How do your potential guests find you online?

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Welcome to day four of the 21 day hospitality social media challenge!

Beyond the review sites, have you given thought to how your guests find you online and how they land on your website?

When you make the decision to focus on your social media strategy it’s critical to remove yourself from the role of hospitality professional and to think like your customer.

The majority of your potential guests are most likely going to search Google for information about your destination as they undertake their research.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What are potential guests searching for?
  • What do your visitors like to do?
  • What is their demographic?

It’s important that you have an understanding of the queries above so that you can weave keywords into your website and throughout the content that you are creating.

According to Google, “A keyword is any word or short phrase that describes a website topic or page. The more a keyword is used by searchers and websites the more attraction power it has. If you want your website to attract searchers, you need to use strong keywords in your website titles and website text . These brief words should realistically identify and describe your site.”

To help give you a better understanding of the search terms that people are using for your destination’s niche, Google provides a keyword planner This very powerful free utility shows you suggested keywords, overall search volume, and the competition for your chosen words or phrases (e.g., “Boston activities”).

Google Keyword Planner

The keyword planner is a fantastic tool to add to your arsenal because it can help you to determine what potential guests are searching for, and it can also provide you with inspiration and ideas for creating relevant content.

Above you can see that I used the tool to investigate search terms around “Boston activities.” The results displayed show some high, medium, and low competition terms. The insight not only provides anecdotal competition data, but also assists in conjuring up content ideas that your potential guests are searching for, such as, “Boston activities for kids,” “Boston weekend activities,” and “Fun things to do in Boston.”

Day four task: Your challenge today is to use the keyword planner and find out what people are searching Google for when it comes to your destination. For example, if you own a hospitality business in San Diego, start off with “San Diego” in the “Get Ideas” search area and then you can expand out from there.

Don’t miss a day of the challenge! Sign up below.

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Investing in yourself (or Why I’m attending Launch Academy)

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What creative idea has been giving you a spark or holding your thoughts lately?

Do you have ideas for web-based apps that you would like to build? Do you feel stuck because you don’t know how to code?

Me too!

Or, perhaps you are allowing your lack of coding ability to hold you back? At the very least it is a convenient excuse to not put your product to the world, which can be scary and overwhelming.

launch academy(img source: Launch Academy)

For quite a while now, I’ve been thinking about reconstructing and rebuilding online review platforms to help solve pain points for small to medium-sized business owners and to hopefully inject some joy into their day.

Certainly, there has never been a more exciting or better time to take your creative vision, build it out, and ship it to the world. If you are like me, however, you can come up with excuses until it’s easier to just give up! A few months ago I decided to focus more energy on figuring out:

What is the solution to moving my project forward?

I thought long and hard about hiring a developer to build out my vision and I was really close to taking the necessary steps to hire someone. But I realized that every time I had an issue or problem I’d have to hire someone to get me out of trouble.

For me (and hopefully you too!), that was just too much of my own project out of my hands. And it felt like I would be stuck in a never-ending “stress” loop trying to identify and find programmers. That’s what finally got me over the hump and inspired me to take the necessary steps to learn how to code.

In fact, if you are an entrepreneur with limited access to startup capital, at some point (I think) you have to make the determination that you are going to learn to code. (How you go about it is your personal choice – there are many options out there, including the highly recommend and reasonably priced Treehouse or the free Codecademy.)

Around this same time of realizing I would have to learn to program, I started asking folks on Twitter if they could point me to quality coding bootcamps. My primary thought was that instead of paying someone else to create my application, I would invest in myself and learn, at the very least, how to hack the minimum viable product (MVP) and get educated in the process.

To that end, I start at Launch Academy in Boston on August 12th for a three-month coding intensive. Being a complete novice, I harbor no illusions that I will build the next Google or Twitter.

What I do firmly believe is that at the end of the program I will be able to better technically communicate what I want to create and to have the MVP development process underway.

How about you? What do you want to create? What is one thing you can do today to change the trajectory you are on?

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