#AskDJV – Episode 35: 5 Video Content Secrets for Hotels

Hotel Video Marketing

Do you wonder how to use hotel video marketing without spending a fortune?  Can your hotel create great video content?  What tools should you use to create videos for your hotels?  How often should you create hotel videos? These questions and more are answered in Episode 35 of #AskDJV.

YouTube Marketing

There are more searches on YouTube every day than there are on Bing and Yahoo!, so it’s important that your hotel leverages this important platform and has video content created and posted up on YouTube.   Using DJ’s techniques in the video, after a short time, you will accumulate a significant video library, increasing your hotel’s chances of garnering market share, while ranking well in the search engines.

Don’t underestimate this powerful tool or lose out on hotel guests because you think you can’t afford video marketing.  Learn how to do it yourself this week on the #AskDJV Video Series.

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Lodging Interactive Becomes Member of ILHA

Lodging Interactive has joined the International Luxury Hotel Association (ILHA) as its newest Vendor Member. It is a great honor and privilege to have been accepted to such a prestigious and noteworthy organization.

 

The ILHA was originally formed in 2008 as the Luxury Hoteliers with the objective of sharing best practices within the luxury hotel industry. Membership grew so quickly it turned into the ILHA as we know it today under the leadership of its President, Barak Hirschowitz.

 

The organization is a collaborative effort of experts in the luxury hotel industry as well as travel institutions, government agencies and educators. One way to promote ILHA goals is to have great minds within each of these industries or agencies brought together under one roof. To point, conferences are held annually where thoughts and ideas of how to improve services and designs could be discussed and shared.

 

In September 2015, the ILHA will hold a Luxury Hospitality Conference and Expo at the Orlando Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. Lodging Interactive will be in attendance and stands ready to support all members with the knowledge and practice of social media services within the luxury hotel industry including the growing interest in live streaming.

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Lodging Interactive Launches Live Streaming Marketing Service For Hotels

Lodging Interactive Launches Live Streaming Marketing Service For Hotels

New live streaming technology enables hotels to humanize their marketing.

Hotel Live Streaming

Parsippany, NJ: Lodging Interactive, the digital marketing and social media engagement firm exclusively serving the hospitality industry, today announced the launch of its live streaming marketing service for hotels.  The new service enables properties to leverage the powerful live streaming apps Meerkat and Periscope.

 

 

“Live streaming is a true game changer for the hospitality industry which focuses on experiential marketing and visualization,” stated DJ Vallauri, Founder and CEO of Lodging Interactive.  “Having been on both Meerkat and Periscope for a few months now, we clearly see the marketing powerhouse live streaming can be for the hospitality industry.”

 

To leverage the full potential of live streaming, Lodging Interactive’s marketing service goes beyond the stream itself, and cross pollinates the video content on the hotel’s social media accounts.  It further applies proven content optimization techniques to maximize search engine visibility of the video content across the web.

 

By 2017, video will account for 69% of all consumer internet traffic, according to Cisco; video-on-demand traffic alone will have almost tripled by then. “It’s no secret video content is a big part of our online marketing futures.  Just take a look at what Marriott Hotels is doing with its Marriott Content Studio which is dedicated to publishing, distributing and sharing digital content across multiple platforms and on all screens,” added Mr. Vallauri.  “Our new live streaming marketing service helps hotels compete on this front.”

 

In addition to Meerkat and Periscope, there is a new live streaming player and new model: www.blab.im.  Blab, launches by the former Bebo social network,  enables a 4 way public conversation; it’s like the “old” Google Hangouts but on steroids.  Lodging Interactive firmly believes live streaming is only in its infancy and provides marketers endless opportunities to humanize their brands and to provide fresh, relevant video content in a cost-effective manner.

 

To learn more about Lodging Interactive and how they can help your property leverage live streaming, or their customized online marketing, reputation management and social media engagement services, please visit their company website.

 

About Your Lodging Interactive: Headquartered in Parsippany, NJ, Lodging Interactive is a full-service digital marketing and social media engagement agency exclusively servicing the hospitality industry. Through its web design and search optimization division as well as its CoMMingle Social Media Division, Lodging Interactive provides effective Internet marketing services to hundreds of branded and independent properties as well as management companies, restaurants and spas. The company also offers Social Voices, the hospitality industry’s first 24/7/365 social customer care service as well as HotelSiteXPRESS, which designs affordable, responsive websites that properties own.

