The OnRes Blog

From Clicks to Guests: Building a Winning Hotel Digital Marketing Strategy

By: Steve Behrisch , President & CEO

In the digital age, a hotel’s online presence is not just an extension of its physical existence but a crucial driver of its success. Digital marketing for hotels has transformed from a luxury to a necessity. 

This guide delves into why digital marketing is indispensable for hotels today, how to craft a winning digital marketing strategy, key factors to consider, and essential KPIs to measure its effectiveness.

Table of Contents

Let’s go ahead.

The Importance of Digital Marketing for Hotels

In today’s digital age, a strong online presence is crucial for any business, including hotels. A well-executed hotel digital marketing strategy can help hotels reach a wider audience, increase bookings, and improve guest satisfaction.

A guide to hotel digital marketing strategy

In today’s technology-driven world, digital marketing stands as a cornerstone for hoteliers. It offers:

  • Broader Reach: Digital platforms extend a hotel’s reach far beyond traditional boundaries.
  • Targeted Marketing: It allows for precise targeting of specific demographics.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: Compared to traditional advertising, digital marketing often yields a higher ROI.
  • Direct Engagement: It enables hotels to engage directly with guests, fostering loyalty.

How to Build a Hotel Digital Marketing Strategy?

Creating an effective digital marketing strategy involves several key steps:

1. Setting Goals

The first step in creating a hotel digital marketing strategy is to set clear and measurable goals. These could include increasing website traffic, boosting online bookings, or improving guest reviews.

2. Identify Your Target Audience

Understanding your target audience (your guests here) is crucial for any marketing strategy. 

For a hotel digital marketing strategy, this could include identifying key demographics such as age, location, and travel preferences. Understand who your guests are and what they seek from your hotel.

3. Creating a Compelling Website

A hotel’s website is often the first point of contact for potential guests. 

Therefore, it’s essential to create a website that is visually appealing, easy to navigate, and optimized for search engines. Ensure your website is visually appealing, user-friendly, and mobile-responsive.

#OnResTips: Did you know: OnRes provides a hotel website design service to properties like you in order to establish a solid online presence.

4. Leverage SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a crucial component of any hotel digital marketing strategy. 

By optimizing your website for search engines, you can increase your visibility and attract more potential guests. Implement SEO best practices to increase your website’s visibility in search engine results.

5. Content Marketing

Use blogs, videos, and infographics to tell your hotel’s story and engage potential guests.

6. Leveraging Social Media Platforms

Social media platforms offer a powerful way to connect with potential guests and promote your hotel. 

By creating engaging content and responding to comments and messages, you can build a strong online community around your hotel.

#OnResTips: We have penned down some top tips for social media marketing for hotels

7. Implementing Email Marketing

Email marketing is a cost-effective way to reach potential guests and keep them informed about your hotel. 

By sending regular newsletters and promotional emails, you can keep your hotel top of mind and encourage repeat bookings.

8. Online Reputation Management

Online reviews play a crucial role in the hotel industry. By responding to reviews – both positive and negative – you can show guests that you value their feedback and are committed to improving their experience. 

Actively manage your online reviews on platforms like TripAdvisor and Google.

9. Utilizing Online Advertising

Online advertising is a powerful tool for reaching a wider audience and driving more bookings. 

By using platforms like Google AdWords and Facebook Ads, you can target specific demographics and increase your visibility online. Consider investing in PPC campaigns for targeted reach.

10. Embracing Mobile Marketing

With the rise of smartphones, mobile marketing has become an essential part of any hotel digital marketing strategy. 

This could involve optimizing your website for mobile devices, creating a mobile app, or using SMS marketing.

Factors to Consider While Building Your Strategy

Here are some important factors to consider while building your hotel digital marketing strategy.

  • Budget Allocation: Determine how much you can invest in various digital channels.
  • Brand Consistency: Ensure your online messaging aligns with your hotel’s brand and values.
  • Market Trends: Stay updated with the latest digital marketing trends in the hospitality industry.
  • Competitor Analysis: Understand what your competitors are doing and how you can differentiate.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to Measure for Hotel Digital Marketing

To gauge the effectiveness of your hotel digital marketing strategy, monitor these KPIs:

  1. Website Traffic: The number of visitors to your hotel’s website.
  2. Conversion Rate: The percentage of website visitors who make a booking.
  3. Social Media Engagement: Likes, shares, and comments on your social media posts.
  4. Email Open and Click-Through Rates: How many people are engaging with your email content.
  5. Online Review Ratings: Average ratings across different review platforms.
  6. ROI of Paid Advertising Campaigns: The return on investment for your PPC and other paid campaigns.

