SEO for Hotels: A Complete Guide for 2024
Welcome to our comprehensive guide on SEO for Hotels. In the competitive hospitality industry, having a strong online presence is crucial for hotels to attract guests and thrive in the digital age. As travelers increasingly rely on the internet to find and book accommodations, mastering SEO strategies becomes essential for hotels to reach their target audience effectively. This blog will explore tailored SEO techniques specifically designed for hotels. From optimizing websites for search engines to leveraging local SEO and content marketing, we will equip you with the knowledge and tools to enhance your hotel’s online visibility, attract more guests, and create a memorable hospitality experience.
So, let’s embark on this SEO journey together and unlock the full potential of your hotel’s success.
What is SEO for Hotels?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is crucial in the hotel’s digital marketing strategy. By optimizing and improving a hotel website’s ranking on search engine result pages (SERPs) like Google, Yahoo, and Bing, SEO helps strengthen the hotel’s online presence and drive more traffic to its website. As a result, SEO can significantly enhance a hotel’s bookings and revenue.
In the highly competitive hospitality sector, SEO becomes an indispensable tool to outperform competitors and attract more potential guests. By implementing effective SEO techniques, hotels can increase their visibility to potential customers and create a positive impression on search engines, resulting in higher rankings and increased organic traffic.
Why is Hotel SEO Important?
When users search, they typically click on one of the top results shown on the first page of the search engine results. The top-ranking page is perceived as the most relevant and trustworthy source to provide the information they seek.
As you move down the search results, the likelihood of users clicking on those lower-ranking pages decreases significantly. Most users don’t bother going to the second page of search results because they believe the best and most relevant information is already presented on the first page.
The click-through rate for the last result on the first page could be much higher, indicating that users rarely venture beyond the first page. This emphasizes the critical importance of ranking high on the first page, as it significantly increases the chances of attracting organic traffic to your website.
How to Do SEO for Hotel Websites the Right Way
Various hotel SEO tips are available; however, knowing which ones are more effective is important. This is why, to help you learn the most imperative ones and do SEO for hotels on the right foot, I got 15 actionable steps.
Define your Target Audience
This is the first stage in carrying out SEO on your hotel website. You must specify your target market’s characteristics, interests, and purchasing trends.
Consider what your target audience will look for when looking at housing possibilities after getting to know them.
For instance, if you run a resort, your ideal clientele may look up terms like “best resorts in [your city]” or “resort in [your city].”
They are known as search terms. Find some and define the key phrase most of your audience uses to search.
By the way, all of these search queries are just keywords. I am examining the what, how, and why of keywords will help us delve further.
Start with Keyword Research
Keyword research is crucial for constructing a solid hotel SEO plan. The words and phrases people use to find websites like yours are keywords.
As I mentioned, list all potential keywords your audience might enter in the search box. The best search terms for lodging in the Maldives are:
- Male, Maldives hotels
- Low-cost hotels in Male
- Hotels in Male are the best Hotels near Meeru island
- lodging close to Maldives airport
- This explains how to obtain the popular keywords. You will need to use more of these terms to rank your hotel’s website higher on Google.
- Numerous keyword research tools are accessible, including Ubersuggest and Google Keyword Planner.
Consider Search Volume
The number of searches for a specific keyword or term in a given month is known as the search volume. Your ideal hospitality keywords should have a higher CPC and larger search volume.
For instance, 1000 searches for “Hotels in Male” are made per month.
(This indicates that 1000 people search for this keyword monthly on Google.)
How to Find Keywords on Google?
The search engine is a further resource for finding similar terms for your intended audience. Let’s use Google as an illustration.
Go to Google and type in the keywords you want to find.
These hotel SEO terms must be added to your list as well. It is one of the tried-and-true methods for raising your website’s ranking.
Consider long-tail Variations of Keywords
Long-tail keywords have the advantage of being simple to incorporate and better converting the audience.
