Copywriting for hotel websites

Copywriting For Hotel Websites: Everything You Need To Know

by | Nov 22, 2023

Is your website more of a flop than a five-star? Has it left you drowning in the deep end of hotel marketing yet stressed about the next guest drought? Then it’s time to grab your fanciest pen and notepad and fix up your website copy.

Don’t worry if juggling hotel duties has left you with no time to moonlight as a wordsmith extraordinaire. This hotel copywriting info crunch is your ticket out of the rabbit hole. You’ll get the need-to-knows about copywriting for hotel websites and not a letter more (we promise).

“But why exactly should I fuss over it at all?” Thrilled you asked.


Why Copywriting Is As Important For Your Hotel As The Beds In Its Rooms

Do hotels need copywriters?
Only if they want guests to sleep in them.

Your copy is what enables your website to book guests on auto-pilot. So what kind of website do you want? 

One that shows up with a scruffy look? One that bores visitors with narcissistic babbling? Or do you want a charming sales whizz that woos every guest into whipping out their card?

In Short: Good Copy = Important If You Want High-Quality, Recurring Guests. 

So, first order of business? A quick diagnosis. One moment, this won’t hurt a bit…


Is Your Website Repelling Guests Right Now With These 3 Signs of Rotten Copy?

“Welcome to our hotel, offering comfortable rooms, free Wi-Fi, and a convenient location. Enjoy our on-site dining and friendly service. We have an outdoor pool which is open until 7pm each day. No smoking. No dogs except guide dogs. Please book now and our staff will be happy to cater to your every need.”

Smell that? It’s dead copy. And boy, does it stink. In fact, this stuff is responsible for turning away countless potential guests.

Have a whiff of your website copy now and see if it is culpable of the following:

  • It’s nearly all about your hotel and rarely about its guests and what they want
  • The tone is flat, and the phrases are generic
  • It’s not actively and consistently filling your rooms (which is the whole point)!

Now, if you’re smashing it in all these areas, then what are you doing here? Go get more and more eyeballs on that golden website and start cleaning those rooms ready for mass occupation!

If, however, you do smell rotten copy, fear not! Below you shall find the antidote that magics up the best copywriting for hotel websites. But before you start guzzling, we’ll need to let you in on something…


The Big Secret To Seducing Hotel Guests With Your Website

It’s not an earth-shattering secret that’s safeguarded by the CIA like the Roswell alien or Joe Biden’s earlobe. Yet, it remains a mystery for many, many hotel marketers. In fact, we told you in the last section, but in case the lightbulb didn’t ding, here goes:

Your guests want to know what’s in it for them. Them. Their experience. Their emotions. 

It doesn’t matter if you’re selling private jets, rubber ducks, or a few nights in a hotel. No merchant is exempt from this sacred sales duty.

So, basically, know ya market. Inside, outside and every which way.

Find out what ticks ’em off (towel upsells), what they’re scared of (the area’s bedbug reputation), why they visit (the fresh ocean breeze and famous local fudge), why they don’t visit (your part of the ocean is filled with raw sewage and nuclear waste), what they do when they visit, what they don’t do, and why. The list is endless, really.

But what we’re trying to accomplish here is:

To be able to think like your guests. Else, how will you know how to appeal to them?

Only then can you take all the aspects of your hotel and its experience, such as the food, the pool, the decor, the amenities etc. etc.

And translates all these ‘who cares’ features into emotionally stimulating BENEFITS.

Now your guests have a reason to be interested.

A simple trick to start making changes is to take each line and ask yourself “so what” from the standpoint of your ideal guest.

So, with that down, can’t we just straight up tell ’em? Well… sure… but not everyone likes to be hit on the nose with cold-hard facts. And perhaps that isn’t your style, anyway. 

Plus, you run the risk of still just sounding like ‘a hotel’. Not the kind of hotel that suits your guests.

They might not believe you, or they might not vibe with how you’re speaking to them. 

So if you want to get your message across AND ingested, here is…


How To Write Hotel Copy That Your Guests Connect With & Act Upon

Why is hotel website content important? Because it gives you the opportunity to win over strangers at scale. But it’s no good if you’re a communication slouch who thinks they can skate by doing the bare minimum. 

Don’t get us wrong. We’re all about getting the most return for the least input, so here’s how to make every word count:

Use your market’s words:

You probably spend plenty of time talking with your guests. What kind of phrases and lingo do they use? How do they describe their problems? How do they describe the food, the rooms, the service, and the rest of it? This is the material you want to use to build your copy. You can also find this stuff in the media they consume and the forums they use. Get digging!

Be real:

Honesty and authenticity go a heck of a long way in building rapport. Whatever your style, aesthetic, voice and swagger might be, run with it. Build your identity around it and use it as a way to connect with guests before they step foot anywhere near your reception.

Get specific:

Details sell because they’re believable and create the mental pictures that lead to action. Get descriptive, use words that appeal to the senses, and sprinkle in some zest to bring your copy to life. You can feel when there’s energy to a sentence and when it’s like being lectured by that depressed donkey from Winnie the Pooh.

