A recent article about the ‘Death of SEO’ (see below) coincided with our own thinking on the subject, but coming from a slightly different angle.

This article below really states the obvious, that many hotel guests are being grabbed before they even get close to a hotels website. Even if you had excellent Search Engine Optimisation and your website ranked very highly for 'Hotel in belfast', you would still be pushed down the page by Google Adwords, mainly from the OTA's. Hotels in cities are more affected by this; Whats the chance of ranking number 1 for 'Hotel in London' when you have 1000 competitors!.

Guests are starting to learn that finding a hotel by doing a Google Search is very difficult, so they are narrowing their search by starting to look on websites such as Trivago or TripAdvisor etc. The OTA's themselves know this and that is why they have these platforms flooded with marketing. Hotels however are still hoping for a free lunch and are investing inordinate amounts of time in trying to achieve a good Google Search Engine Ranking on their own website, and are hoping to avoid the cost of adverting on Trivago/TripAdvisor/Google Hotel Finder etc.

This does NOT means that you should stop trying to improve the ranking of your website on Google, it simply highlights that investing time and effort in your website ONLY is generating ever diminishing returns....you really need to be focussing efforts on advertising in areas where your customers are searching . The good news is……….and we have seen this time and time again… that this investment CAN lead to money saving as your OTA bills start to go down.

Death of SEO -
http://skift.com/2015/10/20/priceline-com-ceo-on-the-death-of-search-engine-optimization-rip