For instance, someone looking for “hotels in New York” is most likely just browsing. However, a person conducting the following search is quite specific:
Maldives beach resort hotel is close to Meeru Island
Consider the keywords used by your competitors
You can also look up the terms that your rivals are using.
Go to Ubersuggest once more. Type the URL of a rival here.
Consider that maldivespalmbeach.com is your rival.
- You will see information about your rival, including domain scores, organic keyword density, and more.
- You may view their website’s most popular pages and estimated traffic as you scroll down.
- Even the SEO keywords are accessible. Find searches for your audience and add them to your list.
There are numerous techniques to locate the keywords pertinent to your hotel website.
Make a final list of all the keywords you wish to target before you do anything else. One of the most important SEO tactics for hotels is keyword selection. Choose one keyword to serve as the focus keyword (targeted keyword) out of all the possible keywords.
Make sure the keywords are incorporated naturally. Keyword-stuffed content is disliked by search engines (particularly Google).
Work on the Page Title (Meta Title), Meta Description, and URL
Let’s examine each of them to create content for your website that is search engine friendly.
The page title, scalded to as a meta title, is what your viewers will see when they open your website in a new tab in their browser. Both your users and the search engine robots read them.
The title of your website’s home page is the text that is highlighted in the image below.
Where to find the page title?
Step 1: Open your website. Press the F12 key or Ctrl + U to open the source code of your website, or right-click your webpage and select “view source” or “inspect element.”
Step 2: Find the tag. The content that you find there is the title of your webpage.
How to write an SEO-friendly page title?
Write a title that describes your property in the best way.
- It should include your keyword. (I’d recommend starting the title tag with your focus keyword.)
- It should be easy to understand for both users and machines.
- Its length should be between 50-60 characters.
This was all about how to optimize the meta title of your webpage. Now let us explore meta description:
A meta description is an HTML tag that summarizes a page’s content. Search engines show the meta description immediately after the meta title.
This is the second most important factor to make or break your ranking.
How to find out the current meta description of your website?
Step 1: It is similar to how we found the pagPresste, press the F12 key or Ctrl + U to open the source code of your website, or right-click your webpage and select “view source” or “inspect element.”
Step 2: Under the <head> tag, you will find the <meta> tag. The meta description of your webpage is mentioned there.
How to write SEO-friendly meta descriptions?
Meta description plays an important role in SEO for hotels. While writing a meta-title, you should consider the following things:
- Your meta description should describe your hotel thoroughly.
- It should contain a keyword.
The real intention of the meta description is to present information to the searcher that will push him to click and land on your website.
An example of a good meta description:
A good meta description is essential to hotel SEO strategy, making visitors click on the search result.
Let me walk you through the last yet very important part – the webpage URL.
A URL is the address of each page on your hotel’s website. You may wonder why a webpage URL is a part of your SEO strategy.
B; me, it greatly impacts your hotel SEO. A proper URL helps you go a long way in the SEO journey.
How to write website URLs?
- Your URL should be clear and easily understood.
- Clear URL: https://yourhotel.com/queen-rooms
- Confusing URL: https://yourhotel.com/rooms.php?pageid=9
- Include your targeted keyword, but don’t stuff the extra keywords.
- Separate words with hyphens (dashes) instead of underscores.
- Don’t use connecting or stop words. (stop words like is, of, for, with)
Optimize Your Website Content
Let’s start with your home page’s content. In the h1 tag, please add the targeted term first.
Then, within the first 100 words of your page’s first paragraph, insert the same desired keyword.
Additionally, please incorporate the keywords and their synonyms in at least 800 to 1000 words on your site.
You can create engaging content for your audience through blogs, articles, and newsletters. With the material, a sizable number of keywords can be targeted.
Add Alt Text to Images
If an image cannot be displayed, an alternative text called image alt text will appear. Here’s why it’s crucial to include pertinent alt-text with each image:
Search engines do not understand images. The search engines will have context from the alt text you add to the photographs to index your images appropriately.
Screenreading software uses the alt text to describe images for readers who are blind or visually challenged.
