Posted at May 10, 2018 5:32:00 AM by THAT Agency | Share
One of the difficult aspects of trying to make a hotel more profitable is that you have to wear a number of hats. You have to be able to juggle accounting with HR with PR. Leveraging hotel online marketing is one more - potent - trick you can pull out of your hat. Here we’re going to break down hotel SEO, so you can enhance your internet presence - and increase your direct bookings.
What is SEO?
How many times a day do you turn to Google or another search engine to find or research products or services online? The words and phrases you enter, keywords, allow you to find what you’re looking for; it works the same for brands. If you want people to find you, you must utilize the right keywords. This is just one component of SEO, but it’s a key one (pun intended).
SEO also encompasses strategic link building, image and video optimization, technical fine-tuning, website design and navigation, and more. The goal is to ensure that your website appears at or near the top of the search engine results pages. This increases the odds that potential guests will click through to your website and engage with your hotel.
If your hotel online marketing campaigns do not include SEO, you’re missing out on critical traffic - and critical revenue.
What is SEM?
SEM, or search engine marketing, seeks to increase traffic through the targeted purchase of ads on search engines. Options include everything from PPC (pay per click) and CPC (cost per click) to CPM (cost per thousand impressions). Paid search can get tricky, however, because you must be doubly conscientious about keyword selection - you are paying for these words after all - and relying on them to drive traffic to your site.
How to Get Bookings
Intrigued by these techniques but wondering how you can turn these tactics into bookings? Here are a few hotel SEO and SEM tips to get you started:
Pay attention to your website architecture. Like any good, solid house, a website needs the proper foundation and framework. Every aspect, from headlines to loading speed to a fully functioning search function, needs to be up to SEO par. A thorough audit can uncover problem areas so you can resolve them and increase results.
Remember content is king. This is far more than a cliche. In the bad old days of SEO, sites could stuff their site copy, blogs, and resources full of keywords. Information and educational content was, if present at all, much of an afterthought. Today, search engines have refined their algorithms and routinely penalize sites who use tactics like this. They want quality over quantity. Aim to educate, entice, and answer questions; you want to add value to your visitors’ days.
Images (and videos) are also royalty. For travelers in particular, visual content is critical. They begin their journey with a dream, and your images and videos help them make their purchase/booking decisions. Add targeted keywords to your images for amplified SEO power.
Utilize links. Link building is a crucial element of any hotel online marketing plan. Cross marketing - i.e., by putting links up with other business, such as museums, shops, and other attractions in your city - can help your website pop up as a result when someone searches for those specific keywords. It also encourages businesses to reciprocate and link back to you. This builds trust with guests and visibility in the results pages.
Launching a full-bodied hotel SEO campaign can seem like a daunting task. Not when you have the right partner working to build your brand. Ask us how we can help you gain visibility, increasing bookings, and grow your bottom line.