This week’s Friday Fuel roundup talks a brand new Yahoo search announcement, some interesting travel stats, and the importance of vanity websites for hotels.
Yahoo Going Wahoo With Search Results
Hoteliers and hotel marketers alike should be aware, Yahoo recently confirmed that it is testing Google powered search results, a significant change from their former search results that were powered exclusively by Bing. According to comScore.com, Yahoo currently holds ~12.8% of the search market and is #3 behind Bing (19.8%) and Google (64.5%). The main opportunity this could present for hoteliers is from an advertising perspective, particularly as Yahoo tests different variations that will now be serving Bing ads, Google ads, and the new Yahoo ads via the Gemini platform.
Hotel Brands For The Win
MMGY Global recently completed their 25th annual travel survey and announced some pleasing news: brand.com sites not trump online travel agents when it comes to consumer bookings. Despite tremendous growth from both a size perspective as many companies consolidate and from an opportunity perspective as many new players enter the ring, online travel agents are continuing to face more and more challenges. As hotel websites continue to grow and evolve, more and more consumers are heading back to branded websites for their travel booking needs. To capitalize on this shift in behavior, make sure your hotel website is up to date, user friendly, and comprehensive.
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OTA Secrets You Can Steal
Online travel agents aren’t using black magic to boost their website conversion rates. Rather, they utilize simple marketing psychology principles throughout their websites that appeal to emotions. In particular, they make the booking process as simple as possible by eliminating distractions and they appeal to the “FOMO” side of users (fear of missing out) via enticing web copy and calls to action. While these are just two of many psychology principles that can help boost your website performance, if online travel agents are savvy enough to use these why haven’t as many hotels figured it out?
Are Is Your Hotel A Facebook Pro?
Facebook continues to be one of the most successful social media platforms form both an organic reach perspective and a paid ad perspective. Does your hotel know how to make the most of Facebook ads? The advanced targeting features and continually evolving ad formats makes it easy for your property to reach the right consumer at the right time. Check out this handy Facebook Ad Guide For Hotels to learn more about the most successful Facebook ad formats and how to successfully implement them.
Airbnb > Marriott?
Accommodation startup Airbnb is wasting no time in taking over turf in the travel space. Their latest funding venture raised the value of Airbnb to a whopping $25.5 billion, ahead of rivals Marriott ($20.90 billion), Starwood Hotels ($14 billion), and Wyndham ($10.01 billion). They are also just shy of hotel giant Hilton, valued at $27.7 billion. The amazing part is, Airbnb does not own a single piece of property. Rather, they have made their fortune by skimming 3% off the property owners and anywhere from 6% – 12% off travelers using the website. The key demographic to their success? You guessed it: millennials. This coveted group is changing travel and companies are scrambling to meet the demands of this unique generation.
The Customer Is Not Always Right
…. But you can’t exactly tell them that. Though you’d be hard pressed to find many companies that really excel in the area of customer service, they do exist and they have mastered this fine and somewhat difficult art. When your hotel gets slapped with a negative review, what do you do? Better yet, how can your property prevent this unfortunate situation all together? Well, ReviewPro.com offers several handy tips on how to mitigate bad reviews. Surefire ways to handle these difficult situation include managing expectations up front, proper staff training, and truly listening to what the customer. Sounds easy enough, right? Well, if it was, I am sure we can all agree that we’d never have a bad experience with customer service… but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Do you have any other tips to add?
SEO Showdown: Corporate Website VS Branded Website
There has been much chatter in the hotel marketing world about the pros and cons of a vanity website. This refers exclusively to independently owned hotels that are part of a corporate chain and has many marketers scratching their heads. Does your independent hotel really need an independent hotel site if corporate already has one set up? Though independent websites can mean more work for a hotel, the answer is, in most cases, absolutely yes. Though corporate branded websites offer certain perks, like a high domain authority and a loyal corporate following, they often lack substance and personality that your property offers. This is where having a separate website for your hotel location can help showcase the real differentiating factors that your property offers.
TIP: Need a new hotel website? We can help!