Flywheel News: Your Top 4 Hotel Digital Marketing Updates From December 2019


It’s hard to believe that it’s time to say goodbye to 2019 and welcome in a new year and a new decade. This time of year always finds us looking back, soul searching and identifying intentions to set for the new year ahead. Before we move any deeper into 2020, let’s take a quick glance back at the last month of 2019. Here are the latest hotel digital marketing news updates from December 2019.

1. Google Confirms Local Search Update

In early December, Google confirmed a November algorithm update that impacted local search results. This is the first time that Google has ever confirmed a local search update. Google noted that this impact was the result of the introduction to neural matching which allows the algorithm to “better understand how words are related to concepts”. Google’s Danny Sullivan confirmed that this is separate from the recent BERT update. To make sure that you are best positioned for this and any other algorithm updates, continue to make sure your GMB listing is optimized and accurate, encourage, manage and respond to reviews, add more photos and follow our other suggestions for optimizing your hotel for local SEO.

2. Facebook Releases 2020 Topics and Trends Report

Facebook released its 2020 topics and trends report for brands and advertisers to better understand trends among different regions. Review the report to discover trending topics broken out by regions around the world and start thinking about how your hotel can focus on these trends within branding and social content. For example, in North America trending topics include “The Bath is Back”, focusing on a self-care trend and the power of water to soothe and provide health benefits. If your resort offers spa services that can capitalize on this trend you could focus on your ability to help provide people with more “me time”. Read the entire report here.

3. Apple’s Newest Update to It’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) Initiative

In 2017 Apple launched ITP to “identify and limit cookies of any type that have the ability to track users across sites.” In hotel digital marketing cookies are used to track users in order to assign them to remarketing lists and audiences lists and serve them customized ads based on this information. Apple’s ITP “severely limits cookie pools for audience targeting, including remarketing campaigns” which means your hotel’s remarketing list has and will continue to shrink with the increased restrictions implemented by Apple’s ITP. These restrictions only impact Apple’s Safari traffic specifically, so if your hotel has historically received a lot of traffic from Safari users you’ll see a greater impact on the ability to track and attribute performance from this user set. Read more about Apple’s newest update to ITP and what it means for your hotel’s digital marketing here.

4. Facebook Posts New Statement In Preparation to CCPA

The last month prior to CCPA going into effect has seen announcements and information from numerous digital media companies, small and large. One of the largest, Facebook, came out with a new statement explaining their readiness and positioning for CCPA. You can read more about the announcement here. Make sure your hotel is consulting with a lawyer that specializes in consumer privacy law to ready yourself for California’s new CCPA as well as the numerous other privacy laws on the state dockets around the country.