Create change. Develop a “break-it” routine.
|By: Neil Salerno – May 2006
A hotel web site should be an ever-changing work in progress; Keep your web site current, updated, and compatible with new search engine and web design technology; “If it ain’t broke…break it”. Don’t wait until your site eventually breaks itself and becomes dysfunctional; by that time, you’ve lost business.
When was the last time you reviewed your hotel’s web site? I don’t mean “look at it”, I mean when was the last time you reviewed every word on every page; reviewed every graphic and link, every Meta tag and your entire site’s current content relevance. Does it sell?
Back in the good ‘ole days of print advertising, would you have run the same ad over and over again for 6 months, a year, two years? If you did you probably ran into the dreaded world of diminishing return. Trust me; it pays to refresh your site often.
Most of us are creatures of routine. The practice of “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is so comfortable, cozy, safe, and gives us that nice warm and fuzzy feeling; like an old friend that visits from time-to-time. Routine tasks take little effort and require little thought with no anxiety over making decisions; so risk free.
As the saying goes, no risk, no reward. Change is risky and uncomfortable, so why should we seek change; it complicates our lives. Web sites that haven’t been updated and reviewed frequently become stale and progressively less productive as circumstances and market factors change; your web site should be your hotel’s most productive promotional piece.
When business turns soft and demand is low, the common result is that management drives everyone to find new and exciting promotions, which will turn the tide and paint the hotel back into the black. This is good, but you should look first to those things that can be improved like your web site. But, the fact is, only one or two promotions produce the majority of business; the old 80/20 rule. Your web site should be one of your prime producers. If it isn’t, break it and re-build it.
You’ve all heard it before “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you always got!” If you are not getting the results you need from your web site, you need to change it. If, on the other hand, everything is perfect, I guess change can be ignored. The problem is that “perfect” seldom occurs in the hotel business.
As a consultant, probably the saddest words to hear are “That’s the way we’ve always done it”. Unfortunately, people who say this are usually defending against suggestions to improve some sort of procedure or program. We all know that most people resist change.
There is very little that is new in the hotel business. Programs and promotions have stayed pretty much the same for the last forty years or so. The biggest changes have taken place in the way we apply them. Web site marketing is still in its infancy and it is changing rapidly.
Web Site “Break it” Checklist:
|Also See:||Independent Hotel Web Sites - Marketing Winners…and Losers / Neil Salerno / May 2006|
|Tired of Hotel Sales Training That Excites… But Doesn’t Change Anything? / Neil Salerno / April 2006|
|Hotel Web Site Productivity…The New Way to Measure Your Site’s Effectiveness / Neil Salerno / April 2006|
|Hotel Revenue Management. . . The Way I See It / Neil Salerno / April 2006|
|Hotel Web Site Lookers & Bookers; Want to Convert Lookers on Your Web Site? / Neil Salerno / March 2006|
|Hotelier Rebuts Article Concerning Third-party Online Aggregators / Neil Salerno / February 2006|
|Great Opportunity for Independent Hotels - Cash-in on Electronic Sales / Neil Salerno / January 2006|
|Some Hoteliers Still Don’t Recognize the Benefits Derived from Third-party Listings; Shame, Shame, Shame on You! / Neil Salerno / January 2006|
|Online Hotel Rating Sites Driving Anxiety into the Hearts of Many Hotel Managers / Neil Salerno / December 2005|
|Hotel Web Site Priorities –Some Do’s, Don’ts; Why the Heck Did You Do That? / Neil Salerno / November 2005|
|The Best Hotel Sales Director I Ever Met; What Do The Good Ones Have in Common? / Neil Salerno / November 2005|
|The Best Hotel General Manager I Ever Met / Neil Salerno / October 2005|
|What’s your eMarketing Proficiency? Using Electronic Marketing Tools / Neil Salerno / October 2005|
|When Times Get Tough…Get Tougher! Sell Harder Before You Cave-in on Rates / Neil Salerno / September 2005|
|The Web Site Conundrum…Are You Winning the Electronic Marketing Game? / Neil Salerno / August 2005|
|Lions and Tigers and Bears…Oh My; The Hotel Yellow Brick Road is Less Scary than It Used to Be / Neil Salerno / August 2005|
|Running Dry on Good Hotel Ideas? It’s not What You Know - It’s Who You Know / Neil Salerno / July 2005|
|Revenue Grabbing Tips for Independent Hotels; Start Thinking Like the Chains / Neil Salerno / July 2005|
|Hotel Web Basics That Really Work…Content is King / Neil Salerno / July 2005|
|Hotel Supplier Sites versus Online Travel Agents; The War Chronicles / Neil Salerno / June 2005|
|New Hotel Technology Surround Us; Yet Face-to-face Selling is Still Most Productive / Neil Salerno / June 2005|
|The Internet…The Great Equalizer For Independent Hotels / Neil Salerno / June 2005|
|Third-Party Booking Sites Still Dominate Internet Sales; Why Do So Many Consider this Bad? / Neil Salerno / April 2005|
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|New Consumer Hotel Booking Preferences - They Love the Internet…Now What? / Neil Salerno / March 2005|
|Who Would Have Thought - Today's Hotel Marketing Necessity Is Also its Best Value / March 2005|
|Time For a Hotel Web Site “Make-Over”? Methods for Building a Successful Web Site Change / Neil Salerno / March 2005|
|Create Impact by Developing a Link Strategy For Your Hotel Web Site / Neil Salerno / February 2005|
|Steps to Develop Your Hotel's Presence on the Web / Neil Salerno / February 2005|
|Five Hotel Internet Marketing Myths - Busted!/ Neil Salerno / January 2005|
|How Does Your Hotel Web Site Measure-Up? 2005 Will Be the Internet’s Most Productive Year so Far / Neil Salerno / January 2005|
|Are You Being Out-Hustled By Your Competition? How to Dominate Your Hotel's Market Set / Neil Salerno / December 2004|
|Why Are Some Hotel Companies Plagued By Management Turnover? Is This Systematic of Poor Performance? / Neil Salerno / December 2004|
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|Hotel Web Site & Search Engine Optimization; Always A Work In Progress / Neil L. Salerno / October 2003|
|Hotel Budgets and Marketing Plans; Oh No, Is It That Time Again? / Neil L. Salerno / September 2003|
|Increasing Hotel Internet Sales Is Not Rocket Science...And It Doesn’t Have To Be Costly Either / Neil L. Salerno / September 2003|
|Are You Treating Third Party eWholesalers As Competititon Or a Valuable Marketing Partner? / Neil L. Salerno / August 2003|
|How Often Have You Heard, 'I could have gotten a better rate but the client saw our rates on the Internet' ? It’s Time To Get Back To Selling Location, Facilities, and Services / Neil L. Salerno / August 2003|
|Before You Begin that Marketing Plan Challenge Your Sales Team; Expect More and Get More / Neil L. Salerno / July 2003|
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|Hotel Web Sites; Want it Creative or Effective? / Neil L. Salerno / May 2003|
|If You Always Do What You Have Always Done.... You’ll Always Get What You Always Got! Hotelier’s Mantra... Thinking Outside The Box / Neil L. Salerno / April 2003|
|Good Sales Planning - The Basics Still Work / Neil L. Salerno / April 2003|