Written by Shri Lildharrie, Managing Director, HeBS Digital
Google is testing out a new search engine result page (SERP) element called Google Price Insights that adds hotel price comparisons to the knowledge graph. Google Price Insights include a hyperlinked call-to-action, “Explore Insights,” which takes users to a market comparison page that displays hotel prices against the rates of other hotels in the area for the same date range. Although this feature is still in the testing phase, BrightEdge asserts that “Price Insights presents significant implications for branded keywords in the hospitality industry SEO.” Since branded keywords lack competition, users searching branded terms are often more ready to book. However, Google Price Insights can disrupt this behavior by showing nearby competitors’ rates.
This new Google feature replicates OTAs by allowing users to view competitors’ rates on the Knowledge Graph universal listing. However, Google Price Insights can also help hotels gain more visibility on the SERPs for keyword groups they would not usually go after using SEO efforts. For example, a hotel brand that maintains competitive pricing and pays attention to seasonal trends could appear in the Google Knowledge Graph for competitors’ branded keyword terms and rank higher than competitors due to better rates. This can lead to more organic traffic from new unique visitors who previously would’ve converted for one of the local competitors.
With the testing of Google’s Price Insights feature in place, it is best to monitor the click-through rate (CTR) on the highest-value branded keywords; bookings from organic traffic with homepage and landing page; organic bookings for branches in highly competitive locations; and the CTR on branded geo-specific keywords (e.g., Hotel Wales NYC). Lastly, if there are any dips in CTR that aren’t attributed to an increase in impressions and/or fluctuations in keyword ranks, then it could signify that the Price Insights test is already active on your SERPs and users are clicking on competitors’ listings.