Yesterday Ania Trzaskowska Head of Web & UX at Thissaway attended the Guestline Connect Event on behalf of one of our hospitality clients The TA Hotel Collection at the Grand Connaught Rooms with attendees from a number of hoteliers including Yotel, Firmdale Hotels, Z Hotels amongst others in the hospitality market to share best practice and hear the latest tips and innovations.

Ed Lines, Account Manager at Google, is a hotel ad specialist who works with global hotel chains and gave a very interesting presentation on the Travellers Path to Purchase in 2016.
Here are a few key takeaways from his presentation.

    • Average Travel Checkout Abandonment is at 81%
    • Conversion rates for hotel/travel bookings are a lot lower than retail – average 0.75% for travel vs. 5.29% for retail.
    • Unsurprisingly 81% research hotel stays online and 4 out of 5 people book a hotel online.
    • What are they looking for? Maps of the area, how to find you, what is around you and reviews.
    • Searches for “hotel or restaurant near me” have risen sharply – so Local SEO is more important than ever.
    • 46% of mobile web travellers are unlikely to return to a slow loading site – so check your site speed and optimise – check your site speed today with Google Page Speed Insights.
    • Today’s traveller is not brand loyal; this is the same for leisure and business travellers.
    • Today’s traveller is really Check out how many different touch points a user makes before actually booking a hotel:

  • 34% of online consumers are looking for inspiration to go somewhere – a reason to visit.
  • 46% of hotel queries are non-branded terms i.e. Hotels in London or Paris Hotels.
  • There is lots of competition in the generic queries space.
  • First thing people search for are “Hotels London” and guess who comes up in paid ads at the top – and other aggregators.
  • 95% of searches will click on an ad belonging to an OTA i.e. if it appears at the top of Google.

So how do we compete?

  • Replicate the online experience; give the user everything they need to book direct – great content, reviews, star ratings, lots of images, video, and room prices in one page with a simple booking process.
  • Tag every step in your customer’s journey to understand your audience and where they drop off in the process.

Sell the destination, create 10X content (10 times better than your competitors) – give your customers a taste of what they will experience with video, great images, itineraries, blogs, and interactive pages.

What is 10X content?

  • “It has to have great UI and UX on any device.
  • That content is generally a combination of high quality, trustworthy, it’s useful, interesting, and remarkable. It doesn’t have to be all of those but some combination of them.
  • It’s got to be considerably different in scope and in detail from other works that are serving the same visitor or user intent.
  • It’s got to create an emotional response – awe, surprise, joy, anticipation, admiration.
  • Solve a problem or answer a question by providing that comprehensive, accurate, exceptional information.
  • Deliver content in a unique, remarkable, typically unexpectedly pleasurable style or medium.” Moz: Rand Fishkin March 18th, 2016

Paul Edwards.

Head of Digital
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