In light of changing public health guidelines across the globe in response to the continuing spread of COVID-19, we would like to reassure all clients and partners of For-Sight that our operations continue to remain unaffected. 

All For-Sight colleagues, across both our Edinburgh Head Office and Bangor NI site, have been working remotely since March 2020 with a secure infrastructure in place. 

You will not experience any disruption to any part of the For-Sight service, or the level of support, from our Client Services team despite any local restrictions 

We know this is an extremely difficult time for the hospitality industry, and wremain committed to helping youOur managed service team are available to help, and can provide cover as needed, or additional support for unexpected communications to guests. 

If we can be of any assistance to you or your team, please reach out to your Account Manager or email support@for-sight.co.uk  

With best wishes,

Allan Nelson 

CEO & Co-founder 

 

As hotels get ready to reopen as restrictions start to be eased across the UK and Ireland in the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak, it is important to reflect on the importance of guest communication and engagement as part of industry recovery.

Share with your guests how you are adapting to re-open.

You will no doubt be working on how you will need to operationally adapt to ongoing measures, such as social distancing. Your guests are likely to want to know what you are doing for this as well, before they consider booking.

A recent analysis by GlobalWebIndex shows that 58% of people will resume travel when they feel safe to do so, and that a staggering 87% approve of brands providing practical information as part of their marketing and communication.

There is a great opportunity to reassure your guests, to help build the confidence in guests to travel and book, now. Consider deploying a communication, or series of communications, to your guests prior to re-opening and building this information into your ongoing marketing and pre-stay engagement as well.

Be clear and concise about the measures you’re taking on guest safety and hygiene, to reassure those who are looking for a post-lockdown break.

Every hotel will be employing slightly different measures, but measures you may want to announce directly to your guests via email and your other digital channels are;

  • Increased housekeeping and cleaning activities
  • Roll out of a hotel app for contactless guest engagement
  • Reduced restaurant capacity for social distancing
  • Any measures you are taking to protect the health and wellbeing of your staff as well as guests
  • Availability of hand sanitiser
  • How you are adhering to government guidelines
  • Contactless payments only

Take the time to understand and segment your audience

Your hotel holds so much data on your guests. Take the time and create a strategy to segment your database to get the right message to the right guest, at the right time. Some examples are;

  • Creating a local audience and message highlighting any food and beverage services you have operating, take-away or deliveries, and community messages of support
  • Create audience segments to promote later in the year holiday breaks, such as Christmas or a winter break

The belief across the industry is that the various hospitality market sectors will recover at different rates. Local business is likely to return before international, with a good chance that corporate travel and MICE will pick up later as well, as measures are lifted, and businesses move out of this period of uncertainty.

In the same GlobalWebIndex analysis, 31% of respondents indicated that they will have more staycations with 29% also responding that they will take more vacations within their own country, rather than travelling internationally.

Keep this in mind when planning your strategy and your target segments. Local business will represent a much more immediate opportunity, while keeping in touch with your corporate and MICE guests will put your brand in a much stronger position when the market recovers.

Analyse and adjust

As with all communications and marketing campaigns, you should analyse the performance over time and adjust based on the results. For your email marketing, pre-stay and post stay communications you should make sure you are continuing to A/B test your content and messaging.

Google Analytics is also a powerful tool that can help you ensure your Hotel marketing is working for you. Google Analytics also provides in-depth insight for improving and enhancing your marketing activities through optimising your campaigns, better targeting and perhaps even activities you hadn’t thought of before. Check out some more tips on Google Analytics here.

Industry Support

Many hospitality vendors are offering support to hotels as they start to re-open, to help with recovery as hospitality and tourism restarts. We’ve pulled together some offers of support from our friends and partners in our coronavirus hub.

For-Sight CEO Allan Nelson joins a panel of industry experts to discuss the latest industry news, with a focus on the COVID-19 pandemic and the hospitality industry. Check out the recording below.

First broadcast 3 April 2020.

 

We would like to reassure all clients and partners of For-Sight that with the appearance of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and following the guidelines issued by public health officials, we are fully prepared and able to continue to provide our full service.

