Cruise Control SEO Is Over: How Hoteliers Take Charge and Increase Bookings 37-100%

By Jennifer Dunphy Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Vayu Media | July 14, 2013

If you are like many hoteliers, you are constantly on the lookout for the next silver bullet marketing strategy that will not only fill your rooms year round, but will have all of your property’s amenities booked to capacity as well. With the convoluted online landscape and the way guests research and book their travel accommodations constantly changing, it can be a daunting task for hoteliers to find the proper channels to reach their targeted audience, let alone entice them to make reservations and engage them once they arrive. While there may not be a silver bullet solution that will keep you booked throughout the seasons, there certainly are strategies that can be implemented that will generate more bookings and increase your profits.

Good ol’ SEO still does it. With the rapidly changing quality guidelines and search engine ranking algorithms, your business stands to benefit from your competitor’s cruise control approach. Just make sure you take a more proactive stance. Leaving your SEO strategy in cruise control will ensure you miss out on the opportunity. Many hoteliers focus on the low hanging fruit or what they understand as “SEO” and then move on. A modern SEO strategy requires a comprehensive web strategy.

Bookings start with search

With numbers as high as 50%-70% of all hotel website visitors and website bookings originating as leads from the major search engines, driving bookings directly to the hotel website needs to top every hotelier’s priority list.

Implementing a comprehensive SEO strategy will allow hotels of all sizes, even boutique hotels and B&Bs, to compete with the likes of Trip Advisor, Hotels.com, Expedia, etc. Although having a positive reputation on TripAdvisor and other OTAs is a part of having a successful SEO strategy for hotels, the fact remains that all of these reviews point to the OTA sites and directly compete with your own website for favorable rankings in the organic search results. By implementing a SEO strategy for your hotel you can and should keep your presence on the OTA’s and drive direct, more profitable traffic, to your own website.

Increase opportunities 37-100%

Coming up in March 2018...

Human Resources: Value Creation

Businesses must evolve to stay competitive and this is also true of employment positions within those organizations. In the hotel industry, for example, the role that HR professionals perform continues to broaden and expand. Today, they are generally responsible for five key areas - government compliance; payroll and benefits; employee acquisition and retention; training and development; and organizational structure and culture. In this enlarged capacity, HR professionals are no longer seen as part of an administrative cost center, but rather as a member of the leadership team that creates strategic value within their organization. HR professionals help to define company policies and plans; enact and enforce systems of accountability; and utilize definable metrics to measure and justify outcomes. Of course, there are always new issues for HR professionals to address. Though seemingly safe for the moment, will the Affordable Care Act ultimately be repealed and replaced and, if so, what will the ramifications be? There are issues pertaining to Millennials in the workforce and women in leadership roles, as well as determining the appropriate use of social media within the organization. There are new onboarding processes and e-learning training platforms to evaluate, in addition to keeping abreast of political issues like the minimum wage hike movement, or the re-evaluation of overtime rules. Finally, there are genuine immigration and deportation issues that affect HR professionals, especially if they are located in Dreamer Cities, or employ a workforce that could be adversely impacted by federal government policies. The March Hotel Business Review will take a look at some of the issues, strategies and techniques that HR professionals are employing to create and sustain value in their organization.