Here is a solid Marketing Starter checklist if you're just launching a new domain or if you've recently transitioned to Odysys and are wondering how to improve your marketing strategy.
Optimizing Your Website
Your Odysys website is optimized for search engines in 2 ways.
- On-Page SEO: We update and optimize your title tags and meta descriptions, which are two key components to good rankings.
- Technical SEO: Our website templates are fast and mobile responsive. They have "schema" / structured markup for your local business built in. The HTML markup is clean and properly implemented for SEO and web/accessibility standards.
Submitting Your Website to Search Engines
By default, your website is submitted to search engines when it is on Odysys. We create Google and Bing Webmaster Tools accounts for your website and submit an XML sitemap file to both. However, this is not the true path to rankings. Rankings come from great content, links, and domain authority.
Local Listings & Google Map Results
Note: Odysys has a service for this
- Create and/or claim and optimize your Google MyBusiness listing if you haven't already. Use the EXACT same business name. address, and LOCAL phone number on Google MyBusiness that you provide on your website. Fill it out entirely, including the description, categories, and photos. You'll be able to get and respond to reviews on Google too.
- Create and/or claim your Facebook Business page. Use the EXACT same business name, address, and LOCAL phone number on Facebook that you do your website and on Google My Business. Fill it out entirely, including categories and photos. Get reviews on Facebook.
- Claim, verify and optimize your listings and get citations for your business across a network of local websites. OR have Odysys do it for you
- Download our Cheat Sheet for Local SEO
- If you are an Odysys customer - you can sign up for our Local Business Listings service and we'll verify/claim and optimize your business listing across dozens of websites and data services that drive rankings for your Google business listing
Basic Links & Building Domain Authority
Your site needs links. This is how Google knows you're legit. Links are also a great way to drive traffic and bookings to your site.
- Make sure your active social profiles (twitter, Instagram, ect) have the profile information filled out and link to your website.
- Then you're going to want to try to drum up links from any other companies you do business with. Reciprocal links (businesses providing links between each other's sites) are fine at this stage.
- Think about PR. Consider how you can attract link and mentions back to your site. Sponsoring or hosting local events are great ways to get the ball rolling on this. Do anything you can to get links.
- Read our Link Building and Generation Inbound Links article for specific ideas and tips.
Once you've done this, you're about 75% there! However, to grow your SEO rankings, you'll need to focus on generating the signals that Google will reward:
There are of course other things you can do to market yourself beyond SEO.
There are paid methods like:
- Keyword Advertising on Google AdWords and/or Bing Ads
- Reservation Recapture - retargeting ads / programmatic advertising
- Facebook Advertising
- Email marketing / newsletters (promote your content and getaway deals to your list)
Below is a list of marketing tactics organized by the stages of the journey a guest goes through when making a booking. We typically recommend starting at the bottom (tactics and keyword searches for those that are close to the moment of making a booking) and working your way up the list.
And of course you can list your property OTAs like Expedia, Booking and BedandBreakfast.com and 3rd parties like AirBnb and VRBO (depending on the nature of your property).
There are of course several pros/cons to OTA listings. The bottom line is that OTAs can generate traffic to your website and direct bookings for you by way of the "billboard effect", but in order to capitalize your website and booking engine has to be conversion-optimized (which is a big benefit to using Odysys) and implementing programs like bidding on branded keywords on AdWords and retargeting ads can really help to create direct bookings from those OTA listings.
WHAT TO BLOG ABOUT?
We also have some great blogging resources:
- Innkeeper's guide to blogging: https://www.odysys.com/learn/guide-to-blogging/