#AskDJV – Episode 33: ROI vs. ROE

In this week’s episode of #AskDJV, DJ Vallauri discusses your Return on Investment (ROI) vs. your Return on Engagement (ROE) when it comes to social media marketing and what you should expect from your social media marketing efforts.

Social Media Marketing

This may sound obvious, but not everyone realizes that social media marketing is all about being “social”.   What types of posts do you write on Twitter, Facebook, and Linked In? Are people responding to them or are you broadcasting to yourself? Are you gathering followers on a regular basis? Are you following others?

Long Term Relationships

Social Media is all about creating long term relationships. DJ goes into great detail about how to create engaging conversations and viral posts so your readers will share what is going on, instead of just listening to your elevator pitch. Talk to your followers, ask them what they think about your products or services. Speak to them the way you would at a cocktail party. Whatever you do, don’t be the person who runs around asking, “Do you like me?” “Please like me.”   Begging for people to like you isn’t any more becoming online as it is face to face.

Learn more about how to engage your audience and send your questions to #AskDJV. Maybe next week’s episode will include your question.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Buffer this pageDigg thisEmail this to someonePin on PinterestShare on RedditPrint this page

#AskDJV – Episode 32: What you should know about Organic Hotel SEO

Hotel SEO

In this weeks’ episode of #AskDJV, DJ Vallauri discusses the importance of Hotel Organic SEO – Search Engine Optimization.

Organic Hotel SEO

Organic Hotel SEO helps you be found in the search engines. Not only for your brand name, but the amenities found in your hotel, the location, types of cuisine, your meetings, events and more. When you talk about hotel seo, you need to dive deeper into what makes your hotel stand out from your competitors. You need to emphasize what makes you unique.

Quality Content

Organic SEO is all about providing quality content to the search engines, but providing that content and writing that content for consumers, not the search engines. In this section, DJ goes into detail about how you can write content that is important to your hotel guests and how the search engines see your content.

We hope you enjoy this week’s episode of the #AskDJV show. Be sure to subscribe so you will be notified when new episodes are released.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Buffer this pageDigg thisEmail this to someonePin on PinterestShare on RedditPrint this page

Google rolls out Google Hotel Ads Commission Program

On June 8, 2015, Google rolled out a beta Google Hotel Ads Commission Program. It is a Hotel SEO program in conjunction with Sabre’s SynXis booking engine. Now, whenever a hotel guest uses Google Search, Google Maps or Google+ (and the hotel uses the SynXis booking engine), they will be given the option of booking a room directly from the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) instead of having to leave the page or go to a third party OTA site.

The difference between Hotel PPC and Hotel SEO

There is a big difference between Hotel PPC and Hotel SEO. Do not decide to forsake one for the other because of this new program. Currently, you can use Google AdWords for your Hotel PPC campaigns. You are charged a PPC Rate (Pay per click), each time your keyword phrase is “clicked”. The more you pay, the higher your ad appears in the Paid Search Results. With the new Google Hotel organic search results, you pay Google a commission whenever hotel guests book a room. As with all SEO, you cannot pay for placement in the SERPs.

Examples of Hotel “Book” button in Google Maps

You can click on the “Book” button directly from Google Maps without having to leave Google’s Search Results. Below are some examples of how the new hotel seo looks with Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) in Google Maps:

  1. Independent Hotel
    Ocean Edge - Google new Booking Engine Results

    Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club Google Map Results with Booking Engine

    In the above example of Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club, you simply type in the dates you wish to travel, and if a room is available, you will see the “Book” button, taking you to the below page in Google to complete your transaction.

    Ocean Edge Google Booking Page

    Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club – Google Booking Engine Page

  2. Hotel Vanity Website with multiple OTAs engines in SERPs
    Antlers Hilton with multiple Booking Results

    Antlers Hilton Google Maps Results

    In the above example of Antlers Hilton Colorado Springs hotel, you will see the Brand listed first, then OTAs below it on the page. Notice that the prices are all the same? The “Book” button is also highlighted in blue, making it stand out from the OTAs.Clicking on the “Book” button, takes you to the below page example on Hilton’s website. Once here, you can make choices based upon the “results” you select, making it easier for hotel guests to book their hotel room.
    Hilton Antlers in Google Maps

  3. Hotel Vanity Website with single OTA in SERPsI
    Hilton Daytona Beach 1 OTA Google Maps Results

    Hotel Vanity Website with single OTA in SERPsI

    In the above example of Hilton Daytona Beach Oceanwalk Village, you will see the Brand listed first, then only one OTA below it on the page. Notice that the prices continue to be the same. The “Book” button again, is highlighted in blue, making it stand out from the OTA site.

