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The travel and tourism industry has been undergoing rapid changes in recent years. In fact, the top hotel chains have been competing against similar players like online travel agencies and other booking sites to achieve rich search results. During the COVID-19 pandemic, travel took a significant plunge and this sector is still dealing with its heavy repercussions. With the pandemic easing in some countries, there are signs of relief as people begin to travel again. However, user behavior has changed dramatically; therefore, attracting people to travel to a specific place is not an easy task. Hospitality SEO is the key. In fact, SEO in 2022 is much more than keywords and meta tags. Building a solid digital presence can help the hospitality industry attract target customer groups. Hotel brands must redesign their hospitality SEO strategies to drive incremental bookings and receive quality traffic and revenue, if they want to acquire travelers now and in the future.

Hospitality SEO – Focus on These Top Best Practices

A hotel can become an overnight sensation when customers leave good reviews or tag an establishment while making a post on social media platforms. On the other hand, the same hotel can lose valuable clients or businesses to negative reviews and ratings on third-party websites. The significance of developing a robust hospitality SEO strategy becomes evident at this juncture. A hospitality SEO strategy covers a wide range of aspects like – publishing standardized data on online directory listings, managing social media platforms, website optimization, and more. Here discussed are some of the top SEO practices that help maximize ROI for hospitality in 2022.

  • Prioritize Travel Destinations – In the case of the hospitality industry, the place of travel is an important aspect. Perform a comprehensive data analysis to identify the top, trending destinations, compare those trends and focus on ensuring high visibility to those destinations. There are several tools that identify the top destinations that are highly searched by people. “Google Destination Insights” is a great tool that helps prioritize locations and provide rankings of hotels in the top positions. “Google Hotel Insights” is another tool that provides insights for developing a solid SEO strategy. This helps a hotel brand to introduce strategies that help their business stand out from the competition.

    For instance, if a hotel in NYC is a top travel brand in that area, this tool can help focus on destination pages. By reviewing existing content and incorporating striking distance keywords, the brand can get new opportunities to build or repurpose content with things to do nearby and events in the city. Another prominent feature of this tool is that it offers more granular details about where searchers are based – internationally or domestic. For instance, if the vast majority of travelers are domestic, then the content and digital marketing efforts can be adjusted to focus on that particular market segment.

  • Optimize GMB and Local Listings – Optimizing “Google My Business” profiles can increase a hotel’s exposure by driving bookings and organic traffic. In addition to being listed in the regular organic listings on the page for geo-modified keywords, optimization helps hotel listings show up in the Google Map Pack. Through “Google My Business” it is possible to list –
  • The hotel’s name, address, and phone number
  • Display photos of the hotel, rooms, and facilities
  • Information about the hotel, restaurant, spa, and other hours up to date (both opening and closing hours)
  • Display guest reviews and also respond to guest reviews
  • Give additional details relevant to travelers looking for information, such as health and safety precautions Wi-Fi, disabled access, etc
  • Google Maps pin in the correct location (so users can easily locate the hotel)
  • Focus on Social Media Postings – Social media pages can be used to announce key promotional offers, rebates, and attractive deals online. This can help improve brand visibility and exposure and increase traffic and revenue in the long run. Create attractive social media pages and share content about the most popular destinations, travel tips, events and other nearby attractions. In fact, these platforms can be used to link up with other pages as well. Try to upload images of the hotel’s various services, such as wedding reception halls, catering activities, and providing space to corporate and executive level meetings.
  • Create a Brand Concierge Strategy – Hotels need an SEO brand concierge strategy to connect with the travelers throughout the user journey. Focus on building content that satisfies the needs of the traveler. A traveler before booking a trip visits a hotel website to check whether the chosen destination is appealing, nearby attractions of the place, top restaurants near that place, and the quality of service. Reports suggest that 91 percent of travelers turn to search engines when selecting a place to stay and the majority (about 81 percent) prefer to use Google as their source of travel inspiration.
  • Optimize for Core Web Vitals – Optimizing the website for “Core Web Vitals (CWV)” is highly important in a competitive industry like travel and tourism. In 2021, Google released its latest algorithm – Core Web Vitals (CWV) – as a way to prioritize websites that provide users with the least amount of friction or site health. As per Google, site health is determined by a number of factors like website loading speed, input delay speed (interactivity) and visual stability (does the page load and offer a consistent experience or keep reloading and bouncing around).

    To improve on CWV, hotel websites need to have clean code, use a CDN for heavy images, externalize JS and CSS, and be mobile-friendly and secure. Web designers need to run a diagnostic test and suggest changes that can help improve website health in the long run.

  • Focus on Content Creation – Creating the most frequently searched content is an important aspect. For instance, what does a hotel, a region or a neighborhood offer that has trending appeal? Modify content blocks on the website, add or rename images and alt tags, and write blog posts. Content creation is connected to hotel offerings too. Therefore, if planning to add experience packages, for example, it can help SEO if you want to capitalize on a particular trend. Content creation should focus on the following points –
    • Guest segmentation – Travelers or clients who happen to plan a trip well in advance may happen to search a wide variety of topics to gain a clear idea about their travel destination, right from key places of attraction to restaurants to shopping. Create guest segments by determining niche offerings. Focus on each specific segment holistically and determine their key interests as related to the hotel and beyond.

      For instance, if families with young children form a specific segment of the guests, focus on what your hotel can offer them. Families with young children prior to booking their trip, will search for amenities like family-friendly restaurants, parks, fun kids’ attractions and tours, and toy stores. Therefore, when creating content try to include topics, keywords and phrases that relate to those specific segments.

    • Blog Posts – Blog posts help boost bookings by creating relevant content related to the interests of the guest segments. Make regular blog postings that signal to search engines that a website is active. This can include topics like – hotel offerings, top-10 family restaurants in the place, top tourist destinations in the town etc. Make the blog posts alive by keeping them up to date, writing new versions, sharing on social media platforms and linking them to other blog posts.
    • FAQs – A hotel FAQ page is exceptional for hotel SEO. Placing FAQs on a website help current and future guests to find the information they need, which can also help minimize calls to the hotel. Optimize FAQ page in a Q&A format. All questions need to be structured in a colloquial style to match how people search online.

      Questions on the FAQ page could potentially appear at the top of the page as a Google rich snippet — as long as it’s marked up with structured data. This can help it appear in rich results and maximize organic search potential.

  • Monitor Competitor Visibility and Performance – Monitoring the competitors’ rankings is an important hospitality SEO strategy. The analysis must be made on the type of content creation, market share, and other SEO link building strategies.

In some cases, brands do not like to add content to their websites as they don’t want to interfere with the user experience. However, there are possibilities that their competitors may be adding content. Adding FAQ content to a key destination page which is marked up with structured data that ranks on the first page for a key destination term can result in incremental bookings, thereby creating brand awareness. In short, creating high-quality content and promoting it can help outperform the competition.

Work on Some Hospitality SEO Strategies

SEO for hospitality industry involves following a holistic approach, which begins with the identification of the target customer segments. By correctly understanding the target customer group and their needs and requirements –travel and tourism brands can drive incremental bookings, traffic, and revenue.

The above-mentioned points are some of the top ways to effectively market a hotel online. As an experienced local SEO service company, we’ll customize your experience to your liking, ensuring that your site is visible to the right audience.

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