Today, we’re looking at a collection of articles demonstrating the power, potential and necessity of a solid digital marketing strategy for independent hotels.

We’ll start with the good: a recent Google case study highlighting the effect a new website and a holistic digital marketing strategy can have for independent hotels. Then, we dive into new challenges – and opportunities – on mobile.

Google is unveiling a new travel interface for destination-type searches on mobile. This will drive down organic listings, but the big losses in traffic here are going to OTAs and sites like Yelp that have long dominated those short destination keywords. Keep optimising your website for long-tail keywords and your bookings should stay on track.

Lastly, we’re looking at ways for independent hotels to boost their direct bookings regardless of device. Read on for a look at using real-time, personal data to beat OTAs and a few of today’s top strategies for independent hotels to drive direct bookings.

Let’s go.

[GOOGLE CASE STUDY] Net Affinity Digital Marketing Team Excels

Today, we’re taking a look at an exciting new hotel case study from Google. Case studies are a great way to see how other hotels are succeeding, and which tools are the most effective for them. This case study takes a look at the effect a holistic digital marketing strategy and a brand new website can have on a hotel’s revenue.

Find out how our team’s efforts led to an 820% return on ad  spend and a 38% increase in voucher sales for the Galgorm Resort & Spa.


SEO Alert: Google Overhauls Travel Search for Mobile

Another day, another search engine optimization (SEO) wobble. In late January, Google released a major re-design of its mobile search interface for trip planning.

With this change, searches on Google for various destination keywords, such as “where to go in Thailand”, trigger a knowledge-graph result that leads users into a rabbit hole of Google-controlled content and travel-planning tools.

The move further de-prioritizes once-sacrosanct “organic” placements, causing yet another SEO wrinkle for travel marketers.


What Hoteliers Can Do to Leverage Mobile Hotel Booking Trends

For the traveler, the future of mobile hotel booking may include richer information, personalized offers and expanded merchandising from hotel partners. In order to provide these expanded offerings, hoteliers can glean critical information from top-of-the-funnel inbound searches, devices used to make bookings, and the booking behaviors of different age groups.


Independent Hotels Can Beat OTAs Using Real-Time Data

A recent article by HeBS Digital suggested that independent hotels can gain a significant advantage over OTAs by focusing on “Real-Time” data collected from guests while they’re on-property, on the phone, or browsing a hotel’s website.

This type of information can help hotels target customers in a far more specific way than OTAs can hope to achieve with a faceless Big Data source.


How Independent Hoteliers Grab Direct Bookings

With changes happening within the online-travel-agency space, such as consolidation, it’s more important than ever for independent hoteliers to have a sound distribution strategy that focuses on direct bookings.

Here’s a few top methods used by independent hoteliers to drive direct bookings.