Top 5 Things You Need to Know Now in Hotel Digital Marketing
By Margaret Mastrogiacomo
Tuesday, 30th January 2018

As we embark on a new year, it’s important to keep your digital strategy fresh and optimize your digital marketing efforts based on the latest changes and trends in the digital space.

Read on to learn the top five things you need to know now in hotel digital marketing and stay informed.

1. SEO: The Google Speed Update.

Google recently announced that starting in July 2018, Google will use mobile page speed as a ranking factor in their mobile search results. Google recommends that you use the new updated PageSpeed report and tools like LightHouse to measure page speed and make improvements. Speed is just one of many signals that are used to rank pages. Keep in mind that intent of the search query is still a very strong signal, so a slow page may still rank highly if it has great, relevant content. Mobile page speed will become a checkpoint in HEBS Digital’s ongoing SEO services to ensure all of our clients’ websites will not be affected in mobile search engine rankings. Overall, according to Google, this new ranking factor will affect a small percentage of queries.

2. SEM: Stricter YouTube Ad Restrictions.

YouTube sets stricter rules on videos that can carry ads as a result of advertiser brand safety concerns raised in 2017. There will be three primary changes that will address these challenges and better control the quality of where ads are featured for advertisers:

– New thresholds for channels to carry ads. The new requirements for a channel that has earned the right to run ads are:

  • 1,000 subscribers
  • 4,000 hours of watch time within the past 12 months
  • Removal of all user accounts and channels that receive three community strikes will continue to be in effect

– Manual vetting of Google Preferred channels. Starting mid-February, ads will only run on videos in the Google Preferred network that have been manually reviewed and verified to meet ad-friendly guidelines.

– New brand safety controls. In the coming months, YouTube will release a new three-tier “suitability system” for advertisers to control the types of video content on which their ads can appear. There are also new betas with reporting partners in the works such as DoubleVerify, OpenSlate, comScore, and more to better police ads.

3. Display: Google Chrome will block low-quality ads.

Starting February 15, Google Chrome will no longer show ads on websites that display non-compliant ad experiences that do not meet the standards of the Coalition for Better Ads. These are ads that interrupt and take over the full screen, particularly on mobile devices; ads that distract, such as flashing animations that play sound automatically; and ads that clutter, such as high-density ad displays. HEBS Digital ensures that all display ads meet the requirements of the Coalition for Better Ads for the best user experience across the web.

4. Social: WhatsApp officially launches app to create business-specific profiles.

WhatsApp recently announced the rollout of business-specific profiles and a mobile app for marketers to manage their WhatsApp accounts. This new feature is aimed at small and medium-sized businesses to be able to better chat with customers online on behalf of the brand. Now, hotel marketers can use the app to create WhatsApp profiles that can feature a description of the hotel and its category, as well as its email address, physical address (to be shown on a map), and a link to the hotel website.

This can be the perfect tool for a hotel brand to better manage and engage guests before, during, and after their stay, especially if your hotel has a large international following.

5. Design: Embrace color in 2018.

When it comes to following design trends, it can be hard to keep up. While minimalism and the use of white space certainly isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, the use of bright, vibrant colors throughout your imagery and web design is much welcomed in 2018. Make your choice of color wisely and use it to draw attention to important calls-to-action, such as book now buttons, scroll functions, and more. When using color in imagery, ensure that these images are drawing the user’s attention to the most important content throughout your digital experience.

About HEBS Digital:
Founded in 2001, HEBS Digital is headquartered in New York City and has global offices in Las Vegas, Europe, and Asia Pacific. Through its Smart Guest Acquisition Suite, including the smartCMS®, Smart Personalization Engine, Smart Data Marketing, and full-stack digital consulting and marketing solutions, HEBS Digital helps hoteliers drastically boost direct bookings, lower distribution costs, and increase the lifetime value of guests.

Part of NextGuest Technologies, HEBS Digital and Serenata CRM, the most comprehensive Hotel CRM Suite today, are the creators of the hospitality industry’s first Fully-Integrated Guest Engagement & Acquisition Platform.

A diverse client portfolio of top-tier luxury and boutique hotel chains, independent hotels, resorts and casinos, franchised properties and hotel management companies, convention centers, spas, restaurants, DMO and tourist offices across the globe are all benefiting from HEBS Digital’s direct online channel strategy and digital marketing expertise.

HEBS Digital’s technology, website design and digital marketing services have won more than 500 prestigious industry awards, including World Travel Awards, HSMAI Platinum Adrian Awards, Stevie Awards (American Business Awards), Travel Weekly’s Magellan Awards, and more.

The HEBS Digital team is comprised of thought leaders, a diverse team of experts comprised of over 33 nationalities speaking over 22 languages. Contact HEBS Digital’s experts at 1 (800) 649-5076 (North America), +64 (0) 9 889 8489 (Asia Pacific) or success@hebsdigital.com.

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