Search engine optimisation (SEO) is by no means a new marketing tactic, but that doesn’t mean to say that it is no longer relevant for hotel owners. Indeed, it can be a vital way to boost direct bookings and decrease the sums of money you need to spend on other methods such as online travel agents.With a positive, effective SEO strategy, you could easily drive visitors to your website who intend to book a hotel room. But how do you ensure your SEO techniques are going to work? Here are five ways that you might give your organic search rankings a boost.
1.Make the most of video The power of video is becoming all-encompassing and it is a significant part of the travel industry. According to Google, 106 million of the people who visit YouTube monthly are travellers – and 37 per cent watch clips while trying to decide which travel site to book on. What’s more, the search giant is starting to provide better results in the rankings for sites that include video, so it’s something you must be providing if you want improved SEO. For hotel search engine marketing purposes, think about what content you would want if you were in your guests’ shoes. Remember that they might never have heard of the area in which you’re situated, so they will need information such as local attractions and amenities. You can provide all this in an entertaining, informative video that they’ll be glad to watch. Don’t forget to upload other interesting videos too, such as your chef making his favourite dish in the restaurant – you want to engage and entertain.
2.Make URLs effective for search You might think that SEO is only applicable for your website copy, but it also extends to things like the metadata and other coding factors. URLs are one part of this that marketers often forget, but they can be an easy way to boost website traffic. Ensure they are all in lower case and don’t feature underscores, plus you should be including longtail keywords within them. For example, if your niche is couples and you’re in San Francisco, try ‘romantic hotel breaks in San Francisco’ as part of the URL link.
3.Create clever content Although you’ll have your videos in place, don’t sacrifice traditional content to make way for them. If you publish high-quality blog posts and articles on a regular basis, you should see organic traffic to your site really improve. Remember to write for your target audience personas and provide pieces that entertain, inform and engage, such as how to pack for a hiking holiday or five top sightseeing tours in [your local area].Always add social sharing buttons once you’ve finished and don’t forget to email new content to your mailing list for improved reach and shareability.
4.Be mobile-friendly According to Net Affinity, one in five travel bookings was made on a mobile phone last year, while 37 per cent were on mobile or tablet combined. You mustn’t miss out on this huge audience, so don’t fall at the first hurdle by making your website hard to navigate on these devices.Create responsive pages and consider a specific mobile offering that pares the content down to a bare minimum so it’s easy to navigate on a small screen. This reduces the chances of people bouncing straight off your pages and makes it more likely they’ll see their visit through to the booking stages.
5.Keep tabs on your metrics Finally, you should be continually monitoring and aiming to improve your SEO strategy by keeping an eye on your metrics and checking engagement rates, visibility and traffic. If particular posts or videos perform well, consider how you might make more in that target area. And if some sink without trace, it might suggest they aren’t right for your would-be guests, which could in turn affect your marketing going forward. SEO is a critical element of any hotel marketing strategy, but remember that it should be one part of an overall approach that includes a range of other tactics for the best results.
For more information, check out the products and services available through World Hotel Marketing.