In today’s tech-savvy world, if your hotel doesn’t have a website, you’re likely to lose both trust and customers. But is a good-looking website all you need to attract guests? Not quite!
Most people find websites through search engines, so your hotel’s website needs to show up high in search engine results to get more potential guests. And to convert these potential guests into actual ones, your website needs to be optimized for search engines. This is where Hotel SEO comes in.
This article will serve as your comprehensive guide to understanding Hotel SEO and how to stand out in this competitive market.
What is SEO for Hotels?
Hotel SEO is all about making your hotel’s website show up higher in search engine results (like Google, Yahoo, and Bing). This helps more people find your website, potentially leading to more bookings for your hotel.
In other words, SEO is a key part of digital marketing for hotels and is a proven strategy to get ahead of your competition.
Importance of SEO for Hotel Businesses
When people search for something online, they usually click on the first result that comes up because they think it’ll have the best answers. Very few people click on the second, third, or fourth results.
According to a survey by Backlinko, the first result on Google gets 31.7% of all clicks, while the last result on the first page only gets 2.2%. Hardly anyone goes to the second page. (You probably don’t either!)
So, if your website isn’t on the first page of search results, chances are people won’t find you. This means you could miss out on potential direct bookings through your website.
Top 10 Strategies to Do Hotel SEO
There are many tips for hotel SEO out there, but it’s crucial to know which ones work best. To help you understand the most important ones and get started with hotel SEO correctly, I’ve put together 15 practical steps.
- Define your target audience
The first step in optimizing your hotel website for search engines is to identify your target audience – who they are, what they like, and how they book accommodations.
Here are some examples:
- A hotel offering adventurous activities might target millennials and leisure travelers, including families and groups.
- A resort might focus on leisure travelers, such as families and groups.
- Serviced apartments might cater to corporate or business travelers.
- Hostels might be aimed at budget or solo travelers and backpackers.
Once you know who your audience is, think about what they might search for when looking for accommodations.
For instance, if you run a resort, your potential guests might search for:
- “Resort in [your city]”
- “Best/Top resorts in [your city]”
These are known as search terms. Try to identify a main search term that your audience frequently uses.
By the way, these search terms are also known as KEYWORDS. Let’s delve deeper into what keywords are, how they work, and why they’re important.
- Do Proper Keyword Research
Keyword research is a crucial part of a strong hotel SEO strategy. Keywords are the words and phrases that people use to find websites like yours.
Start by listing all the possible search terms your audience might use. For example, if your hotel is in the Maldives, potential keywords could be:
- Hotels in Male, Maldives
- Cheap hotels in Male
- Best hotels in Male
- Hotels near Meeru Island
- Hotels near Maldives airport
But you’ll need more than just these common keywords to rank higher on Google. You can use keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner and Ubersuggest to find more.
To use Ubersuggest, just type in a keyword (or list of keywords). It will show you the search volume, SEO difficulty, and CPC. It will also suggest related keywords.
You can also find related keywords directly from Google. When you start typing in the search bar, Google will suggest related terms. It will also show related keywords at the end of the search results.
Remember to consider long-tail variations of keywords. These are more specific and can convert better. For example, “Beach resort in Maldives” or “Hotel in Maldives near Meeru Island”.
You can also look at the keywords your competitors are using. Just type your competitor’s URL into Ubersuggest to see their top pages, estimated traffic, and the keywords they’re targeting.
Finally, make a list of all the keywords you want to target. Choose one as your focus keyword. Make sure to include the keywords naturally in your content, as search engines don’t like keyword stuffing.
- Do Pn-Page SEO
For SEO-friendly hotel websites, focus on three elements: page title, meta description, and URL.
Page Title: View your website’s source code, find the <title> tag, and write a descriptive, keyword-inclusive title within 50-60 characters.
Meta Description: In the source code, under the <head> tag, find the <meta> tag. Write a keyword-inclusive description that encourages searchers to visit your website.
Web Page URL: Make it clear, include your targeted keyword, separate words with hyphens, and avoid stop words. This impacts your hotel SEO significantly.
- Optimize your Website’s content
To improve your hotel website’s SEO, start by adding targeted keywords in the homepage’s h1 tag and first paragraph. Write 800-1000 words on your homepage with keywords and related terms.
Create engaging content like blogs, articles, and newsletters to target many keywords. For example, write blogs about “10 things to do in Maldives” or “10 unique accommodations in Maldives” to boost your website’s ranking.
