The Wired Hotel: Bullet Proofing Your Web Site

By Jerry Tarasofsky CEO, iPerceptions Inc. | January 27, 2012

If you are under the impression that once your web site is up and running that most of the hard work has been completed, you have made a very serious mistake. Your web site is probably one of the most powerful and cost effective marketing tools you have and as such I suggest you view it as you would any other asset or investment and use it to its maximum potential.

This feature examines how, over the long term, you insure that your web site remains fresh and interesting and that visitors continue to have a positive and rewarding experience at your site.

If you have gone to the expense of hiring a web development team and in-house web-marketing people, it just makes solid business sense to properly manage and maintain your site. And to do that, you need to make periodic assessments of its performance, content, look and tone in order to keep it fresh and interesting. And of utmost importance, you have to continuously make sure the site is meeting the wants and needs of your web site visitors

Keeping your site fresh is really the challenge of managing change, so take a good look at every page on your site and determine which of the many pages are likely to change, when, and how often. Then create a schedule to insure those pages are reviewed regularly.

Although this analogy might not be right for everyone, imagine your site as a newspaper or a magazine. Would you want to read yesterdays paper over and over or read a previous month's issue of your favorite magazine again and again? My guess is no. You would very quickly get bored with the same old content and you'd look for publications that were more current and up to date - ones that provided you with constantly changing content. The same principle applies to your web site visitors! If your site becomes stale, visitors will stop coming - plain and simple.

So where do you start? Take my word for it. Your web site will not remain fresh and up to date on its own. Make no changes and you run the risk of developing "Stale Site Syndrome" a deadly ailment that is sure to impact visitor satisfaction and potentially damage your traditional brand image. The formalized program I spoke of earlier is probably your best option to insure you continuously update the content and tools on your site.

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Coming up in June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.