The value of Website Maps

Does a map add value to your website?  Can it affect whether the shoppers buys or not?  The answer is yes to both questions.  A good map will combine information from your directions page, your attractions page and your events page.  A good map will not only pin points your location, it will tell the shopper what is nearby.  A map is a convenient way to provide valuable information without making the shopper read a lot of text or chase hyperlinks.

A map is a fundamental to a hotel’s website. "A map provides good graphic information and good information makes your website sticky."  Sticky means it is a way to keep your website visitor’s attention and  the longer they are on your site the better the chance is they will book.

A recent survey by Hitwise, a leading provider of Internet statistics on trends, showed that map related online services are 3 of the top 10 online services.  Of the top twenty keywords or phrases the word map is included in six of them.  This tells me that by offering quality map information on your site you can retain that visitor’s attention and provide information that can generate a sale.

A quality map is not a link to Yahoo or Mapquest pages.  By doing this you are actually exposing your shopper to links to competitive hotels and creating a distraction that will divert their attention from your website.  An effective map is a map that is limited to the relevance of your website.  It can be used to add value to your hotel by providing a driving directions and showing your hotel’s  proximity to locations and attractions in your area that relate to incoming visitors.  A good map will help drive room reservations because it adds value to your location, location, location.

Hotel Operators – Stay Independent or Brand It!

Recent Business Week article (July 28, 2006) looks at the one family-run hotel that went independent after flying the Best Western flag while another upgraded its chain status.  The article takes a look at both decisions.

Click here to read more…

Click, Click, Click – FRAUD!

With click fraud reaching over 14% in Q2 (source Click Forensic, LLC) it’s no wonder Search Engine Optimization is becoming increasingly popular.  Click fraud is defined by Webopedia.com as follows:

Click fraud is an illegal practice that occurs when individuals click on Web site click through
advertisements (either or paid text links) to increase the payable
number of click throughs to the advertiser. The illegal clicks could
either be performed by having a person manually click the advertising hyperlinks or by using automated software or Online bots
that are programmed to click these banner ads and pay per click text ad
links. Research has indicated that click fraud is perpetrated by
individuals who use click fraud to increase their own personal banner
ad revenues and also by companies who use click fraud as a way to
deplete a competitor’s advertising budget.

Here is anm interesting article supporting the rise of click fraud wihtin the pay-per-click industry.

Click here to read more…

Is it Keywords or Key Phrases?

The value of the search engines continues to grow in regard to their impact on your online sales results.  The search engines have become the single most important distribution channel on the Internet.  Even more so than the Merchant Sites!

With 50% or more of your reservations coming to you via the Internet and one or more search engines affecting 70% of these sales, I think its a safe bet that you need to evaluate how much of your marketing budget goes into search engine marketing.

Search engine marketing consists of two basic elements; a paid listing and an organic listing.  The one common element that critical to both your paid and organic search programs is choosing the right keywords or phrases.  A recent report release by OneState.com, a leading supplier of search analytics gives us some interesting information about how search terms are used by the consumers.

This information is no surprise to Lodging Interactive as to the value of key terms and phrases compared to other companies who continue to rely on single keyword meta tags and optimized content. A successful search optimization program whether paid or organic has to match the terms being used for the search process.  What you are paying your search engine marketing service for is their optimization skills and keeping up with search engine user trends so these trends can be integrated into how your website is optimized.

Here are the results of how many words are used in a search phrase  . . .

SEO Search Terms

 

 

The 7 most used word phrases in search engines on the web are:

 

                                                                    Worldwide

July 2006

 

July 2005

1.

2 word phrases

28.91%

 

1.

2 word phrases

29.60%

2.

3 word phrase

27.85%

 

2.

3 word phrase

27.55%

3.

4 word phrases

17.11%

 

3.

4 word phrases

16.21%

4.

1 word phrases

11.43%

 

4.

1 word phrases

13.42%

5.

5 word phrases

8.25%

 

5.

5 word phrases

7.58%

6.

6 word phrases

3.68%

 

6.

6 word phrases

3.21%

7.

7 word phrases

1.59%

 

7.

7 word phrases

1.34%

 

USA

1.

3 word phrases

28.83%

2.

4 word phrase

22.28%

3.

2 word phrases

20.43%

4.

5 word phrases

11.97%

5.

1 word phrases

6.19%

6.

6 word phrases

5.76%

7.

7 word phrases

2.59%

Source: onestat.com July 2006

Click Fraud On The Rise

According to the latest Click Fraud Index (CFI), from Click Forensics,
which monitors over 1,300 online advertisers and their agencies, the
overall industry average click fraud rate for Q2 was 14.1%.

Fraud_1

 

Check out the full story at emarketer.com.

Free SEO Webinar A Huge Success

Last Thursday we rolled out our on-demand webinar covering the topic of Search Engine Optimization.  This 45 minute on-line webinar was a great success with over 500 hoteliers downloading the webinar.  Of course our Internet Marketing Club members have first dibs on all webinars, but we’re now offering it to everyone.

Click here to join our FREE Internet Marketing Club.

Click here to download the Free SEO Webinar.

Google Evokes Praises

During the quarter ended June 30, Google collected $2.5 billion in revenue, up 77 percent from the same period last year.

Ninety-nine percent of Google’s revenue came from online
advertising. In comparison, Yahoo reported advertising revenue of $1.38
billion, up 27 percent, according to reports.

Click here to read the full story.

Google To Sell Radio Advertising??

Leave it to Google to try to take over your offline advertising & marketing campaigns.  While their print advertising program has not bee a huge success, Google is going to use its acquisition of DMarc Broadcasting to into radio advertising. 

Click hear to read more about this.

Yahoo! Social Networking With Trip Planner

Yahoo! is taking it’s community based travel site to next level with the announcement that Trip Planner is out of BETA testing and ready for prime time. Some of the neat features in their general release includes:

  • Yahoo! search integration
  • Trip journals with blogging and photos from Flickr
  • And the biggest feature – a travel recommendations engine based on travel search history

Trip Planner also features rich user generated travel content which makes it most useful.  Have look for yourself. 

Click here to check out Yahoo! Trip Planner.

Free SEO Webinar July 20

Lodging Interactive announced today its plans to offer
an online Webinar covering the topic of Search Engine Optimization for
hoteliers. The Webinar will be delivered on July 20, 2006 and is free
to all Lodging Interactive Internet Marketing Club Members.
                           
                           

Topics covered in the online SEO Webinar include:

                           

  • Defining Search Engine Optimization
  • Demystifying Search Engine Optimization Techniques
  • SEO – In-House vs. Agency Outsourcing
  • SEO Tools & Resources to Keep You in the Know

                           
                           
                           

To
sign up for this event and to become a member of the hotel industry’s
only free Internet Marketing Club, click the following link:

                           
                           

http://www.lodginginteractive.com/internet-marketing-club.htm