Back then, landing pages were the name of the game — the more you could create, the better. But as the decade progressed, Google changed the rules.
While it was common to have several landing pages targeting variations of the same keyword (e.g., separate landing pages for “hotel near Brooklyn Bridge” and “hotel in lower Manhattan”), Google began to favor websites that have fewer pages with richer, more dynamic content — essentially, quality over quantity.
Thanks to Netflix’s “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo,” there’s been a renewed interest in the KonMari method. So I looked at Kondo’s six basic rules of tidying and considered how you can apply them to managing your website content.
The task of tidying up may seem daunting, but consider this: At HEBS Digital, we’ve found that upward of 50% of landing pages on unwieldy hotel websites (i.e., websites with too many pages) generate no revenue for the property. How do you know when it’s time to tidy up? It’s easy. Check if your single-property website has more than 40 pages, or if your multi-property website has more than 30 pages per property. If your website is over these recommended page counts, commit yourself to improving your website content.
What matters most to your target audience? Is it the convenience of your on-site amenities and facilities? Or proximity to things to do in the destination? This is the key content you need to help website users find. The deeper they have to click into your site to find it, the higher your bounce and exit rates will be. As a rule of thumb, if a user can’t find the information they need in one or two clicks, these landing pages aren’t likely to contribute to the overall success of your website.
Instead of creating endless landing pages buried within layers of navigation, consider all the different ways you can convey a lifestyle by merchandising your website with content:
Before you refresh your existing content, the first step is consolidating similar or duplicate content and discarding unnecessary landing pages. If you have less than 50-100 words of content to describe a product or service, consider finding a way to feature it on your website without a dedicated landing page.
Some examples of unnecessary pages include:
Once you have identified instances of similar, duplicate, or unnecessary landing pages, identify where you can redirect these pages. If there are two similar landing pages and you can’t decide which to keep, look at metrics such as page views, average time on page, bounce rate, exit rate, and conversion rate to determine which is the best-performing page. After implementing a redirect to the most relevant page, discard (delete) the similar or duplicate page from your CMS.
After discarding similar or duplicate landing pages, it’s time to tidy your top-performing pages. It’s likely that your hotel website has standard categories, like Accommodations, Dining, and Groups & Events. For single-property websites, it’s as simple as working your way through one category at a time.
For multi-property websites, consider refreshing content by category, not location. For example, work on the Dining pages for all of your property locations before moving on to the next category. By focusing on a single category across all your properties, you can ensure consistency in style and content from location to location.
According to Kondo, the correct order of tidying up (in real life) is: clothes, books, papers, komono (miscellaneous items), and sentimental items. These don’t translate into the digital space, but if you could only look at five aspects of website content when tidying up, consider:
Free Wi-Fi. Luxury bath amenities. On-site restaurants. So many offerings that were once considered unique have become commoditized. Be realistic about what your target audience expects and what will actually spark joy (i.e., what will make them tick — and click — on your hotel website). If you want to surprise and delight, consider:
Need help with the heavy lifting? Tidying is better together. At HEBS Digital, your dedicated Account Manager, Copywriter, and SEO Specialist are here to help you audit your website, make strategic recommendations, and, as Kondo suggests, say arigato (thank you) to old content as we discard and optimize it to meet best practices and quality standards in 2019.