Tell a story:

Nothing makes our lizard brains settle down like a good ol’ story. Even the dinosaurs told them (probably). Tell a story about your hotel’s history or an ideal guest who had a dreamy experience. Perhaps add a bit of tasteful drama to really drive it home. Readers can’t help but insert themselves into the frame. And if it’s a positive story (which it should be), they’ll project that onto their own imagined experience with you in the future. 

Alright, so you’ve resonated with your guests. Now to tip the scales and secure the booking with 4 simple tenets.

4 Bedrock Hotel Sales Principles To Get People To Click That BOOK NOW Button

Forget the hot trendy tricks.
Copywriting for hotels can rely on tried and true methods, which help people book themselves in for a grand ol’ time.

1. Create the best offer you can and present it as clear as the ocean at a Maldives resort

You’ll hear the term ‘no-brainer’ thrown around a lot when it comes to creating offers. In essence, just make it very hard for guests to say no. If you’re stuck, look at what everyone else is doing, and make it better. Highlight exclusive deals, free upgrades or special rates. Find out what the market wants that no one is offering. Make it the centrepiece of your homepage – don’t just edge out rivals, tower over them.

2. Reverse all risk

Offer no-fuss cancellations and transparent policies. Make guests feel secure in their choice. Assure them that Plan B and Plan C are already in place to keep the good times rolling without a hitch, no matter the problem.

3. Prove everything

People are sceptical. Your guests are on the lookout for anything that might niggle, rattle, or mislead them. Whenever you make a claim of any kind, back it up with an illustrative piece of information — or a credible source or figure. Use real guest reviews, vivid images, accolades, and facts to support your claims. Let evidence crush doubt, and the truth shall prevail!

4. Anticipate and tackle objections

Just like a football player about to score a touchdown before a rival obliterates them. Beat your guests to punch and answer common concerns upfront, like uncertainties around location, amenities, facilities, you name it. Address them boldly in your FAQs like you have nada to hide. Just like how people look for any reason not to believe, they also look for reasons to put things off (especially spending money). Don’t give them one.

Bonus tip: Add some urgency

Use a limited-time discount (with a believable reason why), highlight sparse availability, or intensify the desire by knowing your market’s hot buttons. Describe their upcoming weekend without your award-winning mud bath and earth spring spa. It all depends on your style. You might not need to get too scrappy, but for some businesses, it can make a universe of difference.

But there’s one way to make sure all of this goes to complete waste: have no one see it. Oh wait, we thought of that, too…


The Easiest & Simplest Way To Get Your Website Seen By Keen Guests Without Ads & Social Media

Oh, the long and tiresome quest for eyeballs! You want the world to see your amazing website without splashing the cash on ads or churning out endless content on Facebook and co., right?

Welcome to search engine optimisation for hotels. SEO for hotels is what bags you the kind of attention you really want with as minimal effort as possible.

If you’re scratching your head saying “How can I improve my hotel website SEO?”, then here’s how to crop up when people are on the hunt for hotels like yours:

  • Use keywords — Pinpoint and embed the exact phrases your prospects are searching for. Think “boutique hotel in Monaco” or “Atlantis hotel with pool.” Infuse these throughout your site — especially in titles, descriptions, and content.
  • Smash local SEO for hotelsMaximise your presence on Google My Business by adding photos, details, and guest reviews. All of this stuff will help your hotel queue jump on search engines when properly optimised.
  • Have top content — Create engaging content that guides and entices. Offer local travel tips, highlight your amenities, and share your hotel’s stories. Check out our blogs for hotel tips for more info.
  • Build out links — Partner with local entities and travel influencers to get backlinks for your website. Backlinks from reputable sites tell search engines that your hotel is legit (which means more visibility).
  • Tighten the user experience — Make everything clear and simple. If your website navigation and the path to booking is a jumbled mess, that’s no good. The same goes for mobile, too. Never neglect the omnipresent phone!

Now, if this is starting to sound like a lot of work (and it is), you might be ogling an easy exit. 


How To Skip 9 Years of Painful Copywriting Pitfalls & Reap The Rewards Now Instead

Even with all of the above tips, even if you follow them to the letter, you might still look at what you’ve got and say “This still ain’t it.”

Worse yet, you’ll spend days “getting it right”, upload it to your website, wait a few weeks, and see no difference.

That’s just the nature of the beast when it comes to copywriting as a newbie.

And if you’re reading this, you’re likely not up for spending 3-4 hours a day for a few years to hone your copywriting chops.

If you look at other hotel websites with great copy, you can bet your bottom dollar that it wasn’t written by the same person running the place. 

But hotel managers also don’t change the beds themselves or cook the food. Nope, they outsource. Successful hotels know how to get the right people to do the right jobs. And that’s why they also outsource hotel website copywriting.

So if you’re scouting for the right team to take care of your hotel website copy, get in touch and we’ll tell you how we can help.


About the Author

David Harfield

Writer, Traveller & CEO of Pepperstorm.

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