Sunday, June 16, 2024

A Hotel Marketer’s Guide to the Search Generative Experience (SGE)

In the ever-evolving world of online travel booking, a new concept called the Search Generative Experience (SGE) is emerging from Google.

This new approach aims to transform how travellers discover hotels, moving beyond simple keyword searches to a more conversational and user-centric experience. While details remain under wraps, the potential impact of SGE on hotel marketing strategies is undeniable.

Let’s delve deeper into what we know about SGE and explore how you can prepare your hotel to thrive in this new search landscape.

Understanding SGE: Beyond Keywords

Unlike traditional keyword-based search, SGE aims to understand the context and intent behind a user’s query. Imagine a search engine that acts like a travel concierge, dynamically generating results tailored to individual needs and preferences. Travellers searching for hotels might not just type in a location and date. Instead, they could ask:

“Recommend a luxury hotel with a rooftop pool for a honeymoon in [city]”
“Find me a family-friendly hotel with a waterpark near historical sites in [region]”
“Suggest eco-friendly hotels with hiking trails in [national park]”

The Impact of Search Generative Experience on Hotel Marketing Strategies

Search Generative Experience’s user-centric approach necessitates a shift in hotel marketing strategies. Here’s how your approach might need to adapt:

  • Embracing Long-Tail Keywords: With SGE prioritising user intent, optimising for long-tail keywords and natural language phrases becomes even more critical. Instead of just targeting “hotels in [city],” consider “boutique hotels with rooftop bars near museums in [city].”
  • Content as a Conversation Starter: Content goes beyond just describing your hotel. Develop engaging content that addresses travellers’ specific questions and interests. Highlight unique experiences you offer, cater to different travel styles (family, solo, adventure), and showcase the surrounding area through blog posts, FAQs, and location-specific landing pages.
  • The Power of Visual Storytelling: High-quality visuals will likely play an even bigger role in SGE. Invest in professional photography and videography showcasing hotel amenities, guest experiences, and surrounding attractions. Consider virtual tours and 360-degree views to enhance visitor engagement.
  • Personalisation is Key: SGE might personalise search results based on a user’s past searches and browsing history. Ensure your website offers a seamless user experience and highlights offerings relevant to various guest profiles. Utilise tools like website personalisation software to tailor content based on user behaviour.
  • Reviews and User-Generated Content (UGC): Positive online reviews and authentic travel experiences shared by guests could hold greater weight in SGE ranking algorithms. Encourage satisfied guests to leave reviews on platforms like Google My Business, TripAdvisor, and your website. Showcase UGC like photos and videos on your website and social media channels.

How Can Hotel Marketers Prepare For SGE?

While SGE is still under development, here’s what you can do to prepare:

  • Stay Informed: Follow industry publications and the latest hotel SEO trends and Google’s official channels for the latest updates on SGE.
  • Review Your Content Strategy: Analyse your current website content and ensure it caters to user intent, addressing potential guest questions and incorporating long-tail keywords. Explore question-based content formats like “Top 10 Things to Do Near Our Hotel” or “The Ultimate Guide to a Romantic Weekend at [Hotel Name].”
  • Focus on User Experience: Prioritise website usability, fast loading times, and mobile responsiveness. Ensure clear information about your hotel, amenities, booking options, and the surrounding area is easily accessible.
  • Embrace Rich Content: Invest in high-quality photos, videos, and virtual tours showcasing your hotel and its offerings. Consider creating blog posts featuring local attractions and activities relevant to your target audience.
  • Optimise for Voice Search: As voice search becomes more prevalent, incorporate relevant conversational language into your content strategy.

Adapting to the Future of Hotel Search & Search Generative Experience

Search Generative Experience (SGE) presents an exciting prospect for the travel industry, with the potential to transform how travellers discover hotels. By understanding its user-centric approach and adapting your marketing strategies, you can ensure your hotel remains visible and relevant in the eyes of potential guests. Remember, focus on creating a compelling online presence that caters to user intent, delivers exceptional user experience, and showcases the unique value proposition of your hotel.

This will position you well to navigate the future of hotel search, be it SGE or other advancements yet to come.

Hotel Speak
Hotel Speak
Hotel Speak provides actionable hotel marketing and revenue management strategies from hospitality industry experts.

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