Blogs can come in many shapes and forms – some where readers don’t know they are a blog.
4 Reasons to Add a Blog to Your Travel Website?
When you travel you need to find out about lots of different things including where to stay, eat, how to get there and what to do. There’s a lot to consider and adding blogs to your travel website can lead your customers (or prospective customers) in the right direction whilst also opening up revenue opportunities for your business. For example, by blogging about some great activities on offer in the local area accommodation providers can lengthen the stay of their guests and therefore increase average guest nights.
There are many reasons to include a blog or blogs on your website. Here are four:
- SEO. Search engines love fresh content and will give high rankings to sites with relevant recent updates and additions. The more often content is added and changed on a website the higher your chances or ranking well on Google. SEO is a complex science so blogging isn’t the one-fix solution to all your SEO troubles – but a good blog will definitely help. If optimised correctly blog posts can also help your optimisation on a wider range of keywords and therefore increase your traffic through a greater range of searches.
- Engaging browsers. Getting browsers coming back to your site or spending more time on your site. If you follow the premise that the longer a browser spends on your site the more likely you are to make a sale then adding a relevant blog can work for you. Giving browsers more to read, if it’s of interest to them, will increase their loyalty to your site, knowledge about your product and brand recognition.
- Grouping of non-core information in a meaningful way. Blogs are often written in a more journalistic style, thereby reading like magazine articles as opposed to a brochure. If you can get the tone, content and length of each blog right then readers will be subliminally converted to your product during their time reading your blog without feeling like they’ve had information pushed at them. This style will appeal to some browsers.
- Tying-in your site with Social Media. Blogging allows you to create fresh, interesting content and imagery on your website which can also be shared through social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and more…. with genuine links back to your site. If you add sharing buttons to your blog posts others can do the sharing for you within their social media profiles too. It’ll need to be relevant though or you’ll be preaching to a big black hole of cyber space.
Can you Add a Blog to Your Current Site?
Many websites with Content Management capabilities enable you to create new posts/pages and categories and add content to your site. If you have that capability then you can create a blog or blogs on your own website. Another alternative method is to have a completely separate domain name which is dedicated to your blog. My personal preference is to have the blog on the same domain for both search engine optimisation purposes and a seamless user experience.
What Should you Blog About?
Fresh, interesting, relevant information for browsers on your website that can either enhance their experience on the site or increase their likelihood of booking/purchasing your product. Here are a few ideas of what sort of blogs you could have on your website if you are in the travel industry:
- upcoming events
- changes in your business
- local attractions and activities
- past guest/customer experiences or anecdotes
- your staff or facilities
- press releases or newsletters
- information about a topic of interest to guests e.g. local fauna or flora
- what happened lately in your business e.g. weddings or events, tours, special events
4 Pitfalls of Bad Blogging
If you aren’t going to do it right you may be better to not blog at all. Develop a strategy and processes before you start and evolve it over time. These are four things to avoid when you blog:
- Getting the tone wrong. Depending on your site you’ll need to choose an appropriate tone and personality for your blog. It should be more personal than the core content of your site but still formal enough to suit the overall business. A too formal or too informal tone can easily offend or put off prospective customers before they book.
- Outdated-content. Blogs that haven’t been kept fresh with new posts can make your site and business look out-dated, even if the information is still relevant and correct. If you are going to include dates on your blog posts then you should make sure that you are including regular updates so that browsers see your commitment to the business. An outdated blog may lead them to question the accuracy of other things on the site like photos, prices and reviews.
- Pushing sales or bookings within the blog content. Blog posts should be primarily general interest content. You can use links, sidebars and footers to promote your products and encourage bookings…. like the ads beside newspaper articles.
- Not answering questions if you have comments activated. Many Content Management Systems allow the use of comments below blog posts – a great way to engage with your browsers. When enabling comments make sure you have a good response procedure in place. If someone has gone to the trouble of asking a comment on your post then you can quickly lose their loyalty by not responding…. along with the loyalty of anyone reading the blog and seeing unanswered questions.
If you are interested in a new website with blogging capability we can help.
For advice on how to incorporate a blog into your existing website send us an email.