From dreaming, researching, booking, experiencing, to sharing – Google products connect with travelers at all stages of the online travel journey. Yesterday’s ReviewPro’s webinar “Google for Hotels” promised a deep dive into the world of Google as it relates to hotel marketing.

When moderator Daniel Edward Craig, Google’s David Zammitt, and HeBS Digital’s Margaret Mastrogiacomo walked webinar participants through the different Google products and how they integrate with each other, it became quickly apparent that ranking high with Google isn’t just about SEO anymore. It involves a coordinated distribution of hotel content on a range of Google products, like Search, Maps, Local, Hotel Finder, Google+ and YouTube.

Clearly, Google’s geography above the fold is radically changing, making way for hotel paid, owned and earned content to become more prominently featured, yet taking users more frequently back to Google properties rather than offsite (for more on that topic read also “Google’s Carousel for hotels – trapped in Google’s world?”).

One way for hotel marketers to deal with these changes is by developing a coherent content marketing strategy that delivers a consistent message using the Google products available to connect with travelers along their online travel journey.

Google Hotel Finder is a good example as it includes owned and earned content from Google+ Local and Google Maps (photos, descriptions, reviews), as well as paid content from Hotel Price Ads, and is highly visible across different Google products.

Another example are verified Google+ Pages, which for hotels with high Google search volume can lead to additional real-estate on the right hand side of Google search results, increasing the hotels visibility within Google and therefore likelyhood for direct bookings.

Another benefit of an actively managed Google+ Page is Google reviews getting annotated to website links (social annotations), which according to Google data can increase website traffic by 5-10%.

Read the full story at HotelMarketing.com

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