When it comes to hotels, marketing is a key tool for keeping your rooms booked year-round. This is especially important for smaller, boutique hotels that may not be backed by a huge chain or brand name. While paid ads can obviously be huge for website traffic, I wanted to share some SEO tips for hotels based on some key changes that you can make to your website to bring in customers without a big marketing budget!
5 KEY SEO TIPS FOR HOTELS
1. optimize your website for your hotel’s location
For any hotel, appearing in search engine results for your location is a top priority. There are several ways to achieve this and here are some key tasks that you want to make sure are complete:
- Ensure Hotel Is Listed On Google My Business: This is a free local listing on the biggest search engine, so it’s a major one. After creating a listing by entering your hotel’s details and a short verification process (Google will send a postcard with a PIN number in order to verify the address), you’re listed! Be sure to fully fill out your listing as well as add photos for the best results
- Optimize Pages On Your Site With Location Details: This can be completed by adding the city and/or state your hotel is located in via title and meta description tags on each page of your website. If you have an about page, for example, ” About” as the SEO title could be changed to “About | Reign Hotel | Atlanta, GA”. If you have a WordPress website, which I recommend for hotel website design, then a tool or plugin such as Yoast is great for this. Including your hotel’s location in titles, page descriptions, image alt tags and even your footer helps search engines recognize your location even more.
- List On Other Directories: Other than being listed on Google, there are other online “directory” type sites that can be important to make sure your hotel is listed on that link to your website. Merchant Circle, Yellow Pages, Citysearch, and Yelp are just a few.
2. list your hotel on industry specific directories
Speaking of listings, making sure that your hotel is listed on popular travel sites is key. Although most hotels prefer direct booking, these sites are still primary sources for traffic, ranking, and reviews. One great site like this is TripAdvisor, as its high-ranking and will be a great backlink (a link outside of your site that leads to yours) to aid in your SEO strategy.
3. have a modern, updated website
If you’re putting in a ton of effort on gaining traffic for your websites, then it helps to have a beautifully designed site for potential customers to land on. Unfortunately, hotels often have out-dated websites that are slow-loading, not responsive (viewable on desktop and mobile) and utilize flash or other old site elements. These are looked down on by Google and other search engines, which hurt their rankings, deter new customers or aren’t great at displaying the property in its best light. For this reason, a good hotel website design is key.
Redesigning your hotel’s website allows you to not only modernize visually but also to work out the best structure for an amazing user experience and optimal features for SEO. I specialize in branding and web design for hotels and hospitality brands, so feel free to check out my services or portfolio and contact me if you need help in this area.
4. create a blog for searchable content
If you got to my website via a search or post on social media, then you should be able to see how important creating a blog is to gain site traffic. This is especially true for your hotel. Having a blog on your website is great for SEO and can be a key part of your marketing strategy. Think about what your hotel customers may be searching for, whether it be restaurants in the area, a local museum or a landmark. These are things you can base content around. Also, if you’re having an event or promotion, a blog is a great place to display that!
Utilizing bloggers and bringing them on as guests for your hotel’s blog is another avenue for fresh content that you can occasionally tap into. To find local bloggers, try hopping on Instagram and using your city name + blogger (ex: #charlotteblogger). These bloggers are close and can provide local-based posts such as “10 Things to do in Charlotte this Summer” which would be great for travelers that are looking to come to the city and may need a great place to stay!
5. utilize social media
One of the best marketing tools out there is social media. Posting your own images, blog articles, hotel events, packages and deals on networks such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and more can bring in a lot of site traffic, and aid in search rankings. Using hashtags such as #travel, #hotel, #vacation, etc can lead users on these platforms to your posts, and engaging with users and other local businesses can help you build a following and community. For this reason, utilizing social media is my last but not least of the SEO tips for hotels.
If you don’t have the time to handle your own social media consistently, you can look into some hotel social media management services from me, more local freelancers, or larger agencies if you feel necessary. Social media that isn’t updated often is almost worse than no social media at all because it can have major effects, such as making people wonder if you’re even still in business!
If you have a bit of a marketing budget, you can target bigger travel bloggers / influencers and pay for their trips (as well as provide a free room and potentially a press tour). This can be great for trendy boutique hotels or hotels looking to attract a certain audience. Having these bloggers take photos and post on various social media channels can be a great way to create “social media envy” that makes their followers want to visit your location as well.
Do you have any SEO tips for hotels? Feel free to leave them in the comments below!
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