Large hotels have worldwide name recognition and an easy time ranking on search engines. However, the same cannot be said for small to medium hotels. That’s why search engine optimization or SEO is critical and why focusing on local SEO for hotels is appropriate for small to medium hotels.
What is search engine optimization? It’s improving not only the number of people visiting your site but also the quality of people visiting your website through the use of legal and proper techniques such as keywords, quality content, videos, etc.
The most important and most popular search engine is Google. Therefore, Google hotel rankings are what you want to focus on. Whether you are new to SEO or if you’ve been working with it for a while, here is a guide to help you start or improve the SEO for your hotel website.
Organized, Professional Website
Every small to medium-sized hotel owner needs a well-organized website to represent the hotel. Social media sites are important, and we’ll discuss them later. However, if you are a serious website owner, one of the critical hotel SEO tips is to have a professional website.
Every professional hotel website needs a well-designed logo. The logo should represent your hotel, and the colors of the logo should represent the colors you wish to express for your site.
For example, let’s say your hotel sits in the middle of a calm and peaceful forest. A good logo typically has no more than two to three colors. An example of colors for such a logo could be the use of brown and green, representing the colors of a forest, with white as the color for the text. For instance, the following logo tells a story and leaves no doubt in your mind where the destination lies. You can almost imagine yourself lying on the beach with a fruity drink.
Professionally Designed Website
What colors come to mind when people think of your hotel? Or, what colors is your logo? These are the colors you need to use or match on your website. When any visitor or returning customer comes to your site, they should immediately recognize your brand. Also, because you own a hotel, your site needs to be professionally created.
Do-it-yourself websites are not as professional looking for a hotel that serves the public. Additionally, poorly designed websites can cause visitors to turn away from your site and go to a different website.
48 percent of people cited that a website’s design is the No. 1 factor in determining the credibility of a business. (Blue Corona)
Organized Website Design
Hotel website SEO tips include having a website that is well organized. An organized website means that when a person visits your site, they will have an easy time navigating your site and finding the information they are looking for. However, it also means that the most important parts of your website, like contact information, will hit your reader immediately, with the final goal of turning your visitor into a customer.
FACT: 64 percent of total visitors want to see a company’s contact information on its homepage. (SAG IPL)
Have a Site Map
Every organized and professional hotel website must have a site map. What is a site map? A site map is a list of URLs on your site that makes it easier for a person to navigate your site. It also makes it easier for Google (and other search engines) to learn about and to index your content.
Once visitors come to the homepage of a site, 86 percent of them want information about products or services. 64 percent expect to find contact information, and 52 percent want to know about the business. (WebAlive)
Hotel SEO Keywords
One of the most important parts of effective Google hotel rankings is keywords. Keywords are words that define what your content is about. They are also the words that help you hit as high as possible on Google. The stronger your keywords are, the better your placement on Google. Keywords represent what people who go to the Google search engine are typing into that search engine. Match the top searches, make them as relevant as possible to your site, and your website will receive more views leading to more conversions.
Research Your Keywords
One of the most crucial hotel website SEO tips is to research your keywords before you even think about including them. There are SEO keyword tools online that you can use to find the best keywords for your niche. Of course, a professional SEO agency that focuses on keywords, as well as keywords for hotels, is a great way to make sure you’re using the right keywords. For example, on the Diib user dashboard (pictured below), you can see the performance of your keywords on the summary page. Following the keyword tab link (circled) you can research specific keywords for your hotel and those you competitors are ranking for.
Know Your Target Customers
If you are a hotel nestled in a peaceful forest, who are your customers? Are they visitors who dislike a city environment? Are they families who typically live in a city environment, but who go for a peaceful ambiance for vacations? You need to have a system in place to help you determine who your customers are. Surveys, for example, are an excellent way to learn that.
Use Long-tail Keywords
Long-tail keywords are vital for SEO. If you just go with the word “hotel,” which is a single keyword, it is far too broad. “Hotel” could mean any hotel in any place. Unless you’re a huge name, trying to rank for “hotel” would be next to impossible.
Therefore, you want to use long-tail keywords. An example of a long-tail keyword would be “Wisconsin Dells hotel indoor pool.” That tells you where the hotel is located and a key component of the hotel features.
