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How To Do SEO For Hotels

It’s great having a well-designed and aesthetically pleasing website for your hotel, but the hardest part is yet to come - you need to drive traffic to it. Not only do you need the traffic to your great website, but you need quality, relevant traffic - users that are likely to make a booking.

Enter SEO.

What is SEO?

Hotel SEO, which stands for Search Engine Optimisation, is the process of optimising your hotel’s website to increase its discoverability on search engines such as Google and Bing. Due to the enormous influence search engines have on the internet, SEO is essential for hotels of all shapes and sizes to be seen. 

SEO for hotels aims to help your hotel’s website climb further up the search engine results pages (SERPs) to become more visible for users searching for specific keywords and phrases that are relevant to your hotel and its offering. 

Here’s an example of how it could look for the search term “best hotel in yorkshire”. Below the on-page ads (PPC), organic listings are displayed like this. The main aim of SEO - climb as high as possible.

SEO is extremely important for any business with a website, hotels included, however, it is important to note, good SEO can take time before you see results - so don’t expect to appear on page one instantly. 

In this post, we’ll outline some ideas on how to do SEO for hotels.

SEO for hotels, and why it's important

Increasing a hotel’s direct bookings and enquiries is the main goal for any hotel and therefore your hotel’s digital marketing strategies should be focused on achieving this. 

Improving your ranking on search engines for relevant user searches will lead to more high-quality traffic visiting your website. As a hotel, you’re competing with many websites all aiming to get that valuable booking, whether it’s online travel agents (OTAs) or competitors, you need to be able to compete with the crowd and show up when someone searches. 

If a potential customer is searching for your brand name, the last thing you want is an OTA to be shown above your site, potentially stealing that user, and even a booking. Equally, if someone is searching for a hotel in your area, your website being visible could be the difference between a booking or no booking at all. In fact, it’s stated that websites appearing on the first page of Google results get more than 90% of all traffic, showing the vast potential of ranking high. 

What’s also important to remember, is that you know someone actively searching for specific phrases relevant to your hotel and its offering is interested in what you’re selling. These users are high-intent and extremely valuable, so it’s key to ensure that your website is visible for these searches! 

Not only can SEO increase your quality and quantity of website traffic, but SEO can also help to improve the user experience of a website, which will make it increasingly likely to improve your booking conversion rates.

By now, you should realise just how important SEO is for your hotel. It’s crucial to gain more visibility and increase your commission-free direct bookings and don’t forget, traffic gained from SEO is free and potentially evergreen, so the potential ROI from this channel is huge.

How to do SEO for hotels

Unfortunately, SEO is no easy task. It takes a great deal of time, effort and knowledge to master and make significant strides. However, there are tasks that you can tackle yourself to ensure your website is in the best possible position to rank. 

What are the 3 main areas of SEO?

SEO is usually split into three areas, and it’s important to be aware of what goes into a good website. The 3 main areas of SEO are as follows.

On-page SEO

On-page SEO is a term used to describe certain elements on your website that can have an impact on your SEO. Some of the elements that this includes are listed below.


Well-optimised content is one of the most important aspects of SEO and an absolutely vital component of on-page SEO.

It’s essential to ensure that all of your website’s content (text) is unique and completely relevant to your hotel and the services that you offer. This content should be regularly updated wherever possible to ensure it’s fresh and relevant. This may include, for example, new hotel-specific blog posts, seasonal offers and updated news content.

Page Titles & Meta Descriptions

Page titles, aka. Title tags are the headings that appear on the search engine results page. They’re used by search engines to understand a web page, as well as being shown to searchers.  

Meta descriptions are similar to page titles, they’re often displayed on the search engine results page too. They’re short concise summaries of the individual page it refers to.

Both meta descriptions and page titles should be unique, and up-to-date and encourage users to click through. Although they’re not necessarily going to help your website rank high right away, they can have a large impact on your click-through rates from search engines. So be sure to use a clear call to action and include your focus keywords and phrases. Try focusing on your hotel’s USPs and brand name where possible to encourage users away from the OTA results listings.


URLs are the unique addresses of a web page and they play a massive part in helping search engines understand a website and its structure. 


