It is no longer enough to simply provide your guests with base amenities and services. It is essential to create a local experience for your guests from the moment they click onto your website until the morning they check out of your hotel or B&B. There are many ways you can achieve this: by partnering with local businesses and tour operators, by offering local beverages or snacks upon check-in, or by designing specialized packages that will help provide guests with the kind of personal, once-in-a-lifetime experience they can’t get at a big box hotel or vacation rental.
Another way to achieve this is by creating amazing local content to help guests plan their trip. Use your Things to Do page, blog, and social media profiles to spark inspiration for readers, showcase your destination, and share your local knowledge with your guests. Read on for everything you need to know about crushing your local content.
Perfect Your Things To Do Page
Before you read on – do a couple of searches in Google for stuff like “things to do in [destination].” Click through on the top 5 or 10 results and then take a look at your own things to do page and ask yourself: “does this even deserve to rank well in Google?”
Trust us, there is nothing worse than a Things to Do page that consists of nothing more than a long list of links. This provides no value to your guests and is a pretty boring read. Remember, you aren’t Yelp. Yelp already provides lists of almost every restaurant or attraction in town. You don’t need to do that. Your job as a guide to your guests is to craft & curate a things to do guide that appeals to your best guests.
Take a look at the Explore page from the Wicker Park Inn, a boutique hotel in Chicago’s trendy Wicker Park neighborhood. On this page, they’ve provided recommendations for restaurants, cafes, shops, and nightlife destinations, all easily accessible from the Wicker Park Inn. Their tone is both conversational and informative, showing their readers that they are true locals with the original insights travelers crave. They’ve even included maps so guests can easily visualize and plan their itineraries.
For more information, check out our blog post How to Create an Exceptional Things to Do Page.
Keep Your Ideal Guest in Mind
All located content should be designed for your ideal guest. Ask yourself:
- Why are my guests traveling?
- What are they looking for?
- How do they typically spend their time in your destination?
- Where are they traveling from?
Answering these questions will help you define your ideal guest and create content that will appeal to them. You can fill out our Guest Persona Template if you’ve hit a wall.
Here’s a nice example of a variation on a traditional things to do page. Many guests stay at the Domaine Madeleine Bed & Breakfast in Port Angeles, Washington to explore Olympic National Park. Domaine Madeline has designed their Plan Your Trip page for those guests, focusing on travelers looking to explore the natural beauty and outdoor wonders of the region. They’ve even gone so far as to create downloadable & printable guides.
Whether people come to your property to visit historic sites, hike the nearby trails, tour wineries, or enjoy the local arts & culture scene, your Things to Page should highlight these activities and provide your guests with the relevant tips and information they need to make the most of their stay with you.
How to Boost Your Things to Do Page with Your Blog
The Hub & Spoke Approach
This brings us to your blog. The content on your Things to Do page and blog should be interconnected. Literally. Link to your blog posts from your things to do page, and vice versa. We call this the “Hub & Spoke Approach”. Think about your Things to Do page like the hub and your blog as the spokes that branch off from it (ie. the posts that your Things to Do page links too.)
The Pine Ridge Inn in Bend, Oregon does this well. They’ve created an informative Explore Bend page with a section on Hiking & Biking. Then, they’ve written an accompanying blog post titled The 7 Best Hikes in Central Oregon
If you list snowshoeing as a common activity on your Things to do Page, write a blog post about the best snowshoeing trails near your property and then link to it. If people often travel to your property with kids or pets, highlight this on your Things to Do page and then write posts such as “5 Great Pet Friendly Patios” or “A Kid Friendly Guide to [Your Destination.]”
Write Like A Local
You are a local. The blog posts you write need to reflect that. Your content should be about your destination, not just about your property. Create content that will be helpful to your guests and that they will actually want to read. For example,
- Write about local events
- Review other local businesses
- Interview interesting local people
- Create Top 5 Lists (ie. Hikes, Day Trips, Restaurants, Brunch Spots, Viewpoints, ect.)
Be sure to include maps and photographs (either ones you have taken or sourced from stock photography sites) in the blog post. You can even add video.
This Will Help You Rank Better
By using your blog to focus on your destination, you will make your entire website rank better. Maintaining a successful blog will help you win in search results by increasing your website’s relevance and authority for the local area. For more information on blogging, download our exclusive Guide to Blogging for B&Bs, Inns, and Hotels. If you’re strapped on time, you might find your How to Write a Blog Post in One Hour helpful.
Download our Guide to Blogging For Innkeepers & Independent Hoteliers for everything you need to know about blogging, from brainstorming ideas to sharing your posts on social media.