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For any business, having a clear-cut understanding regarding how search engines function and rank content is extremely important to maximize their reach and online visibility. In fact, in recent years, there has been a tremendous increase in phrases like “near me”. By not optimizing for local SEO, businesses are not only missing out on a huge group of customers, but also keeping themselves behind their competitors. The significance of leveraging local SEO to attract more customers becomes evident at this juncture. As far as competition is concerned, there cannot be more competition in any other industry than the hotel or the hospitality industry.

With individual hotels and hotel chains competing largely against online travel aggregators (OTA) and price comparison booking sites, the hotel industry has been considered one of the most competitive niches for some time now. The hotel industry being one of the most customer-centric industries of all.

A well laid out local SEO plan can maximize your customer base and find a way for you to achieve high rankings on your SERPs. In fact, local SEO ranking factors narrow down the content to a target group of audience in a specific location. For instance, if you search for a general term like “boutique hotels”, you can find millions of results, most of which being quite irrelevant. On the other hand, narrowing down the search results to restaurants within your specific location can help get more specific search results.

Why Local SEO Matters for Hotels

As an important part of search engine optimization, local SEO primarily focuses on bringing organic search traffic to a businesses local store or their online business. In fact, local searches lead to more purchases than non-local searches As per reports from blog.hubspot.com, 88% of consumers who do a local search on their Smartphone visit or call a store within a day. In fact, nearly 46% of all Google searches are seeking local information. This means, people are looking for you locally, and they are ready to take action when they find you.

SEO for hotels is all about ensuring that the website is recognized as a credible, trustworthy resource. It can dramatically increase the direct bookings, at a fraction of the cost of paid advertising.

According to Google’s research (https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/local-seo-stats), 4 in 5 consumers use search engines to find local information.

For example, a search for “Hotels Near Me” requires Google to know where the potential guest is located (their geographic location), identified by IP address or cell phone location. Google can then serve up results related to their individual location.

Furthermore, searches like “Hotels in Downtown Chicago” do not rely on the businesses address to be found because the search term provides the location. The results from these types of searches will differ from other searches as Google will section of the search engine results page often referred to as the Local Pack.

Studies have shown that more than 50 percent of hotel searches end up with people visiting the hotel the same day. In addition, 97 percent of people look for local businesses online. Hotels that want to stay ahead of the competition and drive more rankings, traffic, and bookings need to consider the following local SEO optimization tips –

  • Enhance Discoverability – The hospitality industry (particularly the hotels and restaurants) are one of the most customer centric industries that has maximum interaction with customers. In fact, this is the specific industry wherein the customers have a wide range of options. Therefore, it is imperative for hotel businesses to be available for their customers at all times. Building or having a strong presence in all the local directories as well as the neighboring directories is crucial. Nevertheless, A cross-presence in relatable industries may help in pushing up the rankings on the SERPs.
    • Optimize Website Content and Structure – Optimizing your website’s content and structure involves focusing on the following aspects –
      • Doing Proper Keyword Research – Generally, a hotel website may rank organically for a number of terms through location and naturally creating content. However, going by exactly what your specific target audience is searching for can help take your website to the next level in terms of building long lasting traffic, bookings and brand loyalty.
        • Update Accurate Information – Being available for your customers in one important aspect of local SEO for hotels. This simply means, customers should be able to find you at all times when they conduct a search. This can be ensured by providing accurate information in your citations. Showing real-time updates as much as possible without making mistakes like, avoiding simple spelling errors in your NAP information. Which ultimately can have a negative effect on your rankings, and bookings; through confusing the search engine bots.
        • Post Content with a Local Focus – To grab the attention of tourists as well as your local people, you may want to consider Posting localized content based on your local area. Creating local content will do two things; promote your rooms and hotel services, and also non-commercial supporting content. For non-commercial supporting content, this will assist in increasing the relevancy of your hotel website as both a hotel and its association with the geographical area.

      This is a perfect strategy for hotels as tourists and locals will be updated on community, festivals, museums, and restaurant updates. Dedicating a page to sights in your city or highlighting popular restaurants and shopping in your neighborhood are a few different ways to include localized content in the hotel website. Moreover, including localized content will improve your property’s local search ranking, while also providing your website visitors with the local information they want to see before making a booking.

      Focusing on local information on your website allows tourist and the locals to gain all the information they need without leaving the website. This will in turn have a positive effect on your hotel and it’s bottom line.

      For instance, “The Holiday Inn Albuquerque” shows off the best of the area in the “Things To Do” page of their Vizlly website. The page offers detailed information and links to the local university, convention center, popular restaurants, golfing, skiing and everything a tourist would wish to see. Not only will a local or tourist stay longer on the site but Google will see you as an authority or a valid resource to share with others around the world looking for this locations local information.

