It can be difficult finding the best ways to market your hotel. How do you stand out and compete with over 50,000 hotels in the United States? Well, SEO can definitely help.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of maximizing the number of visitors to a website by ensuring it appears high on the list of results on a search engine. This is the one of the best methods to promote your business as all it takes is hard work and research. Overall, SEO can actually save you money you would normally be putting into other advertising ventures. With that said, here are 5 tips to help you get started on improving your hotel’s SEO.
Get Coverage & Reviews
People feel more confident in a product or service when they get other people’s opinions on it. Clarification of quality can solidify a person’s confidence in choosing your hotel. Take advantage of this fact by getting listed on websites like TripAdvisor and Yelp to get more reviews. Encourage recent and past guest to give reviews of their experience to help boost your overall rating. Make sure you engage with reviews as this can greatly affect users opinions about your hotel. Got a good review? Thank them personally. Got a bad review? Address the issue honestly and try to make amends.
Another great way to get online exposure for your hotel is to contact popular hospitality bloggers and online personalities. Invite them to stay at your hotel free of charge in exchange for a review or blog post about their experience. This will help bring more attention to your hotel and drive new user to your website.
Create Content and Post Frequently
In order to generate more traffic to your website you need to create content. A great way to do that on your website is by creating a blog. Many companies in the hospitality industry are not fully utilizing content marketing to their advantage. Why does this help get more traffic? Google is constantly looking at for content to produce better search results. The more content you give, the better your Google ranking will be.
Not the best writer? Blogs are not the only means to produce quality content. Why not try making videos or create a podcast. (Helpful tip: When posting a video or podcast on your website; write up a short piece about the content so Google can analyze the data.)
But what do you talk about? Focus on talking about topics that are related to your hotel. Let’s go through an example together. If your business is a ski resort, talk about basic skiing instructions or about your past skiing experiences. Social Media is another great tool available to create content for your audience. If you want to learn more, I created a list of ‘4 Useful & Creative Inforgraphics about Social Media Marketing’ that can get you started on using social media for marketing purposes.
Whatever method you use to create content just remember one simple word.
Consistency. This is vital for building an audience and directing traffic to your website. Once you get people coming to you for content, you need to be able to deliver it on a regular basis. The best practice for this is to plan content ahead of time and release it on a strict schedule.
Be on ‘Google My Business’
Google My Business, which used to be known as Google Places is a free tool for businesses to help them manage their online presence on Google. When clicking on a Google My Business listing, people can see the following information about a business:
- The business’s name, address and phone number.
- Location on Google Maps.
- Opening hours.
- Link to website.
- Photos related to the business.
- Reviews of the business from previous customers.
- A rating out of 5 based on reviews.
Registering for Google My Business allows for your hotel to be efficiently cataloged by Google and increases your ranking for local search terms. For example, if your hotel is in Tampa and a users search ‘hotels in tampa florida’ a section will show up giving listings of all the hotels in Tampa. This tip is by far one of the best and easiest ways to significantly increase your SEO if you are not currently using this service already.
Have a Responsive Website
In 2017, mobile traffic as a share of total global online traffic was 52.64% and is expected to reach 79% of global internet use by the end of 2018. This shows that having a website which can adapt to different devices is important to attracting more users.
How to tell if your current hotel website is responsive? Go to the website on your phone. A responsive website will change, resize, rearrange or rescale different web elements. This is done to provide users the best viewing experience for their device.
If you website is not responsive, you need to get a professional web designer to help convert your current website into a responsive website. Though the initial cost might be high, the statistics show a growing number of people are using other devices to view websites.
Have a Faster Website
According to Akamai, websites which take longer than 3 seconds to load results in 40% of users leaving your website. Additionally, they found that 79% of users who experience a dissatisfying visit are less likely to buy from the same website in the future. It’s clear that no one like a slow website, but how do you fix it?
One main culprit in making websites slow are images. You can fix this easily by making sure your images don’t exceed the width of 1920px and by compressing your images for website usage. If you have access to Photoshop, you can make images which are optimized for website. Simply go to the ‘Save for Web’ section under the ‘File’ tab.
If you’re using WordPress, I recommend using a caching plugin to help decrease load time. WordPress generates your web content dynamically which means it requests fresh information about a page every time a visitor views it. This can be unnecessary as some pages on your website rarely change if at all. Caching plugins fix this issue by creating a static version of your content and delivering it to visitors. This results in reduction of page loading time. If you are going to use a caching plugin, I highly recommend trying out WP Super Cache.
If you’re uncertain about the information provided or wish to get some professional help, we got you covered. Use the form below to get in touch and we can help you improve your hotel’s SEO.