Choose the Correct Keywords
It is also important that you choose the correct keywords. For example, “Wisconsin Dells family fun” could mean anything fun for families in Wisconsin Dells. However, “Wisconsin Dells family fun hotel” is more specific and is better suited for Wisconsin Dells local SEO for hotels.
Choose Strong Keywords
All of your keywords need to be strong. What does that mean? It means that they need to be relevant, and they need to match, as much as possible, what people are typing into search engines. For example, “family hotel Wisconsin” may describe your hotel, but does it describe it completely? Yes, your hotel is intended for families, but where precisely in Wisconsin is it located? Is it located in Milwaukee, a city environment? Is it located in Silver Lake, a small-town setting? Let’s say your hotel is located in Silver Lake, Wisconsin. So a better keyword would be “family hotel Silver Lake Wisconsin”.
As we discussed above, the Diib® dashboard offers comprehensive information regarding your keywords and their overall success in your campaign. For our pro members, we also offer one on one coaching sessions with a member of our veteran human growth team. These experts can give you valuable, market appropriate advice concerning your keywords and how you can rank. From your SEO page, simply click on the link circled below.
No Keyword Stuffing
Never use more hotel SEO keywords than you need to rank on Google. Google frowns on an abundance of keywords and considers it “keyword stuffing.” A site guilty of keyword stuffing is at risk of Google punishing it and reducing its rank.
Keyword Stuffing: Keyword stuffing is a search engine optimization technique, considered webspam or spamdexing, in which keywords are loaded into a web page’s meta tags, visible content, or backlink anchor text in an attempt to gain an unfair rank advantage in search engines. -Wikipedia
Use Keywords in Titles, Subtitles, etc.
Your main keyword, or long-tail keywords, should be included in your title. They could also be included in your subtitles, your content, your photo descriptions, and your video descriptions. However, you want to avoid keyword stuffing, so be careful when crafting these titles.
Keywords are essential parts of SEO. An SEO agency for hotels may be your best bet to help you with the most effective keywords.
Regular, Well-Written Content
You’re going to have a hard time ranking if you don’t continually add new content to your website. However, it’s not just new content you need to focus on, the quality is vital. Your content needs to be original and well-written.
Non-original, plagiarized content can get you punished by Google. They can reduce your ranking, and you could get into trouble with the original writers of the material. Your content, therefore, needs to be authentic and also well written. It needs to be powerful enough to interest customers and potential customers, and it needs to be free of grammatical, punctuation, and spelling errors.
Not everyone is a good writer and that’s okay. One of the best ways to get well-written, original content produced is to hire ghostwriters to create it for you. A professional SEO company, for example, would have writers on hand who can provide this kind of compelling, customized, well-written content for you.
Social Media is Vital
Even though you need to have a website as a hotel owner, it’s also essential for you to be on social media. In 2019, at least 79 percent of Americans had social network profiles. That’s a two percent increase from the previous years. Therefore, at least 247 million Americans are social media users. Here is the breakdown of use by platform. (Credit: Statista)
With numbers like that, you can’t afford not to have at least a few social media profiles for your hotel. In fact, in today’s society, many people will look for you on social media before they go to your website.
Do you need to be on every social media site? No. However, you need to choose a few social media sites where you can be consistently active. The social media sites you want will depend on your niche. However, as a hotel owner, it’s recommended that you be on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, at least. All content you post should be focused on the ultimate goal of bringing people to your website and turning those people into paying customers.
As of 2019, Facebook had approximately 2.6 billion monthly active users. That makes Facebook the most popular social media site and every hotel should have a Facebook business page. On the page, a hotel can post words, photos, and videos. You want to post content that will appeal to people who are interested in hotels, and more specifically, who would be interested in your hotel.
On Facebook, one great way to reach potential customers is through Facebook ads. Therefore, a Facebook ads budget is a great thing to have.
As of 2019, Twitter had 330 million active users. Twitter is a site where users can post videos, photos, and written content. The written content can be no more than 280 characters. To build your Twitter site, you need to have as many followers as possible. Therefore, the goal is for you to follow people who have an interest in what you are offering, with the hope that these people will follow you back. One great way to get people to follow you is to offer them something appealing, such as a discount for your hotel rooms.
