Contributed by: Darlene Rondeau, Leonardo
Search will always be important to hotels no matter what the trend of the day may be. In fact, understanding search has become more important than ever for hoteliers who want to increase direct bookings and bypass the high priced commissions paid to OTA’s.
As search engine real-estate has become more cluttered, so has the customer path to purchase. Google also redesigned their results pages adding a direct booking option reducing visibility above the fold for “organic” a.k.a. free search.
Today’s consumer is spending more time searching on mobile devices, and in-destination, which raises the importance to adopt SEO best practices for accommodation providers.
As a result, property websites must be found for searches beyond “Hotel + [Destination]” category keywords, but also for search terms that may include:
“Things to do in [destination]” – insert keywords like “tours” and “where to eat” (if the hotel has a restaurant) or content about proximity to popular attractions or terms that are searched often “near [Destination] airport” “near Hospital” “[Destination] convention centre” etc.
TIP: The home page isn’t the only page that can be indexed in search – optimize multiple pages of the website to be found for different keywords. If your property is located close to a popular icon, service or area of your city, use content to reflect that. This tells both the search engine, as well as the hotel shopper what differentiates you from the competition.
“We’re packing our lederhosen! On Jan. 25 & 27 Leonardo is going to Berlin and Munich to talk about visual storytelling ideas and marketing strategies for your hotel’s website. Register here.“
 Google Think Travel Research “Searches resulting from hotels has increased by 49% in 2015 over 2014.”