Example of Hotel SEO Results in Google Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs)

Below in an example of how you can expect to see the hotel displayed when you are in Google Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs)

Notice there is an “Ads” Book a room, and then below where you input the check in/ check out dates, you will see the Brand name (Hilton.com) with a link, directly to their website. There is also a “Book” link which includes the prices from $149.

Anlters SERPs with new Booking Engine

Antlers Hilton Google SERPs

Example of Google+ with new Booking Results Displayed

Antlers Hilton Google+ Booking Engine

Google+ Booking Engine Results Antlers Hilton

 

When you are on the ABOUT page in Google+, you will see a new tab that says, “Make a Reservation”. Once you enter the dates, a price will appear and again, let you book directly from the hotel itself, instead of having to go to an OTA.

What’s in the future of Hotel SEO?

What can you expect from Google and the future of Hotel SEO? While this initial beta program involves only the SynXis booking engine, we believe that future updates will include other booking engines. It will be interesting to see what happens to OTA’s, once Google implements this across the board for all hotels. One thing is for certain – if your hotel isn’t implementing SEO, now is a great time for you to consider adding Hotel SEO to your marketing campaign.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Buffer this pageDigg thisEmail this to someonePin on PinterestShare on RedditPrint this page

#AskDJV Episode 31: Hotels can learn from Apple Customer Service

This week’s #AskDJV Episode 31 is a bit unconventional in the fact that DJ Vallauri talks about his recent customer service experience with Apple Computers.  How does this relate to the hospitality industry, you might wonder?  Read on for more insights into customer service.

 

Hotel Customer Service

Recently, DJ went into the Apple computer store to purchase the Apple Watch.  While the Apple team was pitching him about the watch and explaining all the features and advantages, DJ explained to them that he had purchased another Apple product 30 days ago and that he wasn’t very satisfied with the product.  He knew that it was past Apple’s usually 14 day return policy, but he expressed his concerns anyway.

Customer Satisfaction

Sometimes, it isn’t all about you (the hotel hearing the complaint), it is all about your hotel guest and how they feel, what they want and overcoming their objections (or in this case, DJ’s dissatisfaction with a previous Apple product).  You want to do this in a timely fashion, but more importantly, you want your guest to feel like they matter to you.  The ultimate customer satisfaction comes with a positive review and re-booking your hotel.

Quality Customer Service

The way to provide quality hotel customer service is to listen to your guests, ask their opinions, and find ways to make their experience at your hotel even better than they anticipated.  Every hotel has something special that resonates with their guests.  Look for more ways to improve the quality of your customer service, similar to the way Apple did with DJ.

Check back for next week’s episode of #AskDJV.  We look forward to seeing you!

This week’s #AskDJV Episode 31 is a bit unconventional in the fact that DJ Vallauri talks about his recent customer service experience with Apple Computers.  How does this relate to the hospitality industry, you might wonder?  Read on for more insights into customer service.

Hotel Customer Service

Recently, DJ went into the Apple computer store to purchase the Apple Watch.  While the Apple team was pitching him about the watch and explaining all the features and advantages, DJ explained to them that he had purchased another Apple product 30 days ago and that he wasn’t very satisfied with the product.  He knew that it was past Apple’s usually 14 day return policy, but he expressed his concerns anyway.

Customer Satisfaction

Sometimes, it isn’t all about you (the hotel hearing the complaint), it is all about your hotel guest and how they feel, what they want and overcoming their objections (or in this case, DJ’s dissatisfaction with a previous Apple product).  You want to do this in a timely fashion, but more importantly, you want your guest to feel like they matter to you.  The ultimate customer satisfaction comes with a positive review and re-booking your hotel.

Quality Customer Service

The way to provide quality hotel customer service is to listen to your guests, ask their opinions, and find ways to make their experience at your hotel even better than they anticipated.  Every hotel has something special that resonates with their guests.  Look for more ways to improve the quality of your customer service, similar to the way Apple Customer Service did with DJ.

Check back for next week’s episode of #AskDJV.  We look forward to seeing you!

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Buffer this pageDigg thisEmail this to someonePin on PinterestShare on RedditPrint this page

#AskDJV Episode 30: 3 Tips on avoiding Negative Hotel Reviews

It’s inevitable.  Every hotel is going to have negative reviews at one time or another.  In Episode 30 of #AskDJV, we discuss what you can do to minimize negative hotel reviews.

Negative Hotel Reviews – Tip #1

Be Pro-active.  There are many times a guest will be staying at your hotel and it takes 2-4 hours for someone from the property to even send an acknowledgement to them.  You want to prevent your guest from going to social media marketing channels such as Twitter, Facebook, TripAdvisor or another OTA and posting a negative comment or hotel review.  Speed is of the essence when it comes to avoiding hotel reviews.

