In the competitive and fast-paced digital world of travel, you have just seconds to impress. So, it’s important to identify the point in the process where you might have some leaks.
There are nine different ways to minimise your leaks. The first one is centred on high-level search results.
The three areas of unoptimised search leakages that we are going to explore which include:
The situation with paid search is that it’s very heavily dominated by the established organisations – what we call the Big Boys.
In an example where we searched for the keyword term “Accommodation Noosa”, Qantas, Booking.com, Wotif and Luxury Hotels Guide came up as the top four paid search positions. They all have much bigger budgets than most independent properties will ever dream of.
The estimated dollar per click price in the top position of Google’s first page is $1.96. So, if you have ten clicks to your website, you’ve already spent $20.
When you think about that from a commissioning comparison, you’re probably going to end up spending a lot of money trying to chase a single booking with no real guarantee. You need to really know what your website conversion rate is to play in this space.
The primary optimised area where you should want to be is Google Hotel Finder – which has a lot of functionality around, filters, star ratings and pricing when anyone searches for accommodation or travel-related terms.
When it comes to ranking on Google Hotel Finder, you, ideally, want to be in what we call ‘the four-pack.’ But there are a ton of other listed hotels too. So, if someone is searching in the area, the person searching might follow through on to more listings, and eventually find you there.
Make sure to check out where you rank. Hopefully, it’s amongst the four-pack. Alternatively, you at least want it to be on the first or second page of all the listings.
The nice thing about Google Hotel Finder is that it’s free and has a super easy-to-navigate layout. It displays a map, pictures and parameters and filters to search by giving it an authentic OTA/Travel website experience.
The final area is what we refer to as ‘below the fold’ – the organic search results below the paid click-through ads and below Google Hotel Finder.
Again, the bigger organisations (such as Booking.com, Wotif and Tripadvisor) tend to dominate here – there aren’t many individual hotels that manage to rank on Google’s first page.
It doesn’t mean you should give up on trying to rank on the first page; it’s just worth noting that it’s more of a long-term strategy with regards to all the work you will have to do with SEO (search engine optimisation).
So these are three areas you want to be chasing to avoid optimisation leaks.
Beyond that, you want to make sure you rank prominently specifically for your own brand as a search term, to make sure competitors are not hijacking your brand.
So there you have it: unoptimised search leakage – get on it and keep your accommodation ranking high.