Settle down everyone, your favorite time of the week is finally here – Friday Fuel.
This week, we have news on a new Marriott direct booking campaign, tips and tricks for increasing your hotel website conversion rate, updates for the Google Hotel Ads program, and much more.
It’s About Time…
…For a wifi upgrade – said everyone ever. It’s no secret that travelers everywhere are connected and a quick and secure wireless connection has become an essential piece of the travel puzzle. Many hotels are finally taking a hint and are upgrading their infrastructure to accommodate the masses. According to a study via the NYU School of Professional Studies, the lodging industry will spend upwards of $6.5 billion upgrading Internet services alone and hoteliers list this as a “top priority”. How important is a fast Internet connection when it comes to choosing a hotel? And are you willing to pay extra for wifi?
Out With The Old, In With The New
In case you missed it, Best Western International is a thing of the past. Instead, the popular hotel chain is now officially “Best Western Hotels & Resorts” and is offering a fresh new look to accompany the new moniker. The upgrade comes in an attempt to contemporize the brand image and appeal to a broader audience, particularly millennials. Best Western also announced a new boutique hotel chain called GLo hat will debut next year. What are your thoughts on the new brand and logo design?
The Evolution of Family Travel
More and more families are traveling together and hotels are having to adapt to the evolving needs of the multi-generational crowd. Accommodation layouts have been a big area in which hotels have made significant changes in offering a more “apartment style” climate versus the traditional hotel feel. Multiple rooms on opposite sides of the unit and spacious living and dining spaces make extended vacations with large groups a breeze. Additionally, many hotels are offering a more diverse array of creative on-site amenities and activities that the whole family can enjoy together. Is the multi-generational travel segment on your hotel’s radar?
Booking Direct Is So Fetch
Marriott hasn’t exactly been quiet when it comes to participating in the “book direct” movement. Earlier this year, Marriott created quite the stir with a YouTube campaign that put travel agents in a negative light and put the brand in the hot spot for a bit with industry backlash. But, nobody puts Marriott in the corner. The travel brand just announced a new “Fab Four” program that encompasses, you guessed it, four parts to keep the customers coming back directly. Perks include points sharing with friends and family members and points advance that will allow guests to book a stay before they have the points to fully cover it. You go, Glen Coco.
100% Conversion Rate? Didn’t Think So.
Alright, a 100% website conversion rate is a lofty goal, but we are certain that there isn’t a single company that wouldn’t want to at least improve their current conversion rate. Hotels in particular are lucky to see a conversion rate of above 1%. Fret not, though, for there are several things that you can do to improve these numbers. Improving the overall website user experience is a no brainer when it comes to CRO, but did you know that simple changes like adding reviews or expediting the checkout process can go a long way in upping those numbers? Learn more about easy ways to improve your hotel website conversion rate.
RIP Hotel Finder
Google recently launched a full slew of updates to the Hotel Ads platform, many of which could have a huge impact for both paid and natural search. Important highlights include the death of Google Hotel Finder (google.com/hotels), the rollout of Hotel Ads for hotel chain search queries (ex: Holiday Inn), the removal of the Hotel Ads dropdown link in natural search results, new bid multipliers, and the beta release of a commission based payment program. But that’s not even close to it – be sure to check out our full Hotel Ads Fall Roundup to see a full list of updates.
Google Once Again Makes It Easier To Be Even Creepier
Alright, we all know the argument for retargeting being slightly creepy, but we also know that the general success rate of these campaigns outweighs our need as marketers to not feel creepy. Well, prepare yourself to embrace a whole new level of creep – Google just rolled out retargeting for email lists. This new targeting, deemed “Customer Match”, allows an advertiser to upload an email list and then matches the emails with Google accounts. This new program also has the capability to serve to “similar audience” based on interests and behaviors. For hotels specifically, this new targeting options presents an obvious opportunity for guest history lists or rewards / loyalty program members.