This week, after Google’s Searchology conference, Google launched some new interesting search features to improve usability and search on the web.
Google Search Options: Now when you type a search into Google’s toolbar, there is a new link called search options under the Google search field on the left hand side of the page beside web results. When you click on search options, you can choose whether you want Google to categorize your search by videos, forums, recent results (including past 24 hours, past week, past year) or can categorize your search by images. It is pretty amazing that the capabilities of search continue to become more user-friendly and technologically advanced.
Under this Google search is a cool feature called Wonder Wheel where Google makes a chart that shows your search term and then suggests related searches/ results in a visually pleasing manner. For more detailed information on Google’s new search features, check out Matt Cutts’s blog.
Rich Snippets is another part of Google algorithms where Google chooses a snippet of content from the site to display to those searching. This snippet will also allow easy access to reviews and online ratings.
What do these new Google algorithms mean for websites in hospitality and travel industries? Although I do not have complete knowledge of the Google algorithms that affect search, I do see some trends that the hospitality industry should be aware of.
1. Update and refresh the content on your website frequently—now that people can search by reviews, time, images, etc, it is important that your website is constantly changing and refreshing its content to reach your travel audience searching for deals and special offers.
2. Interact on the social web—if you aren’t already, get your travel business on twitter, facebook and other social networks to generate ‘buzz’ about your product and form relationships with your customers.
3. Give incentive for your guests to give your business positive reviews online—Offer good customer service, respond quickly to client needs, offer valued services and form relationships with guests. Offer something unique that will get people talking and sharing about your business. For those customers who seem pleased, ask and encourage them to leave reviews on the web and to give a ‘shout-out’ to your services on twitter (or something like that!).
4. SEO your website—search engine optimization is an important marketing tactic that will boost the performance of your website and even your PPC campaign. Marketing your business with words that will reach people online and convince them to buy your product is a skill that the best SEO firms, like 10Best Solutions, could offer your business. It is especially valuable to undergo SEO with a company that has experience in your niche. 10Best only works with clients in the hospitality and travel industry and has brought great successes to clients because of our understanding of destinations, the travel market, and searching travelers.