Lady Keller, Negosentro | If you are the owner of a hotel, you will already be aware how much work and effort goes into making a successful business. The hotel industry can be cut-throat, and what works one year may not work the next.
They say that location is the most important factor when owning a hotel or even a home. However, when it comes to running a profitable and respected business and remaining competitive with other hotel chains, there is a lot more to it than just where your hotel is located.
SEO, or ‘search engine optimisation’ is a marketing tool that is being used increasingly in every industry in the world. The whole world is online now, and long gone are the days when a hotel could remain successful through good reviews and word of mouth alone.
If you are not in some way using SEO to your advantage, then it does not matter how wonderful your establishment is: it will never reach its potential and you will be losing out on well deserved business. There are so many benefits to using SEO to promote your hotel, that once you start utilising it you will wonder why it took you so long to do so!
What is SEO?
Very simply, SEO is the ranking on which your website appears on a Google search engine. Search engine optimisation is very much what it says: it is tools and tricks to maximise, or ‘optimise’, your website’s place on a Google search. When someone searches for a hotel on Google, you want your hotel to be one of the very first they see, and to get to the top of that list, there are things you need to do. But don’t worry, even if you are new to SEO and want to get your hotel recognised, there are tips on how to get started and make SEO work for you.
How to Make SEO Effective For Your Hotel
- Create an interesting and well written blog
Blogs have been around for a number of years now, and there is nothing new about them. However, the way they are now being used to market businesses is a new phenomenon and it is an exciting and clever way to advertise.
If you own or run your own hotel, you are going to know a lot of information and tips about the local area and amenities. While that information is fantastic for those few hundred guests that you see face to face, why not share that information with the other millions of people online?
If you write factual and informative blogs that go on your website, then whenever anyone searches for that piece of information on Google it may very well take them to your website. It’s a fantastic way to not only demonstrate how much valuable information you hold for your would-be guests, but it also generates traffic to your website and to potential bookings.
- Use SEO techniques within your blog
Once you have written your interesting blog and brought in an influx of new potential customers to your website, you need to then utilise your blog to be easy to find. That is where search engine optimisation comes in. You could have the most fantastic written blog in the world but if no one can find it when they search for that information on Google, then it might as well not even be there. There are lots of tips for SEO specifically on blogs and any good SEO company is going to be able to make your blog really stand out. Tips include making sure you are using the correct keywords for your area, and also including links to other reputable websites and pages within the blog. One of the ways that Google measures a website’s value is through how many clicks that website generates.
- Have a Good Website
Now this isn’t even a tip, it’s a demand. Having a user friendly and accessible website is probably the key reason why a hotel might be successful or not.
A good hotel website should have three things: it should have an easy to use setup that is user friendly, it should have lots of fantastic information and pictures showcasing the hotel’s best qualities, and it should have an easy to use booking system.
If you get a good ranking on Google and then your website doesn’t work well, takes too long to load, or does not interest people for long then Google will know this. It can work out how long someone stays on your website for, and this will determine how relevant Google thinks your website is, and what its ranking will be.
- List Your Hotel on Google+ and Google Places
Google places is a huge database that holds information on all sorts of things, especially businesses. Being listed on Google places is especially important for hotels because they have a physical presence, i.e a place in the world that a customer is going to want to visit. To visit that place the location and all the information should be up to date and accurate on Google places.
This is a great way to generate local trade as if someone is in the area and they need a hotel to stay in, they are going to use a search engine like Google or use Google maps to find a place that is nearby. Equally, once they have found this place on Google they want to be able to quickly access the contact information so they can make that important booking. This accurate and up to date information being used by customers will show Google that your hotel and your website are highly searched for, and it will increase the website’s ranking.
Google+ is a way to store information on your hotel and make it accessible for the Google world to find. It is Google’s very own version of Facebook. If you have your hotel’s information ready and waiting for Google to access, it is going to increase your value to Google.
- Make Sure Your Website is Accessible on All Platforms
Put simply, you need a website that works well on mobiles, tablets and all manner of digital devices. In 2015 Google brought in an algorithm that could work out if people were able to access websites through, for example, their smartphones. Websites that were mobile friendly increased in their rankings, the ones that weren’t, dropped.
SEO is increasingly becoming a necessary tool to make businesses grow, and hotels are no exception. With the whole world being online now, and with reviews and information being available at the click of a button, customers are using this to be able to directly compare information they see on the internet. A hotel can be luxurious and employ the best staff, but if it does not rank highly on Google then the customers aren’t going to be able to find it and make those all important bookings. Whether business like it or not, SEO is here to stay and every company should be using it to their own advantage.