Going global: How to attract Visitors from all over the world
Independent hotels, B&Bs and guesthouses are a staple in the British holiday experience. For holidaymakers looking for a truly authentic holiday in the UK, your establishments are top of the list! Whether your property is a great base for exploration, or perfect for a private weekend away, your B&B is the gateway for visitors to explore everything that the British Isles have to offer. We Brits know how much our country has to offer but wouldn’t it be nice if overseas visitors knew as well?
There’s a certain charm about the British shores that entices foreigners to experience our delightfully quaint way of life. People might come to see historic monuments, such as Stonehenge, or to enjoy our beautiful beaches or to experience the vibrant culture of the capital. So, what can you do to influence those in other countries, and how can you make your establishment stand out over all the others?
1. The TripAdvisor Effect
TripAdvisor is a website where over 160 million members share their reviews on hotels, B&Bs and various other types of accommodation all across the globe. It is the hub of the international tourism market, and you can really entice overseas guests by hosting your business here and encouraging guests to leave a review of their stay. As you build your profile, your reputation will grow, and if you get a lot of positive reviews, you’ll get more and more people wanting to come and sample all the delights you have to offer!
So, exactly what should you include in your TripAdvisor profile? You’ll need to include your address and contact details, so that people know where you’re located and how to find and contact you. You should also include a good description of your guesthouse, even including the menu options – you can bring your page to life with some good quality pictures of your food looking as tasty as possible! Essentially, you need to give a positive and honest idea of what visitors can expect when they come to stay with you.
The website can also act as a kind of forum, where you as the guesthouse owner can interact with your customers and potential future guests. For example, when a user leaves a review of their stay, whether it be good or bad, take the time to leave a well thought out response. If the user gave you a positive review, thank them for it. Conversely, if they gave you a bad review, maybe offer an apology and even convince them to give your place another go by offering a discount or promising to rectify their complaint.
Users can interact with each other and share travel experiences on TripAdvisor, which is like an online word-of-mouth recommendation. If visitors to your property have enjoyed themselves, then they can share this with others directly by responding to queries and contributing to discussions. You too can jump in here; if there is a conversation going on between users who maybe have a question relating to your local area or accommodation, you, as an authoritative voice, can offer some help, which will give you the edge over other establishments in the area!
This will build you a strong profile on TripAdvisor, showing that you know your stuff when it comes to your location, and that you really care about what your customers think and how they enjoyed their stay. Since TripAdvisor is one of the most trusted travel sites on the internet, this is the perfect place to enhance your presence online and create a rapport with former and future guests.
What’s more, eviivo is partnered with TripAdvisor, meaning that we are able to help you to set up your TripAdvisor profile and power your bookings. You’ll be reaching out to over 60 million potential visitors from all corners of the planet in no time.
2. Get active on social
As with TripAdvisor, people from all over the world are now using social media to interact with their favourite brands and celebrities like never before, so the likes of Facebook and Twitter are also great ways to interact with an audience of people from different nations. But the advantages of social media don’t just begin and end with large businesses, as smaller businesses like guesthouses and B&Bs can also get in on the action.
What you’ll need to do is learn how to expand your audience, enticing more people to get to know you and your business on platforms like Facebook and Twitter. You can do this by hosting competitions or by encouraging user feedback (by posing questions to your social media fan base, e.g. ‘If you could add one dish to our menu, what would it be?’). Another good idea is to post images of your establishment, to encourage users to come and see it in person.
Of course, jumping into the middle of relevant conversations online doesn’t have to mean the likes of Facebook and Twitter, Instagram is another great platform for sharing images of your property, food and local area, and it’s often used by travellers because they can search for images by destination. It’s a great way to put yourself on the virtual map. You could also pop on to a few travel forums and talk to other forum visitors about various travel-related topics – without overly promoting your business, of course.
As your audience grows on social media, so does your reputation as a guesthouse, and in doing so you’re much likely to stretch your reach out overseas and attract more guests from far and wide to come and stay. But most importantly, you have to try to channel this interest into actual bookings. You can post on social media about offers to stay for a discount price, for example, and be sure to include links to your website.
3. Create content for your fans from all over the world
Nowadays, over a billion people use Google every day to search for all kinds of things, from advice and how to guides, to recommendations and reviews. Creating content on your website that users will engage with is one way in which you can appear more often and in better positions in Google’s search results. See our guide on SEO made simple, for helpful hints on how to get your content ranking on search engines.
Have a think about the type of content that users from other countries would find useful to read on your site. Perhaps a list of local attractions to visit when they stay with you, or a list of local pubs to visit in the area. If, say, an American tourist wants to come and stay in the Lake District, they might not be too knowledgeable about all the options available to them. They may go onto Google and search for ‘places to stay in the Lake District’, for example. When people go to Google and search for things like this, you want to have all the information they’re looking for on your website, so they don’t need to go anywhere else to find what they’re looking for.
Additionally, do some research into the countries from which people are visiting your website. If you have a lot German visitors for example, you should consider having an option for them to be able to view your website in the German language. With eviivo suite, we can create a multilingual website for you to make it easier foreign guests to book with you.
4. So, is it working?
If you’re starting to get more and more bookings from abroad, then that’s definitely the clearest way of measuring the success of these techniques. However, it might be the case that you’re getting more foreign visitors to your site, though they might just not be booking a stay.
This is where Google Analytics (GA) can help. Amongst other things, GA can tell you where all the people who visit your website are coming from, so you’ll be able to see if you’re attracting a larger number of people than before from areas other than the UK. If you do indeed have a large amount of people visiting from one country in particular, this can help you to realise that you might need to create a version of your website in their language, to help them to understand and enjoy the website fully.
Simply knowing how to analyse which countries your visitors come from will allow you to better understand your audience, and you can make sure you’re able to give them a fulfilling experience on your website. If you’re not currently attracting many overseas views, then you can try the suggestions in this article to change this!
For more information on eviivo’s award hotel management software, book a demo today!