Awareness is the first step in building a relationship with your hostel travelers. Many times the want for awareness can be a rabbit chase into a lot of different marketing tactics. Which in turn becomes a waste of time and energy. To build awareness in the most effective way for your hostel business, it is best to build a content based website.
A content based hostel website provides value add to potential travelers. This allows them to be entertained and informed on their next adventure. In turn providing value can become a funnel for customers to book a reservation in your hostel. This article will exhaust the template to best design a hostel website:
- Design an Effective and Simple Hostel Website
- Integrate a Hostel Management System
- Value Add with Content for the Hostel Website
This is an article for marketing your hostel website using the above bullet points. It is based on matching questions traveler’s will search in Google, to your website. This is the most undervalued marketing technique as Google has already captivated a very large audience. Google will play the matchmaker as you court these travelers.
Design an Effective and Simple Hostel Website
Do not get caught up with WordPress templates or other website templates to build your hostel website. The visual aspect in how your website template looks is negligible compared to how lightweight it is – it is important that your website is simple so that it loads quickly in browsers.
When you choose a hostel website template, choose a simple theme. Like the theme found on this website is called Acabado. It is a fast loading theme with a website filled with content.
The reason you want to choose a simple design, is to focus on the traveler’s website experience and value add.
A fast loading website is more valuable than a slow loading beautiful website.
With this simple theme that is friendly to the user experience, you can then start adding next level value to your travelers.
You may want to have articles about the city your hostel is located in to inform them about the best experiences. Instead of sharing on Facebook, and a lot of manual networking, Google can automatically share these articles to travelers looking for an experience and a place to stay in your hostel’s city. More on how this works later.
The idea is that your hostel website design caters to what Google sees as friendly. Which includes both a fast loading website, and value added content. The friendlier your website, the wider variety of audiences Google will share your website to. And Google’s audience is significant.
So, when travelers find your content via Google, your content can then be a promotional technique to funnel them into your hostel management system.
Integrate a Hostel Management System
This process is not as complicated as you may think.
You’ll need to use a hostel management system to create, book, account and reserve guests and transactions. Your hostel management system may have already integrate your website with multiple Online Travel Agents. So there is some marketing to your website through these Online Travel Agents.
But your hostel website must be the main marketing tool. From your website, travelers can book by linking out to these Online Travel Agents.
No technical booking systems is required for you to create in your hostel website. Just link out to these Online Travel Agents. But be aware they may advertise other hostels in the process.
Another option is to use a direct booking engine using your hostel management system.
A direct booking engine is also not a complicated process. Your hostel management system should have an online link to point to your hostel. This is a direct link so that no other competing hostels will be advertised.
If you have trouble finding this link, do a simple Google Search with your hostel management system’s name and ‘booking link.’ Otherwise you can reach out to their customer contact form and request how this process is done.
Practically, you can add a menu with a link to the booking platform on the top of your website. It can say something like “Book Now,” “Reserve a Bunk,” or whatever call to action is best suited for your travelers.
Clicking from this link will direct the travelers to your booking platform where they can reserve a shared room with a bunk or their own room.
Additionally, you can also add these links throughout the content your website has to funnel through to booking. For instance, let’s say you have an article that is about “best pub crawls in Budapest” you know that people searching this will likely be travelers who want a social experience. Throughout this article you can have paragraphs embedded that promotes your hostel with links to the booking platform.
Integrating a hostel management system is not complicated. Just link out to your online booking platform, and let your hostel management system do the rest.
Value Add with Content for the Hostel Website
This section is the most important marketing aspect of your website’s template. Having a beautiful or fast loading design is not useful without substance. At least not in a way to get your website recognized and matched to travelers by Google’s algorithm.
Before you add content to your hostel website, you will need to make sure that the content created is being searched by Google.
You can find this by going to Google.com and start typing potential searches travelers may have. Google will then display a list of potential search queries. These potential search queries are what others are looking for on Google.
Once you discover what search phrases people are looking for, you can then create content based on these search terms.
Some rules that Google has to match for these terms is that your article has to be better than the other articles Google is currently showing for that searched term.
Do a quick search of your phrase and click on the first three links Google shows you. Make sure the content you create is better than these articles.
If it might be difficult to create a better article than what Google is currently sharing, there is an alternative way to get your website matched to traveler searches.
The alternative way is creating articles for long tail keywords. If you design your website’s template based on long tail keywords, your website will start building an audience where Google has matched your website to other people’s search intent.
Okay so what do I mean by long tail keywords? In the marketing world a long tail keyword, is a search phrase that people are searching on Google. These are traditional used because the articles that rank or shown by Google are easier to beat.
For instance “Best hostel in Budapest” will be more difficult to beat than the long tail keyword of “Best hostel in Budapest for solo travelers.” The latter phrase is a long tail keyword because the criteria of the searches intent is more specific.
When first starting out, it is better to focus on these long tail keywords. Over time, you can try to create content for the more difficult to rank keywords. This will allow Google to trust your website, and know that people want to see your website by what they have already been searching.
In your content, the key phrases should be the prompt of your entire article. People are searching for something specific. If the search is for “Best hostel in Budapest for solo travelers” and your content is mostly about places to see in Budapest, you will loose the attention of the reader due to their original search intent. Google can track the attention searches have by how long they are on your website for.
If your article’s content is primary based on the solo traveler Budapest hostel experience, it is likely that the reader will stay on your website longer. In turn Google can track that and also reward your website, by adding it to it’s database of relevant websites when people search for a subject.
Creating the Content
As a business, you can write your own articles to provide a more authentic experience. But it this may not be the best use of your time after a while. It may be good to write one or two articles to set precedent of how the rest of the articles will be written.
If you know a writer that can write authentically on searches relating to your hostel, it may be as worth it to let them write it and set precedent.
The writing process can then be outsourced.
Make sure you have a list of prompts that are based on searches found on Google’s autocomplete feature. Then take these prompts and provide them to your writers.
My favorite way to find writers is based on how close their experience is related to my topic. You can find these writers by creating an advertisement with a list of criteria related to your website.
For example, on Writer Access there is a feature called “casting call” where you can advertise to writers what you’re looking for. In this case, you might be looking for a writer who is local or has traveled to your city. That way their experience has relevance and this will show in their content.
Once you find writers, you can finally give them the prompts to start creating the content.
A hostel website template is not the most important consideration in building your website. More specifically, the aesthetics of how your website is displayed comes second to website speed.
The speed in which your website loads for your audience is a factor that Google will reward you with visitors to your page.
A fast loading website template that is easy to navigate for your hosts website is Abacado. It is how this website is made.
Once you choose a fast template, you can create content.
The content should be optimized to key phrases found on Google and then write the best article for that key phrase.
Good content for your hostel website and an optimized template will bring the most effective strategy to market your hostel, as Google will provide the most amount of awareness to your website.