Frequently Asked Questions

In today’s digital age, travelers research and book hotels online. Digital marketing allows hotels to reach this audience directly. It increases visibility through search engines and social media, drives bookings through targeted campaigns, and builds brand loyalty through online engagement.

A successful hotel digital marketing strategy incorporates a variety of channels to reach and engage potential guests. Here are some key digital marketing tactics for hotels:

  • SEO: Improve website ranking in search results for relevant travel terms.
  • Content Marketing: Create engaging content to attract guests and showcase your hotel’s unique offerings.
  • Social Media Marketing: Connect with guests on popular platforms, share captivating content, and build brand awareness.
  • Email Marketing: Build relationships with past guests, nurture leads, and promote special offers.
  • Paid Advertising: Target high-intent travelers with targeted ads on search engines and social media.
  • Reputation Management: Respond to reviews promptly, address guest concerns, and build trust.

Create a variety of content that informs, entertains, and inspires potential guests throughout their travel journey. Here are some content ideas to get you started:

  • Blog posts: Share informative blog posts about local attractions, travel tips, and your hotel’s amenities.
  • Images & Videos: Showcase your hotel’s unique selling points with high-quality photos and virtual tours.
  • Guest testimonials: Feature positive reviews and testimonials from past guests to build trust and credibility.
  • Local guides: Create local guides recommending nearby restaurants, activities, and must-see attractions.
  • Seasonal content: Promote special packages and events throughout the year to drive bookings during different seasons.
  • Social media posts: Share engaging and interactive social media posts, including behind-the-scenes glimpses of your hotel to connect with potential guests on a more personal level.

Social media platforms connect you directly with potential guests. Share captivating content, run contests and promotions, respond to comments and messages, and engage with travel influencers. This builds brand awareness, drives traffic to your website, and encourages guest interaction.

The foundation of a winning hotel digital marketing strategy requires a clear understanding of your target audience and setting specific goals.

Once you have this foundation in place, you can create compelling content, optimize your website for mobile devices, and consistently track and analyze your results to ensure you’re on the right path.

Here’s a quick checklist to get you started:

  • Target audience: Understand who you’re trying to reach.
  • Clear goals: Set measurable objectives for your campaigns.
  • Compelling content: Create informative and engaging content.
  • Mobile-friendly website: Ensure a seamless experience on all devices.
  • Data analysis: Track results and optimize your strategy.
  • Regular updates: Keep your website and social media fresh.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of improving your hotel website’s ranking in search results for relevant travel terms. Here are some key SEO tactics to consider:

  • Keyword research: Identify the keywords and phrases that potential guests use to search for hotels in your area.
  • Website optimization: Use these keywords strategically throughout your website content, including page titles, meta descriptions, headings, and image alt text.
  • Backlinks: Earn links from high-quality websites back to your hotel website. This shows search engines that your website is a valuable resource.
  • Mobile optimization: Ensure your website is mobile-friendly and provides a seamless user experience for guests searching on smartphones and tablets.
  • Local SEO: Claim and optimize your Google My Business listing to increase your visibility in local search results.
  • Positive online reviews: Encourage guests to leave positive reviews on Google, TripAdvisor, and other travel websites. Positive reviews can improve your hotel’s ranking in search results and influence potential guests’ booking decisions.


Digital marketing is no longer optional in the hospitality industry; it’s a critical component for success. By crafting a well-rounded strategy, considering key factors, and measuring the right KPIs, hotels can significantly enhance their online visibility, guest engagement, and ultimately, their revenue. 

The digital world offers limitless opportunities for hotels to grow and thrive, and tapping into this potential is paramount in today’s competitive landscape.

Steve Behrisch, President & CEO

Steve joined the OnRes Team as an account rep in 2008 and was promoted to VP of Operations a short time later. In 2011, Steve agreed to purchase OnRes and became President and CEO, and has been steering the ship since; achieving significant milestones such as rebuilding the reservation software from the bottom up, forging new partnerships, doubling the revenue, and much more…
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