Lodging Interactive Launches Stay.Play.Explore Local Content

Lodging Interactive, an award winning digital marketing and social media engagement agency exclusively serving the hospitality industry, today announced the launch of its localized Stay.Play.Explore micro website services for hotels. Stay.Play.Explore provides hotels with fully curated local destination content and lifestyle activity based information for hotel guests.

“Hotel websites rarely provide deep localized content to inform and inspire guests when they’re in the travel planning phase,” said DJ Vallauri, Founder & President of Lodging Interactive. “Our Stay.Play.Explore micro websites provide curated local content tailored around things to do near the hotel and differentiates the property against its competitive set. This kind of localized, human curated content helps to drive direct bookings.”

 

Lodging Interactive Stay Play Explore Live Like a Local Marketing Micro Websites

 

Lodging Interactive marketing landing pages for hotels.

 

 

SIMILAR STORIES

 

Stay.Play.Explore adds value to any property seeking to drive more direct bookings and minimize its dependence on OTA’s. By providing deep, local information that is designed to complement the local destination, hotels are playing a more involved role in the guest’s travel planning process. Lodging Interactive copywriters curate and create unique content to appeal to all travel demographics.

“Stay.Play.Explore for branded properties, is the perfect content addition to brand.com property pages,” added Mr. Vallauri. “Providing potential guests with recommended weekend sightseeing itineraries and helpful local hints communicates to all demographics, business travelers, leisure travelers and family vacationers.”

Facebook integration of the Stay.Play.Explore micro website also extends the value to the hotel’s social media network.

 

Lodging Interactive Facebook marketing for hotels.

“Inspiring travelers throughout the travel journey is critical in closing more direct bookings. Anytime you can enable travelers to ‘Live Like a Local’ in a foreign destination, you win,” stated DJ Vallauri.

For more information on how to add Stay.Play.Explore localized content your hotel’s brand.com website pages, visit Lodging Interactive or call 877-291-4411 ext. 704.

Contact
DJ Vallauri
President & Founder
Phone: 877-291-4411
Fax: 877-833-7375

Takeaways from Google’s Presentation at 2017 SMX Advanced Seattle

The mecca for search marketers are the SMX conferences where they find sessions and training workshops covering all things SEO and SEM related. At the June 2017 SMX Advanced conference held in Seattle, Google’s presentation did not disappoint search marketing gurus.

 

Google’s Mobile-first Indexgoogle's presentation smx advanced

 

The Google presentation included the latest goings-on regarding their Mobile-first Index. Here are a few important summary points:

  • The switch to Mobile-first Index could take as many as four to five years to completion but is expected to start rolling out in 2018.
  • A responsive website is preferred by Google within their Mobile-first Index. If your website content is only for the desktop, you would still get indexed but how well you get ranked after the Mobile-first complete launch is another story.
  • Google is reconfiguring all their page speed metrics to be Mobile-first so we can expect many updates are forthcoming.
  • Google said that anything longer than a 5 second load time for mobile is too long and you will need to improve site speed to have your website rank well within the new Mobile-first Index.
  • A new mobile testing tool is under consideration that would allow site owners to see what would change on their site once the Mobile-first Index is launched.
  • The Link Graph is not working well for mobile so Google said they continue to work on it to see what they can do to make PageRank effectively work on the Mobile Web.

 

Concentration on a Better User Experience

 

There were some other important takeaways but all of them, in the end, were to benefit the end user with a better experience:

