By the end of this year, experts have estimated that 50 percent of all searches across the internet will be voice-based. The popularity of smartphones, Google devices, Amazon’s Alexa, and other digital assistant technologies have led us to rely on voice search more than ever before, and it’s impacting industries across the board. 

If you’re involved with lifestyle marketing or lead generation for hotels – and you’re not jumping on the voice-search bandwagon – it might be time to consider a change. 

Think voice search doesn’t apply to digital marketing for hotels or other hospitality businesses? 

Consider that voice searches for hotels have seen a 343 percent year-on-year increase in the UK alone. 

From asking Siri where the best nearby restaurant is to finding their next hotel with the help of Alexa, people are continuing to use voice search more and more as they plan their upcoming trips. 

Let’s take a look at how voice search is playing a role in the hospitality experience, as well as how your business can keep up with the newest hotel marketing ideas

How Is the Info in Your Website Being Pulled into Voice Searches? 

First things first: let’s take a look at how voice search results are created and whether or not your content is even qualified to appear in these answers. 

The ultimate goal of voice search is to improve the user experience. Therefore, all voice search results strive to include highly accurate, trustworthy, and concise answers to certain questions. Digital assistants want to answer users’ questions as quickly and informatively as possible. 

Considering that goal, it makes sense that search engines are scanning your site for content that is applicable to voice searches. They’re looking for information that can help users make decisions, as well as relevant information and accurate service details. 

For example, if a user asks their smartphone, “Where can I find the best Korean barbecue near me?”, the search engine will strive to find the highest-rated, local, most reliable answer based on webpages and review sites. Google or another search engine won’t just pull a random site – it wants to provide the best answer possible from the get-go. 

To get a little more specific, let’s dive into some tips that will significantly increase the chance that your website’s information will be pulled into voice search results. 

These expert tips might seem simple, but they make a world of difference when it comes to standing out in a sea of similar web pages. 

Learn How to Use Language Differently – Because Searchers Are 

Think about how you search for something by typing versus how you word your query when directing it toward a speaker. Chances are, your voice search will be more conversational and wordier than your quick typing into a search bar. 

On average, research has found that typed searches on computers contain around two keywords, while voice searches use at least three. That’s because users tend to rely on “natural” language when speaking their queries aloud – and it’s something that hospitality companies need to understand. 

When voice searchers use more conversational language, it’s easier for marketers to determine the searcher’s intent and craft content marketing strategies around it. 

For example, let’s say you’re creating content to answer the voice search, “What is the best hotel in New York City?” You can infer many things about the searcher’s intent: they’re planning to travel to NYC, they likely have a high budget, and they’re seeking luxury and class from a hotel. 

To attract the right kind of searcher, a digital creative agency or marketer can now tackle those key phrases used in natural queries. A hospitality marketing agency will consider how people would pose questions out loud – and answer those queries outright on the brand’s website. 

Think About What Your Audience Wants from Voice Searches

The more you can tailor your ad copy and landing pages to include the high-value search-questions, the more you’ll increase your chances of appearing in voice search results. We’re no longer playing a game of keyword stuffing in the hospitality industry – we’re answering traveler’s questions directly and conversationally. 

Consider what your audience wants from voice searches. Roughly 30 percent of voice users say they like that voice search provides faster results. Think about the average traveler – they’re often looking for answers on the go – hoping to find immediate, trustworthy results. 

Knowing that most hospitality searchers are looking for quick, nearby results, it makes sense for hospitality businesses to target localized, long-tail keywords. Get smart about what your audience is most likely searching for. Use key phrases including your location – such as “best hostels in NYC” or “American diners in San Diego” to narrow down results quickly. 

The more you can understand how travelers are searching, the better your website and content can appeal to them, especially through voice search. Take advantage of free keyword research tools like Ubersuggest and the Google Keyword Planner to understand the types of questions people are asking in your area. 

