Search Engine optimisation can be a real headache sometimes. It’s something that you know you need to do, in the internet age you can’t afford not to be well ranked in search engines, but it always seems to be such a mysterious art. The secrets to its success are held behind lock and key, for only those in the SEO field to understand. Well, while it is an incredibly intricate and complicated art, today we are revealing some of the tricks behind SEO optimization for hotels that you can do yourself.
First of all – getting a handle on your expectations is key. While we all might want to rank on the first page of Google within 1 week of opening, the likelihood of that is slim to none (unless you have a lot of money to throw at it). Similarly, if you are a small hotel in Bath, the likelihood is that you won’t get ranked in the search results for all hotels countrywide, as there are hundreds of larger hotels with an unlimited budget to take those spaces.
Instead, manage your expectations and go for search terms that are narrower, and more likely to get you found by the people you want to find you. By doing this you are more likely to get quality views and a higher booking rate. This links in well with a section we cover later on called ‘get local’.
In this day and age, over half of the people searching for hotels are doing so on mobile devices. This means that if your website isn’t optimized for mobile use, you are missing a bit trick. If your customers can’t use your website easily or book a stay on their mobile devices, they are much less likely to book with you. In times where the mobile device is fast taking over, you need to make sure you are ready and prepared by ensuring your website can cope with it and perform to its best.
Get on the Map
This doesn’t just mean being visible on the internet – it’s actually far more literal. This means get your Google maps listing up and running. It’s a really simple, easy and free service by Google, and it will only take you a few minutes to do. When you have a Google maps listing, this means you will pop up on the map at the top right of the Google search results when someone searches for hotels in your area.
This is a great thing for you – because even if you aren’t on the first page of Google, you still turn up in this map box. This will also help if your customer are looking for a hotel near a specific spot, they can identify easily which hotel they should stay in. Get your listing up, get it optimised, and this is a quick win.
If we carry on with our previous analogy of a small hotel in Bath, it’s fairly safe to say that you won’t get found in the search results for hotels, and while you might get found in ‘hotels in Bath’, you want to boost this as much as you can with other SEO techniques. But where you can get found easily is in indirect searches.
People who are yet to book their stay are far more likely to use terms like ‘places to eat in Bath’ or ‘top 10 attractions in Bath’. So to get found and win this business, write about the things to do in your town and what they can get up to. Once they are on your website, entice them to book with a special offer or a deal, making it impossible for them to resist staying with you.
Be A Local
As well as getting local, make an effort to be a part of the local community. Back linking is one of the staples of good SEO, and getting local businesses, shops and tradesmen linking to your website will help boost your SEO performance. So start building relationships within the local community, and encourage people to link back to your website with interesting content they will want to share.
This doesn’t just have to happen online either- sometimes pressing flesh is even more vital. Why not look into sponsoring a local event? Hanging a banner there with a link to your website will encourage visits, and the events website will include you in its list of sponsors links. All of these things can drastically improve not only your SEO efforts, but also your popularity within the local community.
Make Your PR Work Online
Now, PR is something a lot of hotels are doing already, and this is working incredibly well for them. Getting articles in the newspapers or local magazines helps bolster the public knowledge and awareness and makes them a more valuable asset to the local community. But there is a really simple way to build on this so that it has a positive impact on your website SEO as well.
Where you are getting a article or advert published, make sure you check if there is an online version of the publication that goes out. If there is, then make sure the online article is linking back to your website (this works very well with the previous point about being a local). This helps to combine your PR effort and make it work a little bit harder, without you needing too!