With the recent roll-out of Google’s ‘Freshness Update,’ hotels can maintain a high search ranking if they follow five steps outlined by hospitality’s social media marketing agency.
If visitors to your website are receiving stale information from random search engines, Google’s new “Freshness Update” (which effects how the popular search engine brings up results for searches) may be your hotel’s new best friend. Lodging Interactive, an award winning interactive and social media marketing agency exclusively servicing the hospitality industry, is offering five simple strategies that hotels can incorporate into their online marketing plan that will make it easier to obtain or maintain a high Google status. By using these strategies and publishing accurate and entertaining date-stamped material, hotels will increase their Google ranking and be at the top of a user’s search results.
“Just because a hotel updates or makes corrections to its webpage doesn’t automatically increase its freshness value,” said D.J. Vallauri, Lodging Interactive President and CEO. “Google determines the freshness the first time it crawled the page. The goal of Freshness Update is to deliver the most recent or current information to users when they enter a query. It does this by searching for web pages that are time stamped, which indicates when the information or webpage was created. Sometimes web pages can be time stamped in days or even in minutes. This is crucial for businesses in the hospitality industry that covet the top spots in Google’s search results because it underlines the importance of presenting and maintaining up-to-date information on their websites.”
To take advantage of Google’s Freshness Update, Lodging Interactive offers the following five strategies to incorporate into an online marketing plan:
1. Publish more press releases. Keep visitors informed of the latest happenings within your hotel. The information in press releases is time sensitive and Google will pick up on this. Coming out with new press releases on a weekly basis is a good idea because each press release will probably lose its “ranking” within a few days. It’s an easy and fast way to get a property name and website out there in the top search results.
2. Create a blog for your website. Display information on a host of different topics that is fun and interesting for people to read. Starting a blog is easy. If you already have a blog, make sure to keep adding entries on a regular basis. Be sure that your blog contains link bait pieces that tie into your content. Not only will you keep your website at the top of Google’s search results, but you’ll keep your regular followers intrigued with new and interesting tidbits of information.
3. Become familiar with popular social media. It’s important to use top social media sites such as Facebook, Google +1 and Twitter to market your hotel. The good thing about these social media sites is that your hotel’s followers and customers are able to assist you with your “freshness” by adding their own comments or content and promoting your site to others. As long as your business is monitoring outside content, it’s a great way to establish current content every day.
4. Get picked-up by Google News. It can have a huge impact on your ranking in Google.
5. Contact CoMMingle by Lodging Interactive for a free Social Media Marketing Audit. CoMMingle will review each hotel’s Internet plan to ensure that social media channels, word of mouth marketing, experiential marketing, reputation and consumer sentiment monitoring and social search engine optimization are being properly managed and maintained.
As hoteliers implement these strategies to improve their property’s freshness status, they also need to make sure they are using time-stamps correctly and using the following dating format Google recommends: YYYY-MM-DD, or 2011-12-31. It’s also imperative that hoteliers update XML sitemaps regularly every time they publish new information on the website.
“Think of your website like a cup of coffee,” Vallauri said. “Topping-off your cup (adding new photos only to your webpage) may make it more satisfying (visually appealing), but if the joe isn’t fresh (adding proper time stamps/dating formats), you could end up with a bitter taste in your mouth (turning off visitors because your site doesn’t appear in top search listings due to old content, thereby sending them to your competition). Remember, adding a little sugar (press releases and blogs) goes a long way (customers will talk you up via Facebook, Twitter, Google +1, and Google News will pick you up). If you’re not sure what kind of coffee suits your taste or that of your customers, ask a Barista (CoMMingle).
Related Link: Lodging Interactive