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3 Things Hoteliers Must Budget for in 2015

What every hotelier should consider and budget for in 2015.

Hotelier Budget GraphicGiven recent trends, digital marketing is set to become a majority piece of the budget pie by 2019. In a world of increased mobile use and expectations of rapid online responses from properties and brands, hoteliers need to stay on trend with digital spending when planning their 2015 budget, making certain three areas of web-based marketing are well addressed next year.

3 Things Hoteliers Must Budget for in 2015

Complete Online Reputation Management

Managing your online reputation isn’t as simple as making sure you monitor what guests are saying on review sites. While monitoring and responding to reviews is still a vital part of maintaining a healthy online reputation, they go hand in hand with social media marketing and social customer care on sites like Twitter. Hotels need to budget for the ability to actively listen 24/7/365 and respond quickly to inquiries and issues in order to meet guest’s expectations and stop any problems from escalating and reaching review sites.

Tools to Capitalize on Website Visits

The research is clear, how your website looks and how responsive it is says a lot about how you regard your customers. Mobile and tablet use is increasing steadily and more and more consumers are purchasing from these devices and they want a seamless experience. Hoteliers need to consider budgeting for a responsive design website or converting a recently-built, non-responsive site so that your content is accessible across any platform or device. This budget essential might not be as large of a budget item as you may think.

A Strategy for Travelers to Find Your Site When Searching

The ABCs of a searchable web presence — SEO, SEM and PPC — should be key parts of your 2015 budget. Properties can have the best looking website out there, but if their content isn’t optimized and doesn’t keep search in mind or they don’t have effective PPC advertising in place to drive traffic, it is all for naught. Don’t get left behind in a sea of thousands of hotel and travel sites. Budget for these vital campaigns as well as content marketing services to make sure your property is a top search result.

“Hotels are turning to digital marketing more than ever to find leads, retain guests and engage with the masses,” says DJ Vallauri, Founder and President of Lodging Interactive. “As 2015 budgets are being drafted and debated, hoteliers must keep in mind how vital their online presence — be it their website, social media profiles or responsiveness to reviews or questions — is to their property’s success. These are key budget pieces no matter at what scale you are doing business online.”

Lodging Interactive is an award-winning digital marketing agency that provides a complete suite of creative website solutions, digital advertising strategies, and social media marketing exclusively to independent, boutique and brand hotel properties.

To learn more about our customized digital solutions or to partner with Lodging Interactive in 2015, please contact info@lodginginteractive.com or call 877-291-4411 ext. 701.

Hotel Responsive Web Design Is Not As Costly As You Might Think

The importance of staying competitive in an ever-changing, increasingly mobile online marketplace has never been greater. Responsive website design offers real solutions that allow the hospitality industry to increase conversion rates, provide a better user experience and more.

Lodging Interactive, the interactive and social media marketing agency exclusively servicing the hospitality industry, de-mystifies the myth that Responsive Website Design (RWD) has to be expensive.

Hotel Responsive Web DesignWhat is Responsive Website Design?

Responsive design means that a website is made to be viewed on any desktop, tablet or smartphone device. This type of web design ensures that a site’s copy, images and any other elements are tailored to fit the size of the device’s screen seamlessly. A responsive web design is one site that has the ability to be resized to fit the screen of any device a user may be visiting the site from, rather than having a website and a mobile site.

Is Responsive Design Right for Your Hotel?

As with any website design option, RWD has pros as well as potential drawbacks for some. Responsive design not only introduces an optimal user experience, allowing you to better capitalize on site visits by making it easy for guests to book whether they’re on your website on their smartphone, tablets or desktop, it is also recommended by Google and lowers overall operational and maintenance costs.

Delivering your web content across all platforms and devices potential guests are using not only positions your business at the forefront of how consumers are buying, it reflects on how you regard your customers.

Consider these recent statistics:

  • In December 2013, 69% of tablet users shopped via their tablet in the last 30 days. (InMobi and Mobext)
  • Nearly half (48%) of users surveyed by Google said that if a site didn’t work well on their mobile devices, they felt that the company did not care about their business. (Google, Sterling Research and SmithGeiger)

“The way potential guests visit your site and schedule their reservations have changed and will continue to show greater increases in mobile bookings,” said DJ Vallauri, Founder and President of Lodging Interactive. “Responsive web design is an ideal option for properties because it is one complete website that reacts to the needs of your users. Hoteliers building responsive design sites don’t have to worry about whether their site content looks good or that their website won’t be viewable on current and future devices.”

The Cost of a Responsive Design Website Doesn’t have to be Expensive.

Perhaps one of the most positive aspects of RWD is that properties have two options: build a new, responsive design website from scratch or take an existing site and convert it. This is ideal for hotels whose website have undergone a recent redesign or refresh and may not have the budget or desire for a complete rebuild but still wish to stay competitive and maximize online bookings.

“If you have a website you’ve just built or one with an aesthetic you love, you don’t have to lose the time or money you invested in creating it,” said Vallauri. “One of the great things about responsive design is that by recoding the back end, you get to keep your site while ensuring your potential guests enjoy a seamless user experience regardless of the device they are using.”

Deciding to invest in a responsive design website for your property — whether it is an entirely new site or the conversion of an existing site — might not be as costly as one might think.

“Hotels that want to create a brand new site with a responsive design can expect to spend a few thousand dollars,” says Lodging Interactive’s Director of Client Services, Alicia Pavignano. “Hotels that are already happy with their website but would like to make it responsive would need to receive a custom quote for this type of work. This is because the size of the site will determine how much work will need to be done and how long it will take.”

With over 85% of adults believing that a mobile site should look as good, if not better, than a desktop website according to a survey by TeaLeaf now is the time to think about the user experience your website delivers and whether responsive design is a fit for your property, timeline and budget.

To learn more about creative website solutions, including responsive website design, please visit our website, www.lodginginteractive.com.