Five Steps in Utilizing Google Earth for Your Website SEO

By Hillary Bressler Fractional Digital CMO, PinchHit Partners | May 13, 2012

Since Google Earth launched, millions of Internet users have traveled the globe in search of everything from Mount Kilimanjaro to their childhood homes, all from the comfort of their own computers. But, this popular satellite-based application is far more than a way to pass the time at work. When integrated into a website, Google Earth is a powerful tool that can boost Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and support the overall marketing strategy.

First, it's important to understand that SEO is the process of improving the natural or organic volume of quality traffic to your website from search engines. When a search is conducted, the higher a site appears in the list of results, the more likely the user will click on the link to view the site. In fact, statistics show that 68 percent of Web users click on the first page of search results, and 92 percent click on the first three pages.

While popular strategies to increase SEO range from updating Web content to posting blogs with backlinks (website URLs), most site managers are unaware of the benefits Google Earth presents. Below are five steps those in the hotel industry should take into account when considering Google Earth as a way to increase website SEO.

**1. Revisit how your website supports the overall marketing goals**

All too often, websites are created simply because an online presence is a critical component of doing business. More time is typically spent thinking about what pretty photos to upload rather than how the website should support the overall marketing goals. Who is the site built for? Do you want to increase online bookings? Are you trying to drive phone traffic? Is it necessary to promote particular products online? Does the site help build your property's brand? Before moving forward with any website enhancement, take time to revisit how the site supports the overall objective.

**2. Determine how your audience is currently finding and utilizing your site**

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Hotel Spa: Oasis Unplugged

The driving force in current hotel spa trends is the effort to manage unprecedented levels of stress experienced by their clients. Feeling increasingly overwhelmed by demanding careers and technology overload, people are craving places where they can go to momentarily escape the rigors of their daily lives. As a result, spas are positioning themselves as oases of unplugged human connection, where mindfulness and contemplation activities are becoming increasingly important. One leading hotel spa offers their clients the option to experience their treatments in total silence - no music, no talking, and no advice from the therapist - just pure unadulterated silence. Another leading hotel spa is working with a reputable medical clinic to develop a “digital detox” initiative, in which clients will be encouraged to unplug from their devices and engage in mindfulness activities to alleviate the stresses of excessive technology use. Similarly, other spas are counseling clients to resist allowing technology to monopolize their lives, and to engage in meditation and gratitude exercises in its place. The goal is to provide clients with a warm, inviting and tranquil sanctuary from the outside world, in addition to also providing genuine solutions for better sleep, proper nutrition, stress management and natural self-care. To accomplish this, some spas are incorporating a variety of new approaches - cryotherapy, Himalayan salt therapy and ayurveda treatments are becoming increasingly popular. Other spas are growing their own herbs and performing their treatments in lush outdoor gardens. Some spa therapists are being trained to assess a client's individual movement patterns to determine the most beneficial treatment specifically for them. The July issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on these trends and developments and examine how some hotel spas are integrating them into their operations.