 

The International Academy of Visual Arts, Interactive Media Awards, Horizon Interactive Awards, Web Marketing Association, Academy of Interactive & Visual Arts, and Travel Weekly’s Magellan Awards have recognized Lodging Interactive as an industry leader. Lodging Interactive is a proud supporter of the Hotel Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI), a preferred Vendor for Best Western International, and is a member of the International Luxury Hotel Association (ILHA). For more information, please contact sales@lodginginteractive.com, 877-291-4411 or visit the company’s website.

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Why Image ALT tags are important to your website

You have been optimizing sites utilizing content keywords to increase your search engine rankings. But photos, renderings and videos are considered content. So how effectively are you using image Alt Attributes (a.k.a. Alt Tags or Alt Text) to increase search traffic and image ranking?

 

The W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) sets open Web standards with international member participation. Their guidelines are used by designers, developers, authors and the like who write code or content. One of the more recent updates to W3C’s document, Techniques for WCAG 2.0, considers web content and its accessibility to people with physical, cognitive or neurological disabilities.

 

In accordance with W3C recommendations the Alt Attribute gives a content description to the image file. So the text provides a visually impaired visitor who uses a screen reader to know what the image portrays. Besides effectively relaying the image to a user who can’t see the image, the Alt Attribute provides another way to increase your site’s ranking because your image description shows up in organic results.

 

Google’s SEO Starter Guide includes their information about optimizing images and they have some excellent points to make the most of Alt Tags. Here are a few:

  1. Keep image file name keyword “rich” but not keyword “stuffed”
  2. Text description should be short and to the point (image descriptions should be in context with the content)
  3. Use photos of high quality (a great photo keeps user’s interest)
  4. Image placement (keep image to the top of the page)
  5. Image size (optimizes page loading speed)

 

Also keep in mind that some users would first be captivated by the visual image and then use search results to click to the full website that houses that image. You wouldn’t want to miss out on any potential web traffic because your image Alt Attributes are not optimized! In the end, it is all about creating a great user experience that will increase traffic on your site and increase your ranking on the search engines.

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#AskDJV – Episode 34: Hotel Social Customer Service

Thank you for visiting our #AskDJV Video Series. If you are just joining us for the first time, each week, our own DJ Vallauri discusses hotel social customer service and what you need to know to improve your hotel brand.

Customer Service Skills

In this week’s episode, DJ discusses how you can improve your customer service skills and what guests expect from your hotel when it comes to social customer service.

Nowadays, consumers are looking for “instant access” to your hotel brand. They are online 24/7 and they expect you to respond to their social media posts almost as quickly as they are posted. What does this mean for your hotel?

Customer Experience

You should be monitoring your hotel and variants of your hotel name, not just your @handle, if you want your guests to have a better customer experience. Did you know that 97% of the people who are talking about your hotel, won’t use your @handle? DJ talks about how to monitor this in the video, as well as what you can do in addition to answering their Tweets, Facebook or Google+ posts. Learn more about hotel social customer service and increase your customer service skills by watching this week’s episode of #AskDJV.

Send us your questions

Would you like DJ to address a specific question? If you have something you’d like to discuss, drop us a line. We’ll be in touch if we use your topic on the next #AskDJV show.

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Google Panda 4.2 Update Begins Rollout

This past weekend Google has once again refreshed Panda, Google’s ranking algorithm, and announced they will slowly roll it out over the next few months. The purpose of the update is to improve higher quality search optimization results and increase their relevancy. This will reward quality content with higher rankings that will translate to more traffic on the sites.

According to Google, the first true update back in May 2014 affected 7.5% of the search queries. Google expects this latest refresh to affect only 2-3% in comparison to the 3-5% affected in the September 2014 refresh. But how fast this new refresh will roll out is the real question. Google advises it will rollout in the “coming months” but it is not clear on how many months it will take before it is completely part of their regular algorithm because there is no confirmed hard date.

The fact that Google has long rollouts is not news to anyone so we shouldn’t be surprised by the gradual rollout of this latest refresh. However, unlike a complete update, a gradual rollout will make it more difficult to see which sites actually make the cut as a “winner”. So the best course of action is to continue to monitor your sites for any drops or increases in traffic. Keep your ear to the ground for any of those “Panda tremors” and hope that this latest refresh becomes part of the regular algorithm sooner rather than later.

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#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.

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#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.

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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.

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#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!

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