Recently Google announced the activation of its “Universal Search” product. From here forward you will see information from various vertical platforms within Google while performing certain queries. Examples of Vertical Platforms are Maps, Images, Videos, Blog Searches, etc.
Why is this good for Travel & Tourism Websites?
If you are conscious of your online market and work to optimize your pages to show well within various platforms, you will do well within the new Universal Search results. Do you have optimized video content on your site? Are your photos optimized within the page? Do you feature your local address and phone number prominently on your site? If so, it is possible your images, videos or local information will be integrated into queries for your best keywords.
Do a query in Google for “downtown los angeles.” You will see a variety of verticals represented in the results.
Near the top you see images, local and movie times results:
Further down the page you see news results integrated into the regular SERPs:
What this means for you?
The personalization of search means that your website must send a clear and concise message about your product, location and specialties. Make sure your images are optimized with ALT tags that describe the PHOTO – not your property. If you have great video, add it to the site and get some viral traffic. Have your marketing company optimize your site for local search results with text address and local phone number. Consider adding a blog to your site which will feature fresh content and relevant news along with specials and more.
Universal Search is just the start – the personalization of the web will require website owners to dip their fingers in many pots, simply having a website with some text is becoming just a portion of what will work online. Get a jump on your competition and start working to build your vertical search presence with the suggestions above – you’ll be adding great features your potential guests can appreciate and you will have a website that is competitive in the universal search landscape.
Carrie Hill – Blizzard Internet Marketing, Inc.