The Franchise Hotel Website Dilemma - Don't Leave it to Corporate
I recently returned from AAHOA (Asian American Hotel Owner’s Association) in Las Vegas. The majority of hoteliers that I met there owned franchises (Super 8, Holiday Inn Express, etc.) and expressed their frustration with digital marketing. Corporate owns and runs their website and other forms of online marketing, and the actual hoteliers have little-to-no control over how their hotel is represented, appearing as simply a link within a directory. My advice to the franchise hotel owner is to invest in your own hotel website, mobile website and social media, for the following reasons:
1) Better Guest Experience
You know your hotel better than anyone. You know all the local points of interest—parking, airports, markets and the like—that will help your guest make a reservation decision. If left to corporate, your hotel will have a phone number, address and, if you’re lucky, a dot on a map—that’s it. With your own website, you can publish beautiful, landscape photos of your rooms, pool, exteriors and accommodations, which corporate doesn’t have. If left up to corporate, you will get one photo of your hotel and it won’t even be very good; probably just a wide exterior shot from far away.
2) Better Search Engine Optimization
Try Googling your hotel name, state and city. What pops up? If you don’t have your own hotel website, probably a bunch of OTAs (which I covered in a previous post) and maybe a short listing for your hotel in a featureless corporate directory. This leaves you under-represented on the web. There is a slice of the web set aside waiting just for you, which combines your hotel name, city, state, country and nearby points of interest. If you don’t claim it, someone else will. Corporate certainly won’t for you. With your own website, you can spend the time and care needed to claim this digital property for yourself, which will optimize your search engine rankings organically. Continued on the next page