This can attract traffic and potential bookings. Also, write about the city, tourist spots, and local cuisine. Remember, good content is crucial for SEO. Make sure it’s something your audience wants to explore before booking.
- Add Alt Text to Images
Image alt text is crucial for SEO as it helps search engines index your images and aids screen-reading tools. It also improves your ranking in the image search engine.
To add alt text, find the <img> tag in your website’s source code and add the alt attribute. Make sure your alt text is descriptive, includes keywords, and is under 125 characters.
- Headings and Subheadings
Headings help both users and search engines understand your website’s text. They highlight important parts and show how they’re linked.
Well-structured content is user-friendly and good for SEO. Plus, headings are a great place to use your main keyword.
To find heading tags (H1, H2, etc.), open your website’s source code (press F12 or Ctrl + U, or right-click and select “View Source” or “Inspect Element”). Look for tags like <h1>This is my text</h1>.
Include your main keyword in the H1 tag and keep a proper hierarchy. For example, your hotel’s name could be H1, and ‘Our services’ and ‘Rooms’ could be H2.
Remember, your content is for your readers, not just for SEO. Make sure it’s still readable after adding these tags.
- Improve Page Loading Speed
Website loading speed is crucial for your hotel’s SEO because people don’t like to wait. Here’s a simple way to check your website speed:
- Visit Google Page Speed Insight.
- Type in your website URL and click analyze.
A higher speed means more traffic. The score shows your website’s loading speed for both mobile and desktop. It also points out issues and how to fix them.
You don’t need to understand all the technical stuff. Just focus on the insights and ask your website provider to optimize your site and improve the score.
To reduce load time, you can use caching plugins (for WordPress sites), build your site with light frameworks, use plugins to reduce load time, minify and combine files, and reduce redirects.
- Make it Mobile Friendly
Most Google searches are done on mobile, so it’s important for your hotel website to be mobile-friendly.
To check if your site is mobile-friendly, go to “Mobile-Friendly Test”, enter your website URL, and click “Test URL”. It’ll tell you if your page is mobile-friendly and what issues to fix if it’s not.
To make your site responsive, make sure it loads quickly on all devices, including the ‘Viewport Meta Tag’, use large buttons and font sizes, compress your images and CSS, and do mobile testing.
- Make the Most of Google Hotel Search
Google’s hotel search engine, launched in 2015, is a great way to drive traffic to your hotel website. It emphasizes featured properties with large images and clear descriptions.
People usually search for hotels by location or name. To rank well, you need a detailed brand description and visible hotel image.
To enhance visibility:
- Use HD photos and save them with keyword-rich file names.
- Encourage guests to leave positive Google reviews.
- Update your Google My Business account with useful information like descriptions, amenities, accurate contact details, and recent photos.
Remember, the goal is to appear on the first page of hotel listings to drive traffic and conversions.
- Optimize for Local SEO
Local SEO helps promote your hotel in your area. You can use keywords on your website like your hotel’s name, address, and phone number (NAP), plus your city name in the title tag, meta description, URL, or header tag. This helps when people search for hotels in your city.
Start with a citation, which is an online reference of your NAP. Search engines use this to assess your hotel’s online authority. Citations also include details like operating hours, directions, business description, images, videos, payment methods, and reviews.
These strategies will help you start with your hotel website’s SEO. I’m also providing a 27-point SEO checklist to guide you.
Outsource SEO for Hotel Services from a Reputed Company
Outsourcing SEO to a reputable company offers expertise, cost-effectiveness, better results, updated practices, comprehensive services, and allows you to focus on core business activities.
If you are looking for a reputed company for SEO for Hotels services then SAG IPL is here for you. SAG IPL is a respected company that provides SEO services for hotels. They understand the specific issues hotels face and are dedicated to helping their clients succeed. They offer services such as finding the right keywords, improving your website, and optimizing off-site factors.
They’ve received good feedback from clients and have helped many hotels boost their organic traffic. Hiring SAG IPL for your hotel’s SEO could be a good move. But, it’s always wise to do your own research and look at other options before deciding.
By now, you should understand hotel SEO. Think of this blog as a tool to help you get started. These tactics have helped many hotels increase their organic traffic, and they can help you too. I know it might seem complicated, but don’t hesitate to ask experts from SAG IPL for help. In simple terms, hotel website SEO is all about creating the best experience for those searching and visiting your site. Remember, SEO takes time to show results, so be patient.