Back to Basics: Hotel Search Engine Marketing – Part 1

As a leading digital marketing agency we receive a number of questions regarding Hotel Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Pay Per Click (PPC) and what can be done for the best paid ranking. When talking about SEM and PPC, it’s important not to get lost in all the information (and misinformation) out there. Our three-part blog series from Senior Analytics & PPC Manager, Gouri Karode shares the essential best practices for SEM and PPC in 2014 and beyond.

Part 1: Optimizing Your Site

A professionally designed website can increase conversion rates and bookings, ensure trust and credibility with your users who are potential guests. Website design and landing pages can play a part not just in search engine optimization (SEO), but in PPC as well.

Landing Page Optimization

Your landing page – the destination of the ad within your PPC campaign – is the first impression a potential guest gets of your hotel. The page should compliment your ad copy and clearly state information about your hotel using localized keywords.

Here are our top tips for optimizing your hotel’s landing page. These key steps can improve your Quality Score which can increase your ad position at a lower cost as well as help convert more site visitors.

9 Tips for Optimizing Your Hotel’s Landing Page

  1. Clear Call to Action: A strong and visible call to action such as “Book Now” and “Reserve Now” should be prominent.
  2. Important Info Above the Fold: Don’t make site visitors scroll for your content. Keep your call to action and key details above the fold.
  3. Minimal Navigation: Keep the user to from getting too distracted or spending unnecessary time searching for where to go.
  4. Fast Loading Times: One factor of the Google Adwords Quality Score is the load times of your pages. It should take less than 5 seconds.
  5. PPC Keywords in Copy: Users connect better to your ad copy.
  6. Simplified Contact Form: Ditch lengthy forms and collect only the information you truly require and need.
  7. No Clutter: Remove any unnecessary images, icons or extra information.
  8. Mobile Website: Ensure a seamless experience for your site visitors by making sure you have a mobile-friendly design.
  9. Website Translation: A great way to expand into new markets in order to increase revenue.

Visit our website to learn more about our SEM solutions for hotels. Send us an email to partner with Lodging Interactive to develop customized Search Engine Marketing and Pay Per Click strategies for your property.

Stay tuned for Part 2: Optimizing Your Adwords Strategy.

5 SEO Tips for Hotels That Want to Achieve Higher Search Engine Rankings

Summertime is when most people go on vacation and when most guests will be utilizing your services.  Are you at the top of the search engines when they come looking for hotel rooms or are you buried on page 9 of Google and Bing’s search engine results?  While there are several articles that address this issue, we’ve compiled a list of the top 5 SEO tips hotels can implement today to increase their visibility in the search engines.

seo tips

Top 5 SEO Tips for Hotels:

  1. Loading Time – You have taken the time to incorporate the most beautiful images of your hotel, along with breathtaking photos of your pool, rooms and landscape.  The only problem is that it takes three minutes for the page to fully load.  By then, site visitors have compared several prices of other hotels and are gone, never to return to your website.
  2. Content – When people talk about content, they usually refer to writing engaging information about the area for your website visitors.  We are going to put a different spin on the same concept.  When we talk about content we want to know:
    – Are you an “official” hotel of a nearby attraction?
    – Do you have the most beautiful wedding reception facilities in the area?
    – Tell your site visitors what makes you “unique”.  Why would we choose to stay with you over your competition?
  3. Back to Basics – Do your Titles & Descriptions make sense for your page content?  Is the Title of your Page “Wedding Destinations” and the page content talking about the amenities in your hotel rooms?  It may sound obvious, but you’d be surprised how many hotels mislead their site visitors with the wrong website information.
  4. Social Media – Do you have a Social Media Marketing Plan?  Yes, you monitor reviews, but do you have a Social Media plan?  How do you handle questions from guests on Social Media?  Do you give prompt replies even when they don’t use your @handle?  Incorporating a Social Media Plan to address these issues is HUGE to your SEO success.
  5. Link Building – What type of links are you building for your brand?  Do other websites want to link to you because you have content they find important? Do you link to other websites yourself, or is your website more like “Hotel California” where your site visitors cannot leave?

If you implement these top 5 SEO tips, over time, you will see an increase in bookings and website traffic. Your site visitors will become more engaged or check your website more often.  You should also see an increase of positive feedback, reviews & photo sharing if the above tips are implemented properly.

