Benefits of Organic Search Engine Optimization: A High ROI Marketing Strategy

By Hillary Bressler Fractional Digital CMO, PinchHit Partners | January 27, 2012

So before I can convince anyone about SEO, I need to teach them "what is SEO and why should I do it." SEO is the science and art of attracting "free" organic traffic to your site. And this works in a way that is different than any other form of online marketing. It is a long term and high ROI marketing model. Dollar-for-dollar, search engine optimization offers the most cost-efficient website traffic-building tactic and can also deliver significant competitive advantages.

**What is SEO?**

Search engine optimization is the process of insuring your site listing appears among the top results of a search in engines such as Yahoo! or Google. The higher a website ranks in the search results, the greater the chance that the site will be visited. SEO is not to be confused with paid search, or Pay-Per-Click (PPC), where an advertiser pays when their listing in the "Sponsored Links" section of a search engine page is clicked.

A 2006 by Radar Research states that 75 percent of advertisers use organic search engine optimization (SEO) tactics, making it the most popular form of search engine marketing. Paid search came in second, with 71 percent of advertisers using this channel. Paid search comprised about 86 percent of total ad spending, while organic search accounted for a mere 12 percent of ad spending in 2006. Because of the competitiveness for some keywords, a significant number of dollars can and are being spent on paid search while SEO delivers results for significantly less.

**What are your SEO options?**

If your hotel is considering SEO as part of your Internet marketing arsenal, you'll find a dizzying array of options from vendors: phone consultations; website audits; on-going SEO consultation; and SEO consulting with implementation. You'll likely also consider undertaking SEO in-house versus outsourced professional services.

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Coming up in April 2019...

Guest Service: A Culture of YES

In a recent global consumers report, 97% of the participants said that customer service is a major factor in their loyalty to a brand, and 76% said they view customer service as the true test of how much a company values them. And since there is no industry more reliant on customer satisfaction than the hotel industry, managers must be unrelenting in their determination to hire, train and empower the very best people, and to create a culture of exceptional customer service within their organization. Of course, this begins with hiring the right people. There are people who are naturally service-oriented; people who are warm, empathetic, enthusiastic, pleasant, thoughtful and optimistic; people who take pride in their ability to solve problems for the hotel guests they are serving. Then, those same employees must be empowered to solve problems using their own judgment, without having to track down a manager to do it. This is how seamless problem solving and conflict resolution are achieved in guest service. This willingness to empower employees is part of creating a Culture of Yes within an organization.  The goal is to create an environment in which everyone is striving to say “Yes”, rather than figuring out ways to say, “No”. It is essential that this attitude be instilled in all frontline, customer-facing, employees. Finally, in order to ensure that the hotel can generate a consistent level of performance across a wide variety of situations, management must also put in place well-defined systems and standards, and then educate their employees about them. Every employee must be aware of and responsible for every standard that applies in their department. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate and manage guest satisfaction in their operations.