I’ve been dying to write this post. You see, most of my workday involves reviewing resort, lodge and hotel websites. And after a while, particular trends and patterns in content writing become clear. I’ve noticed that some of them simply don’t fit into today’s challenging marketplace, where your website must sell your features, your benefits and your entire brand experience. I’ve been just dying to say: “Some of this writing doesn’t work anymore!” So today is my lucky day. Here are eight content writing mistakes you should never, ever make again!
(A disclaimer: our lawyers are nervous with me. This is normal, but here it’s important to note that the following passages are fictional dramatizations based on actual instances.)
- “Our resort has excellent service and quality accommodations.” As opposed to what? “Sloppy service and slightly-below-average accommodations?” Here is the cardinal rule of website content writing: Always give your reader a vivid picture of what you’re offering. Nowadays if you simply claim you’re offering a “quality” product, your audience is very likely to find someone else who can show them why it’s a quality product.
- “Our spa rejuvenates your mind, body and spirit.” This sounds great, but it’s also the exact same thing that virtually every other spa resort on the planet is saying. Instead, focus on how you feel at this spa, and try to capture it in features and benefits. “Our spa features design, décor and treatments inspired by centuries-old Native American water rituals, proven to rejuvenate and refresh.” Give your audience a real taste of what you’re offering!
- Nestled. I was actually going to title this post “Never Say Nestled.” If you’re fond of saying your resort is “nestled” somewhere, take it from me: 19 out of every 20 of your competitors are, too. Instead, try “surrounded by,” or “embodying,” or “situated.” It’s not necessary to be completely original – pretty much any other term besides “nestled” will differentiate you.
- “We offer guests lodging which captures the essence of New Mexico.” To sell your entire brand experience, you need to get as close as possible to the hearts and minds of your audience. So I’ve never been able to fully grasp why so many resort websites say “we offer guests” instead of “we offer you.” Anyone?
- “As one of Utah’s finest ski areas, you’ll love our Park City resort.” I see this one a lot, and it always makes me laugh. If you have written this, you have just called your reader one of Utah’s finest ski areas. And, perhaps, cost yourself a reservation.
- “Our resort is conveniently located for a range of recreational opportunities.” I don’t know about you, but when I’m planning a vacation I’m not thinking about all the “recreational opportunities.” I’m thinking about “hiking,” or “skiing,” or “sitting on the beach.” Or what about just good old “recreation?” Speak to your audience as people, just like you are. They’ll love you for it!
- “Igloos. Ice Skating. Cross Country Skiing. Snow Shoeing. Warming Shed. Cozy Fires.” This is short, to the point and captures a certain aspect of the resort experience. But long lists in sentence format simply become too cumbersome for people to read. Here, you can use the classic ad copy style of writing: “Igloos. Ice Skating. World-class cross country skiing and snowshoeing. And a warming shed and a cozy fire to come home to. It’s all here at Colorado Mountain Resort.” Also, there is no point in Capitalizing Every Word For No Reason. It’s harder for people to read, it does nothing for the search engines and it invites the reader to simply…give up and click out.
- “Welcome to our New Hampshire resort. This NH resort experience is unlike any you’ll find at any other SW New Hampshire fishing lodge. Our NH vacation rentals sit next to Boon Lake, great for NH fishing, NH boating, New Hampshire family vacations and New Hampshire reunions. You’ll love our New Hampshire resort near Concord, New Hampshire!” Um…try not to write just for the search engines. People are always on spam alert. If they feel that they are being “sold,” and they will if your site is written like this, they are likely to go somewhere else. Keep in mind: the search engines are on constant spam alert, too, and too many keywords too close to one another can actually decrease your online presence.
Here’s the thing: our team at ResortsandLodges.com has a unique perspective on how properties are marketing themselves. We’re not just reviewing our own website plus one or two now and then, like you might if you’re a resort owner. We’re not like a traditional agency, either, where we might review websites for research purposes while we’re working on your account. We do it all day, every day. And we can now share this perspective with you and your website through our professional content writing services.
You can learn more by calling 1.866.757.8229, or visit the VEM Global website.