Industry Update
Opinion Article 2 September 2014

Five Important Hotel Related Takeaways from the BrightEdge Share 14 Marketing Conference

The BrightEdge Vizergy Partnership

By Melissa Lyons, Natural Search Manager

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At Vizergy, we work closely with BrightEdge, a search marketing authority that offers an enterprise grade SEO platform. Our partnership is an essential component of our advanced SEO strategies. The analysis, tools and research they provide ensure our SEO services are as in depth and effective as possible.

The Share 14 Conference

For the past four years, BrightEdge has hosted an annual "Share" search marketing conference. Last week, along with over 1000+ other search marketing professionals including Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt, Starwood, and Choice Hotels from the hospitality sector, I attended the most recent conference, Share 14. Several of the presenters were from high profile companies such as Google, Bing, YouTube, Facebook, Marriott International, Hilton Worldwide, General Motors and Microsoft. To say the least, there was a substantial amount of knowledge present, and best of all, the knowledge was shared with everyone in attendance.

Here are five takeaways most relevant to the hospitality industry:

  1. Get social! It's important to utilize sites like Facebook and Twitter to help promote your property's creative content. Think "quality over quantity" with your posts. Find out what travelers want by reviewing what they like, share and retweet. Facebook is helpful when looking at multi-touch conversions. Typically, a consumer gains awareness through Facebook and then returns through paid search efforts. This causes Facebook ads and posts to be undervalued as a conversion source when they are, in fact, an aid to paid search performance. Facebook even allows you to reach more targeted travel shoppers with Website Custom Audiences. This increases return on ad spend, as seen with case studies.
  1. Content is king! Or is it? These days, SEO is more about user experience and NOT about keyword stuffing. Are guests and travel shoppers finding what is relevant to them; how fast are they finding it? We should also be more focused on earning quality links, not just building them. One link from a highly credible, relevant site is more powerful than several links from sites with little or no related value.
  2. Content marketing. Think about the information you are putting out there. Will it engage your target audience? The goal is to present information that consumers want, and sometimes (especially off your website), that may not be anything specific about your property. Bing's Duane Forrester mentioned that the majority of what you post on social media and blog outlets should be about someone or something else. Your job is to be a resource, but your business alone is not the full resource that people need. Be creative. Think about what kind of fun and interesting facts or information shoppers want to know along their travel purchase process.
  3. Keep cadence in mind. When you publish a video that goes viral, your traffic soars, and you get tons of social media coverage. Seems great, right? Well it could be if you keep it going. According to YouTube's Sarah Snyder, once buzz goes away, you're basically right back where you started. It doesn't help the long-term, overall growth of your online presence. But if you focus on cadence (suggested by Alex Volk at Microsoft) and regularly post a monthly video or special offer, especially right after a viral video, then your initial traffic spike could lead to better overall growth.
  1. Optimize for Mobile. This goes back to optimizing for user experience. When a user visits your site on a mobile device, they may not be looking for the same thing as they would on their desktop. In a mobile environment, overall copy must be condensed, and a clear call to action must be visible right away. For example, a travel shopper may prefer to book on their desktop, while they'd rather use "click to call" functionality on their smartphone. In this case, conversions should be tracked differently. The booking and call are both conversions, but come from different sources. Whatever the case, always present the ideal amount of information and track conversions per device.

Pictured is Google's Darren Pleasance sharing his thoughts on content marketing at the BrightEdge Share14 conference.

For more information on BrightEdge, visit their website.

For more information on how Vizergy's SEO services deliver the best visibility and ROI, click here.

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Melissa Lyons

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    About Vizergy® Digital Marketing

    Vizergy serves the world's hospitality industry with conversion optimized website design and fiercely competitive tools to maximize revenue. Our formula for success includes cutting-edge technologies, proven digital marketing programs and the best professionals in the industry. At Vizergy, hospitality marketing is not only our mission, it's our sole focus.

    For more than 20 years, Vizergy has relentlessly developed and deployed the best marketing technologies and talent to serve thousands of hospitality clients with excellence. The company deploys complete travel life-cycle marketing solutions from responsive website design and development, to proven award-winning digital marketing programs, reservation solutions, media planning and deployment. Vizergy's platform has long been touted as the #1 digital marketing system for hospitality clients, easy to deploy, turnkey and SMART, empowering clients to win in today's complex and competitive hospitality industry.

    For more information, please visit www.vizergy.com.

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