There's a massive paradigm shift going on in the world of search. Today, instead of typing in a keyword, people are being re-trained to ask more natural language questions. Consumers are simply asking for what they want — and when they do ask questions, they expect to get relevant answers. Hospitality, in particular, is positioned with a major opportunity to take advantage of these trends. According to Google, two of the top hotel amenity searches on smartphones are 'hotel with an indoor pool' and 'hotel with jacuzzi in room.'
To optimise for these experiences, Google now accepts more than 100 new attributes that are specific to hotel properties. Potential hotel guests can use Google to easily find answers to questions like "Is there valet parking available on site?" "Do you have a fitness centre?" and "Is breakfast included?" These are the types of facts that hoteliers can now power on Google.
The availability of these additional fields provides a huge opportunity to make it easier for potential guests to find a hotel. Not only will Google display that information under the Detailssection of a location's Google My Business profile, but these details also enable a hotel property to become more discoverable in search. Imagine someone right now is searching for 'hotel near me with a pool.' How can search engines, apps, and voice assistants display your property as an option if they don't know that you have a pool? That's why it's critical to focus on the data that powers the answers to consumers' questions. A strong data source for this information on Google is their new Hotel Feed API, which Yext is currently integrated with.
While hotel brands want to drive consumers to their own websites, apps and ultimately onto their properties, it's critical to meet potential guests no matter where, when or how they are searching at their highest moments of intent. The average business sees almost 3x the traffic on third-party search engines, maps, apps, directories and other AI powered services.* Ultimately, the questions consumers ask in search often indicate intent to transact. By managing the new attributes now available in Google, the hotel brands relevant to that search have a great opportunity to show up as the answer.
*Yext Proprietary Study, February 2017
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