Why you should focus more on Google (and bing) and less on OTAs

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The way travelers look for information about their next destination today has entirely changed. People will go directly to the internet, especially Google, and search through many sites such as TripAdvisor, OTAs, and hotel websites to find the best price. We have numbers to confirm this: There are over 3.5 billion searches per day and hotels have the highest number of views on both Search and Maps each month. 

81%* Of traverllers prefer to use Google when looking for a place to stay.


Increase your hotel’s visibility on Search Results

Now more than ever, Google plays a crucial role in hotel booking strategies. Google operates the search engine and advertising platform that Expedia and other online travel companies rely on for large portions of traffic. OTAs like Expedia pursued complaints against the Tech Giant’s search results approach because they feared they would have to rethink their business model. And this way, Google has handed the keys to hoteliers to increase their direct bookings and reduce their dependence on OTAs.  

Now, you must be wondering : how can you, hoteliers, make the most of it? 

It all starts with SEO. As you already know, SEO is an integral part of your digital marketing strategies, which can help you win over your competitors. 

According to a survey, the first result in Google gets 32% of all clicks. So, to ensure visibility, hotels need to appear on Position #0.

On the other hand, traffic percentage decreases to 2 % for the last result on the first page. So, if your hotel appears on the second page, you become invisible. 

There is a feature on Google that can help hotels reach Position #0 called Google Featured Snippets. They are summary information that appears below or before your website page and URL in search results.

Now there is a big competition with OTAs. Why? Because they generate FAQs that appear in Snippets format in the first position.

When OTAs appear on Position #0 to provide information about your hotel, this diverts your traffic and direct bookings.

To win over OTAs, first you have to create FAQs on your website, but this is not enough: if you do not update them regularly, the FAQs will remain static and display the same questions or answers.  For example, it is not relevant to know that the unheated pool is open in March. However, updating the FAQs regularly and manually will be extra redundant work for the staff.

Velma, the universal hotel virtual assistant will gather data from conversations, which allows segment of customer interactions according to several factors: by country, city, date, and time of connection but also by device used.

Q-SEO anonymizes and saves these factors to obtain information about travelers and anticipate their needs. This data allows us to improve the website’s referencing in real time.

More info and details about SEO for hotels: https://www.quicktext.im/blog/seo-for-hotels/

Quicktext’s Q-SEO provides AI-powered snippets to maximize hotels’ chances of appearing at the top of Google search results. Quicktext gathers valuable information from conversations with the AI Hotel chatbot Velma, such as the most frequently asked questions to the hotel. These questions (and answers) are injected into the website in the form of snippets that are updated in real time. In addition we are happy to announce that Q-SEO (the AI generated FAQs) is fully compatible with the new Bing powered by ChatGPT, but that will be the subject of a future article.

 Who better than a traveler to knows the latest trends ? No one. Because they are the very first source of these trends. 

If you want to know more, please click here

Increase direct bookings with Google Business Message

In order to maximize your hotel’s visibility, you also need to fill in all the information of your hotel in your Google My Business account. It also plays a huge part in terms of direct bookings. You probably have listed all your information, but it is always a good idea to keep them up-to-date. 

 Over *Half of Google Business Profile Interactions Produce Website Visits. 

(*Source: The Media Captain)

It is essential to create Google My Business listings for your hotel or other services. Otherwise, you will be invisible on Google Maps and in search results. 

According to the Media Captain, 64% of consumers have used google Business Profiles to find contact information.

For restaurants, this allows you to associate a reservation service to your Google My Business page. And many other advantages like separating Google Posts, Q/A or descriptions.

Responding to online reviews to improve the customer experience

E-reputation is a crucial issue for hotels. Indeed, according to a SiteMinder study, for 96% of travelers, the analysis of reviews is a very important step in the search for a hotel. Internet users need to be reassured before booking a stay, and to do so, they will spend time looking at the reviews of previous customers.

Once the user has determined their location, this is where customer reviews will have the most importance in the customer’s journey. In fact, 88% of travelers will filter out hotels that have more than 3 stars. And 32% will eliminate hotels that have less than 4 stars. 

Your Google Business Account can also have a huge impact on your bookings  with their latest feature launched last summer, Google Business Message.

It is now possible to chat with the hotel directly on Google to ask for a question about a service such as the restaurant or the spa or even to book a room. The way to consume information has drastically changed. Now, customers move from searching for information to interacting with it. With Google Message, potential clients consume the information without even going to the website.

Increase communication by 16% of our customers

It may be time-consuming for the staff to answer each question one by one on all communication channels that they may have. 

For more details visit Quicktext channels.

With Quicktext’s Q-Hub, it has never been easier to handle various communication channels at one time. Whether it be Google Message, the Live Chat, Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger or Line, it is possible to handle numerous conversations for one or many hotels. 

If you want to know more, click here: https://www.quicktext.im/messaging-hub

Now that you have the cards in your hand and have mastered Google, you can stand out on Google search results, increase direct bookings and foster an engaging customer relationship and loyalty.

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