Small Business SEO: Winchester Hotels

Our previous blog post examined the search scene in Winchester, Hampshire. We provide Hampshire SEO services – we’re based just outside Winchester.

Our analysis showed that many Winchester businesses are competing for space on Google. In effect, they are often chasing the same potential customers. This was certainly the case when it came to accommodation searches – these were the most popular searches that had an obvious interest for commercial organisations within the area.

We concluded that previous blog post by suggesting that it would be interesting to see who’s winning the online battle. Which hotels, B&Bs and accommodation providers are doing the best job of attracting business online?

Well, a quick search on Google should give us a few pointers!

Winchester accommodation searches

So what would you search for if you were seeking accommodation in Winchester? Our previous findings suggested that Winchester hotels would be a popular search phrase for many people to use. So that’s where we started – here’s what we found…

Google’s search results are made up of a number of different types of listings. Some companies pay to advertise (using Adwords). Others look to gain presence using Google Maps, while some stick to natural (or organic) search engine listings. It’s possible to use all 3.

In the end, everyone wants to be on the first page of the results – that’s the way to attract the most visitors.

So, let’s start with Adwords – who’s paying to advertise right now? Well, we can see ads from Holiday Inn,, Mercure, Laterooms, Superbreak, Travel Republic, Book Direct Rooms and Marwell Hotel.

Many of those ads are being paid for by travel agents (or brokers). That may indicate that individual hotels find it too expensive to advertise (or don’t have the necessary know-how).

But what about the Google Places entries? We can see:

Winchester Royal Hotel, Pedersen Hotels (entry for The Winchester Hotel), Q Hotels (entry for Norton Park Hotel), Hotel du Vin, The Old Vine, Hotel Mercure Wessex and the Westgate Inn.

As we might expect, this shows a variety of hotels, allowing searchers to go direct to their websites.

Finally, what about those all-important organic listings? These show:

Visit Winchester (a tourism website), (a reseller of accommodation, at first glance), (a website selling advertising space to local hotels), Laterooms, Lainston House Hotel and TripAdvisor (review for the Winchester Hotel).


So what are we seeing here? Broadly, 3 patterns emerge:

  1. Adwords is mainly being used by the large hotel brokers. This may be down to budget or expertise.
  2. Hotels themselves are relying on Google Places. If they’re not listed on Google Places, then they are often being removed from the mix.
  3. The organic listings are being dominated by Winchester-specific websites, but not those dedicated to individual hotels.

It’s also clear that this space is hotly contested. That’s not surprising – there are plenty of searches being carried out and presumably plenty of money to be made as a result.



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