90% of all travellers research online before booking a hotel. In order to be visible at this point in the decision-making process of potential customers, hotels have a completely free option: To optimize their website for search engines, in short SEO. A particularly important aspect for the hotel industry are Rich Snippets which show the user the most important information and services at a glance and, ultimately, generate more bookings. In this blog post we will show you the most important Rich Snippets and markups for hotel marketing.
What Are Rich Snippets and Why Are They Important?
Snippets are the results in the Google search results. They consist of a title, a URL and a description. Rich Snippets also contain additional information.
Rich Snippets offer the user additional information and they also take up more space making them more eye-catching. Therefore, they generate more attention which can lead to a 30% higher click rate than regular snippets.
How Do You Implement Rich Snippets?
To get Google to extract the most important content from your website, the search engine needs structured data. This data is provided with the help of your developers, who add hints, the so-called markups, into the programming code of your website. These usually consist of programming commands from Schema.org, an initiative established and supported by the major search engines Yahoo, Google and Yandex to uniformly structure data on websites.
The Most Important Markups
In order to appear in the Knowledge Graph, the particularly prominent position in the upper right-hand corner of Google search results, structured data for local companies is important in addition to the Google My Business entry. Structured data are also important for the Rich Snippets, as shown in the example of the screenshot above (ratings). For hotels, the following markups are especially important:
- Phone number
- Price range
- Reviews and ratings
- Possibly even information about longitude and latitude
- Attractive images
Other Important Structured Data
There are more schemes available that can be important for hotel marketing except the Google markups. Because it is quite possible that search engines evaluate the structured data on the landing page anyway. And the better a website is equipped with schema.org markups, the easier it is for search engine crawlers to understand the content, purpose and trust of a landing page and might reward it with better results in the rankings. These schemes are especially important for hotels:
- Lodging Business Scheme: Here you specify, among other things, what type of accommodation you offer (e.g.: hotel, bed & breakfast, motel, resort, etc.), how many rooms you have, what check-in and check-out times there are, give details of the number of stars, and what currencies you accept.
- Accommodation Scheme: With these markups you give more detailed information about the rooms (floor, size, special equipment) and the type of rooms (suites, apartments, conference rooms).
- Offer Scheme: With the offer markup you can specify special offers and their conditions (e.g. advance booking, minimum nights).
The Correct Procedure For Implementing Markups
- Generate and insert the markup according to Google’s instructions or get help from a developer or data analyst.
- Test the markup after publication, e.g. with Google’s Rich Results Test or the Synup Schema Scanner.
- Then perform an indexing audit to ensure that all pages are listed in the Google index as desired. Google will also alert you if there are any problems in the rich search results status report in Google Search Console.
- And finally, SEO is not a switch that can be turned on and off. To see results, you should wait one to two months after indexing and only then analyze your SEO performance: Has your ranking gone up? How is your click-through rate (CTR)? Ideally, both have improved over time and have also had a positive effect on your bookings.