It’s crucial to ensure they’re unique, descriptive and contain keywords. Try to keep them short and straight to the point, avoiding any special characters or numbers in a standardised, hierarchical format implemented throughout the site.


Headings are used to structure and organise your content and to make content easier to read and crawl by search engines. 

Your main heading of any page should be labelled correctly - H1, followed by subheadings (H2, H3 etc.). It’s possible to have multiple subheadings but ensure you only have one H1. 

Try and include your target keywords and phrases within the headings where possible and keep them relevant to the page they’re being displayed on.


Images are a great way to visually enhance your hotel’s website and really showcase your offering, but they can play a part in your SEO strategy too.

To ensure your images are SEO-friendly, make sure that they’re correctly compressed and optimised to assist with faster loading times. It’s also important to ensure your images have descriptive and relevant file names and ALT tags (a short description of an image, displayed when the image isn’t available).

Technical SEO

Technical SEO is the behind-the-scenes, inner workings of your website that affects the overall structure and crawlability of your website. It’s basically the factors that determine how easy it is for Google to access, understand and therefore rank. 

Technical SEO includes many important factors, things such as mobile responsiveness, site speed and usability, overall structure, coding and navigation and it's just as important as on-page SEO. 

The first thing to focus on is usability and user-friendliness, you need to make sure that your hotel’s website is mobile-friendly, loads quickly and is easy to use for your visitors.

Secondly, your website needs to be secure - ensure you’re using HTTPS for a secure connection. HTTPS means that no one can intercept any data being transferred - it keeps your users safe.


Finally, the site needs to be crawlable and indexable and provide the correct information to Google’s crawlers. This means a number of different things, each of them very important. 

Internal Linking: Google needs to find its way around your site, so make sure you have internal links going through your site.

Broken Links: Any dead pages or links are bad for your SEO and create a poor user experience. Ensure your pages and links are all working or redirected.

Duplicate Content: Make sure all of your content is unique.

Structured Data: Structured data helps search engines understand your website better and gives Google a much clearer picture of your website.

Sitemaps: Ensure your (XML) sitemap is up to date and available. It’s basically a roadmap to your website and shows crawlers all about your site and the pages that are on it.

Off-page SEO

Off-page SEO is everything outside of your website that can affect your search engine rankings.

This will include things such as backlinks (other sites that link to your website), social media, and online reviews and can be extremely impactful to your ranking.

You want to aim to build quality backlinks from reputable, relevant sites, showing Google you’re informative. Secondly, make sure your hotel has a strong social media presence and is linked to your website. Finally, monitor and respond to all of your online reviews!

How can I improve my hotel SEO?

To summarise briefly, there are a few essential things to focus on to improve your hotel’s SEO and we’ve outlined some recommended steps below to give you a clear plan. 

Start with keywords

SEO is all about keywords and how they’re used throughout your hotel’s website. It’s key to identify what keywords and phrases you want to rank for and to ensure these keywords are visible throughout your site. This means including them in your page titles, meta descriptions and on-page content. Create a list of non-brand and branded keywords and start to think about where they can be optimised or included more efficiently.

Maintain a ‘healthy’ and user-friendly website

It’s key to ensure your website is technically healthy and crawlable for search engines. Make sure you’re using internal links, that you have no broken pages or links and that your sitemap is available. 

You can a tool such as the SEMRush site audit to monitor your site health, along with any suggested improvements.

Keep things updated

It’s really important to regularly update your website with fresh, up-to-date and relevant information. Users should be able to find out all of the information they need on your site and not feel the need to go elsewhere to answer their queries.

Publish content regularly

Creating high-quality and informative content on your website targeting users' search queries and your identified keywords is really important. A blog is a great way to keep the content flowing regularly. Just ensure this content is relevant and informative.

Manage your reputation

Where possible, look to gain quality backlinks and manage your off-site channels (social media, online reviews).

Should I Hire An SEO Agency?

Hopefully, we’ve provided you with some action points you can take away. However, we’re very aware that SEO isn’t simple, and there are some technical bits we’ve glided over. So you might be thinking about hiring an expert, such as a digital marketing agency.

Here at Arise, we’re hotel digital marketing experts and would be more than happy to help with any questions or queries you may have. Feel free to get in touch with the team.

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