All For-Sight colleagues are able to work remotely with a secure infrastructure and contingency plans in place, across both our Edinburgh Head Office and our Bangor NI site.

We will continue to operate as normal throughout this period.

You will not experience any disruption to the For-Sight application, or the level of support from our Client Services team during this challenging time.

Our partners at dotdigital have also provided similar reassurances, which you can find here.

We are committed to helping hoteliers through these unsettled times and will continue to run support webinars to help with guest engagement as well as continue our work with industry partners.

If we can help in any way please reach out to your Account Manager or email support@for-sight.co.uk

 

With the ongoing disruption due to the Coronavirus pandemic and the guidelines issued by the Government, the number of people working from home has increased more than we have ever seen.

With working from home new to many people, it is important to ensure that everyone is working as efficiently as possible and that we are able to communicate as effectively as we did in our workplaces.

There are many apps and software solutions that can help you stay connected to your team, collaborate and keep you working together.

Collaboration and Communication

Slack

Slack allows you to collaborate easily with your colleagues. Channels can be set up for different purposes and you can instant message colleagues as well as engage in group discussions. With many integrations to other applications, Slack makes it easy to share and edit documents and work together remotely.

Slack is available as both a free application and on a subscription model.

Skype

One of the most well-known chat and video calling applications, Skype allows you to send files, create group chats, and have video calls with numerous participants. There is also a business version available called Skype for Businesses, which integrates with Microsoft Office 365 with a higher limit on participants in a call.

Zoom

Zoom has become one of the most widely used platforms for video and voice conference calls, both one to one and for groups or presentations. With excellent screensharing facilities, instant messaging and the ability to share files easily.

Zoom is available as a free application, but it is worth noting the limit of 40 minutes per call on the free plan for group calls. There is no limit on the number of calls you can make however, and (as several of our colleagues discovered) you can even change the background to your video call!

Productivity and Efficiency

Trello

Trello is a web based and downloadable app that acts as a real-time bulletin board, enabling you to organise your working day as well as your team. It’s a project management tool that organises all your projects into what’s being worked on, who is working on what and when something is in a process.

Individual tasks can be customised with their own name, description and coloured label or category. Other Trello users can be manually assigned to specific tasks too, so you can cut down on lengthy email chains and have a clear view of what you and your team are working on.

Trello is available on a free plan, with additional features available on a monthly subscription.

Clockify

Clockify is a time tracking application, offering a simple to use time tracker and timesheet function that lets you keep tabs on how long you are spending on various tasks as well as your team.

With working from home it can be useful to keep a log of how long you are spending on specific tasks to allow you to efficiently structure your days.

Daywise

It can be hard to concentrate sometimes in an office environment when you’re surrounded by colleagues and phone calls, but with working at home it can be even harder.

Daywise is free to download from the Google Play Store and allows you to have your phone deliver notifications to you in batches at specific times, helping you to focus for specific periods on work.

Don’t worry about missing anything important though, as you can set specific apps or notification to come through as they normally would.

If you haven’t worked from home before there can be a lot to adjust to, like keeping the cat off the keyboard or getting used to a different environment than your usual workspace.

Once you have settled into a rhythm with your new method of working, we’d suggest taking the time to review the apps and tools you are using to help drive productivity and efficiency, as well as crucially communication with your colleagues.

You can check out our tips on getting set up properly for working from home here.

Since the introduction of measures by the Government, to combat the Coronavirus outbreak, many hotel staff across all departments are having to adjust to working from home for the first time.

Many people enjoy working from home and for many people in other industries remote working is business as usual for some, but others including hoteliers and their colleagues may find it leaves them feeling isolated or without the structure of a normal day.

We’ve pulled together some quick tips to make sure you’re working as efficiently as possible and keeping your spirits up.

Dress for work

When we used to think about working from home, there was the tantalising prospect of staying in your pyjamas all day. However, getting dressed and prepared as you would if you were going to work as normal won’t only help improve your state of mind, it will prepare you psychologically to start work.

