You already understand the importance of link building for search engine optimization purposes,
so it’s time to take your link building to the next level. Obtaining links from quality websites can
help raise your hotel’s organic search rankings. In addition, by creatively utilizing some of your
current sales strategies you can obtain links on sites that encourage extended stays, which in
return can help you increase your hotel’s average length of stay (LOS).
There are good links and there are average links….. but believe it or not, there are even bad links. It is important for our sales staffs to understand the value of linking your hotel to local and national “appropriate” websites that enhance the value of your hotel’s website and creates awareness and subsequently business opportunities.
So if you asked me, “Linda, what are examples of good links for our property?” I would answer, “Convention and Visitor’s Bureaus, Attractions, Restaurants, Events, Companies, Colleges/Universities, Sports Complexes, Professional Teams, Concert/Music Venues, Wedding Planners, Banquet Venues, Vacation Destinations, Shopping, Professional Organizations, Real Estate Agencies, Museums, Hospitals, Funeral Homes, Disaster Agencies, Relocation Agencies, Movers and Trucking, etc.” Think about what customers are doing and why are they traveling to your area? Every time you make a sales call on a customer and ultimately create reciprocal trust and a working relationship, the next natural progression is to ask for links.
Link building assures that if a customer is looking (for example) for tickets to a Red Sox game and your hotel is near Fenway Park that when they Google/Bing/Firefox search for “Red Sox Tickets” that your hotel appears as part of natural organic search.
It is important that you develop relationships with your community and build true partnerships so that the consumer recognizes the cohesiveness of partnership selling. They might be comfortable buying Red Sox tickets from their website, but they might not be comfortable just picking your hotel out of the blue. Linking is kinda like “recommending”…. if your on a trusted website, then the opportunity to trust you is inherent.
An additional benefit, and as explained in the article I have noted below, is using link building combined with sales strategies to increase hotel length of stay. I heartily agree with ever strategy listed, and implore you to call on these types of companies and organizations, regardless of the fact that your hotel may not have extended stay as their priority sales focus, to create both back and forward links. Business is business no matter the length of stay!
So – I hope you read the article and incorporate some of the ideas on who to ask for a forward and backward link to your website.
Happy relationship building!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Link Building And Sales Strategies To Increase Hotel LOS
You already understand the importance of link building for search engine optimization purposes, so it’s time to take your link building to the next level. Obtaining links from quality websites can help raise your hotel’s organic search rankings. In addition, by creatively utilizing some of your current sales strategies you can obtain links on sites that encourage extended stays, which in return can help you increase your hotel’s average length of stay (LOS).
Start by talking with your sales team and asking a few questions: Who are they already reaching out to for sales leads? You may find that just by having this simple discussion you can already come up with a list of new sites to target for link building. Your sales team is probably already in various discussions with a variety of companies attempting to negotiate group rates for upcoming conferences or meetings near or at your hotel. Work with your sales team to build each group a specific booking code to place on their company site to make it easier for attendees to book their stay at your property.
Link building can be as simple as that!
Then, build upon the list they provide to you. Consider this: Why would someone want to stay at a hotel for longer than a few nights? In what situations would be a potential guest need week-long or month-long accommodations? Below are a few suggestions to help you brainstorm:
Partner with local area realtors and ask them to refer house hunters to your hotel verbally and on their website. When a family is relocating, typically one or more members of the family will do the majority of the house hunting. Since this can be a longer process, this family member will typically need to stay close to their new location. Offer a local realtor an incentive for referring clients to your hotel, and be sure to ask them to link from their site to your hotel sites. You could even set up special rates for “house hunting” family members looking for accommodations for 3+ days. Work with local moving services to explore opportunities for marketing on their sites.
Stay current with construction plans in the area. Any time there is construction happening in the area, there will be a need for housing and opportunities to book extended hotel stays. If a new neighborhood is under construction in the area, new residents may need a temporary housing solution until their new home is complete. Ask for links from the new neighborhood’s informational website to the hotel’s website to get in front of the new residents.
Likewise, if a new shopping center or restaurant is opening in the area, you’ll want to be listed on these sites as well; many companies will send employees from different stores or restaurants to help open the new establishment and these teams will need somewhere to stay.
Contact local businesses to discuss relocation for employees. For example, if you have any family members that work with an airline, you may know that airline employees frequently relocate. Work closely with the airline to form a partnership to become the referred hotel for extended stay while these employees search for permanent housing.
Work with local moving services to explore opportunities for marketing on their sites. Talk to moving van & storage facilities to ask for leads. Also, ask them to include a link to your hotel site to your hotel website.
If your hotel is located near a symphony or concert venue, work with the talent coordinator to secure your hotel as a preferred property for performers. Often, groups like symphonies or bands would prefer to stay in hotel accommodations while in your town than to try to sleep on a crowded tour bus. Although it won’t be a constant revenue-generator for your hotel, securing a partnership now could result a large group for an extended time period in the future.
Contact the webmaster at your local hospital and rehabilitation center. While the patient will most likely be staying in the hospital, friends and family may need a place to stay to be close to their loved one. Become a recommended hotel and ask the hospital to link to your website. If you can, offer a discounted rate to family members of hospital patients to encourage them to stay with you, rather than sleeping on a hospital chair.
Local police and fire stations may also be a good resource to acquire extended stay guests. When tragedies happen, like a house fire, people will need somewhere to stay fast, and for an undisclosed time frame. You may be able to speak with the Red Cross as well, as they are known for helping displaced homeowners after a disaster.
Reach out to local divorce attorneys. When couples decide to split, most likely someone is going to need some temporary housing. Ask local divorce lawyers to direct their clients to your hotel.
Even if you’re not technically an “extended stay hotel,” partnering with local organizations that could help you attract guests with longer length stays. Depending on your property and market, some of the suggestions above may not work for your hotel. However, if you do end up with a guest with a 30+ night stay as a result, you’ll be happy you took the time to acquire these links.