How to Use SEO for Hotel Marketing: A Guide for Beginners

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a powerful tool that can be used to help increase the visibility of your hotel website in search results. By targeting specific keywords and phrases, you can boost your rankings on search engines such as Google and Bing. With better rankings, more people will be able to find your accommodation when they search for hotels in your area.  This guide will provide an overview of how to use SEO for hotel marketing, as well as tips and best practices to help you get started. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can begin to see a noticeable increase in your website traffic and bookings. Let’s dive into the details!

What is SEO for hotel marketing?

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is one of the most powerful tools as a hotelier you can use to reach your desired target audience. In simple terms, SEO involves optimising your website and its content so that it appears on the top in search engine results for keywords relevant to your hotel.

Investing your time and resources into improving your visibility on search engines will give you an edge over competitors when potential guests are looking for a place to stay. Investing in hotel SEO should be essential to boost visibility, increase bookings and ultimately fuel revenue growth for any hotelier serious about their business growth.

Advantages of Utilising SEO for Hotel Marketing

Here are some of the advantages of using SEO for successful hotel marketing:

Increased Traffic

One of the primary advantages of utilising SEO in the hospitality industry is that it can help to increase traffic to your website. When your website appears higher on search engine results pages (SERPs), it is more likely to be seen by potential guests.  This can lead to an increase in bookings and more revenue for your hotel.

Better Brand Awareness

SEO can also help to create a better awareness of your brand online. By targeting relevant keywords related to your hotel, you will be able to reach potential guests who are searching for accommodation in the area. This visibility can result in improved recognition of your business, leading to increased bookings.

Cost-Effective Marketing Tool

Another major benefit of SEO is that it can be a very cost-effective marketing tool compared to other forms of advertising. While there may be some upfront costs associated with optimising your website, the long-term returns can be much greater than traditional methods of promotion.

Improved ROI

SEO can be a very cost-effective way to market your hotel, as it does not require you to pay for advertising space like traditional forms of marketing.  When done correctly, SEO can result in a higher return on investment than other forms of promotion. This makes it an excellent choice for businesses looking to maximise their marketing budget.

Improved guest satisfaction

When potential guests can find information about your hotel online quickly, they are more likely to have a positive experience when they finally book their stay.  Having accurate and up-to-date information about your hotel on the web can help to ensure that guests have a smooth check-in process, making them more likely to recommend your accommodation to others.

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Keywords and Meta Descriptions

Choosing the right keywords to target is essential when it comes to SEO for hotel marketing. There are many tools available to help you find the most effective keywords, such as Google Keyword Planner or Moz’s Keyword Explorer. When selecting keywords, there are a few points to keep in mind.

How to choose the best keywords for your hotel business:

  • Identify your target audience: The first step in choosing the right keywords for your hotel business is to know who your target audience is and what they’re looking for. Are you targeting locals or tourists? Are you primarily a leisure destination or a business-friendly location? Knowing who your customers are will help you narrow down which keywords are most relevant and effective.
  • Research top competitors: To get the most out of your keyword selection, research what keywords your top competitors in the hospitality industry are using on their websites. This will give you an idea of which words are being used to attract visitors and help you create a successful SEO strategy.
  • Include location-based keywords: The most successful hotel businesses are those that include relevant location-based keywords in their SEO strategy. These can be city names, neighbourhoods, attractions or other local destinations. By including these keywords, you will appear higher up on search engine results pages for people searching for accommodation in the area.
  • Create meta descriptions: Meta descriptions are short summaries that appear beneath the link on search engine results pages. These descriptions provide potential customers with a brief overview of what they can expect to find when clicking on the link, and should be written in a way that encourages viewers to click through. When creating meta descriptions for your website, make sure to include relevant keywords and a call to action.
  • Choose keywords related to the services and amenities: When it comes to SEO for hotel marketing, you should also consider creating content with keywords related to the services and amenities your property offers. This can include anything from special offers and packages, to room features or nearby attractions. By targeting these keywords, potential customers will be able to find information about what makes your hotel unique when they search online.
  • Consider both long-tail and short-tail keywords: Long-tail keywords are terms that contain three or more words and are often more specific than short-tail keywords, which usually contain one or two words.
  • Target keywords with low competition but high search volume: When researching keywords, you should also consider targeting terms that have low competition but high search volume.
  • Analyse keyword trends over time: Finally, you should regularly analyse keyword trends over time to ensure that your SEO strategy is up-to-date and relevant.

