How online content defines your success on meta searches
While antiquated or even false information is harmful for hoteliers, high-quality and up-to-date content proves to be an essential tool and, last but not least, ensures that users actually decide in favor of your hotel. While in the first part of our content series we gave you general tips on content marketing, in the second part we focus on what you should look out for in content maintenance on the largest meta searches such as Google, Trivago and Tripadvisor. Last but not least, you can also influence the ranking of your ads.
Factor 1: Images
Before guests book with you, they usually inform themselves about the options on the Internet and are happy to look at several alternatives. The main focus is on the photos, since these usually catch the user's eye first. With attractive pictures you draw attention and appeal to the searchers on a visual level.
The main photo, which is seen and displayed first, is the most important. Depending on the different meta searches, hoteliers can have different influence on the selection of the image:
For Trivago and Tripadvisor you can select a main image in your account. In our experience, however, hoteliers usually do not choose the best one.
You have to consider this: While it is crucial for city hotels to set a nice room picture with a wide angle, where guests can see as much as possible, for vacation resorts an outdoor picture with eventual pool landscape and, depending on the area, mountains, sea view or palm trees is recommended to create a first vacation feeling.
Furthermore, the selected pictures should always be adapted to the seasons. A hotel in the Alps should therefore ideally adjust winter pictures in late summer, since holidaymakers are more likely to be looking for winter vacations at this time of year.
However, unlike Trivago and Tripadvisor, hoteliers currently do not have the option of selecting the main image in their Google my business account and Kayak. This is decided entirely by an algorithm.
Factor 2: Hotel descriptions and amenities
Great texts are essential and need to describe your product precisely. Offer your guests attractive and captivating hotel descriptions. At best, translate them into several languages to address customers from all over the world.
When it comes to hotel amenities, metas like Trivago collect all information from bar to room service. Some meta searches work with tick boxes for entering the content. This means that hoteliers can easily select which features apply to them and which do not. It is important to keep the content up to date and to advertise everything the hotel has to offer. If, on Trivago for example, vacationers select certain filters, such as "parking" or "with elevator" and you have not selected them as a tickbox, your hotel will not appear in the filter results and your guests will look for an alternative.
In contrast, it is of course just as important not to advertise anything that your hotel doesn't have to offer - because this quickly leads to a sense of resentment, e.g. if the wellness area advertised in dazzling colors consists only of a mini pool and a broken sauna. Or you have a nice hotel bar, but it is currently being renovated and is temporarily closed. Be sure to inform your potential guests about current renovation work on the platforms.
Factor 3: Ratings
Would you stay in a house with consistently poor ratings? Probably not...Then you share the same opinion as the majority of all hotel seekers! Therefore, the ratings have a significant influence on the ranking. In the first search result pages only hotels with good ratings are shown. Hotels with worse ratings will appear in the back of the ranking.
In order to differentiate yourself from the competition, as many good ratings as possible must be provided. This is especially important with Tripadvisor, because it is still considered THE rating portal and many vacationers use it as a guide.
With the Trivago platform, the Trivago Rating Index (TRI) is the sole deciding factor. This is a global and very reliable index for hotel ratings. To calculate this value, available ratings from various sources on the Internet are collected and combined using an algorithm. This results in an independent and objective evaluation, which is reflected by rating points:
- Red: 0-7
- Orange: 7-7,7
- Green: 7.5-10
Among other things, location, rooms, service, cleanliness and the price-performance ratio can be evaluated.
Basically you should pay special attention to this factor, because regardless of the price, the evaluations of other guests influence the booking decision of the vacation seekers significantly.
What is important for your hotel?
Be proactive in getting ratings! If you ask your guests about their stay when they leave, most of them are satisfied, but forget this as soon as they leave the hotel. Guests who were not satisfied with their stay do not forget about it, but usually write a detailed, negative online review.
Therefore, actively encourage your guests to rate you (positively) on the Internet. This is achieved with rewards such as discounts on the next stay or a free drink in the hotel's own restaurant. A simple method to implement this are for example business cards with nice hints and QR codes, which lead directly to platforms like Tripadvisor or Google.
A creative and professional internet presence on meta searches is more important than ever. So stand out with unique and versatile content and attract your guests emotionally to your site to benefit from valuable direct bookings.
While there's no one-size-fits-all solution, one thing has become abundantly clear: online reviews play a pivotal role in driving revenue growth. Explore how they affect consumer decisions and the bottom line of hotels around the world by diving into the world of online reviews.
While they might not be as buzzworthy as Google, Bing Hotel Ads are a hidden gem for savvy hoteliers looking to boost their revenue. With less competition and a growing user base, Microsoft Hotel Ads offers a lucrative opportunity to stand out and attract more bookings.
We explain why effective management of guest feedback and online reviews is crucial to your hotel's success.