- Refresh Your Web Presence
New year, refresh your website. If your website hasn’t been updated in a while, now is the time to take another look. Think about the usability and design of your website, meaning your images, copy, content and page layouts. Does your website look modern and fresh? Is it easy for users to navigate and find what they need? Can consumers find your website by searching on Google?
If the answer to any of these questions is no, then you should be investing the resources to update your site. While you can opt for a do-it-yourself approach, many times it makes sense to hire a web developer who can give you the greatest bang for your buck.
- Refine Your Property’s Unique Story
Potential guests have nearly endless options when looking for Lodges. The only way to stand out is to spotlight what’s truly unique about your property and doggedly sharing that in every marketing touch-point.
An impactful way to describe the features of your hotel and what unique selling propositions you offer is not only through your website content but through high-resolution photography. What better way to showcase your lodge than through photos and a video tour? Visitors want to visualize themselves at your property, so paint a picture for them and create a captivating narrative describing the experience they will expect as soon they arrive at your Lodge.
- Set Up (and review) Website Analytics
Do you have Google Analytics and Google Search Console properly set up on your website? Analytics offers a ton of insights and clues as to what’s working (and what isn’t) for your website, but some website owners get quickly overwhelmed by the setup required and the data in the reports. Maybe this is the year you finally tackle your analytics and translate the data into actionable steps to improve your website performance.
- Take Steps to Secure Your WordPress Website
Does your WordPress site have a reliable backup strategy in place? Owning a website means protecting your online investment, and one of the best ways to do that is with something as seemingly boring as backups. WordPress doesn’t have a built-in backup system, so it’s up to you to have a backup strategy in place.
Are you running out-of-date versions of WordPress core or any themes or plugins on your website? If so, you could be running software with known security vulnerabilities. Check your sites plugins and core for updates. You can hire a company like WP [well-being] to manage all this for you for only $39 a month.
- Start Building (and using) An Email List
Do you have an email list currently for your website? Have you ever heard of the marketing mantra “The Money Is in the List”? If you’re not collecting the emails of your guests and potential guests you’re missing a great opportunity to build a long-term relationship with them. Email is still one of best-performing marketing platforms based on ROI, so spend some time in 2018 either building your email list, working on your email strategy and actually sending emails. Use a tool such as OptinMonster to help build your email list, then integrate your list with the email marketing services of OAMarketing. Check out our Email Presentation from Orvis Rendezvous.
- Commit to Flawless Orvis Reviews
Guest reviews play a major part in every guest’s decision to purchase. In fact, reviews have more power to influence others than all of your best marketing tactics combined! Work with your staff to aim for happy guests and glowing reviews. Have your staff ask guests to visit the Orvis website and leave a review, you can also include a request with a link to your review page in an automated post-visit email. And, when someone does leave a negative comment or asks a question within a review, respond that same day. Don’t address them a month later with a canned response. Check out these Best Practices for reviews from Orvis.
- Be Proactive in Your Marketing
The beauty of online marketing is that it is constantly evolving, which means that your strategies must also evolve with the newest digital trends and algorithms. As we head into the new year, make it a commitment with your marketing team to focus on proactively managing your overall online presence and optimize for ongoing success. Success is measured by how active your marketing is and your ongoing presence on all channels. Take advantage of the marketing resources offered from Orvis. Read this case study of an OAMarketing client.
- Explore Affordable Advertising Options
I know for a fact that family-owned lodges don’t have the same marketing budget as big resorts. However, there are relatively affordable advertising options that you can explore such as Facebook advertising and Google AdWords Express.
- Start Using a Password Manager
Are you using a password manager yet? If not, you might want to review these important reasons for why you should use a password manager to protect your online identity. Adding a password manager to your online workflow may actually speed up your logins and give you peace of mind as well. A password manager such as LastPass remembers your login information for you, allowing you to use complex passwords for all your logins across the web.
- Develop One New Effective Process
As your business grows, having effective processes in place will be critical to your sustained success. In the new year, challenge yourself to establish one new mission-critical process to help your business run more smoothly. This could be a process for handling Liability Waivers. Your new process should be simple, tested (and refined) and communicated to your employees.
- Have More Fun and Practice Self-care
One of the most meaningful resolutions you can make this year is to have more fun and practice better self-care. This may mean different things to different people—from committing to eating healthier, exercise more, get outdoors, get better work/life balance or spend more time with the people you love. You are in this business because you love sharing the outdoors with others. Get out more, spend more time with clients. How will you have fun and take care of yourself in 2018?