Keeping Up In An Ever-Changing Google World

Alicia Pavignano As most of you know, Google has made some changes with their new Hummingbird algorithm.  What these new changes entail is a shift from ranking  websites based on its pertinent keywords to now ranking them based on the amount of rich relevant content they present to the consumer.  Essentially,  for those of you who have websites out there to promote your business it’s time to take the focus off the keywords you have throughout the text and  focus on the text itself.   This is not to say that keywords are not still important to achieve good search engine rankings, it just means that it’s most  important that these keywords are part of relevant information and a lot of it.

So, how do those in the travel industry keep up with this change on their websites?  Most business owners may feel they have the most amount of content they can provide about their product already available on their website.  However, you’d be surprised to see that you probably don’t.  First, let’s understand what we mean when we speak about content.  That is not just the words on a website page.  Content can also include photos, videos, and links to other relevant sites.  Today, consumers who are searching online for travel related sites, specifically hotels, want to see vibrant, detailed photos of what a property has to offer.  This is going to be the greatest selling point.  If you have video or virtual tours of the property, that’s even better.

Ok, so you have beautiful photos and perhaps some videos on your site.  Now how do you enhance the text?  You have to be creative and really think about all that your hotel has to offer potential guests and then get it out there.  For example, if your hotel offers a variety of room types why not have descriptions about each type and their amenities so the consumer has a clear picture of what they can choose from to satisfy their needs.  Speaking of pictures, why not add a room photo next to each description and for convenience have a Book Now button there as well?  If your hotel has the capability to host social events, meetings and weddings these are the ideal sections of your website where you can capitalize on the addition of relevant content.  Perhaps you have meeting/wedding planners on-site.  Your customers want to know this and this could be an offering that makes or breaks a decision to book with you.  What about former meeting and wedding guests?  Have they written testimonials about their experience with you?  If so, get them out there.  Potential customers love to see what others have to say about you.

Google’s new algorithm may at first present itself as yet another change you have to conform to.  However, I believe this new algorithm forces you to look at your website and the information you’re putting out there and determine if you’re really doing enough to reach your goal, which is maximum bookings.  The more relevant content you present, the more likely consumers are to book with you.  Additionally, by presenting more content, Google will view your website as relevant and your search engine rankings will improve.  After all, if you don’t have good rankings your prospective customers will continue to be just that, prospects.