SEO has changed over the years. It has evolved into something that revolves around a users experience on your website. Keywords used to be one of the most important factors on a page, but people started abusing that signal. Then it was inbound links. People started abusing that with link farms. One thing that hasn't changed, is what SEO is at its foundation.
Search engine optimization, is an Internet marketing discipline that deals with improving the position of your website in search engine results. There is something so vaguely simple about that statement, but it holds true. As I mentioned before, SEO has changed. It has changed because of what Google values as signals in its algorithm.
If you are trying to succeed by using SEO for your hotel, then you need to do some heavy keyword research to ensure that you are getting the most relevant search traffic. This overly simplified statement is the way to SEO success for your hotel. Your potential customers type in the keywords that you are optimizing for, and your website shows up in the top 3 positions. How hard could that be.
In an industry like hospitality, it can be extremely difficult. The OTA's were first on the scene, and are not trying to give up any of the search real estate. If you couple that with the ga-gillion aggregators that are out there, plus any review sites, it can be difficult to even make your way to page one. Other than the standard SEO tips, there are other ways that you can improve your search results.
Even though there were many people that tried to game the system with links, they are still one of the most important ranking factors. Many of the search engines (Google) changed the way that they look at them. With ongoing and continuous updates to their algorithm, they are now more capable of demoting, or ignoring altogether, links that they consider spammy. Those aren't the links that I am talking about.
When the search engines look at your website, they want to see if your website offers value to users or not. One of the best ways to judge that quality is via an endorsement from another website, i.e. a link. Think about it this way, if a website is linking to yours, then that means they vouch for the information that is on there because it will help the user experience.
All links are not created equal. A link from a website that is more trusted by Google to your site, is more valuable that 20 links from a notoriously spammy domain. It is for this reason that your hotel website links need to be relevant to the content of your site. You also need to make sure that you are not only focusing on incoming links. Setting up internal links can also help your SEO greatly.
So....links are cool, but what really matters is that the content that you are providing for the user. Whatever content is, whether it is videos, infographics, or a blog post like this one, you need to make sure that it is optimized for search engines. What do I mean by this? At the end of the day you need to make sure that the content that you provide for those search results is the best that is out there. If it is not, then you better make sure that it is at the very least, top 10.
I like to explain it this way. Choose a keyword, any keyword, and then open an incognito window and Google it. *Going incognito removes any personalization to the results that you will see. Once you have the SERP (search engine results page) click on each of the 10 results, and look at the content that is performing well. If what you have produced is better than anything that is already out there, then you are setting your content up for success. If it is anything other than number one, then you have some work to do to get there.
There are marketing businesses that specialize in creating SEO enriched content. Utilizing these can be a good idea for investing some of your hotel’s marketing budget. Website content that properly utilizes relevant hospitality keywords can do a lot to improve your website’s search status.
Websites tend to get updated and changed a lot, which can sometimes leave code scattered throughout a site. This isn't the worse thing that can happen to a website because most code doesn't take up too much memory, but shaving off any time, in this increasingly mobile-first world matters. The slower that your website loads, the more money that you are potentially leaving on the table. Go through your site and eliminate old code. The key to success is getting seen on the search engines. By following these SEO tips, you can greatly improve your chances.