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%
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