I have to admit, like most others, we thought QR codes were pretty much unused and had never “taken off”. But according to one of our clients they are widely used by Chinese visitors. Continue reading →
This primarily affects your ability to track how much traffic you are receiving from TripAdvisor (and other https-secured sites). The result is that Google Analytics cannot collect data on referral traffic from these sites. Continue reading →
Almost everything tells you that you need to be actively engaged in Social Media.
If you are, then you should be closely monitoring what is being said about your business all the social channels. Monitoring reviews and responding to these can be critical to the success or otherwise of your business. According to one US study, businesses that respond to a complaint on social media see a 20% increase in advocacy. But businesses that did not respond to a complaint, saw a 43% decrease in advocacy.
Google have been under continuing pressure from large sites about how “Google pushes it’s own barrow in its search results”. eg much of the space on the 1st page is taken up with Google Adwords and / or Google Local Search results, Google Images etc.
So Google has recently succumbed to some of this pressure and changed a few things in the Search Results pages (Serps). We don’t know if these are permanent or just an experiment (they won’t tell anyone of course).
Changes they have made are mostly in Local Search results, which have been a good way to get on page 1 for free. They were showing up to 7 results here, but have now reduced this to 3. This is also to make results more mobile friendly – 3 fits better than 7.
And your business’s Google + page is not linked directly from these anymore.
That makes it even more important to try to ensure that you are in these Local results and that your Google + page is effective (it affects this). And Google reviews can affect this – more good reviews on your Google + page affects if you are in the top 3 local results displayed. So keep on focusing on encouraging customer reviews for your business on your Google+ page.
Google has also split out the photo component of your Google+ Page into a standalone product called Google Photos.
We recently met with a motelier who was happy that it cost him $100 in Adwords cost for every booking – he got 7 bookings from $700 in Adwords campaign for the month. His room rate is around $120 per night ($104 excl gst). He seemed very happy that his occupancy had increased by 100% and that is what counted to him.
I admit I don’t know everything (I don’t know what I don’t know either) but when most of the industry is complaining about 15% commissions they are paying to Booking.com and other OTAs, how is paying 96% commission equivalent to Google for Adwords a good deal and return on investment? And that is without considering cleaning costs etc!! Continue reading →
It has been slowly happening but now appears to be in full swing, at least in the US. Now that they have such market dominance, TripAdvisor are becoming a full blown booking site and maximising their returns.
With Instant Book, or Book on TripAdvisor, consumers get the convenience of booking the hotel on TripAdvisor or in its apps without having to navigate to a hotel or online travel agency site. The hotels pay TripAdvisor a commission instead of paying for clicks. The commissions undercut those that they might have to pay to Expedia or Booking.com, for example.
This will probably mean more business listing options from them for promoting your business above others. It will be driven by commission $$$ rather than traveller ratings and reviews. And an even more aggressive approach from TripAdvisor to selling you business listings.
If paying for business listings just make sure that you know if your return on investment is worthwhile. And maximise the opportunities that are available. Eg feature a special offer for your property as this provides additional exposure on the site.
You probably don’t like paying commissions but that is just the way the market is changing. Unfortunately you need to get used to it and maximise your benefit (or minimise the impact) from this change.
Police, government agencies and prospective employers have been using Facebook and other social media sites to find information about people for some time. But it is actually also legal for documents to be served on people via social media such as Facebook (actually it has been for quite awhile).
In many cases it is easy for people to hide their physical address. But if they are actively using social media for regular posts, you can find them relatively easily if you need to!