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Optimizing your hotel’s online presence: SEO tips for improved visibility

SEO Tips
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In order for people to book stays at your hotel, they must first know that it exists. This seems obvious, but it’s crucial to enhance the visibility of your hospitality offerings. Gone are the days when people booked a room at the first hotel they happened upon during their travels. This may still happen from time to time, but it’s in every hotelier’s best interest to leave digital breadcrumb trails for travelers.

In other words, you should optimize your hotel’s online presence. Search engine optimization (SEO) best practices can help you reach the right audience, putting your hotel in front of the eyes of those most interested and willing to book.

Understand ranking factors

For starters, understand how search engines rank results. A search engine results page (SERP) is determined by several different things, and search engines typically like to keep these determining factors close to the vest. However, there are SEO experts who analyze algorithmic changes and trends, and you can follow specific steps gleaned from this analysis to optimize your hotel’s website for ranking.

For instance, Google’s ranking factors include:

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  • Keywords;
  • Title tags;
  • Internal links;
  • Backlinks;
  • Anchor text;
  • Updated content;
  • Page speed and security;
  • Mobile optimization.

These factors include a combination of on-site, off-site, and technical SEO. It may seem daunting, but fine-tuning these aspects is paramount to your hotel’s online visibility. Luckily, there are several simple steps you can take to help improve how your hotel shows up to searchers.

Optimize your website design

First and foremost, you can optimize your hotel’s website for the best user experience (UX). Your website is often your chance to make a first impression and, ideally, book guests and earn referrals. If users can’t find buttons for checking availability or booking, you’re losing valuable clicks and revenue.

Each year comes with new website design trends, so keep abreast of these to provide the best UX consistently. Just make sure to keep the overall feel of your hotel brand the same so users know that they’re coming back to a familiar place. Instead of overhauling everything, focus on highlighting your unique sales propositions (USPs) in the best ways possible.

Showcasing your location, promotions, and amenities will not only show potential customers what you have to offer, but it will also send signals to search engines. This way, your hotel is more likely to come up in relevant searches. Then, your website should be:

  • Easy to navigate;
  • Visually appealing;
  • Formatted correctly including the use of headers;
  • Reliable, secure, and quick to load;
  • Mobile-friendly.

If your website has all of these characteristics, visitors will spend more time on it. This tells search engines that your website provides value and should rank higher in relevant searches.

Use hotel-specific keywords

Relevant searches will be specific to your particular hotel. Bring leadership and hotel staff together to figure out what pain points your hotel solves for its target audience. Brainstorm keywords that are relevant to your hotel and conduct keyword research. Use SEO tools like Moz, SEMrush, and Google Keyword Planner to determine what keywords get the most searches, as well as what keywords similar hotels rank highly for. These hotels can be in the same location or have a similar feel or offerings to your brand.

SEO keywords for your hotel can then be seamlessly integrated into your site. Start with short-tail keywords that are more general, like your type of hotel. Then, you can look into long-tail keywords that are more specific, such as local areas of interest, events, and specific amenities you offer. For example, if your hotel is in Pittsburgh, PA, you may do keyword research for something like “hotels near Pittsburgh Zoo” or “Pittsburgh hotel with pool”.

Whatever the case, try to put yourself in the mind of your target audience. Think about how they would search for hotel accommodations and how your hotel satisfies their intent. Then, integrate these keywords into your content.

Create helpful content — and update it

Rather than taking the keywords you have identified and stuffing them into any space on your website, you’ll want to be a bit more strategic. If your hotel doesn’t already have a blog, it’s a good place to start. Creating content that is helpful to your target audience will draw them to your website — and signal to search engines that you’re providing value to relevant searchers.

One of Google’s ranking factors includes updated content, so make sure you are going back and revising anything that could use a refresh. This could include content surrounding current events or trends. Updating a blog post will let search engines know that date and ascribe it to your page. You should also link to relevant pages — both on your site and on other, high-authority sites. Always go back and make sure that all internal and external links are working.

Build quality links

In addition to creating an internal linking structure, you should focus some of your SEO strategy on building quality links to your pages (backlinks). If your content is high-quality, this may happen naturally. Other websites will link to your pages organically. Otherwise, it’s worth it to reach out to other relevant websites to see if they will provide you with backlinks.

For example, you could reach out to local indexes or local bloggers that receive traffic from a similar target audience as you. Backlinks from these sites give search engines confidence that your page is useful and worth indexing — especially if the website linking to you is high-quality. Always check their authority, rankings, and traffic to see if the backlink is worth pursuing.

Set up and utilize your Google Business profile

Last, but not least, set up a Google Business Profile, formerly known as Google My Business. This is directly on the search engine and provides a place for you to highlight your hotel’s images, promotions, amenities, and reviews. Hotel reviews shape the guest experience, so making sure they are easy to access is important. If your Google profile comes up in searches, potential guests will have an easier time identifying your hotel as a possible stay.

Tags: Google Business, keywords, SEO tips, website design

Freelance Technical Writer,

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