Search engines are a vital part of the looking and booking process for many travellers – indeed, studies have shown that 60 per cent of people use them to research upcoming trips, so the ways in which they display information are essential for hotel marketers to stay on top of.One of the most interesting search engine features to have arisen recently is the rich snippets function from Google.
What are Google’s rich snippets? If you’re not sure, rich snippets are the fragments of information that are displayed beneath the page titles and URLs of search results. Don’t confuse them with the extracts of websites that you’ll see in typical listings – these are simply parts that search engine spiders take without input from the website owner.Rich snippets, on the other hand, will feature factors like the star rating of your property, an image of it, some of your upcoming events or a descriptive paragraph, all within the neat window of your search listing.Why are rich snippets important? The travel industry is a crowded place and brands increasingly need to stand out if they are to beat the competition.
Reviews, blogs and other hotel search engine marketing tools are all useful, but anything new that can lend itself to easy comparison and information provision for travellers can only be helpful in getting ahead.Rich snippets can also be ideal for smaller hotels, as they don’t involve any significant financial outlay yet can allow them to compete with the really big names in the industry. How rich snippets influence bookings Studies have already shown that rich snippets are effective in boosting click-through rates for search engine results, so they could clearly influence the ways in which people book hotels.
They can help hotels to stand out amid all the other listings that only display text, plus they allow would-be guests to check out factors such as location, reviews and other information without having to take too much time exploring.You might worry that this could cannibalise traffic to your own website by negating the need to click through, but it’s actually likely to improve your results by ensuring the people who do visit are more likely to make a booking. It’s a way of tempting people in by showing them straight away that you’ve got what they want.How do you add rich snippets to your Google result? If you’ve decided rich snippets are for you, it’s time for the technical part of adding them to your listings. Just mark up your website using the guidance Google has published on its website, then publish the results on your pages.
It’s essential to check it has worked using Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool, plus you’ll need to give it a while to show up in the search engine’s listings.There are plenty of how-tos online if you’re struggling, plus Google has its own tutorials to turn to for more in-depth information.They’re not a guaranteed method of increasing your conversions, but rich snippets are a different way of displaying content that might assist you when it comes to improving engagement and helping you show up as a smaller brand.
For more information on hotel publicity online, check out World Hotel Marketing.