Search engine optimisation (SEO) has been around since Google was nothing more than a handy directory of websites.
Now, it’s something of a behemoth and a significant challenge for hoteliers. In particular, the nature of the sector has placed a significant emphasis on something known as ‘local SEO’.
Put simply, this is the process whereby your hotel will appear in searches relevant to your area. Clearly, given the type of business you run, this is highly desirable, but how do you go about mastering local search?
Employing the services of an SEO agency can be expensive, but if your marketing budget can stretch that far, and you’re prepared to conduct a beauty parade of suppliers, it’s one of the best investments you make.
Regardless, there are three things you can do yourself to improve your hotel website’s local SEO performance:
1. Be the master of your online reviews
We won’t get into the nitty-gritty of guest reviews, because it’s a topic that has been argued to the point of exhaustion. And, anyway, the fact remains - you need them if you’re to survive as a hotelier.
No matter your opinion on guest reviews, you may not be aware that they can significantly help your local SEO efforts.
This stands to reason; people love to research the hotels at which they’re thinking of staying. Equally, Google is rather fond of websites and businesses that attract a lot of reviews, therefore if you’re prepared to put the time into managing your online reviews (by approving, commenting and acting upon poor feedback), you might just see a satisfying improvement in search engine rankings.
2. Build links with local businesses
Link building is a cornerstone of SEO and involves securing links to your website from other websites that already have high rankings on Google.
Unless you know what you’re doing, it’s hard work.
When it comes to local SEO, link building can actually be somewhat easier, because it involves gaining inbound links to your website from other local businesses.
So, if you’re staging a wedding fair next month, why not kindly ask the local pub, golf course or bridal shop to publish a note on their blog linking to your event? Promise you’ll do the same for them in return, and you’ll have undertaken a nice bit of link building that might just boost your rankings a little.
3. Ensure your website is fully mobile-ready
This is an easy one to finish on, and a tip that should pretty much be inserted into any ‘how to make your website rank better on Google’ blog post.
This is for good reason; Google loves mobile-ready websites. In fact, it now operates on a mobile-first index, which means it generally prefers them over their desktop counterparts.
With over 50% of hotel searches now undertaken on mobile devices, you need a website that is fully mobile-ready (not just ‘mobile optimised’). If you have doubts that yours is - speak to your web developer as soon as possible.
The three things above won’t supercharge your hotel’s Google listing, but they will help a great deal.
Use them in conjunction with a great SEO contract, and you’ll stand a genuine chance of being found on page one of Google - and that’s no mean feat in this industry!
Welcome Anywhere has over 30 years of experience in helping independent hoteliers deliver guests an unforgettable experience with its simple property management system that controls your daily activities. The best part - it’s all cloud hosted! We develop scalable solutions for your property such as PMS, a Booking Engine and Channel Manager. Our team has a wealth of experience in the hospitality industry and we serve you to better serve your guests.
Call us today at + 44 (0) 33 0100 1090, or email us at email@example.com. We will be happy to walk you through Welcome Anywhere’s all-in-one solution for your property management needs.