  • At Google’s May 2017 keynote, AI-First was the theme but, at SMX Seattle, there were no plans mentioned for machine learning updates coming any time soon but Google Voice Search Analytics is underway.
  • While there is no exact word count qualifier, websites with word counts of 1536 words or more, rank no.1 and 2 on Google.
  • If you’re in Ecommerce, you need to optimize your conversion process to be 3 clicks or less for a better user experience
  • User engagement is still the measuring stick for Google to see how well their algorithms are performing.
  • Google made a whopping 1,623 algorithmic changes to their index in this past year alone.
  • Well known SEO consultant, David Mihm, said that when many people get the online conversation about you going, it is most favorable for establishing a strong Local Ranking Factor within Google’s local search algorithm.
  • Google has no plans to add a new meta tag (allowing publishers to control whether or not their content would be shown) to Featured Snippets and no plans for Featured Snippet Analytics.
  • Removing old, outdated content that has no traffic might give you a ranking boost. Disney gave a convincing case study to prove this.
  • Google still frowns upon buying links and is going after the big sites selling them such as Forbes and Entrepreneur Magazine. They say not to purchase links as it considers the practice of buying links a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.
  • Google will not penalize you if you hide content for a better user experience (UX). Examples include the “read more” and “more” links on your site.
  • Google has a clear focus on Progressive Web Apps (PWA) for providing a better user experience.

 

Though Google’s process to Mobile-first Index completion is a complicated one, there is no time like the present to be prepared for the effects it will have on your website rankings.

Hotel Booking Tracking Issues

What happens when a web developer doesn’t implement your e-commerce tracking code properly?

Your hotel booking engine is vital to your online success.  We all know the importance of data but what is even more important is that the data you are tracking is correct. Your success hinges on not only the figures in your account but also that the figures you are seeing are accurate.

Most of the Independent and boutique hotels rely on third-party booking engines or third-party vendors for recording bookings and revenue. Unfortunately, sometimes third-party vendors, IT people or web developers don’t take the time to understand proper implementation of the e-commerce code, and this is where we step in to troubleshoot and fix the problem fast.

You’re about to launch a website, and you’ve ensured everything on your end is streamlined and ready to go. You did everything you were supposed to do on your end, including giving the web developer the tracking code for conversions to install. Suddenly, it hits you — it wasn’t anything you did. The tracking code wasn’t installed properly.

After a website goes live, there are numerous possible reasons why the e-commerce conversion code isn’t attributing correctly to the proper channel. Some of the common problems we see with implementation are as follows.

  1. The code is not placed on the correct page.
  2. The code is placed on the correct page but not in the right place of the website. (In header, footer or body tags.)
  3. Additional JavaScript code has been added via the CMS or application delivery infrastructure that may have changed the e-commerce code.
  4. The code is for remarketing in Google AdWords and not the conversion code.
  5. Customization of the code is wrong. (This is a major issue and needs to be resolved by tweaking the code according to the site changes and upgrades.)
  6. Hotel and booking engine website needs are tracked by a customized cross domain tracking code. Implementation of this code is wrong.
  7. The code is placed on the correct page, but is not copied exactly as it should be.

Here is a brief example of when the code is not copied exactly as it should be even though it was placed on the correct page. (Problem number 7).

During our process of routine expert checking, we noticed that the revenue attribution was not flowing correctly in Google Analytics reports. A print shot from the Google Analytics report here shows clearly that the paid search revenue was attributing towards direct traffic.

In the case of this client, the revenue and transaction pattern was attributed to almost 80% direct traffic, 15% paid search traffic and the rest from other sources. (There was only one transaction of $151 revenue before this issue occurred.)


When our experts analyzed the situation in detail, we found out that, while upgrading the booking engine site, the booking engine developer did not exactly copy a very small snippet of the code as it should be (line 46) and it completely brought down the revenue reports data.

The correct code was as follows, which needed the Hotel website name in the [‘ ‘] square brackets, to track the cross domain tracking correctly.


After troubleshooting, the issue was resolved with this correction and the latest Google Analytics report now clearly shows the revenue pattern of 80% and 15% from direct and paid search channels.

 

Even though it seems like a very small error, it is a time-consuming process to analyze and pinpoint the exact issue from the whole nitty-gritty of website coding. But we at Lodging Interactive have the technology, processes and people in place to monitor and troubleshoot complicated issues.

Through our experts and state of the art technology, the booking engine source code and hotel website are constantly supervised so that information gleaned from website interactions and bookings can help boost ROI and increase bookings. In this way, the client is able to make more informed choices with plenty of information to back up their decisions.

