The hospitality industry has been growing online by leaps and bounds during the past few years. Learning about a hotel, its rooms, amenities, location in a city and finally making reservations all occur online now-a-days. Realizing the importance of strong online presence for your hotel is now critical due to ever growing competition and the increasing demands within the hotel industry.
This is why it is so important for a hotel to understand the basics of Hotel search engine optimization (SEO) and best practices to improve your hotel related ranking and global search queries on Google and other search engines.
In this post I am going to walk through:
- Types of results you get when searching for hotels
- Hotel Finder and Google places for Hotel SEO
- Best international hotel SEO and PPC practices
- Content Marketing guidelines for Hotel websites
Types of results you get when searching for hotels on Google
A potential hotel’s guest Google Search results may differ according to the search destination and the searcher’s location. Assume that you’re out of the US and searching for a hotel in Washington, DC using Google.com, so the search destination is Washington and your location is anywhere outside the US.
Hotel Washington Related Search Results A:
Looking at the first image A, the hotel related search results viewed by users who are searching for a hotel destination “Washington” from outside of the US.
- Sponsored PPC Ads by Google
- Hotel places on the Map
- Sponsored Hotel finder results
- Places Results
- Organic results
- Right side Sponsored PPC Ads by Google
Now assume that you’re outside of the US. And searching for a hotel in New York which is a different destination, do you think it’s different? YES, as mentioned above, the hotel related search results may differ according to the search destination.
Hotel New York Related Search Results B:
Within this image B, the hotel related search results viewed by users who are searching for a hotel destination “New York” from outside of the US.
We can see a different pattern of results with image B due to the destination which is New York, that means there is more competition regarding PPC ads and Hotel finder results at this destination. So what’s interesting here? With the first search results page-image A, there is less space for organic results in comparison to PPC ads and Hotel Finder or places results. That makes it tough to do your hotel SEO without being included in Hotel Finder results and Places!
Hotel Finder and Google Places for Hotel SEO
In order to have the highest probability that your hotel website pops up on the first search results page, you should consider being included in the Hotel Finder which is a service that was introduced by Google in 2011, this service helps users to find accommodations for a certain destination and date, and gives full details about hotels on a map.
How to get your hotel website included?
Well according to Google Hotel Finder support there is no single measure that guarantees your inclusion as Google Hotel Finder uses multiple data sources to determine whether to display hotels or not. But in meantime Google relies heavily on Google Places. Here are some useful tips to help your hotel’s presence on Google.
Get your Hotel website listed on Google Places
As mentioned, Google hotel finder depends heavily on Google Places, so getting your website listed there is much useful. Edit your Google places list now, get it updated with the latest information and fix any out-of-date photos. That will help your rankings much on Hotel Finder and places also.
Get your website included on Hotel booking and reviews websites
Hotel booking and reviews websites will increase your Hotel’s website visibility and rankings. Make a list of these types of websites and add your hotel website to as many of them as possible Ex: Booking.com, Expedia, Venere.com, etc…
Use rich snippets by applying schema.org markups for hotels
Schema.org is a website that provides collection of schemas like HTML tags for webmasters to markup pages. Applying such schemas will display your organic results with rich snippets that will increase your chance of getting more visits and help you out with your Hotel SEO.
Best Practices for international hotel SEO and PPC
Working in the hotel business you are dealing with different nationalities and languages on a daily basis. International search engine marketing (SEM) and search engine optimization is essential for your hotel business, paying attention to and executing both multilingual SEO & PPC campaigns will help you achieve better visibility with the search engines.
1. Build an SEO friendly hotel website
Building an SEO friendly website doesn’t just mean it is being indexed by the search engines! Your site should attract and work well for both website visitors and search engines.
Define your client’s persona: in order to build an SEO friendly website, you have to define your target client’s persona, start with determining who? Where? And what type of personas you dealing with?
Take care of design & user experience: after defining your client’s persona, you will be able to design your hotel website accordingly. Make sure your hotel website design is compatible with your target market.
Make your website crawl-able by various search engines: build an efficient URL and link structure for your website, make it easy to be crawled by search engines and easy to be navigated by your visitors. Learn more about top tips for multilingual SEO factors from here at Multilingual SEO Top Tips.
Use Google markups for multilingual websites: whether your hotel website’s content is targeting different locales or regions, use Google markups to let Google know what’s your target market and location which will help you out with better rankings.
2. Perform localized/multilingual keyword research
Localizing your keywords is much more important than just literally translating a list of words. Creating a list of effective Multilingual keywords requires research, expansion and localization/copywriting in order to create a final compelling, culturally correct and findable keywords list for your hotel website.
Here are some steps you should follow during your multilingual keywords research:
- Get your keywords translated “localized” professionally through a translation services agency that has a defined Global SEO offering
- Get your Keywords list expanded according to local targets
- Analyze your competitors’ keywords carefully
- Optimize your website content with the most relevant keywords
- Test your rankings on targeted search engines
3. Run localized PPC campaigns for your target locales.
In order to get more leads out of your Hotel SEO campaign, keep your efforts balanced between SEO and SEA activities. The first hotel related search engine results page (SERP) of Google doesn’t display organic results only, but the majority of the results are paid Ads.
Deliver the right PPC Ads: Your Ad is a message that needs to be delivered to potential guests in the targeted locale and in their native language. Truly localizing and copy writing Ads according is the only way to ensure your ads are effective and turn website visitors into booking guests.
Choose the most effective search engine: Although Google leads the search engine advertising market globally you should still determine if there are other dominant search players in the target market of our campaign. Assume you’re targeting users inside China, they use “Baidu” as their main search engine. So choosing the right search engine for your campaign is crucial.
Optimize your landing page: landing pages represent the first image of your company, as it’s the destination of an Ad within your PPC campaign. Optimize your landing pages with your localized keywords and suitable call to action to get more leads and ROI out of your search campaign.
Content marketing guidelines for Hotel websites
Since we all know that content is king, developing and maintaining an effective content marketing strategy for your hotel website is very important, especially for multilingual content. Make sure before you launch your content strategy you think a while about your audience and understand them in order to post relevant and engaging content they will find interesting.
Targeted content: Content is king as long as you know how to use it. Get to understand your target audience very well and post what is relevant to them.
Write about various topics: Don’t just focus on your hotel facilities and services, write content about general attractions of the city where your hotel is located for example. Give more valuable and sharable information.
Promote your content through social media: It has been said that if content is king, then promotion is the queen. Find out what social media platforms your targeted audience uses on daily basis and initiate conversations with them and enjoy the free feedback.
Further Resources on international Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Search Engine Advertising (SEA) and Social Media Localization for Hotels
GPI has provided extensive Hotel SEO services to the Hotel and Hospitality industries worldwide. You may find the links below useful: