Search Engines refer a significant percentage of web direct bookings for hotels, both through paid search and natural search. SEO / Search Engine Optimization obviously has the most bang for the buck, as well designed websites ensure great SEO results and produce much better long term results. A lot of hotel companies, especially independent properties and smaller chains also spend a great deal of money on Hotel website SEO, often outsourced to web design or SEO agencies.
I came across a great article by Brandt Dainow on 7 ways SEO consultants rip off their clients…a must read for anyone looking to hire out their SEO efforts. The gist of the matter is that most people don’t understand what SEO truly involves and the actual benefits and practices out there…therefore it is quite easy to exploit this ignorance and charge out large amounts of money for something absolutely useless.
The article covers common SEO malpractices like not providing search position reports, hiding behind techincal jargon and copyright / intellectual property laws, offer meaningless guarantees, employ black-hat SEO techniques like cloaking, keyword stuffing, etc and generally mis-representing what SEO really involves and what benefits clients can truly realize. Read the full article here.