Tips on writing an effective Meta Description: 

  • Create interesting and informative descriptions: Make sure your meta description clearly describes your hotel’s services, features, and amenities. This will give potential visitors a quick overview of why they should choose to stay with you.
  • Keep it short and sweet: Meta descriptions are limited to 160 characters, so keep yours concise yet descriptive enough to draw attention.
  • Include a call to action: Incorporate words like “book now” or “reserve your stay” in the meta description to encourage people to take immediate action.
  • Optimise for mobile: Make sure your meta description is optimised for both desktop and mobile devices.

Content Creation

Once you have identified the keywords that are most relevant to your hotel business, it’s time to start creating content.

Strategies for crafting content that drives traffic to your hotel:

  • Focus on Quality: Creating content that is useful and relevant to your hotel’s target audience will help attract more visitors and establish a strong brand identity.
  • Use Visual Content: Incorporating visuals such as images, videos, and infographics can help make the content more engaging for viewers and draw more interest.
  • Promote Content: Once the content has been created, it is important to promote it through various channels such as email, social media, and other online outlets. This will help ensure more people are exposed to your hotel’s brand and content.

Tips on writing quality content that converts visitors into customers for your hotel:

  • Write with Clarity: Make sure your content is clear and easy to understand, as this will help readers quickly grasp the information you are presenting.
  • Use SEO Techniques: Implementing search engine optimisation (SEO) strategies can help increase your content’s visibility online and draw more attention from potential customers.
  • Focus on Benefits: When writing content, highlight the benefits customers can gain from staying at your hotel. This will help potential visitors make an informed decision about where to book their trip.
  • Include a Call-to-Action: Including a call-to-action at the end of your content (such as “book now” or “contact us today”) encourages readers to take immediate action, which can lead to more reservations for your hotel.
  • Engage with Audience: Encourage engagement by asking questions or inviting readers to share their experiences in the comments section of your blog posts and social media updates
  • Analyse Performance: It is important to track the performance of your content in order to make any necessary changes or adjustments. This will help you determine which strategies are most effective and ensure more conversions. These strategies can help you create successful SEO and content marketing campaigns that drive more traffic to your website.

Backlinks and Link Building

Backlinks are an important part of any SEO strategy. When other websites link to your hotel’s website, it helps boost the authority and credibility of the site in the eyes of search engines. Here are some tips for building high-quality backlinks.

How to build quality links to your hotel website:

  • Create Quality Content: Creating helpful content for your target audience will make your customers more likely to link back to it from their own websites. Ensure the content is relevant and up-to-date, as outdated or irrelevant content will be less attractive for people to link to.
  • Secure Quality Backlinks: Secure quality backlinks from authoritative sources such as government websites, universities, and industry associations. These links can give your website greater credibility and trustworthiness in the eyes of Google.
  • Link to Relevant Pages: When linking from other websites, make sure the link is relevant to their content. This will increase the likelihood of readers clicking through and visiting your hotel’s website.
  • Internal Linking: Make sure to link to other pages on your website from within content. This will help visitors quickly and easily find additional information they may be looking for.
  • Engage in Link Exchange: If you cannot find an authoritative source that is willing to link to your website, consider engaging in a link exchange with another website in a related industry. This will help increase the visibility of both websites and could bring more potential customers to your hotel.

Strategies for earning links from reputable sources:

  • Reach out to local and regional publications regularly with travel sections. Ask them if they would be interested in featuring your hotel on their website or in one of their articles.
  • Create highly shareable content, such as infographics, videos, or blog posts. This will give people a reason to link to your website.
  • Develop relationships with influencers in the travel industry and ask them to link to your hotel website from their sites.
  • Participate in relevant forums and other online communities by offering helpful advice and insights on topics related to hospitality and travel.

