IHG Brand websites received an upgrade with functionality that allows you to do custom call to action buttons on the home page. Located at the bottom of the home page, these buttons stand out with custom images and content. Even better, you can send them to a landing page with a unique URL that can be further utilized to extend marketing efforts and focus on search engine optimization.
Limited Time Features in IHG Concerto
In Concerto Content Manager, previously housed in HCM, this new tool can be found by searching “Limited Time Features”. The fields are fairly self-explanatory but read on to maximize these Features to the fullest extent. You can include up to 3 on a page, each with its own customizations.
Search Engine Optimization for IHG Website Offers
After establishing when to make it active, you need to complete the Headline field. The Headline field will be both the heading of the offer and the title tag. This is the first time IHG has allowed any title tag customization on its websites. This component is key to search engine optimization. You can use tools like Moz Keyword Explorer or Google Ads to look for keyword opportunities. Note, the field only allows for 35 characters, which is short for a title tag, but let’s not take it for granted!
The Short Description field (only 150 characters) is the mini description on the call to action on the home page. It is also the meta description that will show up in search. This is 2 birds with 1 stone approach but works as you should list the reason to click through and highlight the sales aspect of the offer. For search purposes, try to include at least the city in either the Headline or Short Description. Even better to include the hotel name.
Select an image for the call to action on the home page. Be sure you have image rights to anything you load. Do not grab an image off Google to load. If you are loading a picture of a demand generator, load it as a Feature.
Select either the same or a different image for the landing page, if you are creating a landing page. It will appear at the top as a large header image.
Creating a Landing Page on IHG Brand Site
There is a question that asks: Would you like to link this LTF to a landing page? (LTF stands for Limited Time Feature.) Selecting option 3 is highly suggested. The landing page option is significant because it creates a free-standing, indexable, unique URL. You can bypass the home page call to action and direct your paid campaigns about the offer to this landing page and people don’t have to dig into the website to find an offer. Unfortunately, there is no independent tracking on these pages.
HERE is an example of a full landing page for a Holiday Inn Express hotel with the content excerpt below.
Next, determine the Call to Action text for the home page button.
Additional content can be loaded into the Long Description field which can be more elaborate than the Short Description field mentioned above. This is the meat of your landing page content with approximately 950 characters. Include keywords identified in your title tag, or Headline field.
Paid Campaign Implications
If you are using this as an entry point from a paid campaign, try to include other things that make your hotel unique in the Long Description. This would be things like proximity to key demand generators and other amenities provided by the hotel.
Headers and PDFs
By default, the H1 on the page is the hotel name. The H2 combines both the Headline and Sub-Header. If you couldn’t get the city/location into the Headline or Short Description, get it into the Sub-Header. Both the H1 and H2 assist with search engine optimization.
You can even load a PDF in this section to link to. This is a great option if you are doing a group or meeting planner offer and you want to add a PDF of your meeting space specs or terms and conditions of the offer. Or link to a restaurant menu for in-house restaurant or 3rd party partnership.
IHG Package Booking Tool
The Link To URL field on the landing page can be defined as you see fit. Consider prepopulating a rate code for any offers to encourage conversion on that package.
The Package Booking Tool in Merlin can create a package link with a prepopulated rate code, if needed. The only issue is, it takes you to the home page to do it. It does not take you do the rates section of the website. I feel most people will question where they are being taken, and unless you click More Options under Check Availability, you will not know if the rate code is pulling through.
Summary of IHG Website Upgrade
Some of the character limitations are difficult to work around, but overall the flexibility in these new Limited Time Features are great. Take advantage of the custom URLs in your paid campaigns and ability to write your own content, title tags and meta descriptions. If you are having issues or need content created for your IHG hotel via Concerto Content Manager (previously HCM), please reach out to Cogwheel Marketing.