In Canada’s largest city, Toronto, there are hundreds of hotels and motels for visitors to select from – and that is just one metropolitan area. The hospitality industry is one of the most competitive niches, given that hotels aren’t just competing amongst themselves, but also booking sites and travel aggregators. That said, it’s never been more crucial for hotels and motels to utilize search engine optimization in order to improve search rankings, and thus, improve profitability. Moreover, there are local SEO strategies that can be used which could drastically improve visibility. In this article, 8 marketing experts discuss and delve into the top SEO tips for hotels and motels.
“A few of the best SEO techniques for hotels and motels in 2020 is, firstly, to optimize your webpage copy with keywords that are popularly searched amongst your target audience. As search engines prioritize long-form content, make your descriptions are long and informative but also scannable for your audience through the use of headers, bullets, and numbering. Since people don’t typically want to read too much, this will allow users to pick and choose the information they want to know about. Within suite, hotel bar/restaurant and other descriptions, strategically insert keywords and search terms your audience searches (based on keyword research).
Another technique is to ensure technical SEO is stellar on your website. A lot of websites are ridden with technical SEO issues that can impact rankings. Making sure the technical SEO components on your website are perfect gives you an advantage over your competitors. Sites often have broken pages, broken internal links, and missing alt tags for images. Performing a site audit on your website using tools like SEMrush will allow you to see where you need to improve technically to improve your site speed, rankings, search visibility and traffic.
Lastly, an important SEO technique important for hotels and motels, as competition in the hospitality industry is quite high, is generating quality backlinks to your website from hospitality-relevant websites (eg. travel blogs, travel guide websites, etc.). Backlinks can help to improve your hotel/motel site’s organic ranking, increase referral traffic and increase the trust of your website, enhancing your site’s overall position on a results page. Acquiring these backlinks can be done in a variety of
ways, from producing blog posts and articles to performing manual backlink outreach (reaching out to writers and blog platforms to reference your site within a public article).”
Alexis Soer, SEO Strategist, Elite Digital
“For hotels and motels, it’s important to be hyper-focused on optimizing for local search. Even if you search for something generic like hotels on Google, they will automatically show you results based on your current location.
One of the most important items for ranking well in local search is to accumulate Google reviews. It’s important to create a consistent strategy to get reviews without incentivizing guests. One of the best ways is to go above and beyond from a customer service perspective, and then give guests a small card upon checkout that shows them how to leave a Google review step-by-step.
Secondly, hotel owners should make sure that their individual property page is linked to from the home page of the main hotel brand. By doing this, it will help Google more easily associate the individual hotel with the overall brand, which will significantly boost Google’s trust in an individual property.
Finally, it’s important to make sure that the hotel is listed in trustworthy national and local business directories, with a consistent name, address, and phone number. The directories can provide powerful backlinks and diversify the link profile of the hotel’s website. Having a name, address, and phone number that match letter-for-letter across the internet also serves to boost Google’s trust in a hotel business.”
Axel DeAngelis, Founder, NameBounce
“List your hotel and motel on Google Places, Google My Business and optimize for local SEO.
Hotels and motels have a physical address, Google My Business is a fantastic way to increase your search engine rankings, get recommended when searched for queries like “best hotels near me”, and start building relevant links.
Improve your rankings by building a responsive website, reduce page load time and make it easier for your customers to book your hotel/motel through mobile devices, iPads, etc.
Finally, get listed on hotel, motel, and hospitality industry-specific websites. This is a fantastic way to get your brand name out there and become accessible.”
Anand Iyer, Digital Marketing Manager
“Make sure your reviews are on point, as for hospitality these are the make or break of getting a booking.
Use schema properly to show your reviews in the search results. Having the stars show in the SERP’s massively increases your click-through rate over other accommodation listings that don’t.
However, if your review is less than 4 stars then it will reduce people looking at your website.
Use Google reviews, Facebook, trust pilot and others to show a level of trust. If you mark up these reviews with the ‘same as’ schema, these will show on your Google My Business listing. Having 4-star reviews from different sources will impart social trust and offer peace of mind to potential customers, which is usually the last barrier before paying.
Ensure that you upload your best images to GMB and select them as featured else you run the risk of GMB featuring images uploaded by guests, and suffice to say some of them can be very damaging – if they are of dirty rooms, broken facilities or similar negative aspects,
Allow travel bloggers complimentary stays in the offseason as you can exchange this for reviews from them. This can help drive referral traffic from their readers and also that all-important backlink, which is super topical. This helps your website rank higher in search results for related terms.”
