on_the_airBesides consulting and executing revenue management for our hotel clients we have also been working on hotel internet marketing, search engine and website design with them. We wanted to share with you this week one of our hotel SEO success stories. The numbers and results speak for themselves …


Many hotel websites are developed without including proper keyword research and implementation of basic SEO (search engine optimization). Working on a hotel website design for an aparthotel company in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, we have followed a standard checklist and tips that can be found on the many blogs and internet marketing news websites.


Besides investing in a new functional website design this apart-hotel also invested strategically in a long term internet marketing strategy including continuous SEO, link building, online PR and social media marketing.


So what are the results?


A summary of this hotel seo case study:
  • Over 100% growth in traffic
  • Generic searches without the brand name have grown by 179%
  • The number of sources that generate traffic has increased substantially
  • ROI is beyond clear, making it a very worthwhile investment


Below you can see that in 2010 vs. 2009 the website has started to really grow since May, a few months after the implementation of the site.


In July, August and September growth has increased even further. Traffic is up 115% vs. last year. And the growth trend is continuing.


Non-branded keyword searches (generic searches not looking for a specific company) are up 179% vs last year. The website is being found on many more keywords…


How did we do this?
  • A clean, functional and easy to navigate hotel website design.
  • Keyword research and selection and the implementation of selective keywords and defined meta-tags per page.
  • Creation of themed landing pages with special offers.
  • Link building through online PR and Blog postings (no link farms!).
  • Implementation of a streamlined hotel booking engine and simplified reservation process.
  • Consumer oriented blog with expat tips.
  • Information sharing social media strategy on FaceBook, Twitter and Friendfeed.
And now the core question; How much revenue has this generated? ; How does it look in terms of return on investment?


The website has generated € 120.000 thus far. So the investment of the website has been paid for several times already. If we would continue at the level we would expect to generate €480.000 in a 12 month period. This puts the monthly internet marketing cost at 12.5%.


But of course the monthly internet activities are aimed at growth, which we did not yet take into consideration. We foresee the cost to drop below 10% in the near future.


All in all a more then healthy ROI case!


We see that hotels in general tend to be shy with investment in websites and online marketing. Getting something cheap will actually turn out expensive in the case of online marketing as you are leaving a lot of business on the table, needing more indirect business, paying more commission to online travel agencies.


Hope this will have give you an interesting perspective into the possibilities in hotel internet marketing and SEO. ROI is there if you are willing to invest in direct sales!