Many people find dressing more formally helps them separate time ‘at work’ from downtime.

Planning and structure

Try and plan out your day as much as possible. With a lot of the structure that we are used to paused at the moment, planning your time can help you tackle the day more effectively.

Start working at your normal time, this will help put you in the right frame of mind for the working day. Equally important as starting your day as you would in normal circumstances, make sure you log off and step away from your work for lunch, or a break, just as you would in the office.

Don’t let the day drag on either, make sure you shut down your computer and log off at your normal finishing time.

Make time for a conversation

If you’re working from home, you could spend the whole day without speaking to anyone – which can be isolating. When we’re at work you’re likely to spend more time than you realise engaging with your colleagues, socially.

Make time to pick up the phone, or launch a video chat, with your colleagues rather than relying on email or messaging apps.

Why not also try scheduling in some break times with your colleagues to catch up over a coffee on Zoom or Skype?

Just because we’re working remotely, doesn’t mean we have to lose the social connection with our colleagues.

Separate and balance ‘work’ and home

Setting up a dedicated workspace, used solely for work, can help create a boundary between your home and your work. Make sure the rest of your household knows that when you are in your workspace, you are at work, you’re not at home.

Some people find background music helps them to focus on their work, however we’d suggest keeping your workspace and daytime TV as far apart as possible…

When you leave your workspace, make sure you take time to relax. Read a book, lose yourself in a box set on Netflix, listen to podcasts or spend time with your family.

Finding and maintaining separation between your work and your home life can be a balancing act under normal circumstances, but it has never been more important that we each find the balance that is right for us.

 

 

 

Google Analytics is a powerful tool that can help you ensure your Hotel marketing is working for you. Not only does it provide invaluable information about how your website is performing, but Google Analytics also provides in-depth insight for improving and enhancing your marketing activities through optimising your campaigns, better targeting and perhaps even activities you hadn’t thought of before.

Discover what your marketing channels are doing for your hotel

Google Analytics allows you to identify which of your digital marketing activities are working, and which perhaps need your attention.

Google Analytics offers a comprehensive suite of acquisition reports, which allow you to view the performance of various sources of traffic to your website. 

For example, if your Google Analytics acquisition report is showing that your organic traffic is low compared to other sources, you should consider looking at your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) strategy.

Your Google Analytics acquisition report can also show the performance of your email marketing activities as well and (with the appropriate setup) allow you to associate revenue generated by your campaigns.

If your property is active on social media then you can also report on associated revenue generated from website visitors who originated on your social media pages. 

Key reports you should be monitoring through Google Analytics 

Acquisition reports in Google Analytics can not only help you identify your best, and least, performing marketing channels – it can give you insight into your website performance. Google Analytics acquisition reports can provide you with key performance indicators such as how many people are arriving on your website, or sessions.

Behaviour reports in Google Analytics give great insight into what your website visitors are doing when they are on your website. They allow you to report on various metrics, such as the content that is getting the most engagement, allowing you to identify what is of interest to your audience, as well as time spent on various pages.

Audience reports give you detailed information about the visitors to your website, allowing you to view information such as location as well as demographic breakdowns.

You are also able to view how many of your site visitors are new visitors to your website, and how many are returning.

Conversion reports in Google Analytics allows you to produce reports and monitor goals that you have set, which are actions you have identified that you want your audience to take. 

You will also be able to attribute a conversion back to the marketing channel that drove the visitor to your website.

This is only a snapshot of the data analysis that is available to you as a hotelier. 

If you’re interested in finding out more about what good data analysis can do for your hotel, get in touch with our analytics experts to learn how we can help.

 

Search Engines account for a significant amount of web traffic for any business and as part of the booking process a large percentage of your potential guests are going to start their journey on sites like Google.

With more than 90% of all traffic going to the websites in the first page of search results, appearing as high as possible in search results should be a goal of every hotelier.

What’s the best way to ensure you appear as high as possible? By implementing some SEO practices as part of your ongoing activity.

What is SEO?

Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO as acronym loving Marketers have shortened it to, is simply applying certain practices to your website to help make sure you appear as high as possible on the competitive first page of Google search results.

Even though we love an acronym as much as the next person, it would probably be more accurate to refer to SEO as ‘Making Google Happy’.

With all search engines, including Google, constantly updating their algorithms, commonplace inconsistent practices and guests using a variety of different devices to search it is difficult for hoteliers to easily understand what is working and what is not.

To try and help, we’ve put together a few simple practices that will help you to start ‘Making Google Happy’.

Set up a Google My Business account for your Hotel

Google My Business is a free service from Google that can immediately make your hotel more accessible to guests searching for accommodation on Google. Not only does it include basic essential information like your property address, phone number and website you can also make sure your Google Map information and geo-tagging are correct, as well as include information about your amenities, pictures of your hotel and show reviews.

It doesn’t take long to set up but can pay dividends in increasing your presence within search results.

Google listings also offer the ability for guests to ‘see inside’ from the Google listing. You can upload a 360 degree image of the interior of your property. A professional photographer will be able to help with providing high quality imagery.

Monitor search volumes

When working on and planning your SEO approach it is important to keep in mind that it is an ongoing process.

As a hotelier you will need to keep on top of changes in trends that could affect your ranking in the search results. Google, and many third-party Search Engine Marketing (SEM) solution providers, offer tools that allow you to monitor search volumes for particular keywords. This can help you gauge demand based on changes in search intent.

If you run offers, or vary packages that are offered to the market throughout the year it is important to remember to update your monitored keywords.

Keeping one eye on the search trends of travellers will mean you can effectively plan and make informed decisions on the content of your website.

Content is King

Googlebot and the spiders (which despite how it sounds is not a glam rock band) are constantly crawling over your website, indexing as they go, and they absolutely love content. Not only are Google’s algorithms pleased by high quality content, it will also help you to increase chances of converting site visitors when they are on your website.

Running a blog is an easy way to make sure you are regularly putting out fresh content, with a post a week being manageable for most businesses. Content like this has application outside of simply keeping Google happy – you can also share it on your social media pages, as well as use it in email campaigns to your marketing database.

Content doesn’t mean you are confined to just writing paragraph after paragraph of text, you can be creative and include visual content as well.

Imagery on your website draws the attention of the visitor and can increase engagement and dwell time on pages. You can also assign keywords to your imagery which can help with your ranking.

Make reviews a priority

Guests, more so first-time guests, will always trust the opinions and experiences of other guests over and above what you tell them about your hotel.

Verified reviews, visible on search engines on sites such as TripAdvisor, are essential. You should consider responding to all reviews that come in for your hotel, this will help with your brand credibility as well as showing that you value the experience of your guest and their feedback.

There are many tools available as part of an integrated tech stack to help you manage your feedback, such as GuestRevu.

Map out your Keywords

When looking at the keywords you want to make sure appear throughout your website to help with your search engine ranking, put yourself in the shoes of your guest.

You need to think about what a guest will be searching for as you develop your keyword list. Once you have a list of initial keywords that you think could help drive traffic and increase your ranking, make sure you use Google’s tools to check the search volumes for each.

Google Analytics is your friend

Google Analytics is an essential, free, tool for hoteliers.

Analysis is essential for any activity you implement in your business and with Google Analytics you can assess the volume of traffic from the keywords you have been using in your content, as well as track page views, where the traffic is coming from and even the devices visitors are using to access your website.

Google Analytics can also allow you to track revenue collected via your website, or booking engine, back to its source, whether that is your email marketing activities or Google Ads.

By understanding what traffic sources and activities are giving you the best return, you can make informed decisions on what is working and what is not.

No instant fix

There is no instant fix for SEO and your Google rankings, and neither is this an exhaustive list. To maintain your SEO and ranking in Google, or to improve it, will require regular and consistent effort.

By analysing your efforts as you go however, you can be assured that your time is well spent, and you are focusing on the activities that deliver traffic and conversions to your website.

 

 

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