Travelling used to mean you first had to make a trip to your local travel agents. But, with the birth of the internet and the way it subsequently evolved, we’ve been able to cut out the middleman and take on the role of the travel agents ourselves.
And now there’s been another evolution in travel planning with the development and growth of voice search.
Voice-controlled products are used extensively to plan and book many aspects of travel, including restaurant reservations, excursions and experiences, and booking flights and hotels.
Instead of manually typing in lots of search queries, and sifting through the results for hours, it’s much quicker and easier to simply ask a voice assistant who will do the digging for you. In effect, the likes of Alexa become our own digital travel agents.
But booking on the go is also becoming the norm as travel becomes much more flexible and reactive. This means more and more people are using their smartphones to find suitable places nearby, enlisting Siri and Google Assistant to help them find what they’re looking for.
In addition to supplying travellers with information, they are also using the traveller’s enquiry behaviours, preferences, and history to provide the most relevant information.
With that in mind, it’s vital for those in the hospitality industry to really get to grips with voice search. If not, there’s a real possibility that they could see their business suffer.
To win favour with the virtual assistants, boost traffic and increase conversions, here’s how hotels can make the most of voice search.
Google My Business listing
Google My Business is a free and easy-to-use tool for businesses and organisations to manage their online presence across Google. Claiming and optimising your Google My Business profile allows people to find information about your business such as address, telephone number, opening hours and more. But doing so also increases your chances of appearing in local search results. Voice searches are even more location-focused than written search queries, with users asking things like ‘what are the best hotels near me.’ Having a full Google My Business listing makes you more likely to appear in these types of searches. As are customer reviews.
The hotel industry is fiercely competitive so shorter, high-demand phrases are going to be harder to rank for, for example ‘hotels in Manchester.’ This criteria will fit so many businesses and so will return a shed load of results. Instead, use long-tail keywords to your advantage. For example, ‘hotels in Manchester with spa facilities’ or ‘best boutique hotel in Manchester.’ There will be fewer search results and you’re therefore more likely to rank because there’s less competition. People who use long-tail keywords are potentially more valuable to your business, as they are high-intent and know exactly what they are looking for online. And they actually convert a lot more frequently too.
20% of mobile searches are now made by voice search, which is a huge percentage that can’t be ignored. Ensuring your website, ad campaigns and any other digital channels are fully optimised for mobile will put you in good stead with the search engines but will also provide browsers with a seamless experience. Users want quick results that are easy to navigate, especially if they’re on the go and in a hurry.
Voice searches are more likely to resemble everyday conversation and more natural language than typed queries. This is because when we speak, we naturally use full sentences, asking questions or giving commands.
For example, a typed query may look like this: ‘best boutique hotel in Manchester.’
Whereas a voice search looks something more like this: ‘what are the best boutique hotels in Manchester?’.
Search engines continue to adapt to understand our ‘natural language’ searches and as a result, the use of keywords commencing with ‘who’, ‘how’ ‘what’ or ‘where’ continue to rise. With that in mind, hotels should incorporate conversational language in their web content, even going so far as compiling a list of FAQs that they get from customers, and answering these in a friendly, natural and informative way.
Want to learn more about voice search? We’re a voice search optimisation agency in Manchester and we’d love to chat!