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NZ Business logo.

    Mastering Hotel SEO: Tips, Tricks, And More

    Unlock the secrets to a high-performing website that attracts guests to your establishment throughout the year and outshines the competition. Master Hotel SEO today with our definitive guide!

    Published on August 31, 2023

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    By Emily Bodman
    Content Marketing Specialist

    Published on August 31, 2023
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    It’s never been more important to have a high performing website if you’re in the hotel industry. 

    What do we mean by ‘high-performing’?  

    Well, a well-designed website that strengthens your online visibility, attracts visitors, boosts bookings, and gives your hotel a competitive edge 

    Does your website do all that? 

    It’s not enough to create a website and let it do its thing. You need Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). There’s a lot involved in getting your website to do the hard work for you, but the juice is worth the squeeze. 

    If you’re in the hotel industry, you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, we’ll give you everything you need to know about hotel SEO so that you can reap the benefits of a high-performing website. 

    There’s a lot to get through, so let’s get started! 

    Why Do Hotels Need SEO? 

    SEO is an integral part of a complete digital marketing strategy. The process combines on-site and off-site techniques that improve a website’s ranking in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). 

    When your audience searches for their perfect hotel, they get thousands of search results. SEO makes sure your website appears near the top – or better, within the first few results – for the search terms your audience uses. 

    Search engines are the #1 driver of website traffic.  

    Can you see why it’s so important to have a good SEO strategy 

    Combine that with a well-designed website and an online booking tool, and you’ve got the perfect recipe for increased bookings and revenue. 

    So, what can you do? Let’s explore. 

    Discover Your Hotel’s Target Audience  

    First things first: who are you targeting? 

    Before you go any further, you need to define your target audience. Your content isn’t worth much if you don’t know who you’re talking to. Collect information on your ideal guest to create a customer persona that you can ‘talk to’ in your content. This includes:  

    • Age 
    • Occupation 
    • Income 
    • Location 
    • Interests 

    Customer personas produce consistency in your content and ensure your words appeal to the right people. 

    A metal sign reading 'Hotel' is placed over a wall of ivy.

    Research Keywords And Phrases 

    Your keywords and phrases will shape most of your website’s content. These are the terms your audiences use to find hotels like yours in search. Incorporating the right keywords and phrases into your content ensures your content addresses what your audience is looking for. 

    The tricky part is knowing what these are. There are a whole lot of different search terms your audience uses. Narrowing them down is where things get technical. 

    There are two types of keywords: Broad and long-tail. A good keyword strategy will include a collection of both. 

    1. Come up with a collection of terms based on:
    • Words used to describe your hotel. 
    • Your hotel’s location. 
    • Things to do in your hotel’s area. 
    • What your visitor will like about your hotel. 
    • Peripheral services you offer (i.e. Wedding venue, conference and event facilities, gym). 
    1. Run your list through a keyword research tool

    Keyword research tools like Ahrefs show how often your keywords are searched for each month and how difficult it will be to rank for them.  

    1. Tweak your keywords and phrases

    Adjust your keywords based on their ranking difficulty and search volume. Strive for a better score for each measure to optimise the ranking potential for each search term. 

    Improve Your On-Site SEO  

    On-site SEO relates to all SEO improvements from within your website. Here are some tips for improving the on-site SEO for your hotel’s website. 

    Content

    No matter what anyone says, content is still king. 

    Your website content is an integral part of your hotel SEO, so make it count. Talk to your target audience and make sure your content tells them what they want to know. 

    Here are the qualities of a great piece of content: 

    • Use keywords and phrases relevant to your target audience. 
    • Well-researched, in-depth and compelling. 
    • Reliable and trustworthy. Don’t make any unsubstantiated claims.  
    • Up-to-date. If your content is time-sensitive (i.e., promoting an annual event at your hotel), make sure you update it each year. 
    • Use your own words. The only way to create unique content is to write it yourself from scratch. No copying and pasting from other hotel websites! 
    • Easy to read. 

    Page Titles And Meta Descriptions 

    Page titles and meta descriptions inform search engines of what each web page is about. They should prompt the searcher to land on your hotel’s site. 

    Meta descriptions are short snippets of the page’s content and include: 

    • A short, compelling description of your hotel and the page’s content.  
    • The relevant keyword.  

    URL Structure  

    URL structures are a simple but integral part of your hotel SEO strategy. SEO-friendly URLs are easy to read and use keywords to reflect the contents of the page. Separate words with a hyphen and avoid joining words such as ‘and’, ‘of’ and ‘for’. 

    Image Optimisation

    Visuals play a crucial role in SEO for the hotel industry. Great images trigger positive emotions and entice website visitors to book with you.  

    Focus on the image quality, size, and filenames. Rename your images to describe them in a few words. Search engines look at filenames to understand what the image is about. Avoid computer-generated filenames and optimise each image size to maintain a healthy site speed. 

    There’s a time and place for stock images, but your website visitors want to see the details of where they’ll be staying. Invest in a portfolio of professional, evergreen photography with a high resolution. High-resolution images can be resized without affecting the quality of the photo. 

    Build Quality Links 

    Link building refers to the process of building the number of external websites that link to your website. Link building boosts your website’s credibility and plays a major role in determining where your hotel ranks in search results.  

    You don’t need technical expertise to build quality links. You can plug away at it yourself with these easy techniques: 

    • Ask external websites to link to your hotel. 
    • Start a blog page within your website. 
    • Submit guest blog posts to external websites. 
    • Answer questions in reputable forums and include a link to your hotel website. 
    • List your hotel on trustworthy online directories. 

    Make Your Hotel Website Easy To Use 

    First impressions last, especially in the hotel industry.  

    So, how do you make a good impression through your hotel website? 

    You enhance its user experience. There are some simple ways to do this that don’t require technical SEO knowledge. 

    Enable Mobile Responsiveness 

    There’s a reason Google changed to mobile-first indexing in 2019. We do almost everything on our phones these days! 79% of travellers book a hotel after researching it on their smartphone. From researching a hotel to booking online, guests can move through the entire sales funnel from their smartphone. 

    Mobile-first indexing means Google uses mobile data to determine your hotel’s search ranking. So, it’s not just important to pay special attention to your mobile site; it’s essential. 

    Boost Page Speed 

    The faster the internet has become, the more impatient we’ve become. We want information, and we want it now.  

    How long are people prepared to wait for a site to load? 

    Two to three seconds. Any longer, and they’re likely to abandon your site and go elsewhere.

    Clear Up Broken Links 

    Search engines love a good, credible website. Numerous broken links will affect your hotel website’s user experience and damage your ranking in search engine results. 

    Pesky 404 errors are the quickest way to get potential guests to give up on your website. 

    With so many links within your website, how do you know which ones are broken? 

    Run your website through an online broken link checker tool. It really is that simple. Clear up your broken links and restore your loving relationship with Google. 

    Dominate The Competitive Hotel Industry With SEO 

    We know how competitive the hotel industry is. SEO gives you a competitive edge in the digital age we’re currently living in. 

    Being a hotelier is a 24/7 responsibility. We’re here to take the burden of SEO off your shoulders! Reach out to one of our SEO consultants and find out how we can boost your hotel’s bookings and revenue. We’re well-versed in hotel SEO, and we have an extensive list of techniques that will help you get ahead! 

    Headshot of Emily Bodman.

    Emily Bodman

    Content Marketing Specialist
    Emily is a Content Marketing Specialist at Found whose focus is to craft SEO-optimised content that engages audiences and drives results.
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