Let's delve into the world of SEO for hotels, where the digital landscape is vast, and competition is fierce. But fear not, dear hotelier, we have curated 10 top tips to help you optimise for search engines like a pro.
Why is it important to boost your ranking on search engines?
A guest’s booking experience often starts with a web search. You don’t want to be at the bottom of a very long list of places to stay, so improving your SEO will aid in bringing your Hotel to the forefront of their search. Airbnb, Vrbo and similar booking platforms have changed the game, so not only do you need to stand out by highlighting the unique selling points your hotel has to offer, it's crucial for you to optimise your SEO strategy to remain competitive.
1. Understand Your Audience
Before diving into SEO, it’s vital to identify your target audience. The better you understand the type of guests who usually stay at your hotel and their preferences, the easier it will be to target others like them. This will help in finding relevant keywords and ensuring your hotel’s website provides the information to address their needs. Not sure where to start? We recommend the following exercises:
- Develop Guest Personas: Create detailed guest personas; are they business travellers, honeymooners, or families? Knowing this helps tailor your content and SEO strategy.
- Analyse Guest Feedback: Use feedback from reviews and surveys. Are there any trends in your guest’s terminology? Do they commonly mention highlights and lowlights from their stay? Use this data to refine your keywords and content.
2. On-Site SEO Optimisation
There are several areas on your website that you will need to review to bring it in line with SEO best practices. We recommend starting here:
- Website Structure: Think of your website as a hotel. Just as guests should easily find their rooms and amenities, online visitors should navigate your site effortlessly. A clear navigation menu with essential pages like Home, Rooms, About Us, and Contact Us is crucial.
- Keyword Research: If you are new to SEO, we recommend focusing your efforts on long-tail search terms [https://www.wordstream.com/long-tail-keywords] that are easier to rank for. Include these keywords in meta titles, descriptions, and text headings so that search engines can easily determine where to send users.
- Optimise Meta Elements: Ensure that title tags, meta descriptions, and URLs are informative and contain the targeted keywords. Avoid 'keyword stuffing'; while keywords are essential, avoid cramming them. Search engines are smart and can penalise you for this.
- Page Loading Speed: Page speed is a key factor that search engines review when ranking websites. Long, high-spec videos may look beautiful, but they could be harmful to your SEO ranking. Compress and optimise images and videos for both desktop and mobile devices.
Side note: If your website looks like it's from the early 2000s, it might be time for a revamp. Modern, user-friendly designs can significantly impact user experience and SEO.
3. Off-Site SEO
Off-site SEO denotes actions taken outside of your website that impact your search engine ranking. Good off-site SEO encourages users to discover and interact with your content and highlights your expertise, relevance, and popularity within your niche. To improve your Off-Site SEO, review the following:
- Backlinks: Reduce the number of toxic links and retain those that are authentically driving engaged users to your website. Acquire new, quality backlinks from trustworthy websites and try to avoid links from spammy or untrustworthy sites.
- Promote Your Content: Share your content on multiple channels like social media, newsletters, and travel forums.
- Collaborate: Partner with local businesses or bloggers for guest posts or features. This can provide quality backlinks and increase your reach.
4. Local SEO
Improving your Local SEO increases search engine visibility for local businesses, primarily those with brick-and-mortar locations (like hotels). Utilising local SEO is a definitive way for businesses to improve organic traffic from local customers, or users searching for a specific location.
- Be more visible: List your hotel on Google My Business. Encourage guests to review your property on Google and ensure users have quick access to contact you, find you on the map, or visit your website.
- Engage with the Community: Attend or sponsor local events. This not only boosts your local reputation but can also provide backlink opportunities.
- Respond to Reviews: Engage with guests who leave reviews, both positive and negative. This shows you value feedback and can influence potential guests.
5. Content Creation
Start blogging on topics relevant to your guests. This can include local recommendations, travel tips, hotel history, and more.
- It’s not all about you: Write about local festivals, attractions, or hidden gems. This not only boosts SEO but also positions your hotel as a local expert.
- Guest Stories: Share testimonials or interesting stories from guests. It adds authenticity and trustworthiness to your brand.
6. Track and Analyse
Use tools like Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Google Trends and Google Tag Manager to monitor your website's performance, understand where your traffic is coming from, and what content is performing best. These platforms can help you monitor your goals and identify when you’re not meeting them. Whether you’re after more bookings or increased website visits, be sure you are tracking them vigilantly. If you are limited on time or experience with these platforms, call in the specialists. Having a knowledgeable team evaluate and process this data can skyrocket conversions and help you to better understand your audience.
7. Mobile Optimisation
50.48% of web traffic comes from mobile devices, so you need to ensure your website is responsive, mobile-friendly and provides a seamless experience across all devices.
- Test Your Site: Use tools to test how mobile-friendly your website is. With more people booking via mobile, user experience is crucial.
- Simplify the Booking Process: Ensure that the booking process is as straightforward on mobile as it is on desktop.
8. Visual Content
Use high-quality images of your Hotel. Compress images to improve page load times and remember to add alt text to all your images (ensuring it describes the image and includes targeted keywords) when you upload them to your site.
- Videos: Consider adding videos of the hotel, testimonials, or local attractions. Videos can keep visitors engaged longer, which can positively impact SEO.
- Infographics: These can be about travel tips, local events, or hotel amenities. They're shareable on social platforms, attractive to journalists and valuable for blog content.
9. Engage with CTAs
Add clear Call to Action (CTA) buttons, like "Book Now", ensuring they are visible and prompt users to take the desired action.
Strategically Place CTAs: Don't just limit them to the top or bottom. Integrate them within content where they make sense.
- Test and Refine: A/B test different CTAs to see which ones resonate most with your audience.
10. Use SEO Tools
Utilise free and paid SEO tools available to improve your site's performance. Tools like Google Analytics, Google Keywords Planner, Moz, and Yoast can provide valuable insights and optimisations. There are also tools available that can provide insights into what your competitors are doing. This can help refine your strategy to ensure you are the market leader in your niche.
In the vast digital landscape of hotel marketing, mastering SEO is your compass. It points you in the right direction, ensuring you're seen, heard, and most importantly, booked. So, embark on this SEO journey, and may your hotel always be bustling with guests!
Want to hit the ground running? Reach out to our SEO experts here.