Instagram has one billion monthly active users since 2018. It varies a bit from Facebook and Twitter because it is an image site where you post images or videos, along with content describing the images or videos. Any links you post go in your bio located at the top of your Instagram page.
What makes Instagram great for hotels is that a hotel can post pics of their property to entice people to visit. People love visuals. So the photos must be clear, exciting, and draw people in.
Content posted on social media should be done regularly. It doesn’t mean that you have to post every day, but you need to be consistent.
A social media site that is not updated regularly will lose eyes. In addition, it’s a good idea to try and engage with your visitors. This can get challenging when you have thousands and thousands of followers, but answering some of the questions that are posted to you on social media is a good way to stay engaged with your audience.
Proper social media takes skill and time. Here is another place where hiring a professional to run your social media sites can be a good idea if your sites have grown to the point where you could use some help.
Take Advantage of Videos
Let’s talk specifically about videos. Yes, you should post written content as well as photos, but be sure you also put some focus into videos on not only your website but also your social media sites.
Videos are great because they allow you to tell a compelling story, in a viewing format people like, in a short amount of time. They keep people engaged with your content longer, as it has been shown that 60 percent of people stay on sites longer that have videos than with sites that just have pictures and text. Also, and most importantly, videos are easy. All people have to do is click the video, watch and listen. Make sure your video is not too long, that it is exciting to watch, and that it conveys exactly what you want to convey.
Focus on Backlinking
A very important part of your hotel website SEO is to have backlinks on your site. What is backlinking? A backlink is a link where one site links to another. Another name for a backlink is an “incoming link” or an “inbound link.”
When you link to other sites, it’s imperative to link only to sites that benefit your business or website. In addition, sites you link to should be linking back to you. Backlinks are good for SEO because they show that you respect a site and that they respect your website in return. Earning good backlinks will boost your website ranking. Like any other aspect of good SEO, backlinks can be time-consuming and challenging to gather. Here, too, is where a professional SEO service can come in handy. Learn more about backlinks with our comprehensive and easy-to-follow guide.
Diib® Will Boost Your Hotel SEO Success
Diib® works with small to medium sized hotel’s all over the world, giving them a voice and the platform necessary to support their business goals. Here are some of the key ways we differ other SEO companies:
- We also offer our clients insights into not only their own website health, but that of their key competitors.
- Custom Alerts keep you informed on your website health and subtle google algorithm changes that can affect your traffic.
- Objectives are suggested ways to improve website health and overall traffic.
- Monthly collaboration with our growth experts can fine tune your SEO efforts.
- We sync with Facebook to give you insights into specific post performance, user demographics and conversions.
Learning what you’re doing that works and what doesn’t work can help you formulate a strong winning strategy. One that will stand the test of time. Call today at 800-303-3510 to speak to a member of our human growth team or click here for your free 60 second website scan.
Some of the most popular hotel keywords are: hotels near me, motel, cheap hotels, cheap hotels near me, booking hotel, last minute hotel deals. However, these words are highly searched and can be difficult to rank for. Using long tail keywords, that include your relevant hotel info, can be more effective.
With most people owning a mobile phone and the proliferation of internet purchasing, we would venture to say that any hotel owner or developer should have an SEO strategy.
Some of the most effective off-page SEO ideas are:
- Creating Shareable Content
- Influencer Outreach. Find an influencer that matches your hotel profile.
- Be a Guest Blogger
- Engage in Social Media Platforms
- Be Active on Forums
- Submit Relevant Articles
- List on Blog Directories
The above tips should all help with your hotel bookings. However, looking at that as a whole can be overwhelming. Start small and once you have that first thing going strong, implement the next step or phase of your plan.
Google has reported that a staggering 46% of all searches have local intent. With such a large focus on local products and services, listing with the free Google My Business account can make all the difference in your business goals.
Create a relevant list of keywords and analyze Google’s first few listings. Create something different and even better than what is already there. Make sure you stand out from the crowd and offer unique content. Make sure you are optimized for on-page content and ensure your website is professional looking.
Making a website SEO friendly means the search engines can crawl each page on the website efficiently, interpret the content effectively, and index it in their database. This is a google ranking factor that could be significant.