Is your Hotel Website Losing Traffic?

If you have a hotel website the hope is that with each passing year you continue to see an increase in traffic to your site.  Unfortunately, this may not always be the case.  You may experience a decline in your website traffic year to year and if this is the case, there are a number of things that should be checked that can help determine why the decrease occurred.

Website Traffic Drop Checklist

We’ve put together a list for you of common causes for your hotel website traffic to drop.  See if any of these affected your YOY traffic.

Google Knowledge Graph

  • Perhaps one of the greatest traffic drivers for a hotel website is the Google Knowledge Graph. The Knowledge Graph provides pertinent information about a hotel, as well as a direct link to its website.  If your website is not properly linked to the Google Knowledge Graph you can guarantee your traffic will decline.  The Google Knowledge Graph is highly visited, so you’ll want to make sure it’s taking users to the right place.
    Google Knowledge Graph

    Google Knowledge Graph

     

    Historical Events

  • How have events in your market differed from year to year? Historical events, like the Pope’s visit to the United States, will increase hotel searches and drive more traffic. However, if your market is not experiencing the same high profile events the following year, then you could potentially see the volume of hotel searches and website visits go down.
    Pope Visit

    Pope Visit to US in 2016 affects overall YOY traffic

     

    Referral Traffic

  • Are you still linked to the same quality referring websites? Referral traffic may not be the same year to year if you’ve stopped advertising on certain sites or if 3rd party sites sites have dropped you from their listings.  In addition, sometimes 3rd party websites go through changes that may affect how traffic to your site is recorded.  For example, if they change their page formatting to accordion style, Google will most likely not record the traffic being sent to your site because the search engines have difficulty reading the content on accordion style pages.  Be cognizant of the referrers sending traffic to your site.  Periodically, check their websites for any changes that could be affecting your traffic.
    Example of Losing Quality Backlinks

    Losing Quality Backlinks

     

    Hotel Website Design

  • Along the same lines, how is your hotel website design affecting traffic? If your website has accordion pages or pages with tabs you might be getting traffic to the site, but it may not be recorded, so you will see a change in your traffic numbers year to year.  In an instance such as this, it’s important to keep up with Google’s ever-changing algorithms or you may be sabotaging yourself.
    Accordion Page

    Accordion Page Example

     

    New Hotel Competitors

  • New competition in the market may also affect traffic numbers. With more hotels in the area there are more options for consumers, so traffic may be diverted to the market newcomers.  Always be aware of your new “neighbors” and what’s on the horizon, as well.  According to NYC & Company, the official Travel & Tourism company for NY, New York City has the nation’s most active hotel development pipeline, with 107,000 hotel rooms in 2016, and a total inventory of 133,000+ rooms expected by the end of 2019.
    New Hotel Competitors NYC

    New Hotel Competitors in NYC

     

    PPC Advertising

  • Lastly, are you spending money on PPC advertising and if so, are you spending enough? Now that Google has removed the PPC ads from the right side of the search page there is 66% less page real estate available, making the competition for the top ads even greater.  With increased competition comes higher keyword costs.  If you’re not spending enough for your market or if you are not increasing your budget year to year, your PPC dollars will not be effective.  With rising costs each year, as well as new competitors, you have to have the right budget to stay in the game.

In a perfect world you would see a consistent increase in website traffic year after year.  However, you can’t count on that happening, but if you are aware of market conditions, have good strategies in place and take the right course of actions, you could greatly increase your chances of avoiding a traffic decline.