Local SEO for hotels requires a very specific type of strategy. For one thing – you’re looking at a highly competitive industry. Another thing is – some things are specific to the hospitality industry only. When you throw a local business into the mix, only an expert will know how to drive bookings; particularly in 2021.
So, how CAN you go about it? Here’s how…
Pick Your Keywords
To pick the right keywords, you need to start with first creating a Google Ads account. The goal is to simply access the Keyword Planner by Google. In there, you can input research keywords that are on your list. Look into the kind of traffic they are attracting along with other relevant suggestions.
After that, you can narrow down your keywords even further. It’s better to divide the keywords into the following categories:
Keywords based on buyer’s intent
Some keywords will tell you exactly the kind of intentions with which a person is inputting the query. For example, keywords like ‘inexpensive lodgings near Williamsburg’ will tell you clearly that someone is looking for cheap cottages in a particular location. You can then focus on these intent keywords as they are the quickest way to up the conversion rates.
Research intent keywords work best when you incorporate them into FAQs and blogs. These keywords do not directly bring any conversion. A typical example of one such research intent keyword would be – “things to do in Morocco”.
These keywords are showing the research intent. It tells you that a specific person is trying to explore the place first before making any bookings. These kinds of search terms will attract new prospects to your business. Hold on to them.
Use ‘Google My Business
Google My Business listing gives you a great chance at appearing against localized hotel search terms such as ‘Hotels in New York’. Therefore, you must get your business registered under Google My business.
Below are the details you have to supply under My Business Listings:
- The name of your hotel, its address, and phone number.
- Make sure that the marker for your location on Google Maps is accurate so that users can locate and find you.
- Unique pictures of your rooms, hotel, and facility.
- Post guest reviews along with responses to those reviews. Be sure to post both negative and positive ones.
- Any additional information and details that might benefit the traveler looking for information such as access to Wi-Fi, disabled access, etc.
In case you have multiple hotels across different locations, make sure to give a verified Google My Business listing for every single location. And, try to maintain those through a single account.
Build Local Links
There are multiple ways in which you can build local links. For example, if you take into account all the local listing websites, you can secure a ton of opportunities. Contact such sites, register yourself, and get your hotel listed across those sites.
For example, perhaps there’s a local tourism organization in your city. Try to get yourself registered with them. Alternatively, you could look for businesses, arts, festival organizers, and local clubs. It’s good to build relationships with them if they would willingly want to connect with you and would want to give you quality backlinks pointing to your site.
But, attention must be paid to connecting only with the relevant sites that are specific to the hospitality industry.
The right way to optimize your site is to start with the ‘core’ pages of your website. Essentially, you need to begin with the service pages and the home page. After that, you can begin optimizing the FAQ section and blogs to include all the research keywords.
Below is how you can go about optimizing your website:
Start by optimizing the title tag. You can think of it as the chapter title of a book. Make sure that it’s at least 50-65 characters long. You must format it in the way that the name of your hotel follows the name of your city. For example, Hotel in New Mexico.
After that, you need to optimize the meta description. A typical description is around 150 characters long. You can try something along the lines of, “Hotel Solitaire is a fine establishment in Delhi. You can call 1800-HOTEL-2345 to call and get 15% off on your first booking.”
Next, let’s talk about the page copy. Make sure to aim for around a 1,000-worded copy that talks about your hotel in a summarized form. Start with some kind of background, go into talking about the details of your main services, and supply it with strong CTAs.
Make sure to create a dedicated page for each service that you give. For example, if you offer a spa – be sure that the page talks in-depth about that service. Optimize your service pages for all the right intent keywords.
Ask for Reviews
Reviews are the most powerful things that can drive a ton of hotel bookings. You can encourage users to leave your hotel reviews in a variety of ways. For example:
You can ask them to leave reviews on your Google My Business listing. In exchange, you can give them a discount on their next future booking. You can also redirect users towards social media.
One way to solicit reviews is to send emails with the information such as your website and social media pages and ask them to leave a positive review.
As you can see – driving hotel bookings in 2021 doesn’t have to be a huge mystery. It’s all about knowing what you want to do and picking your game in the right manner.
Related article: How To Create a New Positive Shift In Direct Booking for Your Hotel
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About Are Morch
Hi, I am Are Morch. Your Digital Marketing Coach and Customer Experience Expert specializes in creating effective digital customer experience offer for hotels while growing and scale customer acquisition and revenue.