The Benefits of Internet Marketing for Hotels

As we are so entrenched in the digital age, it seems logical that your hotel advertising should be as well.  For many years hotels have relied on print marketing in newspapers, magazines or paper mailers to get their message to potential customers.  There may still be a few hoteliers out there using these methods, when in fact, the benefits of Internet marketing for hotels greatly outweigh any other means of advertising.

As a hotel owner/manager your goal is to increase room revenue.  You want more “heads in beds”.  To achieve this you need to think like the consumer and understand how they purchase goods and services.  In this day and age, more and more people are on their mobile devices conducting research and comparing prices because it’s quick, easy and right in the palm of their hands.  If you’re not in the digital world you are missing out on many opportunities to grab the attention of these users.

When marketing your hotel website, keep in mind the benefits you will reap.

It’s convenient.  When you advertise online, you’re available 24 hours a day to take reservations and to showcase your property.  With busy schedules, consumers are searching the web at all hours of the day, so whether Internet Marketing for Hotels it’s the early riser or the night owl, you can access them all.

Your reach is greater.  Using internet marketing services allows you to reach people all over the world rather than those in a specific market or a particular part of the country.

You can build relationships. Unlike traditional print marketing, internet marketing for hotels provide an opportunity to build a database of those who visit your website.  By providing a newsletter sign up or an e-offers sign up, you can develop a list of potential customers to reach out to. You can then tailor and email offers that speak to the needs and wants of your database.  Another option is to give your guests a chance to leave a review that you can personally respond to.  This shows your guest that you care about their experience and value their opinion.  Each of these items will help build positive relationships with your guests.

Online marketing is a must for hotels if you want to be successful and stand out from your competitors. There are too many components to website marketing that make it an effective strategy not to be overlooked or undermined.

Why Hotels Should Choose Google AdWords & Bing Certified PPC Partners

Bing Ads Accredited ProfessionalGoogle Certified Partner

 

 

 

 

Hotels using Certified PPC Partners such as Google AdWords & Bing Ads can reach new guests in a targeted way and promote direct bookings.

Hotel paid search marketing can sometimes be tricky and especially challenging when setting up PPC campaigns in Google AdWords. If not set-up correctly, your hotel may end up spending thousands of dollars without getting any of the desired results in return.

What is a Google Partner Agency?                       

At Lodging Interactive we are proud to have a professional on our team that is certified in the use of Google AdWords and Google Analytics. We link our Google AdWords Partner badge directly to our Partner page. But what does it mean to be a badged Google Partner and why is having your hotel work with a Google Partner better?

Google made a Google Partner badge available to advertisers who have passed Google’s criteria as well as have met higher spending and performance requirements. Lodging Interactive has earned this badge by being certified in AdWords, managing a large ad spend every 90 days, and continuously meeting Google’s standards to maintain partner status.

We have also earned specializations in Search and Mobile advertising. This means we are certified in these specific product areas and are well versed in helping clients create and optimize ads for both desktop and mobile.

Why a Google Certified Agency like Lodging Interactive is Just Perfect

Hotel Marketing Expertise: Since 2001, our team has worked in online marketing services focusing on the hotel & hospitality industry. We are successfully managing custom hotel website design, website creation, strategic marketing, customer relations & hotel social media for independent hotels, branded properties and numerous hotel management companies.

Google Certified Analyst: Our dedicated certified manager stays up-to-date with the latest Google AdWords, Google Analytics and YouTube tools as well as algorithm updates by writing and passing Google certification exams every 12 months.
PPC Best Practices: To maintain Google Partner status, our agency team member must take certification exams in AdWords Fundamentals, Search, Display, Video, and Mobile Advertising along with Analytics. We follow Google’s standards for account management best practices to maintain our Google Partner badge.

Inside Insights & Features: Partners know what is going on with Google services and products all the time and this gives us valuable insights into the latest trends, events, & inside news in the industry. It also gives us access to Google’s beta features, up to a year or more before they become available to the public, as well as applications in the industry.

Direct Google Access: Google Partners with a large ad spend have a dedicated Google Agency Team that can be contacted any time a client has an issue without waiting in line.

