Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) for Hotels - The Specifics (Part One)

Learn the basics of SEO for Hotels to help improve your Search Engine visibility, drive traffic and boost your conversion rate.

The tourism industry is a very competitive and saturated marketplace but SEO for hotels can help your establishment edge your competitors off the top spots on the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPS). There are basic underlying principles that apply to all industries but SEO is not a one-size-fits-all strategy – it needs to be tailored to the hotel trade. Here are some fundamentals of search in part one of our two-part series.

Technical infrastructure

The platform that you build your website on is critical to SEO. While Search Engines are getting better at indexing websites that are developed in Flash or JavaScript technology, most consultants would recommend a HTML-based platform. An analyst can also assist you choose a Search Engine-friendly content management system (CMS). This will help your hotel marketing teams easily optimise your website by implementing:

  • keyword-rich custom URLs
  • meta tag customisation
  • custom HTML tags
  • custom anchor text
  • 301-redirects
  • ALT (alternative text) tags
  • RSS feeds
  • And much more.

Hotel-related keywords

Keywords is the name given to the search terms people use to find information, services or products on Search Engines. In general there are two types of keywords; ‘broad’ keywords that will attract people using to research hotels such as ‘Sydney CBD hotel’ or ‘money’ keywords such as ‘Sydney weekend packages’ for people further along the buying cycle who are ready to enquire or purchase hotel accommodation.

Consultants who do SEO for hotels will use a number of research methods to find the right keywords to target, such as:

  • Client’s suggestions
  • Feedback from customers and suppliers
  • Google Analytics and other web analytics tools
  • Free tools such as the Google Keyword Research Tool
  • Premium tools such as WordTracker and Keyword Discovery
  • Social Media accounts
  • Competitor analysis
  • Brainstorming keywords
  • Thesaurus
  • Their own experience with similar industry websites

On-page optimisation

The keyword research also lays the foundation for on-page optimisation. This helps Search Engine spiders understand what the page is about and to associate your website with relevant search phrases. As per best practice SEO, keywords should be naturally inserted into the on-page code. This includes the title tags, meta keyword and description tags, the URL, ALT tags, headings, body content (see below), internal links and so on.

SEO Copywriting

Once you have decided on a shortlist of keywords (see above), you can formulate your keyword strategy for hotel SEO. Ideally each landing page on your site should be optimised for a different hotel-related keyword. As well as including keyword-rich copy on your website, it should seek to evoke an emotional response, fulfil a visitor’s need, provide a solution and ultimately encourage them to book your establishment.

Link building

Link building campaigns should also be specialised for hotels. In the simplest of terms, a Search Engine sees back links from on-theme websites with high authority as a vote for or validation of your website. All other things being equal, a hotel website with quality and on-topic links will be served up first on Search Engines. Including keyword-rich anchor text* is essential for SEO for hotels. Some link building strategies include:

  • Adding links to local directories and hotel-related directories.
  • Creating a company blog.
  • Writing guest blogs on hotel industry sites.
  • Commenting in hotel industry forums.
  • Article marketing or writing media releases.
  • Requesting links on community and business sites such as your local chamber of commerce, industry organisations and local hotel associations.

Read part two of our Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) for Hotels – The Specifics to find out more about the basic elements of search for the hotel industry. Take a look at the Hotel Web Design Packages we have available. If you are interested in finding more about how we have collaborated with hoteliers like yourself to optimise their website, contact us and speak to one of Hotel Website Designers’ consultants specialising in SEO for hotels.

*Anchor text is visible, clickable text in a hyperlink.

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