Negative Hotel Reviews – Tip #2

Own the problem or complaint – even if it isn’t your department.  Whether the complaint belongs to you or not, own it, take responsibility for it and try to turn a guest complaint into a positive hotel review.  Don’t blame someone else or look for the “easy” way out of the situation.

Negative Hotel Reviews – Tip #3

Restore confidence and goodwill with your hotel guests.  Remember, to put yourself in your guests’ shoes.  If you were staying at a hotel and someone promptly attended to your issue with a positive attitude, wouldn’t you be more likely to write a positive review about your experience?

Sometimes, all it takes to avoid negative hotel reviews is to be attentive and caring when responding to guest complaints.  Learn more about what you can do to avoid negative hotel reviews today.

Thanks for watching. Until next week!

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Buffer this pageDigg thisEmail this to someonePin on PinterestShare on RedditPrint this page

#AskDJV Episode 29: Hotel Digital Marketing – Social Media Marketing

Are you a hotel sales manager?  Have you ever wondered how to capitalize on your online digital marketing efforts with your offline marketing campaigns?  In this week’s episode of #AskDJV, DJ Vallauri discusses what you can do to integrate your hotel social media marketing with your offline marketing efforts.

Hotel Social Media Marketing

How do you marry both online marketing and real world marketing?  Try some of the following hotel marketing tips:

  • Use something like Periscope (tell stories about your hotel) to stream live video about your hotel.
  • Describe memorable events from working on your hotel property
  • Explain why your hotel is special, but don’t try to “close”, instead, build a community around your hotel.
  • Do not underestimate the power of hotel email marketing. Use this tool as a way to get feedback, earn repeat guests and create a buzz about your hotel.

 

Remember these Hotel Marketing Tips:

  • Show a genuine interest in people
  • Respond to guests through the application, if someone is asking you a question, pause for a moment, answer them, then continue to live stream your hotel video
  • Be Yourself. Be genuine, concerned and a real person.
  • Find a common ground – if you are talking about weddings or social events, stick to the subject matter.
  • Tie your Hotel Internet Marketing efforts with your offline marketing efforts, ensuring that you are reaching your largest guest audience

We hope you enjoy Episode 29 of the #AskDJV show.  Come back next week when we discuss Negative Hotel Reviews and how you can avoid them.

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

Until next week!

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Buffer this pageDigg thisEmail this to someonePin on PinterestShare on RedditPrint this page

Hoteliers Need to Own Their Property Website

HotelSiteXPRESSOwning, not renting, a modern, innovative and affordable hotel website is possible.

The hospitality industry has seen a number of agencies offering hoteliers a low-cost, low-budget website that they can rent. It has been widely noted that these agencies, which promise all of the bells and whistles associated with investing thousands of dollars and development resources, often leave hoteliers in the lurch after the deal is done.

Why? A number of reasons, but perhaps the most important is that agencies that rent hotel websites do not provide hoteliers with true ownership of their content which becomes problematic as explained below.

It should come as no surprise that a hotel’s digital assets should be owned by the property, however, the subject of digital ownership seems to be overlooked by hoteliers doing business with rental agencies. Hoteliers’ ownership should reach past the physical ownership of their property to include their digital content and here is why:

Ownership Means Freedom

Not only do hoteliers have the flexibility of controlling their content, but they have the flexibility of taking an owned website and choosing which vendor or agency works with their property. An owned website that is not built using a proprietary Content Management System (CMS) gives hotel owners total freedom to take their website and work with any number of vendors. A hotel will not be confined to stick with the agreement strictly on the grounds that their website will cease to function if they opt to take their business elsewhere. Unlike websites that hotel owners own, properties cannot take their rental websites with them.

A CMS totally exclusive to any digital  agency is only useful when the relationship with the vendor is strong. Outside of the relationship, if a hotel wishes to move to a different agency, they would be forced to start from scratch or pay a hefty amount of money to convert their site into one which can be moved to another digital agency. That is an exceptional amount of blind trust and control being placed in the hands of the digital agency, with hoteliers having little to no recourse if they are displeased with the service or product they receive.

Ownership Means A True Investment

While low cost and minimal fees are an appealing draw, rental websites are a classic example of a scenario in which one gets what one pays for, but in this case, possibly even less since the ownership of the site and what hoteliers are putting funds toward is not theirs at the end of the day. This doesn’t even take into account the additional shortcomings seen from rented hotel websites such as no search engine optimization, little service or support following the initial set-up, a limited number of site pages, photos or content and so on.

Website Ownership Can Be Affordable

At Lodging Interactive, our award-winning website development team does not believe in holding hotel websites hostage. To offer the industry an alternative solution to renting a property website, we’ve created HotelSiteXPRESS. HotelSiteXPRESS is a website design solution, beginning at just $425 per month, that offers hoteliers high-quality, responsive sites built using WordPress Content Management System that they 100% own. These sites can be up and running in less than 10 days and are the property of the hotel owners who can manage them independently of our service, if they choose.

