Critique This Hostel's Sales Copy Please? :)

13 replies
I put together a website for a friend that owns a hostel in Sicily. Since we're about to send paid traffic to the site, I was hoping that a pro could take a quick look at the main page - Taormina Hostel - Gianni House Hostel In Sicily

Target Audience: age 18 - 25ish travelers on a budget
Majority Of Guests Are American College Students
Aprox. 70% Female

Feel Free To Be As Ruthless As Necessary
#copy #critique #hostel #sales
  • Profile picture of the author Ideaswise
    Just a quick response from a UK copywriter perspective:

    You could beef up the natural SEO. Just rearranging the headline would be a start: 'Hostel in Taormina Sicily: do you want the best?'


    Be more succinct and natural: 'Safety first' not 'Saftey is of supreme importance at Gianna House'

    Potentially your most important selling point is buried at the bottom - save fees when you book directly.

    Add direct links: Take a look at our videos or read our reviews and book Gianna House now

    Just a few pointers to start you off....
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  • Profile picture of the author EmmaPowell

    Above the fold needs to be spectacular clearly stating benefits not features (pointed out by Kieran) and above all have a clear call to action.... what do you want from this site? Whats in it for me? Create urgency.....NOW! lol

    Also, if its 70% female staying at this hotel I would make the site look prettier ;0)

    Is this a beautiful holiday destination? Make your site SCREAM this to your reader.

    I would remove the bit about the bus being 20m away from your door in the opening paragraph..... yuck, does not scream beautiful beach holiday at all!

    Another idea would be capture your visitors email address, be it a opt in box or one of the opt ins that "appear" after your visitor has been on your site for specified time (I cant remember what they are called) This way you are building a list and you can market discounts and coupons to them latter on ;0)

    I hope this helps.....

    Emma ;0)
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    • Profile picture of the author Kieran D
      Originally Posted by Rande View Post

      Another idea would be capture your visitors email address, be it a opt in box or one of the opt ins that "appear" after your visitor has been on your site for specified time (I cant remember what they are called) This way you are building a list and you can market discounts and coupons to them latter on ;0)
      lightbox web forms - yep they're great. wp domination plugin definitely the best out there at the moment in terms of wordpress.
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  • Profile picture of the author marciayudkin
    Web Junkie,

    The headline is a throwaway, because everyone has a different idea of what counts as "best." Instead of using that empty word, fill the headline with adjectives that say specifically and concisely what makes it the best. For example:

    Clean, Safe, Centrally Located Hostel Within Short Walk to Taormina's Prettiest Beach

    Good luck,
    Marcia Yudkin
    Check out Marcia Yudkin's No-Hype Marketing Academy for courses on copywriting, publicity, infomarketing, marketing plans, naming, and branding - not to mention the popular "Marketing for Introverts" course.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alexander Lessa
    Here's my input... (You did say to be ruthless!)

    1st... Lets scrap the current headline...

    I think this is a great start: as @marciayudkin mentioned
    "Clean, Safe, Centrally Located Hostel Within Short Walk to Taormina's Prettiest Beach "

    It gets rid of any negative feelings that is holding me back from considering that hostel as an option. Clean, Safe, Centrally located, & Short walk to.... Are all big pluses for me. I like it. Direct and to the point.

    I would also create a lead magnet to capture leads on the home page. Create a free report and give it away. Something like: Free Report Reveals:
    The 6 Critical _______ You Must Look For When Choosing A Hostel That Can Either 'Make or Break' Your Trip!

    I would take the "Here's why we are the best" section (under the video on the main page) and turn it into that free report... Of course rewriting it so that it is not all, we are this, we are that... Turn it into an informative read but with a call to action at the bottom of the report with a special "Discount Code for the report readers only"

    Also, give a video tour of the hostel and post the video on the page. The more personal you can make it look, the more comfortable the person will feel with your location. I hate pictures in videos, in my opinion it cheapens the look and takes away from the message.

    Lastly, add to the video the property managers introducing themselves so that the people feel very 'homey'.

    Hope this helps. Got to run!

    All the best!

    -- Alex

    Connect With Me And Download a Copy of My FREE Online Explosion Blueprint At:

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  • Profile picture of the author Scott Ames
    Is the term Hostel well understood in your market? Being a dunce I thought that was a place people went to die. ( I found out that's a Hospice )

    Each paragraph I look at starts with , Our, We, etc. Our location, We are the cleanest, Our activities, Our view . I would start by changing those around so the reader owns those benefits. Instead of "Our location is the closest to the action" (paraphrase) something like: You'll be closest to the action....

    So, take a look at our videos, read the reviews and choose Gianni House. maybe... So view the videos of your upcoming vacation at Gianni House in Taormina, Sicily

    Headline... redo as was already mentioned. I also agree that you need to capture the readers contact information in some way. (newsletter, coupon, report, video) Disney does it with a free DVD sent to the home.

    Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm. -Winston Churchill

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  • Profile picture of the author Hans Klein
    Why should someone stay here versus another hostel?

    So, it's not just giving the benefits (safe, clean, etc...). But, what's you're strongest selling point others lack? Then, drive this home. Why is it the best hostel?

    On top of this... it looks like you have a ton of benefits you can expand on.

    Paint a picture of what it's like to go visit... what the visitor can expect.

    For instance (and this is just a general example I quickly typed-up)...

    You fly-in or pull-in to the train stop. It's sunny, the wind is blowing, and the temperature feels perfect on your skin. Tropical paradise.

    You then take and the bus (only 20 meters away)... or cab. It's only 3 km from the train station right smack in the middle of town where all of the action happens.

    When you arrive... you're personally welcomed by Gianna or one of our friendly staff members. Gianna runs this place and makes sure you etc... She's like the mother of the house, there to make sure your stay is perfect.

    After that... you grab a drink and relax by the [wherever people hang-out]... you might decide to log-in to your computer with free wi-fi to say a quick "hi" to friends and family back home... and then watch a free movie with new friends.

    Or, you can head into town to for a bite to eat. You might stop by [restaurant], [bar], etc... Our friendly staff even gives you a complimentary map where draw out directions to your destination.

    At night... you might enjoy the nightlife or hang-out at one of our complimentary house parties.

    Anyway, you get the basic idea of how to make your features more compelling. Illustrate why it's safe, why the service is great, why it really is the "best" hostel is Sicily.

    What would be even better than writing it would be to get an actual person who's stayed there or works there to tell the story on video. Though, I suppose the downside of video is it can't be translated to other languages. Moreover, you might integrate this story/illustration throughout the site rather than in just a single place.
    The Montello Group
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    • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
      What Hans has done is having the reader experience the place. Now it has been elevated to a whole experience they want to have, not a place to sleep while passing through to their next adventure.

      Great stuff Hans!

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