A hostel owner in a major Spanish city-center, who was re-evaluating his business plan, asked his manager to revamp back-office procedures to save costs, increase efficiency, and grow marketing efforts. All this was in preparation for anticipated growth for the next 5 years. After considering the objectives and making several changes, the manager eliminated 6 online booking sites, citing duplication of work for few reservations. Some of these booking sites were free and others had fees. Within 4 months, reservations from the remaining online sources, including the hostel’s own website, had declined by 39%. At the same time, the hostel owner had contracted a professional SEO (Search Engine Optimization) firm specializing in travel to advise him on their online marketing strategy. Following another 3 months of falling internet reservations, and receiving the business plan from the SEO consultants, the owner fired his manager.
So what are the lessons learned? It has to do with the “cumulative effect” of marketing. These days, Instant World Booking is offering a lot of free internet exposure … more than most other services. A famous New York University Business School professor once said,
“Don’t ever turn down free advertising. Marketing has a ‘cumulative effect’. In this case, less is not more. More is definitely More!”
Yes, online marketing has a “cumulative effect”. This means it’s more effective to advertise your property on 2 websites than 1, and better to advertise on 3 rather than 2, and so on. The “cumulative effect” is even more valuable if the source of advertising is costless. Here’s how it works. Persistent online presence of your brand name is necessary to achieve name (brand) recognition, and to gain higher search rankings for pages containing your property’s name. Studies show that when your property (brand) name appears on multiple websites, Google and other search engine rankings for that keyword goes up. It doesn’t matter if the source website is generating reservations or direct revenue for you. Just by appearing there it’s multiplying your keyword effectiveness.
What’s more, if you actually have back-links on 3rd party websites (like IWB gives you for free!), this has a direct impact on the page rank (PR) Google assigns to your website. Knowing this, would you ever call up all the websites, blogs, and social media sites out there that mention your brand, and ask them to “remove those comments”? We don’t think so. If you’re still not convinced, consider that any free publicity, in fact almost any website in the world that mentions your property or brand name, is increasing the overall effectiveness of your online marketing strategy. If it’s free, never give it up. So, don’t only list with Instant World Booking. We even recommend you go out tomorrow and sign up for 5 additional online marketing sites, as long as there’s no cost.