2013 HeBS Digital Articles

The Shift in Hotel Bookings from Desktop to Mobile and Tablet Accelerates in Q3, 2013

5 Dec 2013

Earlier this year we outlined the rapid growth in hotel website visitors and bookings from mobile (smartphone) and tablet devices at the expense of the traditional desktop. The results from Q3 2013 are in, and the shift from desktop to mobile and tablet devices is even more massive than it was at the beginning of the year. There is no doubt: 2013 is undeniably the year of the three screens.
By: Max Starkov and Sara O’Brien

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How Hoteliers Can Leverage New Pinterest Features to Enhance their Online Marketing Strategy

21 Oct 2013

Given its high traffic volume and creative potential, many travel and hospitality brands have made the foray into making Pinterest a part of their online marketing strategies. With the launch of new features and tools, Pinterest has evolved to become a more effective marketing tool for hoteliers.

By: Victoria Hsia

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Hotelier’s Action Plan to Benefit from Google’s New “Hummingbird” Algorithm

15 Oct 2013

In September of this year Google introduced a new, dramatically different search algorithm – dubbed “Hummingbird,” meant to gather better, more intuitive results for users via conversational search. Touted as Google’s largest search algorithm change since 2001, the main intent is to deliver more accurate answers to conversational search queries such as, “What is the best hotel rooftop bar nearby?” The new algorithm rewards quality content instead of keyword-centric content and has made a more measurable impact on complex long-tail keywords such as “Chicago hotel with free airport shuttle.”
By: Sue Wiker & Asher Fusco

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The End of an Era: Google Says Goodbye to Keyword-Centric SEO

25 Sep 2013

Since late 2011, Google has been moving in the direction of secure search. Put simply, Google is not disclosing to website owners the keyword terms visitors use to find the site, e.g. “downtown Houston Hotels” or “Hotel near Times Square.” As of this week, Google has made secure search the default, meaning that SEO marketers will no longer be able to see how much traffic and revenue were brought in to the website by specific keywords. Without keyword-specific data, SEO marketers must focus on what HeBS Digital has been supporting all along: relevant, editorial-quality website content.
By Max Starkov & Sue Wiker

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A Restaurateur’s Guide to Successful Digital Marketing

21 May 2013

The restaurant website, its online presence and corresponding digital marketing efforts have become the main point of contact with would-be patrons. Approximately 89 percent of diners research restaurants online before visiting in person. In addition, 50 percent make restaurant reservations online, and about 40 percent of those completed the reservation on the restaurant’s own website. As restaurant-industry sales continue to climb, restaurants must maintain an online presence in order to communicate with current diners, attract new customers, and build loyalty among patrons.

By: Emily Ditman

Click here to download Document. 2.08 MB

Preparing for Google Penguin 2.0: How To Protect Your Hotel Website

8 May 2013

Since the initial rollout of the Panda Algorithm update in February 2011- which upended search engine page results in a major way- Google has introduced a number of updates and changes- as of late April 2013, the company has produced 25 Panda updates and a host of others, dubbed Penguin.
By: Asher Fusco

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The Truth is in the Numbers: 2013 is Undoubtedly the Year of the Three Screens in Hospitality

6 May 2013

Last year HeBS Digital advised hoteliers to get ready for the “three screen explosion”, and worked hard to deliver a customized and user-friendly experience across these three screens. The results from Q1 2013 are in and show a seismic shift from desktop to mobile and tablet devices.
By: Max Starkov

Click here to download Document. 1.31 MB

A Call to Arms: How to Shift Market Share from the OTAs to the Hotel Website

15 Apr 2013

OTA dependency isn’t new. What’s new is the pain to the bottom line inflicted by the fat commission checks hoteliers are now paying Expedia and other OTAs, due to the widespread adoption of Expedia’s and Booking.com’s agency model in the U.S.
By: Max Starkov

Click here to download Document. 2.26 MB

A Blueprint to SEO Success: Creating Professional and Engaging Copy for the Hotel Website

4 Apr 2013

The look and feel of a website may initially grab the user’s attention, while the copy contains the core information about the hotel that will convince to click “Book Now.”
By: Erica Garza

Click here to download Document. 1.09 MB

From Dreaming to Booking: How Facebook Graph Search Plays a Role for Hotels in the Travel Planning Process

22 Mar 2013

With 87% of online users reporting Social Media recommendations impact hotel choice, it is no secret that social media influences the travel planning process. With the launch of Graph Search, a feature that helps users discover common interests with friends and discover places to visit, social media’s impact on travel will become even more significant.
By: Margaret Mastrogiacomo

Click here to download Document. 2.47 MB

How Real Are the Challenges to Dethrone Google as the King of Hotel Distribution?

27 Feb 2013

The following article is Max Starkov’s latest contribution to tnooz.com

For years now hotel marketers have claimed that search engines are on the way out as a viable marketing and distribution channel in hospitality. Some point to “declining” number of hotel and travel searches, supposedly evident from Google Trends, as the ultimate proof of the demise of the search engines. But how much of it is hard fact?
By: Max Starkov

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Responsive Web Design, Demystified

30 Jan 2013

In recent times, a careful analysis of the hospitality industry reveals that majority of “mobile” bookings, nights and revenue are generated by tablet devices such as the iPad, Samsung Galaxy and Google Nexus, not by “pure” mobile devices like the iPhone and Android smartphones. Therefore mobile and tablet devices and their respective marketing and distribution channels should be treated as separate device categories and hoteliers should pay special attention to the “Three Screens” in 2013: desktop, mobile and tablet.
By: Max Starkov

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Getting Ready for the 3-Screen Battle in 2013

10 Jan 2013

The following article is Max Starkov’s latest contribution to the “Successful eMarketing” blog on HOTELS magazine’s website about creating and managing digital content across three distinct marketing and distribution channels (desktop, mobile, tablet), as well as publishing the hotel’s latest specials offers and promotions on the hotel’s social media profiles.
By: Max Starkov

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The Smart Hotelier's 2013 Top Ten Digital Marketing Resolutions

2 Jan 2013

What business goals were you able to achieve in 2012 that you want to improve this year? What did you not achieve? Were you distracted by the next big thing and lost sight of hotel digital marketing fundamentals? What strategy should hoteliers adopt to stay competitive in this ever changing digital world? As we find ourselves in a new year full of possibilities, now is a good time to plan your digital marketing efforts throughout 2013.

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