The hospitality industry is one of the most competitive out there, with the average hotel receiving more than 10,000 searches per month.
With the rise of shared-space platforms such as Airbnb, this sector generates 10.4% of the world’s GDP (a figure that’s expected to rise in the next 10 years).
Individual hotels must compete with mammoth online price comparison sites that have a huge presence and can often afford to slash prices. As a result, many hotels are forced into the “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” scenario and pay a premium in fees for any bookings made through one of these sites.
Direct bookings are much more lucrative, thought to be around 9% more profitable (as of 2016) than bookings made through hotel partner sites.
With these growing numbers in mind, hotel owners in 2020 are under pressure to develop a winning local SEO strategy that will get them found in search and attract more visitors to their websites.
Google is continually evolving the way hotel listings feature in search results, and hoteliers must keep up with changes in the local SEO landscape that are pertinent to them.
In the past few years Google has introduced a whole host of new features for hotels, including in-SERP “Book Now” buttons, new layouts, and location tabs in knowledge panels. In 2019, Google even launched its own hotel offering to compete with the likes of Booking.com and Expedia.
At this rate, who knows what 2020 holds for hotels?