Traditionally the accommodation industry has had to put up with pretty awful online accommodation directories and marketing tools. Many of the sites currently available have not had a revamp in many years and visually look tired, with cumbersome navigation and uninspired layouts. It is also true to say that most have not adapted well to the new search engine algorithms. A simple search on google for “accommodation in the uk” returns the standard 10 results, 3 of which are offering “student accommodation”. Its also worth pointing out that the British Tourist Authority’s website visitbritian.com doesn’t even feature in the top 20 for the search.
This summer however one company from Devon called MTI Inc hopes to buck this trend by blending their website development experience with proven business models and ideas from other sectors to create a dynamic accommodation directory product that performs well for advertisers and users alike.
The new product is to be launched under an already established MTI Inc Brand accommodationzone.com. However the re-launched version of the accommodation directory and brand will bring a level of service and adaptability coupled with very strong search engine performance not yet seen in the industry.
Mike Harding the marketing manager had this to say
“When looking at the development of the accommodation directory product we took the step of looking outside the accommodation industry to other business models and products that achieve similar goals that could help us with a new approach to online marketing and advertising for the accommodation market.
We have brought in expertise and influences from a number of areas to create what we hope to be the best performing and easy to use accommodation directory available for both advertisers and users. One of the sectors we have looked at quite intently is the business to business market and where applicable applied concepts that would easily cross over in the design and functionality of the site allowing for a few tweaks here and there. It is a very exciting time to be involved with this project.”
From an advertisers point of view the standard product, known as an Enhanced Client Page (ECP), is a dream and you’ll be hard pushed to find another product that looks as good and is as adaptable else where. Below is a list of the standard features and pages.
· Thumbnail image and description in search results
· Client login details allowing all info to be changed and updated by client through online login
· Listed in two accommodation sectors as standard
· Every page is designed to be indexed by search engines for both key phrases and geographical area
· Address + contact details on every page
· Link to your website (improve your own Page Rank in search engines)
· Map link
· Email link
· Local attractions listing
· Property description page
o 7 + images
o Unlimited text description
o Facilities listing both text and icons
· Tariffs Page
o List standard prices and any seasonal variations
o Add images and branding to reflect currently printed promotional material
· Menu page
o Upload your multiple menu and bar details including prices products and times.
o Add images and branding to reflect printed menu
· News Page
o If you have a local beer festival coming up or any other event, even maybe you have had a recent refit, this page allows you to sell and build a more personal relationship with prospective guests
o Option to link key words in text to your ECP or submit articles to industry news section with a link back to your ECP. This gives you more keywords in relevant content linked to your ECP and is great for search engine visibility
· Booking Page
o If they like what they see why not allow them to book there and then, through your ECP, achieve a higher conversion rate.
As you can see the standard ECP gives you fantastic scope to sell your establishment no matter what style of accommodation you offer. The real beauty of accommodation directory, its all been designed to be indexed by search engines quickly and effectively meaning you get the best possible amount of search engine visibility and that its all totally editable through a simple online login screen, so no need to wait for someone else to change seasonal info. It can all be done instantly.
The possibilities don’t end here; there is a whole host of other bolt on products to enhance the standard ECP listing in the directory allowing a fantastic degree of seasonal and target market variability. The most cunning of the bolt on products are Quick Links. The Key phrase text links, appear through the website some 20,000 times each month and are linked directly to your ECP. In real terms this means that your ECP will be indexed for the key phrases you choose and encourage click throughs to your ECP and ultimately to your website or the online booking on your ECP. The Quick links system is designed to offer very adaptable niche and seasonal marketing with the ability to purchase quick links for sensible periods from 3 months to a year. It also allows you to get the biggest impact from your budget.
An example of a seasonal quick link would be “easter break holidays”. The people at MTI can even tell you when the highest level of searches for this phrase is and the search pattern in search engines across a 12 month period. I’m told its not an exact science but it impressed me greatly that they have the depth of knowledge to advise when and for how long their products will be effective.
There are also Accommodation Of the Month slots available on the main page and sector pages of the website and the option for a banners linked to your ECP or website. There’s even an option of linking a domain name to your ECP so if you don’t have a website it provides a cost effective web presence that you can be easily marketed to your customers at a fraction of the cost of having a bespoke site developed.
There’s so much more that I can’t possibly go through in this review, such as the adaptive facility searches and other neat ideas that will become favourites with users and most probably the standard bench mark for all sites that come after. An example of which I’m told will come online in phase two of the development later this year. Users will be able to use google earth style mapping of local areas to find local attractions and places of interest and also route planning capabilities that previously could only be found on such sites as RAC Route Finder.
All in all this accommodation directory provides unparalleled performance and adaptability to fit in with any budget or marketing strategy from niche markets such as adventure holidays to seaside hotels and walking holidays.
I think you’ll agree, this product will blow the competition out of the water. Welcome to the future of accommodation directories on the net