A company that doesn’t continue to maintain Google’s standards for partner status can have their badge removed. This ensures that a high standard of service is maintained no matter the date that the Partner Status was achieved.

Part II – Bing Ads Accredited Professional

Many companies overlook paid search ads on Bing, but they make up a 28.7% share of all searches.

Similar to the Google Partner exam provided by Google, Bing Ads has an Accredited Professional Certification. In order to use Bing Ads on a day-to-day basis, the Bing Ads certification ensures your skills and abilities as a digital marketing and paid search professional are up to date. Like Google, Bing also offers similar benefits for its Accredited Professionals.

Bing constantly creates new and fancy features for your account expansion and improvement. As a Bing Accredited Professional, we join the crew of knowledgeable account executives and PPC experts in the industry.

Get started with your Hotel PPC Campaign today.

Lodging Interactive Launches Educational White Paper Series

PARSIPPANY, NJ – April 4, 2017 Lodging Interactive, an award winning digital marketing and social media engagement agency exclusively serving the hospitality industry, today announced the launch of its educational white paper series. The series can be found here: https://lodginginteractive.com/about-us/white-papers/

 

“Our concept is simply to educate and share relevant hospitality digital marketing information that enables hotel General Managers to make the best informed decisions for their properties,” said Mr. DJ Vallauri, Lodging Interactive’s Founder and CEO. “Each white paper is a brief five pages that can be read online or downloaded as a PDF document. We’ve purposely kept them as short as possible while being meaningful.”

 

The Company plans to add new white papers bi-weekly. Current Lodging Interactive white papers posted include:

  • The Future of Hotel Customer Service
  • Hotel Social Media Marketing Tips
  • Improving Hotel Guest Experience with Live Chat
  • Tips for a Successful Hotel Website Redesign

All white papers are free to read and download and do not require email registration. “No email required, although we’d like it very much if you subscribe to our email list,” added Mr. Vallauri.

 

The white papers can be found here: https://lodginginteractive.com/about-us/white-papers/

About Lodging Interactive:

Headquartered in Parsippany, NJ, Lodging Interactive is a full-service digital marketing and social media engagement agency exclusively servicing the hospitality industry. Through its web design and search optimization division as well as its CoMMingle Social Media Division, Lodging Interactive provides effective Internet marketing services to hundreds of branded and independent properties as well as management companies, restaurants and spas. The company also offers fully managed Live Chat agents for hotel websites through its LiveChatForHotels.com division.

 

Lodging Interactive is an HSMAI Adrian Award winner, and has won awards from the International Academy of Visual Arts, Interactive Media Awards, Horizon Interactive Awards, Web Marketing Association, Academy of Interactive & Visual Arts, and Travel Weekly’s Magellan Awards have recognized Lodging Interactive as an industry leader.

 

Lodging Interactive is a proud supporter of the Hotel Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) and the company’s president, DJ Vallauri, currently serves on the Board of Directors of HSMAI’s New York Chapter. For more information, please contact sales@lodginginteractive.com, 877-291-4411 or visit the company’s website.

Tips for a Successful Hotel Website Redesign – Part 2

Lodging Interactive - Tips for Hotel Website Redesign

In the first part of our hotel website redesign series, we discussed the importance of backing up and recording all the features of your old website. Now comes the all-too-important and often neglected part — planning!

Think of it this way: A hotel website redesign is like the remodeling your home kitchen. You wouldn’t want to start ripping up flooring and tearing down cabinets without a clear vision of what you want your new kitchen to be, right?  Of course not! You would start with a plan for demolishing your old kitchen with as little inconvenience as possible and have set ideas in mind for your soon-to-be remodeled kitchen.

Planning Your Hotel Website Redesign

Like remodeling your kitchen, planning your hotel website redesign will make for a successful transition to your updated website. Preparation is the key. You will need to ensure you have enough resources, clearly define problems and make decisions.

