Your online travel booking engine website is actually very much a vertical search engine or a meta searcher for travel booking information.
If you are an online marketer of an online travel booking engine website, your site may have products available including hotels, flights, vacation packages, car rentals, train tickets, etc.
Take a hotel booking engine website as an example. Among all the non-bounced users landing on your website, more than 90 percent of users will end up using the search box for a hotel search.
On a hotel booking engine, hotels are the products to sell. And any hotel has the compulsory dimensions below, and all of these dimensions are necessary for a hotel search to make sense:
Marketers must pay attention to what users are looking for and help them navigate accordingly. In the following three cases, your online marketing activities should send users to three different types of landing pages on your hotel booking website.
Any website that has thousands of products should normally have two major ways for users to navigate products:
But more than 90 percent of users that are un-bounced in the first place after landing on the hotel booking engine's homepage will conduct a search using the hotel search box available.
Why would you do a hotel search?
On the homepage, it is possible to show the top 10 or top 20 most popular (or mostly booked) hotels. The one problem is the top hotel list can be all from one destination, or can be all from totally different destinations. How do you know this arrangement is going to suit most of your users? For this reason, letting users find the hotels they want by browsing can rather difficult.
This page on a hotel booking engine already has a specific destination, for example, Beijing. When landing on this page, the user is one step closer to choosing and booking a hotel that is in Beijing. There are a few possible options that the user could choose to do after he/she looks at the list of Beijing hotels on the page:
Say your website has 100 Beijing hotels. Each hotel has two room types. You are flexible and can check-in to your Beijing hotel any day during the next 20 days. So only for Beijing hotels in this case, there are 100 x 2 x 20 = 4,000 unique hotel results. For a single hotel search results page that shows 10 hotel results, it requires 400 pages to show all the results that are suitable for this one particular hotel search.
This page should include the information that is unique to one specific hotel. The hotel or room information must be as detailed as possible to assist the user in making this specific hotel booking. Some useful information could be:
Gordon Choi is the co-founder of E-Bizcamp.com, a Shanghai-based firm specializing in data analytics and data integration solutions. Gordon also volunteers at Web Analytics Wednesday China, assisting in the conference and content operations, and volunteer recruitment. Gordon's previous experience includes leading in-house teams at Ctrip.com and Alibaba. His areas of expertise include strategy, solutions and workshops for multi-screen data integration and mobile SEO for the local Chinese market.
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