Did you know that over 50% of your hotel's website visitors are viewing from a mobile device? In addition, recent studies have shown that over 50% of your website viewers will leave a website if it doesn't load in 3 seconds or less. Pick up your phone right now and test out the user experience on your hotel's website and then continue reading. Try different pages as well as your booking engine.
Enter Google's AMP, aka "Accelerated Mobile Pages", Project which focuses on speed, user experience and optimization of search results for mobile friendly pages. This is such of a big deal that one of Google's largest competitors, Bing, is also jumping on the AMP train.
It was created by Google to push a standard format for publishers to focus on speed and better user experiences. For example, when an AMP page is available, Google will, many times, show that particular page at the top of the mobile search results in a different format. See example search for "hotels close to wide world of sports disney". At the top of the page, under the ads and the maps listing is an AMP page from HotelPlanner.com. This preferentially treated page loads much faster than most other web pages and thus, results in a better user experience for the potential vacationer looking to stay close to Disney.
Are AMP Pages the Next Big Thing in HOTEL SEO?
Yes and No. I suggest that the obsession for hotel mobile experience optimization should be throughout your website, not just on AMP pages. We also haven't seen Google say that AMP is an official ranking factor either....yet. Inversely, Google does rank these pages much higher in the mobile search results so I guess you could say it's somewhat of a ranking factor unofficially. This is probably just a large test to see how people react to a better mobile user experience so the time is NOW to make sure that your hotel's website pages are both fast loading and have the proper AMP coding.
What Does This Mean Specifically to My Hotel Brand or Location?
Put yourself in the shoes of a family looking for a hotel or resort. You Google some very specific searches like the one mentioned earlier or similar to, "dog friendly resorts close to downtown Orlando". Odds are, the larger brand hotels and OTAs (online travel agencies) like Booking.com or Hotels.com don't have specific content like that, nor does Google value those specific sources as the LOCAL result for the searcher. So here's your chance to rank organically and to capture that vacationer's attention also utilizing AMP pages. If played right, you can also capture their email address for future content and offers.
So How Exactly Do I Implement AMP?
Firstly we recommend working with a marketing agency that has hands on experience rolling out AMP specifically for multi-location resorts and hotels.
If you have a WordPress website, there are also a plethora of Plugins you can use that help create AMP pages on your site. The one we recommend is "AMP for WP". It has over 10,000 installs and is pretty easy to configure for the layman.
In summary, Google's AMP project is something to not ignore. Having it properly installed and a strategy behind it will result in many more rooms booked in 2017.
Have a question? Want to take the next step? Contact us today.