One of the most critical performance metrics is your revenue per available room (RevPAR). When calculating the room count, number of days, and dividing the total guest-room revenue, you not only gain a valuable snapshot of how well your luxury hotel is filling its rooms but you also able better gauge how much you are able to charge per room. Search engine optimization (SEO) is a service offered by digital marketing agencies for luxury hospitality markets, and it can significantly increase your RevPAR. First, your digital marketer must understand how RevPAR is calculated. There are two primary methods:
Total Room Revenue in a Given Period, Sales Tax, Net of Discounts, Meals
Number of Available Rooms in the Same Period
Occupancy Rate X Average Daily Room Rate
More than 90 percent of people turn to Google in search of products and services, so SEO is going to be your RevPAR’s best friend. In consideration to these calculation methods, a hotel operations manager must use SEO in the following areas to leverage various metrics and increase room revenue:
- Increase the average guest length of stay (LOS)
- Have a comprehensive understanding of your position in the market
- Increase paid upgrades (room upgrades, spa, food & bev, local excursions, etc)
- Review room type looking for upgrades
- Increase perceived value by offering guest benefits
These five directives can be achieved to increase RevPAR by drilling the need and value into the consumer psyche through a robust luxury hotel marketing strategy at the digital level.
1. Optimize the Value of Time , Increase LOS using Keyword Strategy
In order to optimize your content to increase LOS as a step to enhancing RevPAR, it is important to understand why your guests who stay longer, stay longer. Pull a set number of itemized charges from guests who had an average LOS, to guests who extended their stay. Once you find commonalities, turn to luxury travel or luxury lifestyle social media groups, and see how your target consumers engage these topics. Then take that data, use a number of SEO tools to determine keywords and other things important for ranking, and write optimized content your readers will share.
Here is an example: Let’s say that more than 70 percent of the guests who extended their stay paid for spa services, and 50 percent of them also took guided yoga programs. Upon further research you discover that the average person who indulges in both spa services AND yoga are women between the ages of 33 and 65–a vast audience and therefore an easier niche to work in that others. Now that you have defined a niche audience, you will want to perform these SEO tasks:
- Keyword research – Use one of many tools available to determine the most frequently used keywords in consumer search queries.
- Break the keywords into tiers, including long-tail formats and organic language natural to mobile voice search.
- Define a list of ways luxury hospitality / resorts / hotels coincide with spa services and yoga, and how they enhance these services.
- Learn how to write content for Google RankBrain, and inject your keyword strategy into the content in a way that reads naturally.
Make sure the content attracts the right people, converts them to booked guests, and uses yoga and spa services as a reason for extending their stay. SEO is a science, but it is also an art. While writing for Google bots (the little guys that crawl web content and award best organic ranking), you also want to touch an emotional nerve in your human readers. This type of writing must be technical but also text that drills deep in the consumer’s psyche.
2. SEO Competitive Spying and Understanding Your Place in the Market
One type of SEO research not only shows you who your organic competitors are and why they rank better that you, it also helps you understand your digital footprint in the market: competitive spying. Understanding your place in the market, both digitally and non-digital, will help you identify the screws that need to be tightened to increase your RevPAR. Here are some tasks to perform:
- Identify your top three organic competitors, and your non-SEO related competitors.
- Run a manual content audit on their websites looking for dangling carrots, keywords, CTAs, and navigation (user friendliness).
- Do a backlink analysis looking for relative referring domains, as well as a follow / nofollow ratio.
- Look up a history showing their domain authority growth.
- See what their guests are saying about them.
Once you identify your competitor’s KPIs, you can work with SEO experts to create a counter-strategy designed to topple your biggest competition. Your strategy will point out where you stand in your digital market by revealing weaknesses and areas for improvement, as well as winning factors you want to maintain. Once your strategy has had time to garner impact, your RevPAR will be well on its way to improving thanks to the increased traffic to your site and converted bookings.
3. SEO Showcasing Upgrades, Content that Tempts the Ego
What’s better than sitting in a soaking tub surrounded by Italian marble while drinking a glass of wine? What about this scenario, with a panoramic view of the ocean, full kitchen service to your tub, and the option to bathe in lavender infused oatmeal milk bath? Typically speaking, luxury hotel guests fall into two types: those who can frequently afford paying $800+ per night, and those who splurge once in a lifetime on chic accommodations (normally for a special event like a honeymoon). Since both consumers are paying extra for luxurious features that excel beyond a run-of-the-mill 5-star hotel, it is clear they see the value in the lifestyle that comes with the room. Now imagine if consumers with this mentality found out they could get even more? Create custom content focusing on upgrades and optimize it for search queries that are specific: “boutique hotel room with ocean view from bathtub”. The search volume may be dismal, but this low-hanging-fruit offers a higher conversion rate.
4. Optimize the Boutique in your Boutique Hotel with Room Upgrades
Most boutique hotels have a variety of rooms ranging in styles and amenities. Since guests see value in rooms that have been recently upgraded, you can optimize your web content based on data collected from potential items warranting an upgrade. This strategy works especially well in luxury hotel seekers who want modern rooms, or unique styles Whether your room aesthetics are defined as minimalism or mid-century modernism, a cohesive design will garner bookings and increase your RevPAR. When someone goes to book a room described as modern, create a navigation feature to a landing page that offers guests the opportunity to upgrade their room to a defined modern aesthetic, and list the features. For example, Danish furnishings, Google Home technology, and sleek fixtures appropriate to a specific design style. The landing page must be designed in a way to both rank but also capture the reader’s imagination.
5. Let SEO Drive Perceived Value through Advanced Hospitality Marketing
Most luxury hotel guests aren’t looking for “deals” on pricing; they are looking for value measured by benefits. If you have a suite that books for $1200 per night, and the numbers indicate that you could include one daily spa treatment and car service to local attractions for an increase to $1800, by all means do it AND optimize your webpage’s content while marketing the room as a “complimentary upgrade to compliment the guest’s lifestyle”. You will want to first research search behavior to see how your guests shop for luxury car and spa services, and find those bridges that unite these industries, to upscale accommodations. When you optimize content targeting the needs and wants of cross market sectors and give your readers a sense of value by offering a package, your RevPAR will begin climbing.