Paradoxically, it has never been easier or more challenging for marketers to connect with and convert the luxury traveler. On one hand, this tech-savvy consumer can now be reached through various digital touch points, a boon for web-based marketers. What’s more, gone are the days where travel agents served as the sole vetting source for hotels and destinations: The consumer herself is becoming increasingly active in the research and exploration process – and relishing in it, too. SEO marketing strategies for luxury hotels and travelers are about taking your efforts a step further.
This exciting opportunity, however, comes with great challenges. For one, the traveler’s accelerated access to information – including the proliferation of consumer review websites – means she can afford to be more discerning than ever. In fact, in research conducted by The Affluence Collaborative for Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, 89% of respondents reported that online consumer reviews influenced their purchasing decisions. Add in the fact that change-bearing groups like affluent millennials are wielding more power than ever (millennial tourists generate more than $180 billion in annual tourism revenue, an increase of nearly 30% since 2007), and luxury hospitality marketers need to constantly be adapting to keep pace.
As such, ahead we share three must-implement SEO strategies for luxury travelers specific for this category.
Think Beyond “Luxury”
Of course, you’ll be integrating SEO keywords like “luxury” and “luxurious” into your website’s copy – no sound SEO strategist would recommend otherwise. But telling prospective travelers that you’re a luxury property simply isn’t enough. Today’s discriminating consumer is now seeking out further proof that a property is truly special; the marketer must vividly convey how and why through descriptive means. For example, consider integrating detailed explanations of finishes – marble, mahogany, and brass – when describing key design features. Moreover, if buzzwords like “farm-to-table,” “sustainable,” or “eco-conscious” apply to your property, be sure to integrate them into your copy. Lastly, this consumer is hyper-connected –let them know you are, too, via keywords like “Wi-Fi Internet” and “high-speed Internet access.”
In short, you must be as illustrative and evocative as possible when describing your hotel and its features, always remembering that you’re writing for an astute audience that expects more than just “luxury.”
Integrate Consumer Reviews
By integrating user reviews into your website, not only are you providing search engines a continuous stream of fresh content – something that they highly favor when indexing and ranking a website – you’re utilizing a powerful sales tool. (Granted, your reviews are positive!) Indeed, in The Affluence Collaborative research cited earlier, 33% of Four Seasons’ guests noted that TripAdvisor reviews were “very to extremely influential” in their decision-making process. In this sense, there is no better advocate or salesperson for your property than other luxury travelers; make their reviews part of your website to vouch for your property and convert prospective guests in the process.
Focus on Experiences
Increasingly, travelers are focused on activities; this is particularly true for millenials, with 78% noting they’d rather spend money on experiences than things. This tasks the marketer with selling not only their property, but the world around it, too. For example, be sure to integrate notable local activities and the services you provide relative to them, such as shuttles, tours, and concierge services. Moreover, if your property has features like a state-of-the-art fitness facility, boating or snorkeling activities, or an on-site spa, confirm that you’re not only speaking to these elements within your website copy, but that you’ve built out specific – and optimized – pages dedicated to them. Doing so will capture relative searches and firmly establish your position as an experience-driven (and luxurious) property.