No, that’s not a typo. Google has slowly been reducing the amount of space it gives to natural search results in favor of products that require an investment of time or money to utilize. Why are so many hotels spending so much time chasing page one rankings if Google keeps reducing the space allocated to those rankings?
According to recent study by STR, US hotel revenue reached record levels in 2012, with profit climbing to 24% of total revenue. Unfortunately, despite growing consumer preference for direct bookings… most hotels also saw an increase in their dependency on expensive OTA-driven transactions. This costly channel drags down profitability and frustrates property owners seeking greater ROI on their investments.
Over the last 16 months, bookings originating from users on iPads and other tablet-sized devices has increased by more than 70% while bookings from traditional desktop/laptop PCs has remained static (some surveys even suggest it has declined). While there are millions more phones and iPods in use than tablets… tablet bookings far outpace smaller devices.
Recent studies suggest that our friends’ social media activity has a growing influence on our travel purchasing behavior. Seeing friends’ posts/likes on Facebook, reviews on Trip Advisor or pictures on Instagram significantly deepens consumer interest.
The internet has changed travel consumer buying behavior dramatically. Guests now research and compare more than ever before… consulting up to 20 or more different sites before making a purchase!
Hotels interested in long term engagement and ongoing interaction with guests should start focusing their attention on the individual guest experience. It’s important to remember that the online social experience is only a byproduct of the social experience guests have once they book that room and walk through those front doors.
Just in time for Halloween, Tambourine has released Halloween Horror Stories: an annual list of the scariest mistakes in hotel marketing. The Report is free and available for download at Tambourine.com/HotelMarketing