How Google is Helping Hotels get Smarter with Search

Last week, we were joined by Jennifer Wesley, Industry Director for Travel at Google, to discuss Smart SEO Strategies to Drive More Direct Bookings. She provided a fascinating insight into how the online travel shopping journey is evolving, how Google is adapting, and how hoteliers can capitalize on all the amazing technological advancements now on offer to get in front of the right people, at the right time, with the right message.

Below is just a snippet of Jennifer’s presentation, when she discussed changing consumer demands, the power of machine learning, and how hoteliers can capitalize on it all to deliver a superior brand experience.

“As marketers, we need to think differently about how we show up [for consumers]. This isn’t just about how consumers use devices. We’re really talking about how we develop experiences, and we have to make sure that every experience we develop is assistive to consumers.

[As consumers], we are looking for ways to get relevant, frictionless and useful experiences, whenever and wherever we are. As consumers we know this, but as marketers we haven’t been so good at delivering it.

By and large, if I talk to 50% of major hoteliers in the US, I’d say 10% of them are meeting consumer expectations. Very few are exceeding. When it comes to what brands are doing in the mobile space, we still have a lot of work to do to improve those experiences.

The good news is, we’re closer today than we were 2 years ago, or even 1 year, in being able to fully harness all of the information and data that is being extracted from our mobile usage.

Today, a person’s journey to book a travel reservation includes over 400 touch points, and 80% of those are on mobile devices. So it’s very hard to get a hold of where [a traveler] is, when [they] want something, and what message to deliver to [them].

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