Google has become the world’s most popular search engine, and has maintained its dominance in that area by continually looking for ways to give searchers exactly what they want. In the process, they often create new challenges and opportunities for marketers who our simply looking for ways to stand out.
That’s particularly true in the travel and tourism industry, where recent changes to the way Google displays search results and current information have left some business owners wondering what they can do to take advantage. Here we discuss three of these shifts, along with some steps you can take to stay ahead of the online marketing curve – not to mention your competitors.
Search for “hotel room” in a popular travel destination and you may notice something new in Google’s search listings – a small map with blue tabs showing current prices for different rooms. These give travelers the option of shopping for a great deal while also taking location into account.
Savvy revenue directors can take advantage of this by offering competitive prices on an up-to-date basis – particularly if they have vacancies and properties that are close to popular landmarks and events. Additionally, businesses can use this feature to quickly keep tabs on their competitors.
This isn’t a new development, but it’s one that’s becoming more prominent and meaningful. When travelers search for hotel rooms in a given area, or the name of a property itself, they are likely to see star ratings and review excerpts directly within the search results. In other words, they don’t have to click on anything to view guest feedback.
So why is this important? Because positive ratings strongly encourage more clicks and completed conversions. Conversely, bad feedback can kill the opportunity for a sale before it even develops. Knowing that, your business should be doing everything possible to build a strong online reputation (see our post on the topic).
Location has always been central to marketing any travel or tourism related business, but Google is taking things to a whole new level by offering automatic options for nearby landmarks, driving time to a destination, and street view choices.
You can make these features work for your business by emphasizing your locale. For example, if you happen to be close to major cultural attractions or famous landmarks, include directions and driving or walking times on your site.
It’s always important to remember that Google isn’t doing anything specifically to help or hurt your business – their model is to attract search traffic by providing a perfect user experience to searchers themselves. Whatever you can do to make your business look like the perfect solution or value for travelers (which includes taking the steps we’ve outlined in this article), the easier it’s going to be to turn Internet searches into real revenue.
Want help bringing more travelers to your website and more money into your business? Contact Compucast today and let our team of experts get to work for you.