important to know that whether or not you have a mobile-friendly website will soon begin to impact your Google rankings. As business owners need to adapt to usage patterns of their customers, Google too must adjust their algorithms as well. Beginning in April, Google will be expanding their use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking factor. In simple terms, those sites that are mobile-friendly will move up in the ranking while those that aren’t will begin to lose their ranking status. Google’s purpose in doing this is to help provide higher quality search results for its users that are optimized for modern devices.

With each passing year the number of users on mobile devices will continue to increase. We have seen a clear pattern thus far. If you want to keep your current customers happy and attract new ones, then you need to be sure you’re doing what is necessary to have a mobile-friendly website.

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FREE AUDIT: Is Your Hotel Website Ready for the Upcoming Mobile SEO-Pocalypse?

Lodging Interactive offers free mobile readiness audit and recommendations for your hotel website.

Hotel Responsive Web DesignIf you’ve kept up with Google, you know that the SEO-Pocalypse is coming! April 21, 2015 is the day of reckoning, the day Google will roll out changes to its mobile search results algorithm.  Starting April 21st, Google will expand the use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact on search results.

Bottom line: Your hotel website needs to be mobile ready. If it’s not, your website’s organic search engine rankings will be negatively impacted.

For a limited time Lodging Interactive is providing hoteliers with a free Mobile Readiness Website Audit.  Visit the audit link to submit your website and Lodging Interactive’s Search Engine Marketing team will provide your readiness website audit and recommendations within 24 hours.

Mobile Readiness Audit – Submit Your Website

“For the last two years we have been advising properties to budget for responsive website development. Unfortunately, properties who have not budgeted for this day, will now be forced to reallocate funds towards making their websites fully mobile enabled, it is no longer a ‘nice-to-have’ it’s a must-have,” said DJ Vallauri, Lodging Interactive Founder and President.  “It’s not too late to move forward, however the clock is ticking as we approach Google’s deadline of April 21st”.

To learn more about our responsive website designs for hotels, visit the our website or call 877-291-4411.

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#AskDJV – Episode 19: How to Get Twitter Followers in 5 Easy Steps

In this week’s episode of the #AskDJV Show, I’m talking about some of the best and most effective ways to grow your Twitter followers.

Want more #AskDJV? Visit our website to view all of the episodes we’ve posted.

You can also check back here each Friday for the latest episode.

Do you have a question for me?

Tweet me @DJVallauri using the hashtag #AskDJV, and your question could be featured on the show!

Thanks for watching!

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What’s Happening with Google Products in 2015?

Google+ Products

It’s no secret that social media websites are a chatter with talk of major changes to Google+ in 2015.

Trying to get the inside scoop on what’s going on with Google Products in 2015? The buzz, according to a number of sites, is that the search engine may be dismantling Google+ in favor of separate products like Google Streams and Google Photo among others.

The industry talk is all speculation at this point. The general public will likely remain in the dark until at least after Google’s annual I/O conference in May, but that hasn’t stopped many from sharing their own hypotheses of what will become of G+.

What does Lodging Interactive think?

We can speculate like everyone else, but what we do know based on our experiences with the hospitality industry, is that there have been noticeable changes in the Google products integration over the last year. Back in April 2014, Vic Gundotra, father of G+ left Google. CEO of Google, Larry Page, left the breadcrumbs to follow on the future of G+.

Rather than speculate, we’ll have updates on any product announcements from Google this year.

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Why Aren’t Hotels Responding to Guest Reviews Online?

Hotel reception with bell

Hotels that respond to reviews see an increase in overall review ratings and booking
inquiries. The benefits are well documented, and yet hoteliers still are not responding.

If a guest fills out a comment card on-site, emails a hotel’s customer service address or even calls to share their frustration or praise about a recent visit, hotels know to read the card, answer the email or return the call. So why, in an age where everything is done online and the majority of consumers rely on travel and hotel reviews before booking a trip, do hoteliers still miss the opportunity of responding to online reviews?

Ideally, hoteliers would pre-empt a negative experience before it ever made it online, while a guest is on-site. Realistically, that is not possible to do each and every time, for each and every guest. When hoteliers are unable to provide the experience that meets or exceeds a guest’s expectations, taking advantage of posting a management response is an important step in protecting a hotel’s online reputation. This step, however, is something only a small amount of hoteliers do with an average of just 36% of hotels responding.

Hotel guests can post reviews of a stay to over 100 review sites, according to the 2014 Hotel Reputation Benchmark Study, however, hotel management is barely responding to two of the largest review sites online. 56% of hoteliers offer replies to TripAdvisor reviews and just 17% respond to those that review their experience on Expedia.

There is ample proof from a variety of studies that it is in a hotel’s best interest for hoteliers to respond to the online reviews that their property receives. Often boosting a hotel’s rank or rating, bookings or booking inquiries and even justifying an increase in room rates.

Consider these guest review statistics:

A 2014 TripAdvisor study noted a connection between the rates of management responses with the average review rating a hotel receives. Properties responding to over 65% of the reviews they received saw an average review rating of 4.15.

Is this because guests magically experience only positive stays? Not according to the researchers at Boston University who deduced that perhaps the most impactful result of providing management response is that, “consumers with a poor experience become less likely to leave a negative review when hotels begin responding.”

This can be seen across the industry where 75% of reviews are four- and five-star reviews while less than 10% are one- and two-star reviews, according to the 2014 Hotel Reputation Benchmark Report. Do not be fooled though, while one-star reviews make up the lowest percentage of all reviews, the number of total reviews are increasing and the volume of both one-star and five-star reviews are seeing the biggest surge.

While hoteliers aren’t responding to reviews, it seems that they recognize that they should be and are taking steps to begin penning replies. According to Ipsos and TripAdvisor’s 2014 TripBarometer Report, six in 10 hoteliers say that investments in reputation management would increase in the next 12 months. The commitment to invest is a new way of thinking for hoteliers who may finally be ready to reap the benefits of replying to reviews by providing management responses. This is the second largest increase in investment priorities, only surpassed by small renovations – a list of property refreshes likely taken from what guests point out in negative reviews.

Hoteliers cannot afford to neglect review responses any longer, especially if their competitive set is making plans to reply to guest reviews. Hoteliers that understand the importance of management responses and how essential it is to invest in them, but may not have the time to take on the task can look to Lodging Interactive’s CoMMingle Reputation Management services as a complete solution for handling review responses.

We provide a personalized approach to management responses that hotels find to be invaluable. CoMMingle Reputation Management monitors, collects and researches reviews and provides suggested responses for approval by hotel management. We also post the approved responses to the review sites as a feature of the service. Contact us or call 877.291.4411 to learn more.

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#AskDJV – Episode 18: Is Your Hotel Using Meerkat Streaming Video to Increase Bookings?

On this week’s episode of the #AskDJV Show, I am talking about emerging technologies and Meerkat, a new application that will help humanize your hotel.

*Update: Emerging technologies change quickly! Between shooting the latest episode and sharing it with you Twitter cut off Meerkat‘s ability to access its social graph, but Meerkat released an update that added a number of new features including search functionality.*

Want more #AskDJV? Visit our website to view all of the episodes we’ve posted.

You can also check back here each Friday for the latest episode.

Do you have a question for me?

Tweet me @DJVallauri using the hashtag #AskDJV, and your question could be featured on the show!

Thanks for watching!

 

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