Greenlights Report on Most Visible Accomadation Websites

by on November 3, 2009

I read an interesting report today from Greenlight on the most visible websites in the travel sector based upon Google paid and natural search. The report lists the most visible in both the agent and hotel chain category. An interesting report although it’s extremely hard to get anything accurate using these tools.

You can read the report at the following link http://www.greenlightsearch.com/sectorreports/pdf/hotels_q2-2009.pdf. What I found interesting was PremierInns ranking at 2nd. I delved into this a little more. There are lots of unknowns so my delving maybe incorrect, for example on natural search:

“We have used industry data to classify 356 of the most popular global destinations that people booked hotels in, and profiled which search terms they used to find hotels in each location”

We don’t know what this list is although it seems a fair enough point. However it means the more locations you have in those destinations, the better you will fair in their report.

“We also took a set of generic keywords, which are not destination specific but are also used when searching for hotels”

This is an interesting point. How do they gather this data. Are they just using Google Insights and looking at related searches i.e. for “hotels”

google_insights_related

The problem with using share of voice in this manner and then comparing sites, is it doesn’t really give you the full picture . Premierinn ranking 2nd doesn’t make sense unless it’s due to the sites rank for keywords like:

“hotels”
“hotel”
“cheap hotels”

This would give them a lot of the overall search volume. However, what kind of ROI does ranking for “hotels” and “hotel” actually produce. A lot of the websites (hotel chains) in that report may be basing their SEO strategy on a more focused approach, destination lead. This would make sense as you base the SEO strategy around properties you own. If you rank for generic keywords like “hotels”, “hotels” or “budget hotels” then what kind of bounce rate are you going to get from those keywords ? What are the chances of your chain having properties that will fulfill the needs of a prospect who has entered the site on such a generic keyword ?

Comparing sites organic performance based upon this method doesn’t really tell you much about their SEO strategy and how it is performing based upon the KPIs set out for it.

I would however agree with LateRooms being number one. They have an awesome SEO strategy.

You can produce reports like this using Compete and that is a great tool for providing some really great stats.

Using Google Insights is a great way to measure efforts of a branding campaign. If we look at the graph above again (For the UK in the last 12 months) we see what brands are being associated with keyword “hotels”. If you are running a branding campaign with a particular KPI i.e. increase brand awareness for budget hotels, you can track this in Google Insight i.e. look to see if the brand appears for these searches.

Just to end, I really like these reports from Greenlight, they provide a lot of talking points …

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  3. Sometimes Google don’t get it right – Premier Inn Listing
  4. Location Based Search – Google Places Integrated into SERPs
  5. Good SEO equals less traffic – Introduction – What Keywords

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  • PaulB

    Hi, whats your opinion on Laterooms? They must be buying some serious links as they rank for everything. Even all the long tails where they have no external links to the page, it just seems to feed off their main index authority. P

  • http://www.searchbrat.com Kieran Flanagan

    Laterooms is a pretty interesting case. They rank for everything as you say although when you do some link analysis on pages in competitive areas, they do not have a whole pile of external links pointing to each page. I think they have build up a lot of authority which is distributed well via their internal link scheme. There is also a little bit of external link purchasing going on for certain regions (the more competitive) but I don’t think they rely on that.

    It really seems to be a case of Google recognizing them as a big brand so they perform really well …

  • PaulB

    Ive only been in this sector for about a year and they have always been big, however over the last few months they have started to rank for absolutely eveything. Id say about about 90% of competitive hotel keywords in the UK they are No1 or at least top 3. Ive only been able to beat them with exact match domains so far. P

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  • http://www.searchbrat.com Kieran Flanagan

    £18k a month is a nice chunk of change but at least it shows what money spent well can do for your ranking. It would be nice of all clients realized how much it costs to compete in competitive markets but a number one slot gets you 56% of the traffic each and every month, so can be work it.
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