There are a lot of strategies and tactics you can implement to drive more conversions through your property website, but few are likely to work unless you’ve taken the time to develop the right copy for the pages your website visitors see.

When it comes to interacting with potential customers online, words matter a great deal. They ultimately help shape the impression you give to interested travelers who land on your website for the first time. The right words can make a trip to your property seem irresistible. The wrong words can drive people away from your website and right into the arms of your competitors.

Are you using words that compel visitors to convert? Do you have a specific strategy when it comes to the language you use on your property website? If you’re not sure, or if you’ve been meaning to update the copy on your website but you’re not sure where to start, follow these seven tips:

Tip #1: Make Every Word Count

The most important thing to know when writing copy for your property website is that you need to make every word count. Attention spans are incredibly short online. As a property manager, it’s your job to pique the interest of your website visitors within the first few seconds after they land on your website. That means there’s little room for fluffy, long-winded sentences on your pages. You need to use compelling language that educates and moves interested travelers closer to your availability and online reservation system.

To make sure every word on your website counts, take the following steps:

  • Step 1: Evaluate your existing copy. Spend an hour or two looking through the existing copy on your website. To make it easier, copy and paste the copy on your website pages into a Word document or Google document.
  • Step 2: Cut 10-20%. It’s likely that you have more copy than you actually need, so work to cut any unnecessary fluff on your pages.
  • Step 3: Focus on what you know your guests care about most. Don’t think about what sounds good or looks good on your website—think about what your guests care about. Revise headings and paragraph to align with the interests of your audience.
  • Step 4: Get feedback from others. Have other friends or colleagues outside of your organization review and give feedback on your copy.
  • Step 5: Revise and publish. Make changes based on feedback, then publish the changes on your website.

To keep your website fresh and relevant, consider going through some or all of the steps outlined above every six months.

Tip #2: Write Winning Headlines

Because you need to grab the attention and interest of visitors within the first few seconds of them landing on your website, the main headlines on your website need to be especially compelling. They need to get people excited about the idea of staying at your property, or at the very least, learning more about what makes you different.

The question is, what does a winning headline look like for websites like yours? Here are a few ideas:

  • Your headlines should be short and to the point. Because most people are viewing websites from mobile devices these days, it’s important to keep your headline as short as possible. If it’s too long, you risk taking up too much screen real estate when someone opens your website up on their smart phone.
  • Your headlines should use descriptive, experience-focused words. In your headlines, you should try to use words that paint a picture of what kind of experience you’re offering to guests (relaxing, fun, quiet, etc.).
  • Your headlines should be about your guests, not you. Again, help your visitors understand what kind of experience you’re offering them. What can they get from staying at your resort? In other words, don’t plug your ratings or awards in headlines. Focus on what you can provide to guests instead.
  • Your headlines should compel people to act. Your headlines should motivate people to follow whatever call-to-action (CTA) you want visitors to follow after reading your headline. Your headline copy should align well with the button copy you include on your pages. For example, your headline might say something like, “It’s Time to Recharge Your Batteries,” and your button copy might say something like, “Start Planning Your Vacation.”

Pro Tip: If you think you want to change a headline but you don’t want to hurt conversions, test it as an email subject line or as a Facebook Ad to see how your audience responds.

Tip #3: Sell Experiences, Not Rooms

I’ve hinted at it a bit already in this blog post, and in previous blog posts as well, but I want to touch on it again here: in order to boost conversions on your property website, you need to focus on selling experiences, not rooms or packages. To do it, you have to carefully choose words and phrases that can help you present the right messages throughout your website.

Here are a few things you can do to find the right language for your website:

  • Think about what makes your property unique. Why do your guests choose you over other properties in the area? Focus on those reasons when writing your website copy.
  • Think about who your audience is. What do they care about? Who are they and why do they stay with you? Try to write copy that your audience can attach onto and relate to within a few seconds of reading.
  • Think about the stories you can tell and use. What kind of stories can you leverage and repurpose from your business, your employees, and your guests that would convince people to book a reservation with you? Think about the experiences and memories that have already been created, and use those stories as inspiration when writing headlines and paragraphs for your website.

