With just 6 weeks of 2018 remaining, it’s definitely not too early to start looking ahead to the next year in marketing and the tactics you’ll be using to rank highly in the search results pages and maximise traffic to your hotel’s website in the coming months.
This year, Google has fore grounded page-speed and mobile friendliness as ranking factors. Moving into 2019, most SEO trends are expected to follow suit, with a continuing emphasis on user experience as the best tactic for climbing the SERPs.
Let’s take a look at the 3 SEO trends expected to rule 2019.
Google has been migrating websites to a mobile-first index since the early months of 2018, and the buzz around mobile-friendliness as an essential ranking factor is going to carry through to next year. This means that although there’s still only one index with both the mobile and desktop version of your hotel’s website, it’s the mobile- version that counts towards your ranking.
Since it’s the mobile version of your website which will be used as the primary one for ranking, there’s no time for delay when it comes to getting mobile-friendliness up to scratch. If you still haven’t provided a mobile user experience for your guests, do it now, then regularly check your pages to ensure they provide a smooth and seamless user experience for those browsing from small screens.
Nothing matters more to Google than improving user experience for it’s billions of users worldwide.
While page loading time on desktop has played a role in ranking position for some time, this summer, mobile page speed joined it as a ranking factor.
To understand the change, it’s important to understand the information Google uses to determine page speed evaluation, which comes down to Speed Score and Optimisation Score.
When it comes to Optimization the data for the Speed Score is taken from the Chrome User Experience report, in other words, data that reveals the user experience of each visitor. Since it’s difficult to measure how quickly your hotel’s website pages load for each travel shopper that visits your site, the metric is impossible to analyse through local tests.
When it comes to Optimization score however, you can totally control it by fixing all the issues preventing your site from loading fast – i.e by sticking to Google’s list of recommendations.
Furthermore, the current data suggests that as it stands, Optimisation Score has far greater weighing on a page’s position in the SERPs than Speed score, although this is expected to change in the year ahead.
Brand and Ranking
Google insider Gary Illyes recently revealed that Google incorporates brand mentions within its search algorithm, taking in the volume of mentions, as well as the quality of the source of the mentions to build up a picture of a brand’s authority within a particular field.
According to the search company’s Search Quality Guidelines reputation plays a role in ranking. With this in mind, it’s more important than ever to stay on top of your hotel’s reputation online by addressing negative feedback and engaging with happy satisfied guests as well. Use a monitoring tool such as Awario or Mention to track mentions of your hotel across the web and be ready not only to step in and respond promptly and courteously to feedback, but to reach out to influencers who may be talking about you.
Use the same tools to take a look at your competitors – what can you learn about the tactics they’re using to manage reputation and grow awareness? An analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of their strategies will help give you a holistic view of your own SEO efforts.
Moving into 2019, what are your predictions for the coming year in SEO? Let us know in the comments below!