The relevance of picture search engines in hotel SEO cannot be overstated. As seen in the image, you must rank on that as well.
How to add alt text?
Step 1: Go to your website. Press the F12 key or Ctrl + U to open the source code of your website, or right-click your webpage and select “view source” or “inspect element.”
Step 2: Find the <img> tag
Step 3: Ask your website designer or developer to add the alt attribute in the <img> tag. Or, if you have editing access to your website (back-end access), you can add it yourself.
Arrange Headings and Subheadings
The headings on your website make the information easier to read and understand for both consumers and search engines. They specify which elements of your material are crucial and demonstrate how the others are.
The user-friendly content is better for SEO for your hotel because it is easier to read. Additionally, headings offer you a fantastic opportunity to use your main keyword.
How to find heading tags?
H tags are used to define headings and subheadings. The different heading tags are H1, H2, H3, H4, H5, and H6.
Step 1: Press the F12 key or Ctrl + U to open the source code of your website, or right-click your webpage and select “View Source” or “Inspect Element.”
Step 2: Look for H1, H2, etc. They must be contained in brackets like this.
Step 3: Include the focus keyword in the H1 tag.
Step 4: Maintain the right hierarchy.
- Welcome to Meraki Boutique Hotel, Manhattan (H1)
- Our services (H2),
- Rooms (H2)
While adjusting the heading tags, don’t forget that your content is for your website searchers/readers (not only for SEO purposes). Ensure that your content becomes readable after adding these tags.
Optimize Your Website’s Loading Speed
Another element of the highest significance for the SEO of your hotel website is loading speed. Your audience is impatient, and you must accept this.
Although it’s a little technical, knowing what to ask your website designer or developer will assist.
Here’s how to check the speed of your website.
Check out Google Page Speed Insight.
To analyze, enter the URL of your website.
What can you do to reduce your website load time?
- Use caching plugins (WordPress website only).
- I prefer building your website with light frameworks.
- You can use some of the available plugins to reduce the load time.
- Minify and combine files.
- Reduce the number of redirects on your website.
Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly
Research shows that around 60% of Google searches are made on mobile devices. You must create a responsive hotel website as part of hotel SEO.
How can you determine whether your website is mobile-friendly?
Visit “Mobile-Friendly Test” now.
Hit the enter key or the “Test URL” button after entering the URL of your website.
Whether your page is mobile-friendly or not will be indicated. If it isn’t, your website will show the problems that must be fixed. Just do those things to fix it or ask your website designer to. Retest it after it has been corrected.
Consider the following things to make your website responsive:
- Ensure your website’s loading speed on other devices too.
- Include the ‘Viewport Meta Tag.’
- Make your button sizes large enough to work on mobile.
- Use large font sizes.
- Compress your images and CSS.
- Perform mobile testing.
Build and Submit the Sitemap
As the name implies, a sitemap is a map of your website. It displays a list of every page on your website.
You can list the web pages on your site in a sitemap file to inform search engines about how your site’s content is arranged. Search engines read this file. Because of this, creating a sitemap is crucial for hotels’ SEO.
So, how to create XML Sitemap?
Nowadays, cutting-edge content management systems automatically produce XML sitemaps. It just has to be enabled.
But more than simply producing XML is required.
After creation, the next step is to submit your sitemap to Google Search Console.
You could find this technical, I know. But don’t be alarmed!
To get assistance with this, only ask your website designer. Or they can assist you if you have employed a freelancer or agency for SEO. They may even have already carried out this.
Structure Your Content
Schema markup, also known as structured data, is a code that provides search engines with specific information about the content on your hotel website. It plays a crucial role in optimizing your hotel website and is an important aspect of your SEO strategy. Using schema markup, you can present relevant information to users in a structured and organized manner, making it easier for them to find what they are looking for.
