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8 SEO Tips Hotels Starting out with SEO need to know

For your hotel to thrive, you need to drive traffic to your website. Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO for short, is the process of improving your website to up your chances of getting ranked higher on search engines such as Google and Bing.

It can seem like a dark art to the beginner, with many complexities and regular Google algorithm changes, but there are a few simple methods that you can apply to your own website. Follow these handy SEO tips and your hotel’s organic search rankings will be off to a great start.

1. Start with keyword research

Firstly you'll need to consider keywords. Keywords are words or phrases used in your content that makes it possible for search engines to find your website. Rankings for some keywords and phrases can be highly sought after by your competitors, depending on how popular they are with customers.

You should aim to use a keyword that is completely relevant to your content and has a decent balance between popularity and competition. If a keyword has too much competition then it will be difficult to work your way higher up the search listings. If a keyword is not very popular then it will be of little use, as not many customers will actually find your website by typing it in. 

2. Use your keywords in your content

Once you have a keyword or phrase in mind, then you have to make sure that it features often in your content. Include it in page titles and body text where appropriate - this will help search engines know what your page is about, boosting your chances of ranking higher.

Page titles help to describe the main subject of the page, whether that be a page or blog post. They are the first thing that users will see before deciding whether or not to keep reading, therefore a descriptive title can help customers know this is the page they’re after.

When using keywords within the body of pages, it often helps to have the keywords feature a few times as search engines will use that to get a better idea of what the page is about. However, you must take care not to overuse keywords or you’ll be flagged as trying to play the system and your ranking chances will be diminished.

It also helps not just to mention the keyword, but the more you can mention words related to it, the better. Say you’re optimising a page for “spa deals”, don’t just crowbar that phrase in everywhere, but make your content flow well and mention other connected phrases like “treatments”, “offers”, “spa packages”, “spa days”, and so forth.

3. Make the most of meta tags

Meta tags are important, to quote Kate Morris, Director of SEO for Bluprint, an NBCUniversal company - “It's my experience, and I think anyone in SEO would agree, that if you want to rank high in search, your meta tags need to accompany high-quality content that focuses on user satisfaction.”.

The meta tags, particularly the title and description, are where search engines look first when indexing your page. If you are using a Content Management System then usually these are automatically filled using the page’s title for the meta title and the first few lines of the body content for the meta description. However, if you do not use a CMS then you can ask whoever is responsible for the development of your website to insert the metadata into the code of your website.

Even when this information is filled in, it pays to take a little time to customise these tags to mention your keywords, and encourage and inform users.

4. URLs matter too

It is always a good idea to keep the URLs of your pages (that’s the page’s unique web address) neat, tidy and descriptive. When customising the URL for a page, you should firstly consider the keyword you’re optimising that page for. If you can get the keyword to feature in your URL then this will help improve your SEO chances for this page. For example, you might be optimising a page about the hotel’s own restaurant for a keyword like “fine dining restaurant”, so “/our-fine-dining-restaurant” may be a good URL choice. You should also consider reducing the amount of numbers and symbols in your URL as this will make it harder for search engines to understand what the page is about. 

5. Speed is important

No one enjoys waiting for a sluggish website to load. Loading times are something that should be taken into account when considering the user’s experience of your website. Load times also affect your search engine ranking as websites that have a longer load time tend to rank lower on search engines.

It helps to make sure that your images aren’t too big, and that there are no hosting issues slowing down your website.

6. Update regularly

If your website has a blog then it’s important to update it regularly. Blogs are great for SEO as they provide a channel for lots of keyword-rich content, they’re also a great way to showcase your hotel’s character. Updating your blog is a good way of building up a catalogue of search engine optimised pages that will all go towards increasing your search engine rankings. 

Search engines tend to prefer websites that are updated regularly with fresh content too, so updating your blog often will help to keep you from falling down the search rankings. 

Having a blog that is updated regularly also allows you to use ‘long-tail keywords’ in your keywords to attract users looking for a specific topic, for example, ‘Christmas events in the Peak District’ could be something that a user may search for - if you have a blog on this topic users may discover your hotel’s website that way.

7. Watch your competition

A good way of getting an idea of what keywords might be good for your website is by checking what competitors are using. While this shouldn’t be the entirety of your strategy, it allows you to get a headstart on what is or is not working for your competitors. 

8. Keep at it

Although SEO is a deep and daunting subject, in reality, it’s all about making a continuous effort to help people who want to find your hotel to land on your website. Keep at it, but don’t expect success overnight, it can take time to see real results but once get a decent ranking for a popular keyword, this can revolutionise your business.

Find out more about the SEO services we provide for hotels.

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