      Source link – https://tribelocal.com/local-seo-for-hotels/

  • Ensure UNAP Consistency – UNAP stands for URL, Name, Address, and Phone Number. In fact, it is essentially a property’s online identity. Search engines do not just look to a hotel website and business listing for information about the location and services; they also scan hundreds of other sites and directory listings for information. If any of these listings are inconsistent, they may not trust the information and are less likely to show the hotel website in search results.
  • Optimize Title Tags and Meta Descriptions – Title tags and meta descriptions are important as these are the ones that entice a customer to browse your website. They provide a good opportunity in determining how Google ranks your content. As title tags are limited by pixel width (easier to measure in terms of characters) your brand/hotel name can be used for targeted keywords and brand name.Meta descriptions on the other hand, do not directly influence rankings, but can impact click-through rates. Make sure your Meta descriptions or information is short, crisp, and concise. Use the primary keyword to arouse an interest in the minds of the customers to visit the website.
  • Update and Utilize “Google My Business” – A favorite tool for business and leisure travelers, Google Maps will increase your hotel’s exposure and give you the power to manage how your hotel appears on Google Maps. If tourists or locals can’t find your website on the map, they are going to miss out on bookings. Through “Google My Business” you can list –
    • The hotel’s name, address, and phone number
    • Display photos of the hotel, rooms, and facilities
    • Display guest reviews and also respond to guest reviews
    • Give additional details relevant to travelers looking for information, such as Wi-Fi, disabled access, etc

    If your brand has multiple hotels at different locations, it is important to have a verified Google My Business listing for each one – maintained through a single account. For instance, The Best Western Plus Landmark Inn in Park City, Utah in their listing on Google Maps, gives a detailed view about the hotel’s location along with interior and exterior photos of the property that travel shoppers want to see.

    google my business

  • Build Local Links – Building organic links on other websites that point to your hotel’s site is one of the most important SEO aspects. Try to get links from websites that you wish to get associated with. Conduct some research of local clubs, festivals, arts, and businesses and build relationships with them to generate more high-quality backlinks to your website. Always keep in mind that the key is to only link to or get links from sites that your hotel wants to be associated with and which makes sense for your property.
  • Optimize User Journey and Booking Process – Optimizing the user journey and booking process on the website helps bring more relevant and qualified traffic to the website. Optimizing the booking/inquiry process for users to maximize the website’s potential requires focusing on the following key factors –
    • Make CTAs Clear – This is an important factor to focus on; however, there are many websites where the contact link is in the footer and there are no clear Call-to-Action (CTA)on the key landing pages.
    • Update Contact Forms and Payment Gateways – Websites need to keep the booking process and forms to a few pages and clicks as possible. It is estimated that forms with fewer fields can have a 65 percent higher conversion rate on mobile. Users are more likely to complete the booking if there are fewer clicks.
    • Improve Page Loading Speed – There is a strong correlation between pages loading fast and user abandonment rates. Reports from Google suggest that 53 percent of mobile users abandon sites that take more than 3 seconds to load (https://www.marketingdive.com/news/google-53-of-mobile-users-abandon-sites-that-take-over-3-seconds-to-load/426070/#:~:text=New%20research%20by%20Google%20has, seconds%20on%20a%204G%20connection.) . Make sure to optimize images and file sizes for mobiles to avoid high abandonment rates.
  • Customer Reviews Impact – The hotel industry being a very delicate industry, takes considerable time to earn a good reputation. With fresh reviews carrying more weight than old reviews, encourage guests to leave reviews as this to helps improve and maintain local search rankings.Another important strategy is to respond to reviews – not just negative reviews, but all reviews. People are more likely to leave a review if they recognize that it is going to be addressed or responded to. Responding to reviews helps show Google and more importantly the visitor that theirs and other campaigns is being read and it is having a strong impact. Negative reviews, particularly needs to be addressed and once addressed if the guest becomes satisfied with the reply, you can ask them to adjust the review to reflect their new impression.
  • Social Media Marketing –Social media pages are the best place to announce promotional offers, rebates, and attractive deals online. Create an attractive social media page for your hotel. Share important as well as casual information via these social media pages and use these platforms to link up with other pages. Try to upload pictures of the various services your hotel offers, such as wedding reception halls, catering activities and providing space to corporate and executive level meetings, and so on.
    • Try Out New Technologies – Combat some of Google’s new updates and attract customers directly, outside of OTAs. By using Innovative technologies like voice search and artificial intelligence, get new opportunities in both customer acquisition and customer retention By creating different touch points for users (away from traditional search), .For instance, the Clarion Hotel in Stockholm was one of the first hotels to utilize an AI-enabled Chabot “butler” as an in-room assistant, through the Amazon Echo device. The AI assistant assists in a number of core functions like booking cabs by hotel guests, order room service, access online information, as well as a number of other hotel and concierge related actions. Voice search and AI offer huge opportunities, as well as integration with applications, as demonstrated by the Hilton Honors App.

      local seo strategy
      Source link – https://hiltonhonors3.hilton.com/rs/hilton-honors-mobile-app/

Following the above-mentioned strategies can help generate local SEO traffic for your hotels. However, with constant Google updates, users demanding high quality service, and continuously optimizing hotels local SEO it can be difficult.

But always remember providing great customer service while providing Local SEO tactics, this will have a long-term impact on the success of your hotel. 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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