Welcome to the Content Marketing Playbook series in which our expert shares best content marketing practices with hotel marketers! This is part 5 of the blog series.
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The modern day travel shopper has a world of choice at their fingertips. In minutes, they can research accommodation options using an array of OTAs, metasearch platforms, and hotel websites.
In this crowded space, how can your own hotel capture its share of direct bookings? One way is to optimize the copy on your website’s rooms and special offers pages. After all, this is where guests focus a great deal of their (limited) attention when they compare different properties.
The following post will teach you how to create compelling copy for your rooms and special offers. Among our series of tips, you’ll learn how to choose the right words to simplify decision-making, convey the information that your guests really need, and utilize a handful of conversion-focused tactics.
Effective copywriting for your rooms pages
Ready to craft more effective copy for your Rooms pages? Here are some of our top tips!
Answer the big questions
Guests are more likely to reserve when all their questions have been answered. Yet many hotels fail to provide basic information. They leave out the square footage of rooms, gloss over the maximum occupancy, or forget to mention the room’s view or its location on the property.
All of these details matter. And if you leave them out, you give potential guests an open invitation to head over to an OTA.
Take a look at the example below from Beach Terrace Inn in Carlsbad. Their website summarizes the most appealing room features in a great visual format:
On the same page, a list of bullet points highlights more specific room details so guests know exactly what they get:
Virtually all the big questions a potential booker might want answering are here, including access instructions and a note about the room’s suitability for those with young children.
To focus on what your own room copy should include, think about the specific preferences and needs of your own guests. Post-stay surveys, social media comments, and online reviews can provide a goldmine of information to identify what potential questions you need to answer.
Keep it concise
Keep your room copy concise, especially on your mobile website. Mobile users are generally more distracted and browse during short “micro-moments,” so you need to get straight to the point. In a small number of words, your room descriptions should do the following two things:
- Provide ALL the information necessary to sell the room
- Describe the experience guests can expect during their stay
To keep things snappy, you could bullet point the main room amenities, then dedicate two or three lines to describing the feel and style of each room. Your ultimate goal is to inform guests while making each room sound unique and enticing.
Don’t use your Rooms pages to describe the rest of the property. Additional details can be spread out elsewhere on your website.
By the time a visitor lands on your hotel website, he or she might have spent the past two weeks comparing dozens of other properties, potentially leaving them overwhelmed by choice. So to help visitors with their booking decision and keep them on your website, make it easy for them to compare your rooms.
One way to do this is to split room details up across multiple pages.
The website of Wellington Hotel in New York City provides a perfect example of this approach. After you click “Rooms”, the first page provides just three pieces of information: maximum occupancy, bed type, and room size.
When you click “View Room”, you’re then given a much fuller description:
This form of segmentation allows potential bookers to quickly assess the suitability of different options, rather than being bombarded with details all in one hit.
In addition to splitting up information, each room description should be different from the next. If you use the same description for multiple rooms, visitors will find it much harder to make comparisons — putting a barrier in their path to purchase.
Effective copywriting for your special offers
Next up, we’ve compiled a series of tips to optimize the copy for your special offers.
Make it unique
Your audience is constantly tempted by other travel brands. So what makes your offers distinctive and enticing? Ask yourself this question whenever you create a new offer. Are you giving your guests something new and exciting they can’t find anywhere else? Or are you repeating a variation on what your rivals are already promoting?
Consider any special experiences that nobody else can offer. For instance, there might be certain cultural events, locally-led tours, or food-based experiences that are completely unique to your destination. Consider how you can integrate these into an irresistible offer that gives your audience the opportunity to try something entirely new.
Clarity is crucial
Just like your rooms, the copy for your offers needs to be crystal clear. In a glance, customers should be able to understand what you’re promoting and how they benefit. Again, this leaves little room for fluff and superfluous details. Provide only the essential information that’s required to make a booking.
The following example from Even Hotels in New York City does a great job of promoting three different offers in an easy-to-digest format.
Notice how each one has a unique headline and sub-headline (e.g. “Breakfast for a Buck”, “Best Deal in Midtown”) followed by a couple of lines of descriptive copy that sum up the benefits.
Instead of just competing on price, use your special offers to throw in welcome extras, such as breakfast vouchers, or discounts to a theater performance, music concert, or family attraction. These extras can be offered without affecting parity with the OTAs, giving you a tactical advantage to incentivize direct bookings.
Include relevant information
Just like your room descriptions, your special offers need to list all the relevant details someone might need. This includes booking windows, travel windows, and any inclusions. Don’t make people hunt around for this kind of information — give them everything they require in one place to make a decision.
Think about how you present your offers
Finally, it’s not just the strength of your offers that matters. How you present them also has huge importance.
By using classic conversion triggers, you can promote limited-time deals with countdown timers and urgency messaging — both of which can ratchet up the tension and incentivize people not to delay their booking decision. Strikethrough pricing is another powerful way to reinforce what your guests stand to gain (and lose) if they don’t snap up an offer.
The online travel marketplace is crowded, so you need to leverage every advantage you can to drive direct bookings. When it comes to your rooms and special offers, the words you use have the power to boost conversion rates by conveying vital information, inspiring your audience, and making your hotel website truly stand out from the competition.