SEO and the Smart Tourist

If you’re a SEO specialist for hotel websites, chances are you fall in tears whenever you type in the hotel name, or even the main keyphrase for your website. Why? Because travel sites and portals eat up much of Google’s first page. It’s frustrating to find out that after all the on-page and off-page optimization, viral marketing, etc., travel sites still carry the monopoly of traffic you should be getting.

But… there’s always light at the end of the tunnel – because tourists now are getting smarter and more practical everyday. Sure they still log on to those tough-competing travel sites, yet they’re fully aware that these sites add on a booking fee for each reservation made through their travel website. Though these monsters rarely (and yes, not even) post a link to the hotel’s official website so as to fish out all its supposed-to-be “official hotel website” bookings, travelers who search online for their itinerary and accommodation are wise enough to realize that the hotel’s official website offer the best and most affordable rates. Pesky booking fees are things of the past because the modern tourist know the difference between where to get information first (yeah, travel sites), and where to actually book (official hotel websites).

Running several guest inquiry forms regarding visitor search – to check where the hotel guests found the website and what keyphrases they used, it was deduced that travel portals are a big help in driving traffic to the hotel’s own website. Travel and reservation portals receive tons and tons of traffic, a big chunk of this do not benefit them – because this traffic converts for the hotel websites instead. How’d that happened? Again, the smart tourist was clever enough to just get the hotel name from the portal, then googled the hotel name which eventually lead him to book DIRECTLY to the official hotel website. The obvious (and less taxing) challenge now is just to simply rank well for the hotel name.

Given this consumer behavior, SEOs can now begin to smile at the presence of travel websites showing up in Google’s first page whenever they type in “accommodation in Crows Nest Sydney“.

The smart tourist must be loving SEO.

Related News: Australia Travel and Accommodation | A Time for Armidale

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3 Comments

Filed under Soaking in SEM

3 responses to “SEO and the Smart Tourist

  1. Interesting post. Google’s increasing focus on personalization will likely play a role here as well.

    On a related note, Danny Sullivan analyzes what Travelocity’s CMO had to say about branded search and travel terms:
    http://searchengineland.com/070326-073159.php

  2. hey thanks for that link… insightful article. 🙂

  3. Pingback: Can we really count our blessings? « roaming around with romela

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