Your plan should consider email accounts or server changes, eliminating duplicate content, URL structure, 301 Redirects, giving a once-over for missing titles, and using multiple browsers to check your site to name a few. Oh – and let’s not forget having a good SEO strategy! A good plan will become the blueprint that will help make the most out of your new online presence without losing the value found within your current site.

Of course the best of plans will have one or two kinks to iron out so make sure your plan includes putting your old site back up while you fix the issues. You also wouldn’t want search engines to find your site while you’re in the middle of development. So protect your site by working on it locally and use a password to keep anyone from catching wind of what you are planning.

Also, you will have to take into account time, budget and functionality in your hotel website redesign but you will first need to consider: Who is your target audience, what you are looking to accomplish and where it would be best to make the changes. After all, you will want to get the most efficient, cost effective results and reap the most benefits in creating online opportunities, improving conversions and increasing rankings in search engine.

In the upcoming third part of our series we will discuss launching your redesigned website. See you there!

Lodging Interactive Offers Hotels All-Inclusive Digital Marketing Packages

PARSIPPANY, NJ – March 6, 2017 Lodging Interactive, an award winning digital marketing and social media engagement and reputation management agency exclusively serving the hospitality industry, today announced it is offering all-inclusive digital marketing packages for hotels and resorts.  Since 2001, Lodging Interactive has been exclusively serving the hospitality industry and helping hotel clients maximize their direct online booking opportunities.

 Hotel All Inclusive Digital Marketing Packages

“With the introduction of our all-inclusive digital marketing packages, our innovative approach in hospitality digital marketing continues to evolve,” said Mr. DJ Vallauri, Lodging Interactive’s Founder and President.  “For more than fifteen years we have created award winning services for our hospitality clients with our CoMMingle Social Media Marketing Service and most recently our CoMMingle Live Chat Service for hotels leading the pack.  Now, we are the only digital marketing agency that brings all the required pieces together into an all-inclusive digital marketing service platform for hotels.”

 Lodging Interactive’s all-inclusive digital marketing packages include:

  • Modern website designs to maximize direct booking opportunities
  • Professional in-house website copywriting services
  • Complete website management services
  • Dynamic website content delivery and personalized segment targeting
  • Hotel Search Engine Marketing (SEO & PPC)
  • Annual Digital Marketing Plan creation
  • Social media marketing & engagement services
  • Reputation management services for guest review sites and OTAs.
  • Live Chat fully managed services, 7 days a week
  • Dedicated, first-rate customer service and ROI KPI reporting

Hospitality Digital Marketing

“Effective hospitality digital marketing is no longer just about having a new responsive website and launching organic Hotel Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising and a Facebook page,” added Mr. Vallauri.  “Today, the smart hotelier understands it takes more of a commitment than this to drive direct hotel bookings.”

A recent 2017 Travel Website Behavior Study showed that consumers, between the ages of 18-34, visit an average of 4.6 unique websites prior to making a hotel reservation.  This is down from just a year ago.  As a result it has become extremely important for hotels to impress their hotel visitors with personalized and targeting content and live chat support to answer any questions they may have in the booking process.

Hotel Digital Marketing Packages

Lodging Interactive’s all-inclusive digital marketing packages offer hotels the complete solution for a fixed monthly fee. The hotel digital marketing packages are designed to attract qualified visitors, show them personalized and relevant website content, provide real-time human powered live chat support to close the business, ongoing social media engagement and follow-up online reputation management and guest review responses.

For more information and to receive a price quote please visit Hotel All-Inclusive Digital Marketing Programs or call 877-291-4411ext 701.

About Lodging Interactive:

Headquartered in Parsippany, NJ, Lodging Interactive is a full-service digital marketing and social media engagement and reputation management agency exclusively servicing the hospitality industry. Through its web design and search optimization division as well as its CoMMingle Social Media Division, Lodging Interactive provides effective Internet marketing services to hundreds of branded and independent properties as well as management companies, restaurants and spas. The company also offers fully managed Live Chat agents for hotel websites through its LiveChatForHotels.com division.

