In an interview with eMarketer, Max Starov, president of hospitality industry consulting firm HeBS Digital, said that website content is helping hotels of all sizes garner more attention and improve conversions.
The rise in online travel agents, such as Expedia and other sites, has made it difficult for hotels to convert customers directly from their own websites. For smaller hotels, this can be especially difficult given the growing use of search engines that are more likely to bring users to major hotel chains. However, Starov said that paid search can be a good way for SMBs in the hospitality industry to appeal to travelers.
Moreover, small hotels have actually benefited from Google’s recent algorithm updates. Those using SEO can focus on improving their appeal in search by launching a content marketing campaign to populate their sites with high-quality articles that gives users relevant information. In the past, the top search rankings almost automatically fell to leading hotels. While these companies are still getting a lot of attention, SMBs can move into these competitive spots with a strong strategy.
“The problem Google discovered with OTAs and hotel brand sites is that while their content is relevant and deep, it’s bland compared to what a particular hotel can say about itself. Search engines love content that associates a hotel with its destination,” Starov told eMarketer.
ContentLEAD recently reported that businesses in the travel and tourism industries are succeeding in their use of SEO to drive website traffic. Twenty-seven percent of site traffic to businesses in this industry reportedly comes from organic search.