Aim for the Highly-Coveted Featured Snippet 

When you search for something on Google and one answer is pulled up and highlighted at the top, that’s referred to as the “featured snippet.” The search engine’s goal with the featured snippet is to provide concise, clear answers for users right away – searchers don’t even need to click through results. 

voice search for hospitalityWhen it comes to voice search, Google is also looking for the quickest, most accurate answer to a query. That’s why a whopping 80 percent of voice search results are powered by featured snippets! 

If you want to increase your chances of being featured in a voice search result, then striving to snag that featured snippet is the way to go. 

So, the question is, how can your hospitality business get one of these featured snippets? 

There are many different tips and tricks for obtaining “position zero” on a search engine results page, but some are more reliable than others. Here are the top three to try ASAP. 

1. Research Trending Questions – In Addition to Keywords

The bulk of voice searches are phrased as questions. That said, you need to understand the common questions people are asking in relation to your business. Most of the keyword research tools out there these days have a designated Questions tab to better understand this. 

voice search in hospitality 2. Optimize Your Content with Answers 

You don’t optimize for questions the same way you do with regular keywords. It’s all about providing the answers in your content. 

As you plan out your content pieces, be sure that you provide an answer to the pressing questions, rather than just include keywords here and there. The better you are able to do this, the likelier it is you’ll get the snippet. 

3. Incorporate “Snippet Bait” into Your Content

“Snippet bait” refers to providing clear answers to pressing questions early on in a piece of content – in roughly 60-80 words. 

Although the average length of a paragraph featured in a snippet is 45 words, it’s no secret that Google favors long-form content. The key is to balance short, concise paragraphs that answer questions early on in the page, then support these answers with long, informative content.

Earning the featured snippet is certainly easier said than done, but the more your hospitality business strives for it, the more likely it will be featured invaluable voice search results – and boost your hotel sales strategies

Speed Up Your Website’s Loading Time and Make Sure It’s Mobile-Friendly

Always remember, Google aims to provide the best content to users from the most reliable websites. If tourists are looking for fast voice search results, a slow-loading webpage is a surefire way to fall behind the times. 

Page loading speeds have a huge impact on the user experience, and if your website doesn’t seem to load quickly enough to assure Google, your chances of being included in voice search results will likely plummet. 

Some ways to improve the speed of your hospitality site: 

  • Compress and replace images that struggle to load 
  • Decrease your number of redirects
  • Change your hosting plan 
  • Remove unnecessary plugins 
  • Clean up outdated and irrelevant content/links 
  • Limit your external requests 

Website speed isn’t the only thing that matters. Roughly 40 percent of adults now use mobile voice search at least once every day – which means that your hotel, tour, or restaurant website must be able to load on a smartphone. 

voice search in hospitality Image Source: CyberMark 

When people visit a hospitality website on mobile, they want it to appear just as neat and clean as if they were viewing it on a desktop. Similarly, Google and other search engines want to pull voice search answers from sites that can be visited on a mobile device. 

If people are going to visit your business or book through your website, they need to be able to properly access your mobile website. Make it as easy as possible for readers (and voice searchers) to access your content by: 

  • Installing a responsive, simple theme
  • Make your menus easy to use 
  • Keep all of your forms short and sweet 
  • Include a prominent search bar 
  • Ensure that your font is large and easy to read 
  • Eliminate distractions like pop up ads 

Right now, more than half of searches for activities while in a destination occur on a mobile device. If you’re trying to reach people on vacation, or who are planning vacations, a usable mobile website is key. 

In Conclusion 

Whether users are booking flights or hotels, tours or restaurant reservations, voice search will play a role in the future of your hotel marketing strategy. This is your business’s chance to take advantage of the trend and make your content more relevant and popular. 

By making sure that your content is qualified to be included in voice searches, using the right language, and targeting the right audience, you can increase your chances of ranking in voice search results. Aim for that coveted featured snippet and make sure your website is up to par. 

For any questions or concerns about optimizing for voice search, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team!