Digital MarketingSearch MarketingMaximizing SEO Results for Hotel Marketing

Maximizing SEO Results for Hotel Marketing

Maximizing SEO and paid search, as well as getting the most out of local search results and Web and Google analytics, is essential for effective hotel marketing.

In the past, when creating hotel marketing strategies, marketers were told to consider the three areas of:

  • The different stages of hotel user search behavior
  • The different devices users employ to retrieve hotel information
  • User behavior on hotel booking engine websites

I would add to these three other key areas for focus, especially for hotel marketers who are also search marketers:

  • Get maximum output from search engine optimization and paid search marketing
  • Get the most out of local searches
  • Get the most out of your web analytics or Google Analytics data in relation to the flow of users on your hotel booking engine website

Maximizing Output From Search Engine Optimization and Paid Search Marketing

Search marketing isn’t just about focusing on either SEO or paid search, but instead it’s about focusing on both. Only by seriously focusing on both SEO and paid search will you get maximum results. With Google’s Hummingbird algorithm, you should expect:

  • Google to improve how the algorithm handles conversational and complex searches
  • Encourage voice search

You should focus on the clear intent of each search query, but not only the keyword itself. For example, “accommodation” gets an extremely high search volume, but it doesn’t tell you the user’s intention – no location, no hotel room type, and so on. Therefore, hotel-booking conversion through such a search query tends to be very low. With paid search, the right process is to:

  • Set up your paid search campaigns. Don’t just leave it running and assume it will do well on its own. Always go back to it, pull your data out, review it, and take necessary actions.
  • Set up the right geo-targeting. For example, it makes sense to target Beijing hotel ads to Hong Kong users, but does it also make sense to target Beijing hotel ads to Beijing users? Only after some serious tests will you know the best way to target your users.
  • Target the right users at the right time. For example, you should from time to time review the time of users’ clicks to your ads, and the time of users’ conversions.
  • Refine your campaigns regularly by setting up different types of tests. Get the test results, review, and refine.

Getting the Most Out of Local Searches

When doing a hotel/location search, the following results are likely to return high up on Google’s search results pages:

  • Brands with high authority (according to Google)
  • Local results with maps
  • Conventional organic search results
  • Google+ pages (on the right hand side of Google’s search results pages)

One out of three searches are now location-based, so it makes perfect sense to optimize your hotel booking engine website’s local presence on Google. One area is to start with Google Places.

Getting the Most out of your Web Analytics or Google Analytics Data

Your conversion rate should be calculated from the number of users who have made hotel bookings over the number of users who visited your website. You can further evaluate the effectiveness of each traffic source by breaking your users down by traffic sources. For example:

  • Your SEO conversion rate is the number of users who came through organic searches and have made hotel bookings over the total number of these users who visited your website from organic search.
  • Your direct conversion rate is the number of users who directly visited your website who have made hotel bookings over the total number of these users who directly visited your website.

The reports you should look at should include:

  • The hotel booking goal funnel
  • The hotel booking goal flow by traffic source
  • The hotel booking goal flow by location, i.e. by country level and then by city level

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