Lodging Interactive is an HSMAI Adrian Award winner, and has won awards from the International Academy of Visual Arts, Interactive Media Awards, Horizon Interactive Awards, Web Marketing Association, Academy of Interactive & Visual Arts, and Travel Weekly’s Magellan Awards have recognized Lodging Interactive as an industry leader.

Lodging Interactive is a proud supporter of the Hotel Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) and the company’s president, DJ Vallauri, currently serves on the Board of Directors of HSMAI’s New York Chapter. For more information, please contact sales@lodginginteractive.com, 877-291-4411 or visit the company’s website.

 

 

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Tips for a Successful Hotel Website Redesign – Part 1

You might ask why it is necessary to do a hotel website redesign. After all, redesigning a hotel website takes time and money.  While this is true, you might want to reconsider a few critical reasons for needing to make the changes.

In four installments, we will share some tips to help you through the process of updating your website so that you don’t lose traffic or bookings and avoid cost over-runs and lost time.

In life, change is inevitable. In business, change is vital. – Warren G. Bennis

hotel website redesign

Why Change your Hotel Website Design?

Technology changes quickly as do hotel website design styles.

  • There could be a shift in your hotel’s business focus
  • A need to incorporate re-branding
  • New marketing message you wish to advertise.
  • Need to add a new website functionality.
  • Search engine algorithms or marketing trends.

Any one or all of these things will lead you to need a redesign of your hotel website.

What was the latest and greatest yesterday may become out-of-date today.  Your hotel website redesign can incorporate the latest technology and trends to give users the experience they come to expect from websites. It reflects your hotel’s quality of service and shows your guests and potential guests that you care about their wants and needs.

You will need to keep up with the changes to stay current and not lose any available revenue opportunities. The whole point is to increase conversions and attract new customers through your hotel website. When your hotel is working on a website redesign strategy, you want to make sure you go through the transition process with as little hiccups as possible.

Where to start your Hotel Website Redesign Project Plan

To move forward, you should start your hotel website redesign project plan by:

  • Creating backups of your current website & URLs used
  • Forming a baseline of your analytics including current loading speed, conversion rates, bounce rates & high traffic pages
  • Tracking current search engine rankings; in-bound links & current backlinks.

These will all be useful to keep track of your improvements.  In the event of a major issue with your new site, you can always put your old site back up while you work out kinks.

The back-ups may take some time, but it will prove to be an important first step to getting the redesign going and uploaded quickly all the while protecting traffic, rankings and minimizing costs.

In our next installment we will be discussing the website redesign transition. Stay tuned!

Phantom update in Google?

On February 7, 2017, something significant happened with search engine results across our sites. SEO Roundtable is reporting this to be a Phantom update from Google. Phantom updates mean Google does not “officially” report an algorithm update, but you can see large changes in your search engine results.

Diving into our sites, we saw the largest increases in Page 2 keywords and higher.

Examples of Phantom Update

Our keyword rankings on Page 2 jumped significantly with numbers like 12, 11, & 8.
Google Phantom Update

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While our clients’ Page 2 keywords also increased dramatically:

Google Phantom Update Client Example

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SEO Content

This Phantom Update is believed to be more like Panda (content driven) than Penguin (backlink driven).   If that’s true, it explains why our sites jumped significantly in search engine rankings.  We work hard to ensure our hotel website content is fresh and unique.  In addition, we take our time choosing appropriate topics for our client, as well as making sure they are of importance to our site visitors.  We know this takes time in addition to the proper keyword research in order to make the climb to the first page of Google.

Older Phantom Updates

There have been older Phantom Updates including this one:

The Quality Update — May 3, 2015

After multiple reports of ranking changes, originally dubbed “Phantom 2”, Google acknowledged a core algorithm change which impacted “quality signals”.  This update seems to have had a broad impact, but Google didn’t share any specifics about the signals which changed in this update.

“Phantom” — May 9, 2013

Around May 9th, there were multiple reports of an algorithm update (also unverified by Google).  Many sites reported significant traffic loss, but no signals or mention of the update from anyone over at Google.

Conclusion

Take a look at your own search engine rankings and see if there have been any dramatic increases on February 7th.  We’d love to hear from you.