SEO FAQ’s for Hoteliers
Vizergy’s Senior Manager of Search Marketing Services, Trish Leighton, dives into some frequently asked questions about search engine optimization from hoteliers.
How do I know that we are targeting the right keywords? Should there be variations of keywords on our website in order to rank for them all?
Google is looking for a searcher’s intent. If a searcher types “hotels near Disneyland” into their search bar and you have good content about being near Disneyland on your website and are near Disneyland, you don’t need the exact phrase, “hotels near Disneyland”, to rank for it. If you refer to the property as Disneyland hotel, it means to same to Google.
Synonyms and word order do not have to match exactly. Don’t get too hung up on exact keywords you are trying to rank for and instead, use them as an overall guide. You are likely to rank for their variations even if your site isn’t specifically optimized for all variations.
How long will it take to get my property’s website to rank on page 1 for our keywords?
There’s no way to tell but we can make a guesstimate based on several factors. One of them is out of your control, and that’s the age of your domain. If the website is brand new, you are starting from zero. The site has no visit history, probably no backlinks yet, meaning there’s nothing to indicate to Google that the site is important. It will take a long time to receive solid rankings for a new website.
Another factor is your target and competition level. If your property is in New York City and you’re trying to rank on the first page for “hotels in New York City”, that could take years. A piece of advice we give to our clients is to start small with more easily reachable targets to build trust and authority with Google. So, when you’re wondering how long it will take for your property to rank on the first page of search results, remember it is all dependent on the keyword terms, the competition and location. SEO is a marathon, patience is key here.
I manage my own Google business listing. Is there anything else I should be doing?
Absolutely – stay active on it. Update your listing with nice imagery, videos, and monitor people’s suggested changes. It’s important to be diligent about this, as people can make changes to your amenities but you can review and approve any suggestions.
Responding to online reviews, both good and bad, are important as well. It allows the opportunity to publicly respond to an unhappy customer in attempts to resolve an issue, or to recognize and thank someone for a nice review. There is also a questions and answers section where people can post questions on your listing for your property to respond to. You can also create your own questions and answers, if you have questions that are frequently asked, and post them there yourself.
Is a blog good for a hotel’s SEO?
Having a blog is never a bad idea… unless you don’t commit to maintaining it. Make sure there is time allotted to generate interesting content to post regularly. Follow the “tell don’t sell” principle. If your blog content is always focused on the reasons the hotel is great, it will go stale quickly.
Highlight nearby landmarks or attractions, feature employees or talk about the city. Mentioning local attractions and amenities is a good way to start ranking for those keywords. Educate your readers. Make it interesting even for people who aren’t looking for hotel information and your property will be remembered when they do need a hotel in the area.
How often should I make changes to my website?
Whenever you need to. It’s not necessary to rewrite your content every 6 months, but regular updates to content are fine. Many make changes to seasonal offers, editing images, and updates to local information and room features to ensure accuracy.