Learn how to improve the ‘linkability’ of your site through hotel Search Engine Optimisation.
Your hotel website’s link building profile is a strong trust signal in Search Engine algorithms and critical to the success of your hotel Search Engine Optimisation. Ideally a link building portfolio should only include back links from quality websites that are relevant, credible and trustworthy in the eyes of Search Engines. Here are ten of the best strategies to enhance your link profile and boost your Search Engine visibility.
What is link building?
Search Engines look at the number of links pointing to your website as a ‘vote’ for your site or a validation that your pages are worth linking to. With all things equal (in the context of SEO), the website with the highest number of quality back links will be served first on the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). Search Engines take into consideration the following factors when rating the quality of inbound links to your site:
- the status, quality, authority and trust value of sites linking to your hotel website
- the ‘anchor text’ in links to your site*
- the relevance or theme of sites linking to you
- the number of inbound links to your site.
1. Quality content
The best link building strategy by far is to write quality hotel content on your site that other relevant and industry sites will be happy to link back to and reference online. Hotel websites generally have less content than other traditional customer-facing websites but this is a hotelier’s chance to think beyond the square and head off their competitors at the Search Engine rankings post. Opportunities for hotel online content include:
- writing a company blog
- uploading media releases
- adding latest news section
- updating a local attractions and events page
- uploading hotel videos (see below)
2. Directory listings
Focus your hotel Search Engine Optimisation efforts on general directory listings such as the Yellow Pages, White Pages and TrueLocal, global travel websites such as the Directory of Hotels and Mr and Mrs Smith, local community and local travel directories. There are many opportunities to list your property in directories for hotel link building – you just need to hone in on ones that are relevant to your website.
3. Guest blog posts
Another hotel Search Engine Optimisation tactic for savvy hoteliers is to position themselves as an industry expert and write guest blogs on relevant websites in return for a link back to their site with appropriate anchor text. You can also do link building by placing links to your site within the blog’s text, if suitable. Potential websites can include industry and business associations, influential hotel bloggers’ sites and community sites.
4. Article marketing
Article marketing is where a business expert from your hotel writes quality articles that are available for syndication to different websites. All article syndication websites work differently and you can negotiate with the webmaster of each site. Some allow you to target keywords within the text and others just allow you to link back to your site. This is a link building strategy that will drive long-term traffic back to your site.
5. Google Place Pages listing
In 2010 Google introduced Places Search which saw the merging of Google Place pages with organic search results. Thus, claiming your Place page and adding your business details including a link back to your website is vital to improving your local search results. Like websites, Google has a preference for Places Pages that are continually updated with fresh content such as videos, images, seasonal offers and so on.
6. Social Media sites
Social media is another avenue that hotel Search Engine Optimisation teams can make use of to build their link building profile. Consumer-orientated social media platforms provide an opportunity to post links back to your website and encourage others to link back to you. Facebook Place Pages and foursquare are made for internet hotel marketing and allow people to share their location with their virtual social circle.
7. Forums and blogs
Another way to proactively create back links is to find relevant and quality forums and blogs that you can comment on and leave your website address as a link. The whole premise behind this strategy is to become part of the community, add value to the site and inform and educate NOT spam them with sales pitches for your hotel. Check the terms of conditions (TOS) for each site before you participate.
8. Industry associations and business networking groups
A lot of industry associations such as the Public Relations Institute of Australia (PRIA) and the Office of Liquor Racing and Gaming all have directories on their website where members can list their business details including their website address. Similar to industry associations are business networking groups which may have similar directory listings. Investigate the specific opportunities in your vertical.
9. Suppliers and affiliates
This is another area of link building that hoteliers can exploit to boost their hotel Search Engine Optimisation rankings. Hotels often liaise with different suppliers such as wedding photographers and videographers, sound, lighting and entertainment providers, limousine car hire and so forth. Speak to reputable companies you network with on a regular basis and ask them whether they can put a link to your website on their site.
10. Video SEO
Video SEO is a subset of SEO where hotels can really capitalise on to boost their Search Engine rankings and drive traffic back to their website. Video hosting sites such as YouTube have become Search Engines in their own right. Hotels can create videos about their hotel accommodation and facilities, interview staff members, promoting events at the hotel, video testimonials and so on. Learn more about Video SEO and marketing.
Done well, an ongoing link building campaign can pay dividends in improving Search Engine rankings and driving targeted traffic to websites. Executed poorly, it can even result in a hotel website being penalised or banned from Search Engines. Contact us at Hotel Website Designers to speak to one of our SEO experts specialised in the hospitality industry to find out how we can improve your hotel Search Engine Optimisation.
* The anchor text, link label or link text is the visible, clickable text in a hyperlink.