Local SEO

Local SEO focuses on increasing visibility of your hotel in local search engine results. This helps potential guests find the information they are looking for even if they are searching with a specific location, such as “hotels near me”. Here are some strategies to improve your local SEO:

How to optimise your hotel website for local searches:

  • Include local keywords: Using local-specific keywords can help your hotel website rank higher in search engines. Examples of local SEO keywords include city names, street addresses, and zip codes.
  • Create content tailored to a local audience: Content that resonates with an audience in a specific geographic area is more likely to perform well in local SEO. Create blog posts and other content tailored to a local audience. This can include featuring regional attractions or providing recommendations for local restaurants and other places of interest near your hotel.
  • Optimise titles, descriptions, and headings: Titles, descriptions, and headings should include keywords relevant to your location. This will help Google understand the context of your content and what people are likely to find when they visit your website.
  • Include local reviews: Including customer reviews on your hotel website can also be beneficial for local SEO. These reviews should include location-specific keywords, such as city names and zip codes, to make them more visible in search engine results.
  • Set Up Google My Business Account: It is important to set up and claim your business’s local listing on Google My Business. This will ensure that all of the information about your business (including address, contact details, and opening hours) appears when someone searches for it online.

Tips on building a listing in relevant directories and platforms:

  • Claim your profile on major review sites: Sites like Airbnb are essential for your hotel’s local SEO. Make sure to claim and manage profiles on these sites and respond to reviews promptly.
  • Create listings on local directories: Many smaller local directories can be used to create listings for your hotel. Create a listing on as many local directories as possible, and include accurate information such as contact information and hours of operation.
  • Submit local citations: Submitting to as many local citation sites and directories as possible is a great way to boost your hotel’s visibility in search engine results. Ensure that the address, phone number, and other details provided are accurate.
  • Get involved with local events: Participating in local events or sponsoring local businesses and organisations can be a great way to boost your hotel’s visibility in the community. Sponsor events or partner with local businesses to get additional exposure for your business.

Tracking and Analysing Results

Tracking and analysing the performance of your SEO efforts is just as important as implementing them. Google Analytics can be used to track visits to your hotel website, and you can also use rank tracking tools to monitor how your pages are performing in search engine results. It is important to periodically review the results of your SEO efforts and adjust strategies accordingly.

Best practices for measuring the performance of your SEO efforts

  • Track website traffic: Keeping track of the total number of visitors to your hotel’s website can help you measure the success of SEO efforts.
  • Monitor keyword performance: You can use tools such as Google Analytics to monitor the performance of specific keywords and determine if SEO efforts are paying off.
  • Track conversions: Tracking the number of bookings or sales generated from organic search traffic can help you measure the effectiveness of SEO efforts.
  • Analyse content performance: Analysing the performance of your website’s pages can help you determine which content is performing well and what needs to be improved. Examining metrics such as page views, bounce rate, and average time on site can help you optimise content for better results.
  • Monitor backlinks: Keeping track of the number of backlinks to your hotel’s website can be beneficial in evaluating the effectiveness of SEO efforts. Tools such as Ahrefs or Majestic can help you monitor incoming links, so you can identify any potential issues and take corrective action if needed.

Key metrics to track in Google Analytics:

  • Average time on page: Tracking the average amount of time visitors are spending on pages on your website can help you understand how engaging your content is.
  • Bounce rate: A high bounce rate indicates that people are not engaging with the content on your site, so measuring this metric can be useful for gauging user engagement.
  • Pages per session: This metric can help determine how many pages visitors view per session, indicating user engagement.
  • Organic search traffic: Tracking the number of visitors coming to your website from organic search results is a key metric for understanding the success of SEO efforts.

In conclusion, using SEO to market a hotel can be a great way to boost visibility and generate more bookings. It is important to create accurate listings on local directories, get involved with local events, and track the performance of your efforts. By following these tips, you can ensure that your hotel is well-positioned in search engine results and you’ll be able to measure the success of your SEO efforts.

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About the author

Kendra, the Marketing Content Manager at Preno, brings her expertise in Marketing and Communications to help hoteliers stay ahead of the curve. With a deep passion for the industry, she is committed to providing valuable insights and strategies for success.

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