Contact us if you’d like more SEO tips for hotels or to partner with Lodging Interactive to provide robust SEO strategies built specifically for your property.

3 Things Hoteliers Must Budget for in 2015

What every hotelier should consider and budget for in 2015.

Hotelier Budget GraphicGiven recent trends, digital marketing is set to become a majority piece of the budget pie by 2019. In a world of increased mobile use and expectations of rapid online responses from properties and brands, hoteliers need to stay on trend with digital spending when planning their 2015 budget, making certain three areas of web-based marketing are well addressed next year.

3 Things Hoteliers Must Budget for in 2015

Complete Online Reputation Management

Managing your online reputation isn’t as simple as making sure you monitor what guests are saying on review sites. While monitoring and responding to reviews is still a vital part of maintaining a healthy online reputation, they go hand in hand with social media marketing and social customer care on sites like Twitter. Hotels need to budget for the ability to actively listen 24/7/365 and respond quickly to inquiries and issues in order to meet guest’s expectations and stop any problems from escalating and reaching review sites.

Tools to Capitalize on Website Visits

The research is clear, how your website looks and how responsive it is says a lot about how you regard your customers. Mobile and tablet use is increasing steadily and more and more consumers are purchasing from these devices and they want a seamless experience. Hoteliers need to consider budgeting for a responsive design website or converting a recently-built, non-responsive site so that your content is accessible across any platform or device. This budget essential might not be as large of a budget item as you may think.

A Strategy for Travelers to Find Your Site When Searching

The ABCs of a searchable web presence — SEO, SEM and PPC — should be key parts of your 2015 budget. Properties can have the best looking website out there, but if their content isn’t optimized and doesn’t keep search in mind or they don’t have effective PPC advertising in place to drive traffic, it is all for naught. Don’t get left behind in a sea of thousands of hotel and travel sites. Budget for these vital campaigns as well as content marketing services to make sure your property is a top search result.

“Hotels are turning to digital marketing more than ever to find leads, retain guests and engage with the masses,” says DJ Vallauri, Founder and President of Lodging Interactive. “As 2015 budgets are being drafted and debated, hoteliers must keep in mind how vital their online presence — be it their website, social media profiles or responsiveness to reviews or questions — is to their property’s success. These are key budget pieces no matter at what scale you are doing business online.”

Lodging Interactive is an award-winning digital marketing agency that provides a complete suite of creative website solutions, digital advertising strategies, and social media marketing exclusively to independent, boutique and brand hotel properties.

To learn more about our customized digital solutions or to partner with Lodging Interactive in 2015, please contact info@lodginginteractive.com or call 877-291-4411 ext. 701.

Lodging Interactive Hosts Free Social Customer Care Webinar

Hoteliers can discuss the importance of social customer service on Twitter with industry experts.

Lodging Interactive, worldwide provider of innovative Internet marketing and online reputation management solutions exclusively servicing the hospitality industry, will present a complimentary webinar on Tuesday, August 12 to discuss the importance of social customer care and how your property can increase the level of social customer service it offers in-house guests.

Social Customer Care – Is Your Hotel Listening?
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
1:00 – 2:00 PM EDT
Registration Link

With 72% of people expecting a response within an hour on Twitter when issuing a complaint, according to Lithium Technologies survey data, hoteliers need to find a way to provide personal, proactive customer care online.

Hosted by Lodging Interactive’s Founder and President, DJ Vallauri and Director of CoMMingle Social Media, Rosella Virdo, the hour-long webinar will cover the essentials for providing effective social customer care, how to best utilize social customer service to resolve potentially negative situations as well as how Social Voices, a 24/7/365 social listening service, can assist hoteliers in staying connected with guests throughout their stay.

“Properties need to position themselves to stay competitive in a consumer world that looks to social media to resolve customer service issues in real time,” says Vallauri. “Recognizing how your guests are trying to reach you and building a robust social customer care system to deliver superior service is essential.”

Register online to attend this complimentary social customer care webinar.

To learn more about Lodging Interactive’s Social Voices and how it can help hoteliers actively listen and rapidly respond to the online conversations regarding their properties, please visit our website.