How Google’s Rich Snippets Features Drives Hotel Bookings

by June 27, 2016 9:30 am , Leave a comment

Considering how important search is in the buyer’s journey – 60% of travelers turn to search first when looking for accommodations– it’s surprising why more hoteliers don’t make use of one of Google’s best features: rich snippets.

What are Google’s Rich Snippets?

Think of rich snippets as extra information that Google lets you provide that appear underneath your page title and URL in search engine results. Translation = They’re extra little goodies you can use to influence travelers to click on your hotel listing versus a competitor’s, helping you drive direct bookings.

You can see the rich snippets (the information underneath the URL, such as reviews, ratings and pricing) in the example search result below:

Screen Shot 2016-06-23 at 11.59.20 AM

Why are Rich Snippets Important?

We turn to the internet before we turn to our family and friends – at least, when it comes to travel planning, revealed Google’s latest Traveler’s Road to Decision study. More than 70% of business and leisure travelers use the internet as their top source when planning their next trip, followed by family/friends. When we turn to the internet, the first place we turn is search engines – the number one most used online source in travel planning.

It’s so easy to flick through search results without giving them a second glance – especially when other search results offer the information for which you’re looking.

The three things travel shoppers want to know, first and foremost, are:

  1. Location
  2. Price
  3. Reviews and rating

How convenient that Google’s rich snippets let you provide exactly that.

How Rich Snippets Influence Bookings

One of the common questions I hear about rich snippets is “if I provide that information to Google, doesn’t it mean that users won’t click through to my website anymore, since they now see the most vital information in search results?”

That is one possibility – but the bigger possibility is that you don’t provide that information and a traveler passes over your hotel completely because they don’t want to go digging for information that other hotels are offering upfront.

In fact, here’s what Google has to say about it:

Our experiments show that many sites have seen increased click through by showing an enhanced snippet because users better notice all the good content from the site.”

Studies show that adding rich snippet content to your listing can boost click through rates by 30%.

How Do You Add Rich Snippets to Your Google Result?

One of the most important things you need to know about rich snippets is that you (or your webmaster) control the information that appears (based on the semantic markups you place on your website). This is completely different than the website snippets that Google occasionally extracts from websites to appear above the first organic search result, without your input.  

Google reveals how to add marked up content to your listing (which can be considered rich snippets) here. It can get a little technical, so here’s a brief breakdown:

  1. Get familiar with microdata. This lets you label the content on your site and tells Google what it is – for example, that your hotel restaurant is open from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
  2. Mark up your website according to Google’s guidelines  (plus here’s the direct link to marking up content for the “reviews” rich snippet)
  3. Publish the markup on your website
  4. Test the markup using Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool
  5. Make sure all your URLs are crawlable and indexable and give Google some time before you see the new rich snippets appear

That’s all there is to it. A simple way to provide travelers with more information on what you have to offer – and help narrow down their choices during their shopping journey.

Tagged in:  

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *