Hotel Search Engine Optimization
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14 Most Efficient Methods to Drive Traffic, Rankings & BookingsAre you seeking for ways to improve your hotel's visibility in search engines? Is your mission to attract more guests from Google searches? If so, you're in the right place! To help you learn more about improving your hotel search engine optimization, we've put together this informative page of best hotel SEO strategies. Let's start with basics including - what hotel SEO is, how it works, and why it's important.
What is Hotel SEO and How It Works?It’s the search engine optimization of hotel websites. This includes the process of improving a hotel’s website with the goal of increasing the number of users that search engines like Google will send to your site due to a high ranking on a SERPs (search engine results pages). Improving a hotel’s website for SEO can seem complex, but the process can be simplified by focusing on some key “high value” elements that we will cover. Additionally, it strengthens your website's online presence and gets you more bookings through your hotel website. Therefore, SEO has become an integral part of hotel digital marketing. And search engine optimization is one of the assured ways to make headway among your competition.
Why is Important Hotel SEO?Whenever your audience searches for anything, they get a list of results from search engines. Their immediate action is to click the webpage that is ranked first. Most searchers will get answers to their queries from the results that are ranked first. A very few of them will click on second, third, fourth results. This percentage decreases to 2.1% for the last result of the first page. Therefore, you can gauge, there’s hardly any chance that they’ll go to the second page. And you’ll lose potential direct bookings via your website. On that note, it’s pivotal for you to be visible to your audience on the very first page.
- Keeping hotel ahead of the competition;
- Establishing hotel credibility;
- Improving customer loyalty;
- Enhancing brand awareness;
- Increasing hotel profitability;
- Boosting traffic to your hotel website.
1. Define the target audienceThis is the first step of performing SEO for your hotel website. You need to define your target audience, who they’re, what they like, and their booking patterns. Once you have known your audience, you have to think of what your perfect audience will search for whenever they’re seeking for accommodations options. If you are a resort, your ideal audience might search for words such as:
- Resort in "your area";
- Best/Top resort in "your area" and so on.
2.Find the right keywordsA successful hotel SEO website strategy begins with keywords. You have to research extensively what phrases and keywords are used by your target audience when they want to book accommodation in your city. Consider search volumes - they'll give you an indication of the popularity of particular keywords. Analyze your main rivals’ website, look at what topics and keywords they consider a priority. Try to include so-called long-tail keywords containing 7+ words (for example, “country house hotel with swimming pool”). Since longer phases target a niche, fewer hotels compete for top rankings for these particular set of keywords.
3. Responsive website designAnother important ranking component when it comes to your site and its search engine performance is the time that it takes your site to load. Whether people are browsing on a phone, desktop, or tablet, nobody wants to wait forever to view your website. Good website design is an approach that aims to craft a seamless viewing experience on your site. Traditionally, when using a smartphone or tablet, you would have pinched to zoom in on elements on a website that you wanted to read. Responsive web design eliminates this. If your hotel website is responsive, elements such as navigation, text, images, blog posts, and more will resize, scale, or rearrange themselves to provide the best user viewing experience.
4. Keep your content freshSearch engines favor authentic, relevant, and recent content. Your #1 option to satisfy Google’s hunger for fresh content is to post regular blogs on your site. While it can be tricky to carve out time for writing, blogging can do wonders for Google ranking. Frequent updates send a signal to Google that your business is "well and alive." Up-to-date content can also be indexed by the search algorithms - giving your website more prominence during the time. Interesting information keeps people longer on your pages, signaling to the search engines that your site is worthy of better positions. Blogging also helps with other important SEO strategies. In essence, it's the ideal platform to target important long-tail keywords and to include internal links.
5. Speed your websiteIf you think hotel search engine optimization is all about providing the right site content, think again. There’s a lot more to SEO - both on and off your website. Take site speed as an example. Google’s most important goal is to provide the right results in record time. This’s why the search giant will favor websites that load fast and has a low bounce rate. Good site speed not only offers a superior UX, but Google will also take notice and appreciate your efforts.
6. Provide a perfect mobile experienceAs we said, at the core of search engine optimization is Google's relentless effort to offer an impeccable user experience. People now clearly prefer smartphones over desktops, Google rewards websites that provide easy navigation, stellar visuals, and intuitive layouts on all devices. Mobile SEO allows your website to display content, ideally regardless of the screen size is the most commonly used solution. By offering a mobile-friendly website, you can entice browsers to linger longer and minimize your site's bounce rate. Excellent usability leads to repeat visitors and increased conversions. So, if you offer a convenient mobile experience, visitors will stay on your website, and Google will be confident to send more users your way.
