As a hotelier, the growth and success of your property are built upon how well you’re able to drive new and repeat bookings. But in the highly competitive travel industry, growing a solid customer base is often easier said than done.
With that being said, there are still a number of proven marketing methods to support your growth goals, and one of the most effective and important tools is search engine optimization (SEO).
Whether you’re a large hotel chain or a small boutique property, SEO should be an essential area of focus. In this post, we will explain why you need to focus on optimizing your website for search engines and provide tips for accomplishing your hotel SEO goals.
What is SEO?
If you aren’t familiar with the concept of SEO, here’s a quick overview. SEO is the art and science of getting your website to rank as highly as possible in search engine results pages (known as SERPs) on Google and other similar sites.
Statistics show that having your website among the top results significantly increases the chances that someone will visit your page; in fact, 75% of people never scroll past the first page of Google results.
There are countless ways to improve your search rankings, some of which we will detail below. But in general, having relevant information on your website is the single biggest factor that impacts your SEO.
Why is SEO important for hotels?
Last year, 31% of accommodation searches began on a search engine, according to McKinsey. Not to mention that people who started with a search purchased their hotel room more quickly than those that did not begin with a search engine.
How can you improve your hotel SEO?
SEO can be complex, so before you make any big changes to your site to improve SEO, you should work with an agency or specialist to ensure that what you’re doing won’t negatively impact your rankings.
However, there are guidelines that you can safely follow to kickstart the process. Here are three top hotel SEO tips.
Do your research
It’s easy to assume what we think our audience is looking for, but do you have the data to back it up? Before you determine which keywords you want to focus on, use a tool like BuzzSumo to dig into the specific terms and phrases that your target buyers will associate with your hotel.
Maintain an active blog
Once you’ve chosen your top keywords, you’ll want to incorporate them into your site as naturally as possible. The easiest way to do this is with a blog. You can use your hotel blog to highlight activities and events in your area, showcase guest testimonials, or announce new amenities.
Get your website backend in order
As mentioned earlier, there are some technical aspects of SEO as well. For instance, search engines reward sites that load quickly, are easy to read, and have tags and descriptions that accurately summarize the page contents. Many of these items are easy to fix – just make sure you’re working with an experienced professional when you get started.
As you start to ramp up your SEO efforts, it’s important to recognize that SEO is a long-term strategy and not a short-term fix. If you aren’t seeing results right away, don’t get discouraged; keep working at it and your efforts will pay dividends for a long time to come.