Excerpt from L2
For years, hotel brands have maintained an uneasy agreement with online travel agencies (OTAs), exchanging reduced margins for expanded awareness. L2's Google Hotel Finder report compares hotel brand sites to the top three online tourism destinations (TripAdvisor, Expedia, and Kayak) and finds that the average hotel brand secures only 5% of comparable website traffic, 6% of unique email subscribers, and 14% of unbranded Google search visibility.
As 2018 begins, however, this alliance is about to be challenged.
When it comes to unbranded search terms such as "Chicago hotels," Google results are blanketed in OTA websites, with TripAdvisor leading the pack. Large brands like Hilton and Marriott are able to go head-to-head with OTAs in paid results for unbranded terms, with Hilton gaining the most visibility. Smaller brands, however, should rely on carefully curated search terms rather than broader terms to attract a core audience and stay afloat in the hospitality sector.