93% of all online experiences begin with a query typed into a search engine. SEO is all about helping Google and the other search engines understand how your website is likely to be a relevant and helpful source of information for these queries. Appearing on the first page of search results is critical if your want your website to be discovered and clicked-on by the widest possible audience, which means implementing a successful SEO campaign to chase after those top ranking positions is key to the success of your entire digital presence.
Here are 6 things you can start doing right now to supercharge your SEO campaign and beat your competition in the search results.
1. Focus on Quality Content
Thanks to its role as a kind of all-knowing entity of the modern era, it’s easy to forget sometimes that Google is a business. Their product? The search results served up in response to the billions of web queries made all over the world everyday. Just like any other good business, Google has made it their mission to offer only the very best possible product for its users.
Your goal is to create a website full of content that delivers high quality answers to the questions Google’s users are asking. You do this by bringing your hotel’s unique story to life with eye catching photography, professional copy, engaging videos and special offers. Make creating high quality content your mission and Google will match your hotel with the travel consumers who are looking for exactly what you offer.
2. Be Ready For In-Destination Mobile Searches
More and more people are using their Smartphones to search for information about a hotel while they’re actually staying there. Modern travellers, and especially Millenials, are more likely to hit the Google search button than call a property’s front desk when they need to find out more information during their stays. With this in mind, you should try to anticipate the kind of questions they are likely to ask during their stays and make sure your website content provides clear answers.
Remember that naturally, in-destination searches made on mobile tend to be more purposeful. Typically travellers may be looking for closing hours for your restaurant or onsite gym, a map of the local area, a phone number or directions, so make sure that this information is readily available and easily accessible.
3. Update Your Hotel’s Google My Business Listings
When travellers first discover your hotel online, one of the first places they’ll look for more information is your Google My Business listing, so make sure yours is up to date, complete and accurate.
Don’t forget to list your website along with your hotel’s physical address and basic contact information – Google will draw information from your website content that’s relevant to specific search queries. The search engine will also pull info from any third party sites your property features on, so take time to ensure your listings are complete and accurate on TripAdvisor, Booking.com and other similar platforms too.
4. Keep Driving Positive Reviews
You already know how important positive reviews are to your online reputation and booking rates. But reviews can also have an impact on your search ranking. As we’ve covered, Google is concerned with returning only the best quality results for every search query, and it can be more confident of doing that job if the results come with a pre-made positive rating in the form of lots of glowing customer reviews.
There are all kinds of ways you can amp up your drive for reviews, but the simplest and most effective way is to just ask – at reception, on business cards in the guest rooms or in your post-stay email communications. Most digital savvy travellers are fully aware how important reviews are and probably chose to stay with you based on the opinions of other travellers they came across online.
5. Take Social Signals Seriously
Does your hotel have an active and successful social media presence? Google interprets the likes, shares, views and clicks you receive on your social pages as ‘signals’ that your business is an authoritative source of content that will be of value to its users. It’s yet another way the search engine uses consumer feedback to try and offer the best and most relevant results.
Tips for driving social engagement:
- Get creative with visuals: high quality images and videos consistently drive the most engagement across all the major social platforms
- Ask questions: one of the best ways to keep a conversation going with your audience is to ask questions that spark debate eg. What’s your favourite picnic spot on the Gold Coast?
- Run contests and competitions: from caption competitions to photography contests and simple prize draws, setting up a contest with a special package or offer as a prize can drive lots of valuable engagement in the form of likes, comments and shares.
6. Get Mobile Friendly, Now
Mobile search enquiries have officially overtaken those made on desktop and Google has responded by making mobile friendliness a ranking factor in the SERPs.
Make use of Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool to see if your site would be considered mobile friendly by the search engine. If it’s not, optimising your site so that it can be easily accessed by travel consumers shopping from a small screen should be your number one priority.
Do you use any of these tips as part of your hotel’s SEO campaign? Let us know in the comments below!