According to a report (PDF) from greenlight recently TripAdvisor, Booking.com, and Laterooms now dominate the three most crucial search and social sectors of online visibility in the UK. greenlight’s analysis of the top 15 brands across the online billboard showed not only each’s relative position to competitors, but just how seriously businesses engage via PPC, SEO, and social media means.
greenlight’s SEO experts measured the performance of the top brands associated with hotel search on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and YouTube fining TripAdvisor actually dominates the social channels impressively, at least where raw numbers are concerned. The chart below from the report tells just how dominating TripAdvisor’s position in the social sphere is.
While big numbers do not always insure any company’s “voice” is dominant in social, clearly TripAdvisor’s marketing team understands the SEO, branding, and engagement value of the social web. In the case above anyone can see the world’s most popular OTA has used overkill to ensure dominance. Just the SEO value of this aspect is enormous, especially where Google+ is concerned.
Moving on to organic search LateRooms was most visible hitting their targeted keyword and dominating 61% share of visibility. The site was in position one for 69 terms including “hotels”, according to the greenlight report. Meanwhile, LastMinute and TripAdvisor came in second and third respectively for natural search and organic SEO purposes. The chart below from greenlight Digital shows the scorecard.
Now for PPC the leaderboard takes on a bit of a different complexity in the UK. One might think TripAdvisor would play a major role in buying into visibility here, but the truth of the paid media tape shows Booking.com and Trivago in the top spots. This aspect of this report is actually the most fascinating and telling. TripAdvisor falls out of this picture for fairly obvious reasons. Expedia and Trivago are in, and TripAdvisor already commands a massive presence in the other spheres, dominating paid search would not be economical. What’s really more interesting is the ad buying strategies of the major players, and especially hotels.
In the chart below, “The most visible Hotels websites in Natural Search and Paid Media”, the snippet you see shows TripAdvisor in organic and paid search as well as a few brands and their positions. What is almost unbelievable for me is that Holiday Inn has zero organic position, how is that even possible? Looking at the numbers in the report, I was also quite amazed at the relative inefficiency of bidding on specific days by some huge hotel chains. Looking at week long bidding trends it almost seems as if Accor and Hilton were playing a guessing game compared with Booking.com and their flat line bidding strategy.
This report, presented by greenlight’s Marketing Manager Ashley Burgess, is actually a lot more critical than for providing a snapshot of the online search and social media market. Companies in the know can evaluate these numbers and discover their next strategies for the short term. Comparing revenues for overall effectiveness, and some more number crunching, should really provide more economically sound methods.
First, TripAdvisor’s virtual blitzkrieg on social media was not carried out for no reason. Secondly, Accor Hotels totally missing consumer search activity for the week in question, this was simply divergently opposed guesswork – the hotel chain wasted totally their budget the week of 11 February. Surely any hotelier engaging online can glean a best practices by studying this and other reports.