Did you know that Google changes its search algorithm up to 600 times per year? Stats like this make it tough for any hotel business to keep up.
Nobody ever knows the exact science Google uses to rank pages, as it uses complex algorithms which are constantly being updated.
But it’s important to understand how search rankings work, and the role that search engine optimisation (or SEO) plays to help your hotel be found online.
What is SEO?
SEO is the practice of getting your website to appear at the top of a search engine’s local maps and organic rankings, when people search for certain keywords or phrases.
Did you know websites that appear on the first page of a Google search result, get 91.5% of all the traffic?
Is your hotel website built with SEO in mind?
The first thing to consider when checking if your site is SEO-friendly is to ask which content management system (CMS) it uses, if any.
Most CMSs now have plugins, or add-ons that enable the user to make the site SEO friendly.
Here’s a checklist of everything your content management system should feature:
- Robots.txt file
- Sitemap.xml file
- Integration with Google Webmaster Tools & Analytics
- Editable SEO meta titles, description & keywords (on ALL pages).
- Editable image filenames & alt tags
- Editable file names
- Editable H1 and H2 heading tags
- Schema.org mark-up of property contact details
- Responsive and mobile-friendly
- Click-to-call from mobile
If your hotel website is built with SiteMinder’s Canvas platform, you don’t have to worry about any plugins or add-ons as Canvas has been built specifically for hoteliers, and is 100% SEO compliant out-of-the-box.
How to develop your keyword strategy
There are two types of keywords – broad and long tail. And here are some examples:
Broad Match Keyword: ‘hotel in Sydney’ or ‘wedding venues Australia’
Long Tail Keyword: ‘business hotel with free wifi Sydney city centre’
The sum of the long tail search terms will help you increase the revenue generated directly from your website.
Finding your keywords for SEO
To develop your keyword strategy for SEO focus on your hotel’s main features and characteristics, such as:
- Target terms travellers use to describe your hotel.
- Why are people traveling to your location?
- What are they looking to do?
- What would they like about your property?
- What peripheral services does your property have; including weddings, conferences and events?
‘Google My Business’ is your hotel’s free gift
Google’s local business listings are the best free gift Google still gives to hotel sites.
- Ensure you have ‘claimed’ your business listing and have control over it in your Google account.
- Check your map marker on Google maps is positioned correctly.
- Ensure wherever your hotel is listed online with your name, address and phone number, consistent details are being used and the same format and spelling is used everywhere.
- Make use of all the fields Google gives you to add information about your hotel.
- Upload as many photos and videos of your hotel as you can, fill out extra fields. The more complete the profile the better.
- Obtain a minimum of five genuine reviews.
Your Free SEO Audit
Alternately, you can submit your website to be technically audited by GeoLocalSEO for a comprehensive review of your current SEO status and rankings. In this audit you will discover:
- A review of your current content management system with a summary of how SEO-friendly it is.
- Keyword research and keyword ranking report
- Competitor analysis and report on your top 10 competitors’ rankings
- On-page SEO review
- Off-page SEO review
- Broken link checker
Start using SiteMinder’s website builder Canvas
Your website should be your hotel’s most profitable channel. Canvas is built specifically for hoteliers, giving you control over your website with a simple and seamless user experience. Start your 30-day free trial today.