We had a wonderful time in California attending the Northern California Hotel and Lodging Association Conference! It was great to catch up with our California clients and see what trends our peers are watching.
We also loved the chance to share our own educational session on Website Usability in a Short Attention Span World. Presented by Lyles, the session covered everything from design to user experience and the elements that set successful hotel websites from the rest. One of the biggest takeaways for attendees was the information on schema and Google’s free website testing tools, such as Page Speed Insights and the Mobile-Friendly test.
Schema, an SEO tactic for your website that adds microdata about what your website is about as well as improve the look of your site in results, isn’t an official ranking factor by Google, but it has been found that: “A study done by Searchmetrics.com in 2014 showed that ‘domains with schema integration do in fact rank better by an average of 4 positions when compared to domains without them.’ Searchmetrics does, of course, acknowledge that correlation may not be causation, stating ‘it should be noted that domains with integrated Schema tags may be generally better optimized than domains without.’”
Lyles began by outlining the buyer’s journey and how websites have had to evolve over the years to adapt to new technology and new ways consumers find information.
He also discussed how user experience is such an important aspect to a successful website, because if online visitors aren’t comfortable navigating or using your website the chance of them booking on your website goes way down. A question Lyles received from the audience was: If I have a separate mobile site that has a single page, am I ok? Well, something is better than nothing but you’re not fully compliant with Google’s mobile-friendly algorithm so you’ll most likely see an impact on your ranking in the search engine.
Lyles also discussed a few best practices as it relates to your hotel’s booking engine, from layouts to providing multiple ways to access the booking engine. Your booking engine must also follow some basic guidelines your website does, such as being mobile-friendly and easy to navigate.
At the trade show we got the chance to talk to hoteliers about their website and marketing needs, as well as catch up with our client The Metro Hotel. We were especially delighted with an appearance by Relay, the next generation of SaviOne the service robot. Overall, it was a great day of education and networking with a fantastic partner, the California Hotel & Lodging Association.
See Lyles’ presentation below: