Top 10 eCommerce Initiatives For Hoteliers in 2011
By Benu Aggarwal Founder & President, Milestone Internet Marketing | April 24, 2011
For the lodging industry, 2010 was a year of recovery as the US economy showed signs of relief. As 2011 kicks off, we find that internet marketing is an even more important part of the overall marketing [portfolio of our hotels]. One major shift in 2010 was the significant gain in popularity of social media channels, and we find that social media has firmly positioned itself in the tool chest for ecommerce managers and internet marketers.
The smart hotelier needs to keep laser sharp focus on the fundamental shift in ways customers are seeking information and channels that drive maximum Return on Investment (ROI).
Here are Milestone's top ten eCommerce promotion ideas, channels, and strategies that we recommend to hoteliers in 2011. These tips and insights are based on carefully analyzing trends in the search engines and channels that are driving maximum returns for Milestone's clients and partners.
1. Search friendly website design has new meaning - fast and integrated
Google confirmed last year that [site download speed] is one of the most important ranking factors in organic search. People are using several different tools such as mobile phones, iPads, and tablets to consume information. Search engines want users to have a good experience. A good experience translates into a site that has relevant and compelling content, is quick to download, can be found easily, and is compatible across all browsers. Heavy graphics, animation, and flash demos cause your site to perform slowly. Sites that are built keeping these guidelines in mind will deliver better user experiences, will perform better on search engines, and ultimately drive higher ROI.
As consumption of information on diverse platforms continues to increase, an integrated approach to providing consistent messages across all channels is crucial. It is important to think about your target audience, which channels they are utilizing, and develop integrated promotion plans across all channels. For example, your online offers and your social profiles should be promoted on your website and offline marketing initiatives.
2. Improve Conversion and Usability