When was the last time you did a full audit of how your property or how your brand is showing up in the world? And I mean an in-depth look – I'm talking listings, websites, social media, and digital ads, just to name a few. Does your online presence match the physical experience you're offering guests at the property?As we all know, bookings start well before someone hits the website in that awareness and consideration stage of the marketing funnel.

Consumers are smarter and more effective in their research than ever before.With so much information just a mouse click away, it's important that you 'check-in' to your own experience to ensure a consistent message and story that positions you well to capitalize on your business.

Here are a few key considerations when evaluating the guest journey.

• As the saying goes, "Content is king."  That holds true across all channels within your marketing strategy. It's all about inspiring people. Tell your story in a way that makes them visualize a stay with you. Think about your differentiators to help set you apart from the competition – those need to be front and center. How do you do it? Have a clear strategy to effectively plan, execute, and implement your content needs in a way that best represents your brand and who you are. Capture the essence of the energy you're trying to attract. Although arguably the most important, it's not just about photography and videography, words are important too. Pro tip: changing out content on a more regular cadence can help boost your SEO.

• Scan your owned, earned, and paid media channels. Leave no rock unturned. Attention spans are low, so it's imperative that you know what you're saying and that you are consistent in how you say it. If you're going to invest in content, make sure that it's working for you instead of against you. Start with websites and social media. Think about listings – do your amenities match your offerings? What about your reputation? Avoid generic responses and frequently respond to both negative and positive comments. Customers are certainly paying attention. And don't forget about your agency partners. Be sure to deliver those same content guidelines for consistency.

“Have a clear strategy to effectively plan, execute, and implement your content needs in a way that best represents your brand and who you are.”

• Pricing plays a part. While much of this typically sits with your PIC (partner in crime) in revenue, don't be afraid to challenge discrepancies. After all, pricing impacts not only parity but also your paid meta-strategy. And if you're not careful, it could cause a potential guest to bounce from your website, if they are even making it there in the first place.

• Continuous website optimization as your #1 marketing tool.  Whatever you do, never follow a 'set and forget' mentality when it comes to your largest distribution channel. Pay attention to load speed as it impacts SEO, ultimately visibility and conversion. Evaluate your user experience, ensuring that the customer is never too far from clicking into action. The easier you make it, the greater your chances are for conversion. Pro tip: Google provides free tools around core website vitals to help you determine performance and load speed.

• Keep them booking direct. If someone leaves your website, the likelihood of them coming back is slim to none. And the likelihood that they're shopping for a cheaper price is extremely high. So let's do everything in our power to make sure that doesn't happen! Keep them on your website and increase chances of booking by deploying conversion tools such as a price checker, an offer pop-up, or even a last-minute deal before they hit their browser. A clear messaging strategy around your value proposition for direct book benefits can also be impactful.  Pro tip: scan your arrivals report each day for reservations booked with an OTA rate code and ask guests for email addresses or incentivize with a bounce back.