The digital landscape is one aspect of hospitality marketing that keeps on evolving, and the complexity of the travel consumer’s journey to a direct booking is becoming more sophisticated. From SEO to multichannel campaigns, you will learn the professional’s secrets and best steps to start shifting share from OTAs today.
The best practice, which is always the first we suggest to all our clients, is always to stay updated and learn all the essential strategies you might be missing.
Change is the only constant when it comes to search engine optimization, and all marketers are aware of that. Professional and smart hoteliers most learn to adopt a proactive and holistic approach to their content creation, marketing, and optimization to make the best impact on the SEO landscape.
With over a third of a hotel’s website revenue been generated as a result of organic search engine referrals, SEO will always be a big portion to a hotel’s digital marketing. With the big search engines such as Google making great changes to their algorithm more than 500 times in just a single year, and also bringing in new features and functionality which affects the way search results are displayed on the search engine result pages. Hoteliers must be extremely careful about how they implement and adapt SEO strategies.
Hotel marketers must be very careful how they make decisions. The best practices in the industry may change with time, and smart digital marketers must keep SEO as an ongoing effort.
Create hospitality specified content to drive conversion
This is entirely different from the normal commodity trading websites; a hotels website needs a unique and perfectly planned approach to on-page copy, tailored content marketing strategies, and hospitality specific SEO. All successful hotel sites not only inform, but they also inspire the travel planners, holding a spotlight on the greatly valued propositions of specific property and destination. Great and unique content, which is perfectly tailored to attract a specific group of conversion-ready and qualified consumers all through the purchase funnel.
Content which is informative and high quality will lead directly to more immersive user engagement, which brings about a longer stay on the pages, with high page visits and lower bounce rates. All of these send a great and positive signal to the search engines, which makes use of the information to determine a page ranking on the SERP.
Inform your content strategies with user insights and user metrics
With the availability of high-quality content, all that needs to be done is keeping track of the ranking visibility, with user engagement insights and organic traffic to keep track of the impact which the content has and to see the rewards been given to it by the search engines and the end consumers.
Make use of a proactive approach to performance tracking through various analytical tools:
• Drive in great content building and optimization decisions with a constant monitoring of the visibility of keywords on platforms like Ahrefs.
• Be consistent with organic traffic and the user engagement trend by making use of the industry’s leading analytical platforms such as Adobe Analytics.
• Carry out technical SEO spot checks and assessments by making use of Google’s search consoles and the webmaster’s tool for Bing.
• Carrying out a periodic evaluation on the ongoing inbound link profile assessments by making use of a fresh web explorer like the “ Moz open site Explorer”
Implementing a proactive SEO strategy for content recommendations and updates
With a huge and highly engaging content being put in place, and a constant look out on the key reporting and analytic tools, then digital marketing must be ready for a commitment to an ongoing and proactive approach to driving direct bookings. The main focus of this strategy should be on the creation and the optimization of high-end content.
To add to the commitment of an engaging content, the efforts of the SEO must be quickly prioritized and an effective response to the shifts in the search engines algorithms, the search demands of users and the ever-competitive landscape. A monthly report and action steps, weekly data accumulations and ongoing optimization efforts are all a keystone to maintaining a healthy, and effective method of maintaining and increasing organic traffic, conversions, and revenue.
Utilizing an industry leading search visibility platform
Making use of a huge performance and a search visibility platform is important for effective and ongoing SEO effort. Ahrefs is one such platform, which functions as a multi-faceted SEO analysis tool focused on tracking the organic search performances of digital content. This platform gives marketers a fast and easy identifying high-performance page, great search visibility opportunities, recent successes, a top engagement and traffic sources, and an in-depth performance analysis against a set, but an adjustable group of competitors.
With outline information available, marketers can now create informed content recommendations and optimization strategy suggestions. With the disposal of data on high-value keyword terms and followed up performance with time, it is now possible for marketers to improve their visibility, traffic, and their revenue via organic search with the enforcement of data-driven methods.