7. Optimize Google My Business listingA large part of your search engine marketing activity will happen off your site. Take Google My Business as an example. It’s a free listing provided by the search engine where you can include information about your services. Having an up-to-date and verified GMB listing is superb for local search engine optimization as it’ll positively impact your organic rankings and boost your chances of showing up in various Google results. Again, remember to upload high-quality images to your profile. Companies with more photos get additional clicks and calls - enhancing the opportunities for booking conversion. If you offer several businesses within your hotel (restaurants, spa, golf course, health club), claim and optimize the Google My Business listings for each of these entities.
8.Get ReviewsGoogle reviews and other reviews from local listings are another key ranking factor for local search engine optimization. Getting authentic positive reviews and feedback on both your Google My Business or Yelp listing and local listings will dramatically help increase trust for your hotel business and brand. Send your satisfied guests an email that includes a link to your GMB profile, and ask for a review. If you make this a regular part of previous customer follow-up, you’ll soon have a constant stream of reviews. If you want to streamline the review process, you can hire a reputable SEO agency to manage this work for you.
9. Link up with local partnersYou have probably been told that you should get tourist attractions and local businesses to link to your page from their website. These backlinks (inbound links) from reliable sources carry a lot of weight in the online planet. Signalizing to the search engines that your website is trustworthy, inbound links can have a long-term affirmative impact on your search engine ranking. Concentrate on quality, not quantity, and try to team up with sites that are relevant to your hotel - for instance, local online influencers, food bloggers, spa review sites, etc.
10. Leverage social media powerSocial media is becoming a trend in today’s businesses. Major brands are using social media to improve online presence and marketing. Instagram and Facebook are the two most important social media platforms to consider for hotel SEO. This’s because strong social signals can help boost your search rankings and online visibility. In terms of presence, social media can be ideal for highlighting your hotel services. Leverage features such as Facebook live features, Instagram stories, IGTV, and video marketing to enhance engagement. Utilize social media to connect with your audiences or potential customers.
11. Make images readableSearch engines are unable to decipher images on your website, but there are ways around this. Be sure that images have a descriptive name when uploading them to your website. Give context to pictures with relevant alt text, which will be shown if an image can’t be displayed. SEO images also benefit visually impaired users who use screen readers for browsing.
12. Build quality linksBacklinks are one of the most important SEO factors to help you rank your hotel website higher on Google. With this, there are different types of backlink to take into consideration. To get the most out of the links, you have to focus on building high authority and relevant backlinks to your website. One of the most effective methods of link building is via guest posting. Find relevant websites to the hotel, for instance, travel sites, room for rent, and so on.
13. Optimize PPC AdsPPC is significant for hotels because when used efficiently, it enables hotels to instantly reach potential guests. AdWords account for 96% of Google's revenue, and over time the SERPs have been altered to ensure that PPC Ads are given priority over organic results. Thereby, optimizing PPC Ads is a huge opportunity to get hotel offers high up on SERP, enabling more visibility above larger organic competitors. Running PPC Ads lets you show your hotel deals and services to these travelers when they input search queries for similar hotel services and deals like yours.
14. Buy Hotel Price AdsHotel Price Ads, or HPAs, help to display hotel prices and location across smartphones, desktops, and tablets, on Google and Google Maps. When you use this, travelers are able to see your hotel offers as well as directions to the hotel when they're actively searching for a hotel to book.
What other SEO best practices you should apply?SEO for hotel can be quite beneficial, as long as you follow the rules. Here are a few more tips you should bear in mind as you optimize your website for the search:
- Avoid keyword stuffing – This’s when you write sentences or paragraphs that don't make any sense but are stuffed full of the phrases and words you want to rank for. Google “dislikes” this activity, and potential visitors who see it are likely to get confused and leave your website;
- Don’t buy links - Links can increase website's SEO significantly, but buying links is against Google's Terms of Service, and can lead to removing your website from search results entirely;
- Be wary of companies that promise instant results - SEO needs time, dedication, and significant planning to do properly. Anyone who promises you first spot in a week is probably trying to scam you. Only work with SEO agencies who have an established reputation, great client feedback, and who offer you more realistic plans and timelines;
- Allow time for SEO to take effect – Search engine optimization isn’t instantaneous, and it’ll take time to see results. Wait few months before deciding that a particular activity hasn't had the wanted effect