Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the process of getting your website to the top of a search engine’s rankings for relevant keywords. Google has certain algorithms that it uses to rank websites, which looks at indexed links, keywords, website performance and content to determine whether or not your website is relevant to the user making the search. So, is this something that you really need to be thinking about?
Well – here are the facts….93 per cent of online experiences begin with a search engine, while just 43 per cent wait to use a search engine until the middle of the buying cycle. Most importantly, internet travel booking revenue has grown by more than 73 per cent over the last five years, and is continuing to expand rapidly.
Do you really know how to improve your Google ranking though?
To help you along the way, we’ve put together our top tips to make your website stand out in Google’s rankings.
Create quality content
Gone are the days when filling content with keywords would put your website to the top of a Google search. Now, the algorithm searches for websites that have the highest-quality keywords, links and content. What you want to do is to make sure that your content has been created to be able to answer the questions that potential customers will be typing into Google. You need this content to be unique though, as you will be penalised if your content matches that of another website. It’s important to make sure that you have enough content, or else Google will have nothing to base its search on. Create unique content including photos, videos and special offers so that the search engine can match these to searches made.
Focus on usability
Google rankings aren’t just down to the content on your website, but also its performance and usability. One thing that is imperative is that your website is mobile-optimised. In 2015, Google introduced this as part of its algorithm, so if your website hasn’t been specifically optimised for mobile devices then you’ll find yourself heavily penalised. With so many people using mobile devices to search the internet, not only will this mean that you fail to rank highly on Google, but if users do find your website, they’re likely to leave when they find it difficult to use. In addition, Google recognises that for a website to be deemed useful to a consumer, it must be easy to use and respond to. It tracks how well users respond to your website, using this as a factor when it comes to the ranking. You also need to make sure that nothing is causing your website to perform slowly. This can be checked for free using Google’s webmaster tools, which also tells you what, if anything, is causing this to happen.
My Business listings
The My Business listing on Google is likely one of the first places that consumers will look for information about your hotel, so you need to put as much effort into the content here as you do on your website. As well as making sure that your hotel’s name, address, and contact information is updated, you’ll also want to list your website so that Google can pull more information from it that’s specific to search queries. Google can also detect information on third-party websites, so you need to be sure that you’re managing your online reputation well to be sure that nothing negative is picked up.
Be powerful on social media
Google can take information from anywhere on the internet about your hotel – so this also includes your social media accounts. Activity such as likes, shares, views, clicks, pins and retweets sends signals to Google about whether or not your content is engaging and reactive. The higher your engagement rates are, the more this can boost your search engine rankings. So, instead of just updating your feed – try to really drive engagement. Using images is one really simple way to improve engagement. This is because when users are submerged by thousands of items on their feeds, an image stands out much more prominently than words. You also want to try and ask questions of your users, therefore prompting them to respond. Keep it light-hearted and relevant, but ask for people’s opinions and they’ll undoubtedly give them. Make sure that you’re including links back to your website from your social media posts. Ultimately, you want to drive bookings – and this is less likely to happen if you don’t direct potential customers to where the booking can be made. Plus, don’t forget to use social media to advertise any special offers you have. People won’t be looking at your website regularly to see if you have a deal, but they’re probably on social media multiple times every day – so make sure you’re seen.
Verify your website in the Google Search Console
It’s free to verify your website with Google – and it also gives you a whole host of benefits. As well as ensuring that Google is able to access your content, it also allows you to choose the content that you want to show in search results, discover which queries cause your site to appear in results, see what keywords draw traffic to your site and also which sites are linking to your website. You should regularly monitor your Google Analytics so that you can see how well your website is performing, as well as recognise any trends – both positive and negative.
These are just a few of the main things that you can do to improve the ranking of your hotel’s website in Google searches. However, Google is constantly updating its algorithms, so stay up to date with any announcements to be sure that your website remains optimised and continues to perform as well as it can.