Make sure the contents are mobile friendly
Mobile search has been seen to take up a higher share of the total search activities, which is now accounting for over 30% of site visits. Keeping an awareness of the new developments in the mobile search world, and also keeping an eye on the level of engagement and the point in the purchase funnel, where the mobile visitors are, will give hotel marketers the edge to adopt a strong mobile content strategy to bust their visitors, bookings, and the revenue through the mobile search channel.
Secure and optimize key local listing citations
One of the most critical components of a holistic and effective SEO strategy is a uniform local search presence. Getting rid of any inconsistencies amongst a hotel local search presence, lowering the rate of duplicate listings amongst directories, and keeping up with streamlined and optimized local search information is the backbone to attaining success in a local search.
Search engines have more trust on the uninformed listings across well-established portals and are likely to position a hotel on the SERP as a result constantly. Efforts from the local search optimization should include fast verifications and routine maintenance of the local profiles around a variety of listing platforms, which should include services such as GOOGLE MY BUSINESS, YELP, BING, CITYSEARCH, SUPERPAGES, YELLOW PAGES and lots more.
One of the greatest and important aspects of a comprehensive SEO strategy for hoteliers is maintenance of a uniform local search presence. One of the most important things in 2016 should be correcting any inconsistencies amongst the hotel’s local search presence, lowering the duplicate directory listings, and making sure of a well streamlined and optimized local search information.
Make use of a proactive and defensive method
All search engines get to know about particular pages and the entire sites just by analyzing the links from other websites which leads back to the pages or domain in question. All links from sources which the search engine trust and are of high value, informs the search engines that the linked pages or sites are trustworthy and so are worthy of important placing in search engine results.
So, to gain credit from links and avoid punishments for bad links, it is very essential to keep a close eye on all inbound link activities and opportunities. Keeping regular inbound link audits gives hotel marketers the opportunity to view the quality of the existing links, destroy any negative links, and locate opportunities to seek out new, and high-quality links.
Utilize a strong content management system (CMS)
A content management system can come as a revelation and also as a disaster. Mainly, a content management system should provide the capacity to make updates to both the content and HTML source code of a page, metadata, images, promotional titles, and other critical site components, easily and in real time. Determined, trained individuals can easily make updates, implement new methods, and ensure that all the best SEO practices are being followed in a matter of minutes of utilization of a powerful CMS. Also, poor a CMS will frustrate and handicap users, and also sabotage all efforts of any well-intentioned marketers.
Use a holistic strategy to digital marketing entirely
Yes, SEO is only just one of the many roadblocks hotel marketers face when planning their budgets, allocating their attention, and overall planning for success. As SEO plays a significant role in the success of the marketing of any hotel, and to drive in direct bookings is a holistic approach which includes other digital marketing efforts, such as paid search, banner advertising, email marketing, reservation retargeting and lots more, is also important in turning a hotel’s website into a real revenue generator.
Keep visitors informed and enticed
Basic hotel website information is a thing of the past. A full engaging and informative content on the area, all nearby attractions, activities and other local knowledge paints the hotel a picture of legitimacy and proves to travel planners that the hotel is a star of the destination.
The area guide page, interactive maps, and calendar of events are all able to influence visitors to book on the website and proves to the search engines that the site is worthy of a rugged appearance on the SERP. A boilerplate content style which features generic content does less to engage users, which leads to poor metrics and gives a wrong signal to the search engine.
Focus on user experience
There are new technical signals which have emerged as larger ranking factors in recent years. From mobile responsiveness to faster loading time or streamlined information architecture, they are all working towards providing end users with a first class experience. The most recent in the stream of the technical signals, which is aimed at the user, is the move to a more secure web or HTTPS migration.
All users want a safer, more protected web experience, and Google is working hard to help facilitate this. Google made an announcement back in 2014 that domains could get a ranking boost by having SSL security, but this was not widely adopted. To be honest, a lot of domains ranking standing in the top 10 results still do not have SSL security. But a lot of brands have adopted this system this year, and if the crossover to mobile responsiveness proved anything, it was that not adopting a Google directive entirely leaves the site vulnerable to a larger scale of ranking depreciation. Brands that are yet to make the transition will be struggling behind in 2017, and will be overtaking by new adopters in the SERP.
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