With increasing competition in the Hotel industry, SEO has become a more complicated puzzle in driving organic traffic to your website or landing pages. On the bright side, it is still a cost-effective way to acquire recurring traffic that could lead to sales, if done properly. More direct sales would significantly reduce the commissions you pay to OTAs. If you are not familiar with what SEO means, take a look at SEO Moz‘s blog post. Here are the tips to improve your position in search engines.
1. Have a Content Strategy
Most hotels overlook the importance of having a blog as maintaining it can be time-consuming but without a blog, it is almost impossible to develop a proper content marketing strategy. Search Engine users will be able to find your article if your blog post is relevant to them.
Create the list of articles that you want your team to publish every month and stick to the time table. Make sure you concentrate on the demography of the target audience to choose a topic that would hold their attention. If your hotel is in Singapore, an article you could write would be 'Things to do in Singapore for newly wed couples' or if your hotel is in Madurai, one example would be 'Things to do in Madurai for Pilgrimage Tourists'. These articles would specifically target a set of audience planning to visit Singapore after their marriage or the audience planning a Pilgrimage trip to Madurai. With high quality articles, you will be able to build a loyal subscriber-base, which could lead to a surge in the number of bookings.
2. Focus on Long Tail Keywords
Using Long Tail Keywords as Page titles could give you a significant advantage over your competitors who make use of short tail keywords. Most short keywords such as 'Hotels in Beijing' would make it extremely difficult for most hotels to obtain a higher page ranking. Instead a keyword such as '3 Star Hotel near CBD, Beijing' would be more precise and would offer your hotel a better chance of landing higher on the search results.
3. Optimize the Images & include Image titles and alt Tags
Images - especially those listed in your blogs can often lead some traffic to your website. It is very important for your content writers to include visually appealing and pleasing images in your website. Although, high quality images can often increase the page loading time because of their size. For this reason, your webmaster or the content writers has to optimize the images using tools such as FileMinimizr.
Coming to the SEO part related to images, the title tag and alt tag have to be employed in order for the search engines to easily associate the image with a category. Even though the image recognition and mapping algorithms & tools have evolved, these tags - especially those with long tail Keywords can offer you a competitive edge.
4. Remove the Outdate Content. Stay Relevant!
How irritating would you feel if you find outdated offers in an ECommerce website? Do not give that feeling to your customers with the bad practice of not removing old seasonal offers. When you have time to keep your OTA listings relevant, you have to make time to remove outdated offers on your website and replace them with new ones, if any. If your website development firm has not provided you with the access to edit content, make use of a Content Management System.
5. Make use of Business Listings
Although, Google doesn't include every online Directory's link to be valid, it still accepts some. An easy way to gain links is to make use of these online directories. There are so many of them but to stay relevant to your market, make use of your local directories and only the top global directories. For example, if your hotel is in India, JustDial would be an automatic choice while in the US, you can not overlook Yelp. Irrespective of where your hotel is, Google Business Listing must have your hotel on it.
These 5 tips will be useless if your website is not responsive to mobiles and tablets as a signigicant chuck of traffic online is now from mobile devices.