If people come to your property to relax, sell that experience when writing copy for your website. Use words like, “serene,” “peaceful,” or “recharge.” If they come for adventure, use phrases like, “create unforgettable memories,” “try something new,” or “have the adventure of your life.”

The key is to paint a unique picture that you know your audience won’t be able to resist.

Tip #4: Make your CTA Crystal Clear

It may seem obvious, but it’s incredibly important: in order to drive more conversions through your website, you need to make sure that the call-to-actions (CTAs) you use on your pages are crystal clear.

Your website visitors shouldn’t have to wonder how to check availability, request more information, or book a reservation with you. To ensure that your CTAs are easy to find and understand, follow these recommendations:

  • Feature your primary CTA button and text prominently. Add a CTA button in the main header of your website to ensure that visitors can easily see and access it no matter what page they are on. Use a short and sweet phrase to avoid any confusion (example: CHECK AVAILABILITY).
  • Use a different font, color, or design feature to draw attention toward your CTA messaging. If your website is mostly comprised of blues and whites for example, try using yellow for your CTA text and button. Your goal is to grab attention and influence action.
  • Humanize your CTAs. Instead of using boilerplate phrases like “Request Information” or “See Photo Gallery,” use language that gets your visitors excited to take the action you want them to take. For example, instead of “Request Information,” you could use “Let Us Help You Plan Your Trip!” Instead of “See Photo Gallery,” you could use “See What You’re Missing!”

Again, the key here is to know who your audience is and what they respond to best. Use that knowledge to create more compelling CTA language on your website.

Tip #5: Be Helpful

In order to convince travelers to request more information or book a reservation with you, it can’t all be about the sale. Before you can persuade them to stay with you, they need to trust you. The easiest way to build trust with people you don’t know is to provide value to them. Educate them. Help them overcome any objections they may have by creating and featuring content on your website that answers all their questions.

To build trust and drive more conversions, make sure to include information about:

  • The property owners or team
  • What to expect at check-in
  • Room descriptions, rates, amenities, special accommodations
  • Cancellation policies
  • Things to do in the area
  • FAQs that you get from people on a regular basis
  • Parking, maps, directions, etc.
  • Reviews, testimonials, and stories from past guests
  • Anything else that is unique to your property that you want visitors to know about

Remember: Don’t focus on selling. Focus on providing easy access to all the information that you know people who land on your website will be looking for.

Tip #6: Make a Promise

In addition to writing sections on your website that help educate visitors, you should also use words and language to make promises to guests—promises you know you can deliver on. This ultimately goes back to the following question:

What experience (or experiences) are you creating for and offering to your guests?

If you know the answer to that question, you can start including more promises in the headlines and paragraphs that appear on your website.

Here’s a great example of promise-driven copy from the spa at Bluefin Bay, a resort in northern Minnesota:

Screen Shot 2017 07 27 at 11.38.03 PM

Again, think about what makes your property unique, why guests choose you over other properties in the area, what you’re known for, and what people rave about when they leave. Think about the promises that you can make and use them to persuade more website visitors to act.

Tip #7: Leverage Words from Guests

Another great way to drive more conversions through your property website is to leverage kind and compelling words and phrases from past guests. If you allow guests to leave feedback about their stay, or review your property online, you’re likely sitting on a goldmine of conversion-driven words and phrases that could be repurposed into headings and call-to-actions on your website.

For example, imagine a guest wrote a positive review about your property and titled it, “most relaxing vacation we’ve ever had!” You could take pieces of this phrase and use it in a number of ways. Here are some headlines that could be crafted from the original review title:

  • You Won’t Remember a More Relaxing Vacation
  • A Relaxing Vacation That You’ll Never Forget!
  • Relax Like You’ve Never Relaxed Before
  • The Most Relaxing Vacation You’ll Ever Experience

Honest, authentic gems like the example above can be incredibly powerful and persuasive—it’s up to you as the property manager to find them and decide how to incorporate them into your website.

Over to You

What have you done lately to improve the copy on your property website? Tell me in the comments below.