OTAs, precise SEO and other marketing strategies for boosting hotel traffic

Online travel agencies, precise search engine optimization and other marketing strategies might be the recipe for boosting traffic to hotels in 2017

According to Geoffrey Moore in his book “Living on the Fault Line: Managing for Shareholder Value in the Age of the Internet,” stock price is a measure of future potential based on present competitive advantage.

Competitive advantage consists of two components: competitive advantage gap and competitive advantage period. The competitive advantage gap (or GAP) is the distance between your hotel offerings and your nearest competitors. The competitive advantage period (or CAP) is the projected period a company can maintain its differentiated position. In other words, if a hotel company has superior products and significant barriers to entry, it has both a competitive gap (product differentiation) and a competitive cap (time lag for competitor entry).

When developing a cohesive marketing strategy, both CAP and GAP should be incorporated to achieve success for sustained periods. With that in mind, here are some guiding principles to help you achieve a competitive advantage in your market.

Distribution dilemma and marketing dollars

Many hotels receive reservations from third-party sources, most notably online travel agencies. It is important to understand the OTA booking process and what its impact is on the hotel. OTAs buy keywords that allow them to dominate the search process. This is largely due to their ability and willingness to spend marketing dollars. For example, if a guest attempts a search with the keywords “hotels in Scottsdale, Arizona,” the top four results are Google Ads and, not surprisingly, these four ads are all for OTAs. While the results will vary based on the time of day and the number of people bidding on certain keywords, OTAs dominate the broadest-searched terms.

After scrolling past the four ad placements, you will see a Google Maps listing with three locations. These Google Local rankings are the results of a great search engine optimization campaign as well as Google’s local algorithm. Once past the map, we get into the organic search results.

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