The growth of online research before purchasing travel services is certainly not a new trend. For years we have seen significant growth in online shopping, but the most notable trend is the emphasis on consumer generated content and how it influences purchasing decisions.
With Universal Search and the emergence of blended search results, blogs have become even more common and their role has become twofold; marketing and technical. Primarily, blogs provide a forum for communicating local information to your customers and allowing them to interact. This opens up communication and provides many consumers with the candid information they are seeking when researching travel. This is one of the main marketing benefits.
Secondly, blogs provide a Search Engine Optimization benefit. By housing fresh content (much of which is consumer generated), you may also benefit from improved visibility in the search engines. Consumer generated content is advantageous technically, as comments provided by your guests provide the fresh content that the search engines view (and rank) favorably.
Contributed by: Kimberly Ehrlich, Milestone Internet Marketing