Local search marketing just became more relevant in the hospitality industry based on Google's major upgrade to integrate vertical search. Google's hitting several of its vertical search services all at once, then bringing back those results to blend in with "regular" results. ?Video Search? and ?Map Search? (i.e. Local) have always been search options, but most people just go to google.com and do a search, now these items are being integrated into the overall search results.

Many hotel chains have recognized the need to implement a search engine optimization (SEO) strategy to generate visitors and customers from the major search engines. Some studies show that ?organic? SEO visitors from the search engines are some of the highest converting sources of web traffic. Google has raised the stakes because now hotels must consider a ?video? and ?local? search strategy to remain competitive.

More and more consumers are going online to book their travel. According to TravelClick, the Internet accounted for 38.3 percent of 2006 brand hotel bookings, driven by a 20.2 percent growth rate compared to 2005. What is changing is how consumers are searching and how the search engines are displaying search results. Nielsen/NetRatings conducted a survey last year to determine how U.S. consumers were using the Internet. Seventy percent of the 2,866 respondents reported using the web to search for a local business. This trend is supported by data from comScore, indicating that ?local intent? is now driving up to 40% of all online searches.

Search Jupiter, FL Hotel on Google and you will see the #1 ?Local? result is Jupiter Beach Resort integrated into the standard search engine results. Additionally, this property is utilizing a unique ?888? number for call tracking to quantify the performance from this channel. Jupiter Beach Resort leveraged a new service called LocalHotelDirectory.com to achieve these results. Jupiter Beach Resort already had local listings, but the service helped improve their listings and track results. ?I am interacting with more and more guests that research our product online, so it made natural sense to try and reach out to this audience using this service?, stated General Manager Jeff Castner.

?Local? search results on Google, YAHOO! & MSN are also used to display some ?mobile? search results for people searching on cell phones. This means that a ?Local? search marketing strategy indirectly translates into a ?mobile? search strategy. Just when the hotel industry was catching up to standard search engine marketing, Google raised the stakes! Such is the case in a dynamic and competitive environment.

Related Link: LocalHotelDirectory.com