Soprano Villas, www.sopranovillas.com
“Above and beyond realizing you have to be involved in hotel booking websites. There are a few items you should consider in terms of SEO.
Hotels can rank tremendously better if they have stellar reviews on Google Business Center. Google loves to promote businesses that offer great service!
I tell all my clients, make sure that promoting positive customer reviews is one of your main focuses. Because we have control of marketing your website online in every way except this. Asking happy customers to leave a review on Google (and other resources) can drive a massive number of reservations to your hotel!
Also, make sure to properly optimize your Google My Business listing by including relevant keywords your clients are searching for in your business description!”
Joel McLaughlin, Founder, Dataflurry.com
“Any SEO tips work almost the same across different industries:
Categories – You need to structure your URL by categories. What does it mean?
If your hotel has different locations, you can sort them like: ‘hotel.com/locations/location-1’ or ‘hotel.com/locations/location-2’.
You can even sort them by countries: ‘us.hotel.com’ or ‘sg.hotel.com’.
This way, search engine crawlers understand more about your business and website.
Rich Snippets – There are several rich snippets/schema markup data you can utilise for Hotel:
Reviews & Ratings (This schema shows the number of votes and stars rating) Price (This schema shows the cost of your accommodation)
Most businesses in the hotel industry use these schemas, so it stands out in search engine result pages to the users. It is because most customers are review and price-conscious.
Local Business – Set up Google My Business and/or Bing Places. They are free.
Register every single one of your locations. This can show your businesses address in their maps as well as their search engines. You want your hotels to be found everywhere, right?”
Bryan Ng, Digital Marketing Consultant, Bryan Digital
“Both hotels and motels have a great opportunity when it comes to the content creation part of SEO. To rank on anything in Google, you must first and foremost have some content, worth ranking for.
Boutique hotels could do a themed version, but bigger hotels could do it all. Imagine creating a portal of everything the visitors and guests might need to know, in order to enjoy the stay even more.
If it is business guests then content about:
If it is mainly tourists then it could be something like:
You might see where I am going with this, you can include hundreds of different content pieces near your hotel or something like this.
Not only will you be able to get organic search to all these posts, but you will also be able to send it out to guests via e-mail when they stay at your hotel.
This could be considered a great extra service, and might even improve on the perceived value of the total stay. If you provide all the information needed to have a great visit, then you might have guests coming back again and again, because it was easy and you got information in abundance.”
Simon Elkjær, Senior SEO Expert, Founder and Owner, Nutimo Consult
“If you are in the hospitality sphere, you must know about the hotel SEO technique to get a more targeted audience to your website. You would like to see your link on the first page of Google search. 92% of people click on the first page of Google to find their preferred services in the relevant area.
You must want to be at 92%. Indeed.
Here are a few SEO tips for your hotel business:
1) Explore and analyze short and long-tail keywords. Short are 1-2 words, and the long tail is 5-6 words. Long keywords work great as they give us more awareness about people search. For example, a cheap hotel for one day or an economical hotel for one day.
2) Use free tools to get help for SEO elements, like Google key planner and Uber suggest for top keywords search. You can search ‘key volume’ on Google search.
3) Make your landing page brief and to the point with captivating headings and images.
If the visitor is looking for a second thing, your website should present accordingly. Remember to label images properly using keywords. Once the user clicks on your link, then delivering quality and most relevant content in a one go is highly recommended if you don’t want visitors to click on back tag.”
Aqsa Tabassam, Senior Growth Marketer, Brandnic.com
According to Google, millions of hotel searches are conducted each day. The SEO tips discussed by the marketing experts are all excellent techniques that hotels and motels can use to rank higher in search results, therefore increasing potential traffic and customers to websites. Which in turn, will sell out rooms. Whether it’s researching keywords, promoting positive customer reviews, or properly optimizing a Google My Business profile, all are great strategies for those in the hospitality industry to utilize. Ultimately, SEO is a constantly evolving entity, but there are several SEO trends that every Canadian business should know. SEO for hotels and motels isn’t easy in the highly competitive space that is the hospitality industry, but it is certainly feasible. It may just take a bit of time.
Sarah Bauder is a senior content specialist at Little Dragon Media. Sarah has a degree in journalism and has a decade of experience writing content at numerous renowned publications. She enjoys writing about digital marketing, business, entrepreneurship and more.