Google Testing Cost-Per-Action Business Model

Looks like Google
is at is again with the testing of a Cost-Per-Action (CPA) advertising program.
This would be a good move for the search engines as CPA will do away with the
majority of the click fraud issues.  Since
payment to Google will only be made when an “action” is performed…like a hotel
booking, this new business model is sure to be welcomed with open arms by
hoteliers. Google’s CPA test is by invitation only at this time…standby for
more.

 
Check out
David Jackson’s BLOG posting for more information
.

Online Travel Sales Continue to Boom!

eMarketer reports that by 2010 roughly 46 percent of total
travel sales will be booked online, second only to computer hardware/software
in the B2C category. Other industry
analysts have reported even higher numbers.

eMarketer
estimates that online
sales of leisure and unmanaged business travel reached a total of $65
billion last year that the total will grow to $122 billion by 2009, a near
doubling of the market in just four years.   

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Click here
to read the full story
.

Is Brand Hijacking on The Decline?

As the
major hotel brands continue to keep a close eye on Pay-Per-Click (PPC) brand
hijacking, reports are starting to surface from credible sources that such
hijacking tactics are on the decline which is good news for online marketers.

PPC hijacking is the term used when one site uses the trademarked name
of another brand to divert the shopper onto their site versus the brand direct
site; in essence "hijacking" that shopper from a brand site and onto
another website. Ever since the introduction of PPC programs travel companies
and hotels have seen this form of predatory marketing in play.  However, the search engines and trademark
owners have been more aggressive in protecting their brands and as such we are
seeing a decline of PPC hijacking especially in the travel vertical.

 
Click here
to read related comments from Hitwise’s Heather Hopkins on her BLOG

Location, Location, Location

If location is so important to a hotel or resort, and it is, why aren’t web site maps and location highlights more prevalent? The proximity of the hotel to local attractions can certainly affect whether any web site shopper books or not.


The location page should provide a variety of very important information, including mapped location of your hotel, driving directions, downloadable map and important attractions within reasonable proximity. These nearby attractions may be corporate offices, airport, amusement parks, restaurants, theaters, sports events and shopping mall.


Web site technology as it relates to mapping has improved significantly over recent months. You may want to review your mapping and location pages and consider more sophisticated applications to provide better information and generate more sales.


Lodging Interactive does provide a unique marketing service, using the Google mapping tool, that combines search engine optimization with the value added mapping content that is needed to keep shoppers on your web site, therefore increasing the potential of the sale.


The Google mapping tool is available to any web site developer, the difference is in applying it for marketing purposes. There are other mapping tools that can be use to improve how your location and directions pages are presented, but what I do not see on hotel and resort web pages is an effort to sell rooms based on location. Location being your hotel’s
proximity to other relevant services and attractions.

 

Hotels Check Out E-Comment Cards

Online comment cards are coming!!  While the major brands have been deploying online comment cards for many years, indpendent hotel websites have yet to catch on.  There is no better way to capture your guests’ feedback and comments than an online comment card.  It’s direct to the guest, personal and all measurable via database techniques so you can implement operational improvements where needed.

Click here to check out our CommentCards.com service for hotels and restaurants.

Click here for a recent new story about online comment cards.

Keeping Up with Trends

This is not intended to promote Lodging Interactive, but it does appear Lodging Interactive is responding to the newest Internet marketing trends faster and more effectively than companies offering similar services.

Lodging Interactive "Comment Cards" is intended to capitalize on the trend by hotel guests to provide reviews and comments about your hotel online as opposed to written comment cards.

Lodging Interactive "SEO Press Release" enables more inbound links to your website adding search ranking weight to your website.

Lodging Interactive "hotelMASHUP" turns your attractions page into an effective marketing page on your website by relating your hotel’s location to where the traveler is going and seeking a hotel near their destination.

Lodging Interactive opened the Internet Marketing Club (IMC) to provide Hoteliers with their own online community to exchange ideas, learn about new trends and keep up with new opportunities.

Internet marketing techniques and opportunities continue to grow at an ever increasing pace online.  This company is responding the each proven trend and opportunity with new innovative services.

Do you have your own website?  For a commercial website, the only way to evaluate its success is by how many visitors you get on  a regular basis.  Then, how do you know the number of visitors is good or bad?  How many visitors do you get on your hotel website?  Even better, how many book a room?

Travel BLOGS

If you are here you know what a BLOG is!  How do you use BLOGS for your business?  Or do you?  BLOGS are predicted to become as relevant as email or instant messages.  You can use them to promote your services, ask questions about business related issues or just share your opinion or ideas.

Soon you will see more advertising on BLOGS.  You will see BLOG links on most major websites.  Travel reviews are hot on the search engines and third party travel sites.  Why not have your own BLOG and let guests or passengers share their experiences with you.  What  a great way to find out how your service is being received.

Tell me how you use BLOGS ….

Travel is #1 in Internet Sales

Here are the latest stats on Internet sales.  Travel is the leading online service.  What do you do to promote your service or product online?  Let me know . . .

Consumers are becoming more comfortable with using the Internet, and that has led to rising retail sales online. Online sales will top $200 billion this year, up 20 percent from 2005, according to the National Retail Federation’s online division, Shop.org. That’s nearly double what online sales were just three years ago.

Online sales are projected to be $211.4 billion in 2006 vs. $176.4 billion in 2005.

"This is the real growth engine for the retail industry overall," says Scott Silverman, executive director of Shop.org. Retail sales are growing 3 percent a year, vs. double-digit growth online.

The rate of growth is slowing somewhat, however. Sales jumped 51 percent in 2003 from 2002, 24 percent in 2004 and 25 percent in 2005.

Travel is by far the largest type of product bought online, making up nearly one-third of all online purchases, according to the survey of 174 online retailers. Online travel sales hit $62.8 billion in 2005 and are projected to rise an additional 17 percent in 2006.

Buying computer hardware and software online is No.2, and buying autos and auto parts online is No.3. Nearly half (44 percent) of all computers and software sold are sold online, according to the survey.

"Consumer comfort and familiarity with the Internet has been a hurdle to growth in the past," Silverman says. "But people are used to the Internet now, for e-mail and doing research. If you aren’t in that game (as a retailer), you’re at a huge disadvantage."

Website Content is STILL KING

Yes, website content is still King believe it or not.  The more "value added" content you provide to your online visitors the greater the chances you have of converting that shopper into a booker.  While this seems like common sense thinking to most of us, we still see many, many hoteliers who still don’t "get it."

Here is a link to an interesting article about website content as it relates to our hospitality industry.  Enjoy.

Click here to read article.