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Updated August 2018
This is our latest Hotel Sites report featuring data relevant to 2018.
We’ve analysed data from the top 46 sites in the sector to figure out who’s performing best in different key metrics. The brands are ranked for every metric separately, so you might be topping the charts for SEO visibility but lower down the rankings for social scores. Using the data in this report will help you to benchmark your online performance and see where your Hotel site sits in the digital landscape.
You’ll get insights into SEO visibility across the sector, an average number of links gained and quality of links as well as brand social performance.
Our report features the top 46 sites, but we do use sites from the entire market to gather our data and ensure it’s fair. If you can’t see your brand on the list, the chances are that we do have your data stored away. Just ask and we’ll send it through to you directly.
Improving your visibility year on year can have fantastic impacts across the whole site. This should be a priority for your SEO strategy, but which Hotel sites have managed to do this?
Premier Inn remains the market leader and has stormed ahead of their competitors after a 35% increase in visibility.
Travelodge has kept their position in 2nd place with a 19% visibility increase.
IHG has also kept their 3rd place position after a 36% improvement in visibility.
One of the biggest successes this year is Accor Hotels who has more than doubled their visibility with a 117% increase.
Rounding up the top five is Hilton, up 12% year on year.
The rest of the wins in the top ten are:
Marriot has lost 12% of their visibility year on year.
The high competition keywords featured in the report have a high search volume but are also very competitive. The top opportunity keywords have a high search volume but less people are optimising for them meaning you have a higher chance of ranking well.
Most of the high competition keywords include locations while the opportunity keywords are centred around price with the words ‘cheap’ and ‘deals’ prominent.
This is an extremely competitive market to rank in as most of the listings are occupied by sites which offer bookings across multiple websites such as Booking.com and Expedia.
A lot of the search terms also bring up articles which give advice on which hotels to stay in.
Tripadvisor also ranks well on most of the high competition keyword SERPs.
Investing in paid media could be your best bet for getting to the top of the page with these search terms.
Your hotel will most likely already feature on the hotel booking sites but, if you want to get your main site seen in the first instance, you’ll need to pay for that ad space.
IHG is already making the most of this, featuring in ads for the top competition term, ‘London hotels’ as well as ‘Liverpool hotels’.
Premier Inn also has an ad for ‘Manchester hotels’.
While it’s still very important to keep your SEO strong and get the most out of it, it’s also important to know when to use other tactics to maximise your chances of appearing in SERPs.
Despite many companies wanting to sound highbrow or luxury, the word ‘cheap’ appears in nine of the opportunity keywords.
Optimising your location-based pages with the term ‘cheap’ in the title or meta description could stand you a better chance of ranking.
‘Deals’ is also used in four of the keywords. Though it is a very competitive landscape, it’s still useful to know which words you should be optimising for!
Gaining high-quality links is a good indicator to Google that your site is trustworthy. Therefore, having a strong link profile can improve SEO.
Hilton has the highest average number of links per month of high quality.
This is likely due to the fact that they are an international brand with many different subdomains and franchises.
Most of their links are going to the different hotel sites and they don’t appear to have any sort of creative content outlet.
IHG, on the other hand, has a blog which is gaining a lot of links, covering topics such as the best places to shop, eat, stay or things to do in various cities.
They are second in the list and have one of the highest average link qualities across the whole sector.
Our main criticism is that the blog exists on a subdomain rather than in a subfolder.
This means that you would lose valuable link equity from any links gained here transferring to the main site.
Moz founder Rand Fishkin claims that moving a subdomain to a subfolder almost always increases search traffic.
Accor Hotels is third in the links list; they are an umbrella company who also own Ibis, Mercure and Novotel among many others.
We love their digital magazine which has exciting articles, competitions and infographics.
However, this doesn’t seem to be gaining many links.
Better outreach could see some tier 1 links gained for this content and can also get your brand seen in places it may not usually appear.
Social media platforms are the ideal place to engage with customers, show your personality as a brand and promote your hotel.
Premier Inn is topping the social charts with an enormous 1.5 million brand searches per month. However, their owned social score looks very low in comparison.
Their Facebook feed is varied, including messages and images of support surrounding Pride festivals, local charities and topical events such as the World Cup.
They also post regular competitions, encouraging people to engage with their content.
However, they could vary their content more between Facebook and Twitter as the content is very similar.
They could increase their social following by including more content which invites a response or reaction, such as polls, caption photos or other promotions.
Marriott has the highest owned social score with a good number of brand searches per month, putting them in 2nd place.
Their social score is likely due to them being an international brand as their social media feeds are not regularly updated.
They do post money-off promotions and teasers for new products, but there isn’t much in the way of engaging content.
We love the branding on Travelodge’s social media feeds with their signature puppet people.
They also post promotions and links to their different hotels. But, we think they could also do more to engage people.
They also don’t have an Instagram account, missing out on the brilliant opportunities this platform brings.
For further information about our Hotel data, get in touch or download the report below.