Upper-Funnel Search Trends and How Hoteliers Can Influence Them.
By Ashley Proceviat
Friday, 7th April 2017

Sojern’s 2017 Hotel Report, From Search Engine to Booking Engine, is out with valuable insights and actionable takeaways for hoteliers and travel brands.

Through our collaboration with Google, we’ve garnered a view of the guest’s journey over the entire path to hotel booking.

By and large, trip planning starts with a search engine, as most travelers don’t know where they want to go or who they want to fly or stay with. In fact, 67% of all hotel searches start on Google.

Here, we take a look at our findings from this upper funnel activity, and how hoteliers can influence this important phase.

Finding #1: Kimpton, part of the Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG), is the fastest growing hotel brand for searches year-over-year, at 88%.

Takeaway: While more generic search terms, like ‘New York hotels’ may be tough to win via SEM or SEO, this highlights the importance of bidding on your own brand, at the very least. Owning your own brand can ensure that you stay at the top of the search results, and top of mind.

Finding #2: Searches for vacation rentals and casinos rose the most year-over-year at 28% and 8% respectively, more than other destination types.

Takeaway: It may not be surprising that vacation rentals are getting more interest with the rise of the sharing economy, many are interested in experiential travel that promises fun with their hotel. For hoteliers, use this opportunity to play up your best offerings. If you have an excellent spa, or are within close proximity of outdoor activities, make sure those experiences are crystal clear in your messaging.

Finding #3: As much as a third of people search and book hotels very far in advance, 30 days or more, and we know they are brand agnostic/and hotel agnostic.

Takeaway: If your marketing plan only focuses on those lower in the funnel, looking to book last minute, you’re missing out on a third of people. Don’t miss an opportunity to reach people looking well in advance of their travel, prospecting new users with beautiful imagery or video to inspire them to visit your property.

For more insights and actionable takeaways, get the report now.

Ashley Proceviat is Sojern's Marketing Manager, EMEA & APAC and works in the London office. Originally from Canada, she's been living in London for over four years, and is actively trying to fill all the pages in her passport. She has never met a cheese she didn't like.

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