What is SEO
Search engine optimisation or SEO is the process of looking at your hotel website, and seeing what can be improved, changed, or added so that it is more likely to appear in the top results in a search engine. Whether the user is searching on Google, Bing, Yahoo or another search engine, in 2022 an SEO strategy should deliver high-quality content that meets the needs of the user searching.
Currently, an estimated 92% of web users choose to use Google as their primary search engine. As such, we will be focusing on on-site optimation for hotels based on Google best practice guidelines for the purpose of this discussion. The Google algorithm constantly changes, updates, and becomes more complex and intelligent. So, it’s essential to stay on top of emerging trends and adapt SEO strategy accordingly.
What does Google want?
What does Google use to determine who ranks more highly? It’s not as simple as having the best information. There are a lot of interconnected elements that all work together to determine the quality of the user experience and how visible that content will be on search engines.
Website elements and structure
You might look at a hotel website page and think that it’s just words and images, but there is a lot going on behind the scenes that you may not be aware of. Having well written and informative content with appealing pictures is a great starting point, but that’s just one part of delivering a webpage optimised for SEO.
Search engines use tags to help determine which words on a website page are most important and how different sections relate to each other. Title tags and image tags are used to tell the reader and the search engine what the content is about. The page title might tell Google the topic of the page, H2 and H3 tags can be used as subheading titles and differentiate them from paragraphs.
In general, more important headings will have a bigger font to catch the reader's eye. For example, on this page, you can see “Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) for Hotels in 2022” is the biggest and most apparent, and is telling you what the page is going to be discussing.
You also want to make sure that you include the keywords you want to target as per your SEO strategy. Keywords are simply the words that a web user is typing into Google to try and find information. This might be something like “hotels near suncorp stadium”
Google will also offer suggested searches similar to the keywords entered that are popular searches and might be helpful. When you know which keywords your guests are using to find you on Google you can create content that caters to that. Keywords should be included in title tags, in the paragraphs at the correct keyword frequency, and related keywords also play a role and should be included if possible.
Internal links are elements you can click on that direct you to another related web page on the same website. External links are elements that you can click on that will take you to a related web page on a different website. Having both internal links and external links to reputable sites is important.
Google will also look at design and user behaviour. One example is font size. If the font used is too small and too difficult to read on a mobile device, it will not perform as well as a larger font size that’s easy to read. If there is too much content on the page, this can also affect the user experience. Pages with lots of pictures and words all tightly compressed together can be overwhelming, and can also result in slow page load speeds. Mobile-first design takes priority, which means that you want your website to perform well on a mobile device even more than you want it to look good on a desktop.
Planning a hotel SEO strategy
Firstly, if your hotel or resort is already getting traffic from Google, it’s a good idea to determine which keywords are driving that traffic. You can check your website Google Search Console account at no cost to see which keywords your site is ranking for and how many website visits are being generated. You will need to be signed in to the Google account associated with the website with which your sitemap was submitted in order to view this data.
Subscription-based SEO platforms can collect even more detailed information about your organic traffic and find out which keywords your competitors are ranking for. You can also see keywords that have high monthly search volumes which you may not be targeting yet, and see how difficult it would be to rank well for a particular keyword. Hotels and resorts should aim to target keywords that relate to their accommodation, that people are actively searching for on Google, and where they can genuinely offer a solution to a problem that the reader is having, or offer information that the reader will find useful.
It can be difficult to know which keywords would benefit your business most unless you have a good understanding of SEO best practices, which is why we conduct comprehensive keyword and website audits as well as keyword and content strategies for our clients as part of our SEO services.
Implementing SEO best practices
Once you have the list of keywords that you wish to target, you can determine where your existing website requires optimisation. For pages that are already ranking but aren’t on the first page of Google search results, or are on the first page but aren’t at number one, on-page optimisation may improve your current rankings.
Take a look at which website is currently ranking number one for the keyword that you wish to target, and compare it to yours.
- What is the word count?
- How many times do they use the keyword in their copy?
- Which tags are in use?
- Which related keywords are they using?
- How fast does their page load?
- How user-friendly is the design?
- How many backlinks do they have?
- What is it about their page that keeps a reader interested and increases page view time?
Asking these questions can help you to see where your website can improve, and what kind of content readers are finding valuable. Keep in mind that while you can use a competitor page as a way to offer insight, your own website content must be completely original. Plagiarism is against Google best practices.
Publishing new SEO optimised content such as fresh new pages or blogs regularly can also improve your rankings, especially when internal links are used well. Ideally, you can keep a reader on your website for longer, and have them check out more than one page in a session.
Measuring SEO results
Your Google Search Console of Google Analytics accounts can both tell you whether your overall traffic from organic search is increasing. You also want to keep a record of your SERP rankings each week or month for target keywords so that you can see if they are improving.
With our eTourism SEO services, we do offer much more comprehensive reporting and analysis to offer a clearer picture of your SEO results for all organic keywords, not just the ones that you are targeting.
Local SEO - Google My Business
More and more people are turning to Google My Business to find local services and products. They can view contact information at a glance, read Google reviews, view the location on Google Maps, and visit the website for more information.
Having a Google My Business account set up, verified, and with complete information is essential for hotels and resorts in 2022. Monitoring and replying to reviews, as well as updating details as they change such as opening hours is also important.
eTourism SEO packages for hotels
If your website traffic or online booking have been declining, and your website hasn’t been updated recently, there’s a good chance that your Google rankings are declining. There’s never been a more important time for hotels and resorts to align themselves with Google best practice strategies and tailor their website content accordingly. Choosing an SEO service package with eTourism can help keep your website relevant and performing well.
Contact us today and find out what we can do to help you reach your business goals and increase bookings in 2022.