There are various types of data that you can include in your website’s schema markup, such as:
- Street address
- Phone number
- Description of your hotel
- Star rating
- Temperature information of the hotel’s surroundings
- Photos of your hotel
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Typical room rates or price range
- Reception opening hours and check-in hours
- Map URL
- Features and services, such as a gym or pool
- Parent company details, if your hotel is part of a chain
- Your hotel’s team speaks languages
By providing this structured data, search engines like Google can better understand the content on your website and display more relevant information in search results, known as rich snippets. Rich snippets enhance the visibility of your hotel website in search engine result pages (SERPs) and can lead to higher click-through rates and improved rankings.
To implement schema markup on your, refer to Schema.org, which provides detailed information about the different types of schema markup available. Alternatively, you can work with your website designer or developer to add schema markup to your hotel website.
Make the Most of Google My Business
Google has made it easier than ever to drive visitors to your hotel website by adding the advanced hotel search option.
It is a crucial and effective stage for your hotel SEO. Make the most of this chance by adding your business to Google My Business (GMB).
- First things first, check whether you have access or not. If you don’t, then claim your listing. Once you get access, optimize it smartly.
- List your hotel’s name, address, and phone number (a.k.a. NAP).
- Ensure your Google Maps marker is in the correct location (so searchers can find your hotel).
- Provide additional details relevant to travelers looking for you, such as Wi-Fi, disabled access, smoking area, etc.
- If you are a hotel chain or hospitality group, have a verified Google My Business listing for each one – maintained through a single account.
Make the Most of Google Hotel Search
Google introduced a new look for its hotel search results in 2015. This search engine is intended just for use with hotels. Using Google’s distinctive interface, it is a guaranteed platform for you to increase visitors to the hotel website.
As mentioned previously, the two primary ways people search for hotels are:
- Hotels in “(name of town, city, or vicinity)”
- Hotel “Palm Beach in the Maldives”
Google Hotel Search emphasizes the featured properties with larger images and bigger fonts for hotel descriptions and prices.
Hotels want to be listed on the first page of hotel listings with a clear description of their brand and an obvious image of their property.
It can be challenging to rise to the top of the search results page. Here are some strategies to increase your visibility:
1. Have HD-quality photos that help to increase conversions and clicks.
Firstly, get your Google My Business account verified. Always save images with keywords in the file. For example, if you upload an image of the hotel pool, name the file: hotel-pool-on-Male-Beach.
2. Encourage guests to leave as many positive Google reviews as possible.
Reviews are heavily weighted regarding factors that influence your organic search rankings. The more positive reviews you have, your organic visibility will improve.
3. Provide useful information, such as hotel descriptions and amenities.
Ensure the Hotel Details Card of your Google My Business account is updated with accurate phone numbers, addresses, Google Maps geo markers, recent hotel photos, guest reviews, and amenities.
Voice search is becoming increasingly popular in the era of Siri, Alexa, Cortana, and Google.
The number of consumers using their digital assistant, Cortana, voice search for hotels has increased by 343% year over year in the UK alone, according to new data from Microsoft’s Bing Ads. People using voice search to discover flights increased by 277% yearly.
Google also revealed that voice search and digital assistants are now used more frequently, with speech activating 20% of all smartphone queries.
Voice search could increase your website conversions by connecting you to qualified leads and is an assured SEO strategy for hotels.
Creating links to your website from other websites is known as link building. A hyperlink (sometimes referred to as a link) allows visitors to move between web pages.
To obtain backlinks to your hotel website from external websites like those of hotel associations, OTAs, and more, link building for hotels entails doing just that.
Why is it important in SEO for hotels?
Links are the core element of hotel SEO. There are two types of links: 1. Internal Links and 2. External Links. Search engines use links to:
- Discover new web pages.
- Determine how well a page should rank in its results.
What are the internal links?
Internal links allow you to show the structure of your website to search engines.
By linking from one page to another on your website, search engines better understand the important pages and the interconnection among them.
What are external links or backlinks?
Obtaining links from other websites is the procedure. You require high-caliber inbound connections coming from reliable websites.
