SEO Case Study: Hotels in Siem Reap Cambodia

Blog last updated on July  2019

We are continuing our SEO case study series (previous ones were about  luxury spas and restaurants)  with an analysis of the hospitality business in Siem Reap.

 

BRIEF MARKET SITUATION ANALYSIS

Siem Reap  has witnessed a explosion in the numbers of hotels in the past 20 years alternating periods of undersupply and oversupply. In 2002, only 47 hotels were registered (guesthouses not included) which at the time was not enough to accommodate the growing numbers of tourists visiting the temples of Angkor.

Fast-track to 2012, Siem Reap experienced a  ”boutique hotel fever ” and the next few years  saw the construction of many of these businesses leading to an oversupply and to a drop in the daily rates.

At the same time the luxury segment grew  and the Raffles and Amansara were faced with more  competition. Accommodations geared towards backpackers expanded as well with both private rooms and dorms.

You can now find all types of accommodations  in Siem Reap: small villa hotels, boutique hotels, container hotels, capsule hotels, private bungalows or villa, luxury tents with a price ranging  from  USD 2  in a dorm to several thousand  dollars per night in the most luxurious hotels.

In  2019,  hotels  are still being built but many are closing down. At the same time, the tourism is down in temple city   and this trend is expecting to continue all through the the year. At the time of writing, 728 properties were listed on Booking , 768 on Expedia, where as 3027 are available on Agoda. Many hotels are also listed on AirBnB….

 

 

THE DIFFERENT CHANNELS ONLINE: OTA’s, TRIP ADVISOR, GOOGLE

The hospitality industry in Siem Reap is more competitive than ever and digital marketing have never being so important in the overall marketing strategy. Many customers these days are looking for deals with their mobile using apps like Booking and Agoda, also called OTAs (Online Travel Agencies). Trip Advisor (although technically not a OTA) gained some momentum recently with the possibility to book hotels on their platform.

 

Many properties in Siem Reap, especially guesthouses and small boutique hotels  depend strongly  on  OTAs  to fill their rooms. If many have a website, it is not their main channel of bookings as we find out below.

A Google search with popular keywords such as “hotel siem reap” or “boutique hotel siem reap” shows that  top results are dominated by OTAs, with only two and three websites from hotels on the bottom of page 1,  where the likelihood of clicks is less than 10%.  It does not get better with searches like “5 stars hotel siem reap” or “luxury hotels siem reap”.

To make things more difficult, OTAs such as Expedia, Booking,  Hometogo, Kaya and the Trip Advisor platform are also dominating Google Ads ….. The current Pay per click rates  for hotel siem reap and boutique hotel siem reap are about USD 2 which is in the same range than  spas in siem reap.

Interestingly, some websites with a decent ranking on Google have a poor design  and content (property’s pictures).  Hotels which invested the most on their website do not use SEO services and only few pay for Google Ads. Most of them are therefore tied to the very competitive environment created by the OTAs.

 

 

WHAT VALUE CAN  SEO PROVIDES TO  A HOTEL BUSINESS?

 

First it will help you to regain control of direct bookings by being the first hit of organic searches on Google  for your hotel name.This will allow also to get back the control of room prices and sell attractive packages. In many instances we found out that  websites were not optimized, so by typing the hotel name, OTAs listing were coming first.

SEO requires time (3 to 6 months) but is   more sustainable strategy than Google Ads on the long term. Once on the first page of Google with relevant keywords to your industry, organic traffic will increase as well as your bookings.

 

If you are interested to implement SEO in your digital marketing strategy, please send us a message.

 

 

 

boutique hotel villa siem reap

Villa D Riverside is a stylish small villa boutique hotel located along the Siem Reap riverside. They have a salted swimming pool, lounge area and propose both Western and Asian cuisine.

 

 

 

 

 

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