“Investing in the creation and management of a hotel website should be an investment, the extent of which is to be determined by each property owner individually. However, this investment, no matter how large or small, should result in owning the digital assets of that property. Don’t give away the rights just to save a few dollars when there is a fair, affordable month-to-month solution that allows hoteliers to own their websites completely,” said DJ Vallauri, Lodging Interactive Founder and President.

To learn more, visit the HotelSiteXPRESS website or contact us for additional details on why hoteliers should steer clear of renting a website for their properties.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Buffer this pageDigg thisEmail this to someonePin on PinterestShare on RedditPrint this page

#AskDJV – Episode 28: How Will Live Streaming Affect My Hotel?

It’s time for episode 28 of the #AskDJV Show. This week, I’m talking about a hotel marketing “game changer” – live streaming. With apps like Periscope and Meerkat more popular than ever, it is important to understand how live streaming can affect your hotel. Watch this week’s video to find out.

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

Check back here every Friday for the latest episode and follow me on Periscope (@DJVallauri) and Meerkat.

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!

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Buffer this pageDigg thisEmail this to someonePin on PinterestShare on RedditPrint this page

Lodging Interactive Launches HotelSiteXPRESS

We are pleased to announce HotelSiteXPRESS – our affordable, month-to-month website solutions.

Lodging Interactive - HotelSiteXPRESSToday Lodging Interactive announced the launch of HotelSiteXPRESS, an affordable website design solution for hotels. HotelSiteXPRESS provides hotels with a unique website ownership opportunity versus lengthy rental programs offered by competitors.

This is the latest endeavor for our New Jersey based firm, which saw a need for an affordable website solution upon hearing of the difficulties many hoteliers faced after signing up for lost-cost rental websites.

“HotelSiteXPRESS addresses a marketplace need for smaller properties that want to upgrade their website presence but don’t have large budgets to do so. The service also enables the properties to own their websites, versus having to be stuck in long term website rental agreement,” said DJ Vallauri, Founder and President of Lodging Interactive.

“Each HotelSiteXPRESS website includes a responsive design built on a WordPress Content Management System (CMS) providing hoteliers with complete control of their websites,” added Vallauri.

While other vendors lock hoteliers into multi-year agreements, HotelSiteXPRESS offers month-to-month agreements, starting at just $425 per month. A streamlined onboarding process provides for quick implementations within 10 days. HotelSiteXPRESS is also booking engine independent, which enables hoteliers to select their preferred booking engine without being forced into expensive booking engine solutions.

Features of HotelSiteXPRESS include:

  • Modern Hotel Themed Designs - Hotels select from large, visually appealing site designs.
  • Mobile-Friendly - Sites are responsive and render properly on all devices.
  • Low, Monthly Fee – Fraction of traditional site design, starting at just $425.
  • Easy CMS – Includes WordPress CMS, intuitive system for site management.
  • Fast Setup – Websites can be up and running in less than 10 days.
  • Owned by Property – No renting of the website. Hoteliers own it outright.
  • Search Engine Optimized – Sites are optimized for Google, Bing & Yahoo.
  • No Hidden Hosting Costs - Hosting costs are built in, so there’s no added fee.
  • Google Analytics Included – View real-time site data from the website dashboard.
  • Booking Engine Integration - Integrate any booking engine.

Hoteliers have the option of choosing from nine website designs (with more coming soon), created specifically for the hospitality industry and built with the WordPress Content Management System. This allows hotels the flexibility of modifying their content while not being held captive by a proprietary content management system that is exclusive to the agency the hotelier is working with.

“We set out to provide modern, responsive websites that look great across all screens at a price point smaller properties can afford,” says Vallauri. “HotelSiteXPRESS also provides hotels ownership and should they elect to, the flexibility to host the website themselves without the need of an agency.”

In addition to creating a new website for their hotel, hoteliers can also add a number of premium, al a carte services that include Search Engine Marketing, Display Advertising, Social Media Marketing, 24/7 Social Customer Care, Email Marketing, Video Production, and Reputation Management, all provided by Lodging Interactive’s award-winning team.

For a live demo and to learn more, please visit the HotelSiteXPRESS website.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Buffer this pageDigg thisEmail this to someonePin on PinterestShare on RedditPrint this page

#AskDJV – Episode 27: How to Avoid Negative Hotel Reviews

It’s time for episode 27 of the #AskDJV Show. In this week’s episode, DJ Vallauri discusses how hoteliers can avoid negative hotel reviews for their properties. Take a look:

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

Check back here every Friday for the latest episode and follow me on Periscope (@DJVallauri) and Meerkat.

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!

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Buffer this pageDigg thisEmail this to someonePin on PinterestShare on RedditPrint this page