April 4, 2018

How Custom and Automated Schema Markup Increases Incremental Revenue for Hospitality

By Garrick Lee and Max Starkov

What is Schema Markup?

Schema markup is a form of microdata, J-SON, i.e., a piece of code installed on a website, which helps search engines understand and interpret web pages. Once schema markup is installed on a webpage, it has the potential to create a rich snippet—an enhanced description which could include images, event details, reviews, and more—that appears in the search results and is greatly beneficial from an SEO perspective.

At its core, Schema.org is about standardizing and simplifying the process of adding semantic markup to web pages and providing tangible benefits for doing so. The most visible and measurable benefit comes in the form of rich snippet results. For the hotel sites, we see these rich results come in the form of star ratings, price range, and reviews in search results.

Schema.org, founded by Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and Yandex in 2011, is the collaborative community tasked with the mission to create, maintain, and promote schemas for structured data (vocabularies) on the Internet, web pages, and beyond.

In its inception, Search engine companies’ main goal was to help with semantic search. For example, the difference between when a user searches for Apple, the company, and apple, the fruit. Does the company or the fruit populate the search results? Schema markup data implementation on sites help the search engines understand what content on web pages are truly about and return the best search result based on this information.

Today over 10 million websites use Schema.org to markup their web pages. Many applications from Google, Microsoft, Pinterest, Yandex, and others already use these vocabularies to power rich, extensible experiences.

 

Why is schema markup important for hotel websites?

Schema markup helps search engines “understand” the content and intent of websites, especially dynamic content elements many hotel websites have such as events and happenings, special offers, opening hours, and star ratings. The rich snippets make a hotel’s web pages appear more prominently in search engine results pages (SERPs), thus improving visibility of a hotel website’s overall SEO, SERP click-through rates, and more.

In summary, schema markup for websites is:

  • Making it easier for Google and other search engines to grasp what your web pages are all about
  • Influencing visibility of your property in Featured Snippet placements that appear at the top of Google search results
  • Enhancing the property organic listings in SERPs by adding rich information, such as the star ratings of the hotel, events and happenings, etc.
  • Increasing click-through-rates via the search engine results pages
  • Improving organic rankings on search engine result pages for the site 

A trend to stay on top of is that Schema.org markup is also becoming increasingly important in the age of voice search, acting as a signpost that points digital assistants towards the information that will correctly answer a user’s voice query. Voice queries depend heavily on implied context, and schema markup can help give that context to an otherwise ambiguous page of text. As voice search becomes more and more prevalent amongst consumers, it will be important to get ahead of the curve and incorporate schema into SEO and overall digital strategies.

 

What is the impact of Schema Markup?

Through the implementation of custom and automated schema markup, these rich snippets drastically increase visibility of the hotel website, improve user engagement and qualified website visits, and generate incremental revenues through the site. In addition to having proper schema, sites must meet some criteria based on domain authority and trust to be awarded with rich snippet results:

  • High Domain Authority
  • Trusted reviews
  • Proper schema markup

 

Here’s a case study:

 

What are some examples of Schema Markup for the hospitality industry?

 

Hotel Schema Markup with Star Rating and Price:

 

 

 

 

 

Restaurant Schema Markup with Star Rating and Price:

 

 

 

 

Events Schema Markup with Calendar Entries:

 

 

 

 

 

Hours Schema Markup with Hours of Operation:

 

 

 

 

 

Day Spa Schema Markup:

 

 

 

 

Coffee Shop Schema Markup:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conclusion

In this day and age of social media, mobile, and wearable devices, search engines still generate over 50% of hotel website revenues via SEO, SEM, GDN Retargeting, and more. Over one-third of website bookings come as a direct result of SEO, i.e., users clicking on the property’s organic listings in SERPs. Enabling schema markup on the property website will not only help the search engines better “understand” the content and intent of your website, but improve the visibility of your website, increase customer engagement, and ultimately result in incremental website revenue.

It is important for hoteliers to have a content management system that allows for the manipulation of schema markup, as a team of SEO specialists or an agency that is an expert in hospitality SEO. Through on of the 30+ modules available in HEBS Digital’s smartCMS® website technology platform, the Schema Markup Module automatically generates rich snippets to make the property website pages appear more prominently in SERPs. It takes advantage of the most popular uses of schema:

  • Website navigation for sitelink extensions
  • Special offers (e.g., packages and promotions)
  • Hotel price
  • Events/happenings from the Calendar of Events
  • Business information: opening hours, star ratings, etc.
  • Accommodations information
  • Restaurant price range, star ratings, reviews.

To learn more about Schema Markup, please contact HEBS Digital’s SEO experts at success@hebsdigital.com.

About HEBS Digital:

Founded in 2001, the firm is headquartered in New York City and has global offices in Las Vegas, Tallinn, Munich, and Asia-Pacific. Through its Smart Guest Acquisition Suite, including the smartCMS®, Smart Personalization Engine, Smart Data Marketing, and full-service digital consulting and marketing solutions, HEBS Digital helps hoteliers drastically boost direct bookings, lower distribution costs, and increase the lifetime value of guests. Its diverse client portfolio consists of top-tier luxury and boutique hotel chains, independent hotels, resorts and casinos, franchised properties and hotel management companies, convention centers, spas, restaurants, DMO and tourist offices.

Part of NextGuest Technologies, HEBS Digital and Serenata CRM, the most comprehensive Hotel CRM Suite today, are the creators of the hospitality industry’s first Fully-Integrated Guest Engagement & Acquisition Platform.

Contact HEBS Digital’s consultants at 1 (800) 649-5076 (North America), +64 (0) 9 889 8489 (Asia Pacific) or success@hebsdigital.com.

Website
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn

Editorial Contact:

Garrick Lee
Marketing Manager, HEBS Digital
Phone: (212) 752-9425
Email: garrick@hebsdigital.com