Effective SEO is important to the visibility of any hotel online.
To improve the traffic to your hotel website, leading to more revenue for your business, every hotel must ensure that they are properly set up to be visible on search engine results pages (SERPs).
SEO allows your hotel to improve in search engine rankings and display your website higher up in the SERPs. According to statistics from Chitika:
“Sites listed on the first Google search results page generate 92% of all traffic from an average search. When moving from page one to two, the traffic dropped by 95%, and by 78% and 58% for the subsequent pages.”
Apparently, if your hotel does not appear on the first page of a search engine, the likelihood of your hotel being found is less than 6%.
The benefits of SEO for hotels
The benefits of optimizing your hotel for search include:
- Keeping your hotel ahead of the competition
- Establishing your hotel credibility
- Improving hotel customer loyalty
- Increasing hotel brand awareness
- Increasing hotel profitability
- And of course, increasing traffic to your hotel website.
Crucial strategies for optimizing hotel deals and listings for SERPs
Below are some important steps to optimize your hotel deals and listing for search:
#1. Buy Hotel Price Ads
Hotel Price Ads, or HPAs, help to display your hotel prices and location across desktops, PCs, tablets, and mobile devices on Google and Google Maps. When you buy HPAs, travelers are able to see your hotel offers as well as directions to your hotel when they are actively searching for a hotel to book.
Below are some of the major benefits of buying HPAs:
- Rate Parity: HPAs are a good tool to compare your pricing with other hotels and online travel agents (OTAs). HPAs bring rate parity to the fore and provide the most recent, complete and relevant information to visitors.
- Value for your cash: The return on HPA has consistently been higher than core paid search campaigns.
- Online travel agent presence weakened: HPA enables smaller hotels the opportunity to show up right next to the OTA listings. The most attractive feature of HPA’s is that it allows guests to book directly from your hotel instead of via a third party site such as a travel agency.
#2. Optimize PPC Ads
PPC is very important for hotels, because when used efficiently it enables hotels to instantly reach potential guests.
Adwords account for 97% of Google’s revenue, and over time the SERPs have been altered to ensure that PPC Ads are given priority over organic results. Therefore, optimizing PPC Ads is a huge opportunity to get your hotel offers high up on SERP, allowing for visibility above larger organic competitors.
According to Statistic Brain, as quoted in rezdy, more than 148.3 million people (which accounts for more than 57% of all travel reservations every year) make use of the internet to make reservations for their accommodations, activities, and tours.
Running PPC Ads allows you to show your hotel deals and services to these travelers when they input search queries for similar hotel deals and services like yours.
#3. Embrace and Own Your Google+ page
Based on the merging of Google+ and Google Pages, integrating Google+ with search marketing is vital.
As Pamela Whitby wrote in an article on Hospitality.net:
“Travel marketers now comprehend that social and search is inextricably linked. The numbers tell the story well. In 2012, 50% of direct bookings were reported to have originated in social media and over 70% of Americans are driven to purchase by social media”
Since Google is the leading search engine, using Google+ as a social tool for your hotel is important. Hotels should refrain from ignoring Google+ as its benefits cannot be quantified, your hotel’s Google+ page needs to be properly set up with a complete Google local profile because some of these elements will be used in displaying your deals in SERP’s and not having them optimized can hurt your HPA performance.
#4. Use Schema.org – Rich Snippets
Schema.org rich snippets help to label your hotel website’s HTML code so that search engines, including Google, Yahoo and Bing, can better understand the content on your website.
There are several rich snippets you can optimize for. Below are a few; you can get a more comprehensive list on Schema.org:
- Star Review Ratings
There are many benefits to using rich snippets, including a more attractive appearance for your website on the SERP, and an increased click-through rate. On top of this, a study by Searchmetrics in 2014 found that just 0.3% of websites use Schema.org markup, making it a great way to get one over the competition.
#5. List Hotels on Business Listings
Finally, just like online travel agencies, business listings such as Google My Business, Trip Advisor, Yelp, and other business directories can help to increase your hotel metrics.
Other benefits of listing your hotel in business listings include:
- Reaching millions of travel customers
- Your hotel appearing on the top travel sites on the web
- Delivering your hotel messages at just the right time. Your messages can help you reach potential customers at the very instant they are researching your hotel location.
Eimantas Balciunas is the CEO at Travel Ticker.