Traveler search model for lodging services
Nowadays tourists have a close bond with technologies when traveling, this consumption profile was defined as SOLOMO. The web is being highly used for planning a trip and consulted all along someone’s trip – from the moment the traveler have the idea to the moment he comes back (this has much to do with the use of smartphone).
The psychology of the Internet user who wants to travel is quite complex because numerous factors are taken in account for us to be able to define one type of traveler (family, youth, entrepreneurs), budget, type of transport, cultural tastes… But what we can insure is a traveler standard model of research in browsers that determine how people choose their accommodation when traveling.
The final destination choice is directly related to the services available to the traveler’s stay – the hospitality industry has a major impact in this process because if the tourist doesn’t find an accommodation that suits him, he simply changes his mind and chooses another destination.
There are two main points in understanding this search model:
1. Better positioning for our website using user’s search terms.
Indeed, if we understand what are the search terms inserted in Google we can enhance our website and our presentation tab in intermediaries websites. As the first term is the “place”, this will lead us to perfectly indicate our location and destination details of our accommodation business. Example of traveler search, the tourist is looking for a hotel in Paris, downtown, a 3 star hotel with a family atmosphere and located close to local restaurants (requesting reviews).
It’s important that the presentation tab appearing in brokers websites are fully loaded and updated with all these basics info: destination, location, characteristics, tastes and opinions.
Much is said about SEO and expensive solutions to be in the first page of search engines for a specific term – but for a small hotelier scale, the solution for being found in the net is to understand how the traveler uses the web to find his accommodation and what makes him do a purchase. We must take advantage of our hotel features and report it clearly and precisely on every media available on the web.
Finally, the consultation of websites and the comparison between them seals this search pattern – we must pay attention to basic details that a website must have and the essentials specifications for a travelers mobile version of our website.
2. Choose better the retailers and intermediaries selling your rooms.
Choosing intermediaries using the tourist’s consumption pattern is an analytical task that has to be done periodically. By this I mean that with our own hands we are going to place ourselves in the skin of travelers surfing on Google and looking for hotels.
Example, look for hotels on the area of your business or type of accommodation (hostel in Argentina). Using this method we can identify brokers having a good position on browser and thus who are more likely to sell you because of their visibility. Do not choose “Travelocity” if “Trivago” offers a better service.
*** I recommend making a chart with each search term and as time goes by you will find possible associations with brokers or retailers.
The purpose of all this is to know what happens on the web and where we are in web environment – Know what your guests are seeking and try to answer their queries. Talking about intermediaries, know the actual sale power of all your brokers and possible new intermediaries. All this will empower your distribution channels and avoid dependency on OTA’s.
This topic was discussed during “Encuentros Hoteleros” from Clerk (Hotelier meetup), first edition. Through all this articles we will be remembering important points rose during the event. More questions and details, please do comment!