Backlinks and external links are crucial for hotel websites’ SEO because they instill trust in your reader.
Building online and offline connections with businesses that offer comparable services, such as local event planners and tourism destinations, is necessary to obtain backlinks or external contact approach relevant websites with greater domain authority to obtain links from them. Guest posting is another excellent method of link building. Keep in mind that quality is more important than quantity.
How to build external links or backlinks?
- Get listed on sites related to the hotel and hospitality industry, such as TripAdvisor.
- Submit your website to online hotel directories.
- Register in your city’s hotel association or chamber of commerce and try to get links from their website.
- Focus on content writing for hotels through blogs, infographics, or videos.
- Give the external links of websites with higher domain authority in your content.
- Ask people to link back to your content.
- Offer your content to travel websites or third-party sites and get a link back.
Work on Local SEO for Your Hotel
Promoting your hotel locally with local SEO for hotels is a successful strategy. You can incorporate the keywords below into your website’s local SEO strategy.
NAP stands for Name, Address, and Phone.
Your main keyword and the name of the city in the title tag
head tag or the URL for the meta description
Therefore, this will be useful when people look for the “Best hotels in Male.”
Start with a citation next. A citation mentions your name, address, and contact information (NAP) online.
They are taken into account by search engines when determining your hotel’s internet authority. It is a tried-and-true method for hotel SEO.
As we conclude our journey through the SEO for Hotels realm, you are now armed with invaluable insights and strategies to elevate your hotel’s online presence and thrive in the competitive hospitality landscape. By harnessing the power of SEO, you can attract more guests, improve your website’s visibility in search results, and establish your hotel as a preferred choice for travelers. Utilize SEO techniques to optimize your website with relevant hotel-related keywords and engaging content, making it easier for potential guests to find and choose your accommodation. Engage with your audience through social media, showcasing your hotel’s amenities and personalized guest experiences. Create valuable and informative content, such as travel guides and local attractions, to demonstrate your hotel’s expertise in hospitality. Stay updated with SEO trends and continuously refine your strategies to adapt to the evolving travel industry. With dedication and a well-executed SEO plan, your hotel will welcome more guests, create unforgettable experiences, and leave a lasting impression on travelers worldwide. May your hospitality excellence continue to shine and elevate the travel experiences of countless guests.
How can SEO benefit my hotel business?
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) can significantly benefit your hotel business by improving its online visibility and attracting more potential guests. By implementing effective SEO strategies, your hotel website can rank higher in search engine results for relevant hotel-related keywords, making it easier for potential guests to discover and explore your accommodation offerings. The increased visibility can lead to higher website traffic and potentially more direct bookings. Moreover, by optimizing your content with valuable information and personalized guest experiences, you can establish your hotel as a preferred choice for travelers, building credibility and trust with potential guests.
How can content marketing enhance my hotel’s SEO efforts?
Content marketing enhances your hotel’s SEO by providing valuable, engaging content that attracts and resonates with potential guests. By creating informative articles, destination guides, and travel tips, you can capture the interest of travelers and showcase your hotel’s expertise in hospitality. High-quality and shareable content can attract backlinks from other reputable websites, improving your website’s SEO authority. Content marketing also lets you showcase your hotel’s unique amenities and personalized services, enticing travelers to choose your accommodation. By consistently providing valuable content, you can build brand loyalty and position your hotel as a sought-after destination in the competitive travel industry.
How can social media contribute to the success of my hotel’s SEO strategy?
Social media plays a significant role in the success of your hotel’s SEO strategy by amplifying your content and increasing your online presence. You can share your valuable hotel content with a broader audience by engaging on social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Social media shares and engagement can indirectly impact your website’s SEO by increasing visibility and generating potential backlinks. Moreover, social media allows you to interact with your audience, address inquiries, and showcase your hotel’s latest offers and promotions. Integrating social media marketing into your overall SEO strategy can enhance your hotel’s visibility, attract more guests, and foster a vibrant online community of travelers and hospitality enthusiasts.