Your hotel or destination website
Recently a survey was done to determine what vacation destinations and topics people were searching for using search engines. Guess what was the top search? Disney. Yep. Second was Las Vegas. The third result was ‘other Florida locations’ which I assume meant that Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers and everywhere else was lumped in together.
As the second highest result had 6.3% of the total searches, that probably means that the ‘other Florida locations’ had well under 1%.
The good news is that the researchers studied searches made in the first two months of the year and found that 2.4 billion travel-related searches were made suring that period. That’s a lot of search requests. It’s also interesting to note that 14.6% of searches were for destinations overseas. (Literally – this figure includes Hawaii, Alaska, Mexico and the Caribbean). What’s more 13.3% of searches contained a word that suggested that the searcher was looking for deals – words such as ‘bargain’, ‘coupon’ or ‘discount’. The researches only studied results from Google.
Apart from the destinations, what were searchers actively looking for? Transportation – flights, car rentals and so on – was the most popular. Then came lodgings, followed by the specific destinations mentioned about. Does this suggest that people already knew where they wanted to go but had to search for how to get there? Next came cruises, attractions and travel packages. Interestingly,the least popular click-through rate was to bookings sites such as Expedia.
Why am I boring you with this information?
Because that information gives you some valuable clues about the information you should have on your website. I often say that search engine optimization is a bit like baking a cake. Every little ingredient has a purpose. Check that your site has:
- How to get here. Tell your viewers how far away your local airport is, tell them about local car hire companies. Remember that transportation was the number one search. What cities are served by your local airport? Location words are important
- Plenty of words in the text that describe your hotel or destination. The survey doesn’t tell us which actual words were used but it’s easy to use your imagination. It may be that you actually don’t use the word ‘hotel’ a great deal. You might always refer to it my name (here at the Grand, we …). Remember words like ‘resort’, lodging’ and so on. You can often use keywords by saying what you’re not or by mentioning local amenities (our local shopping area has fabulous boutiques …) (people say that our bar is like a cozy inn …). The most commonly used term in conjunction with ‘vacation’ is rental’ (bike rental available nearby)
- If you are lucky enough to be located within easy traveling distance of a port, you’ll have no problem in adding the word ‘cruise’ to your site. It may be that you have specials for pre- and post-cruise vacations. Even if you’re not, be aware that people who search for the word haven’t yet booked and might be tempted by your hotel (watch the cars as they cruise along the strip …)
- Remember too those ‘discount’ words. Even if you don’t offer discounts mention local businesses (the chocolate store nearby often has some real bargains …) (shop at our local Sunday market for some great deals …)
- The chances are that you already have certain packages at your hotel. If you don’t, it’s easy to create some and give them a dedicated page on your site. They don’t have to be discounts – I always prefer adding value rather than discounting. A page about your local attractions will add valuable keywords too
Do you know how long it would take to effect those changes on your site? Under an hour, I would think. If you have a website you can edit yourself, so much the better. If not, your webmaster will be experienced in writing keyword-rich copy. If it brings you just a little added business annually, it’s an hour well spent.