A hotel’s overall marketing strategy gets new life when you begin using local SEO. When you optimize your hotel SEO for local searches, your hotel starts appearing in front of all your ideal customers on search engines. Hence, obtaining more customers becomes possible by stepping up your hotel’s local SEO game.
Why Focus on Local SEO for Hotels?
Did you know that 60% of travelers that travel for leisure plan their travel with the help of search engines? And 55% of business travelers also depend on search engines for their travel plans. So, the search engines are the ones you need to convince that your hotel is the best and worth displaying at the top of the page for an ideal customer.
When you plan and implement SEO campaigns to obtain more customers, you must ensure your customers can find you first. Search engines run specific algorithms to rank websites of a particular niche like hotels. Since there are bound to be several hotels in any city, your hotel SEO needs to rank better than your competitors. It must be highly obvious to search engines that you are where you say you are. This way, you’ll appear at the top of search engine result pages in all your ideal customers’ search result pages.
It’s not enough to add your address, say in Kansas City, to only one page of your website and expect search engines to show your hotel first to those googling “hotels in Kansas City.” To advertise yourself as the best hotel in your city, you have to make people believe that you are the best hotel in your city. And that’s where improving local SEO for hotels helps boost your hotel SEO.
How to Create an SEO Strategy for Hotels
An effective SEO strategy for hotels involves boosting your overall hotel SEO and, more importantly, your local SEO. All you need to do is follow the five steps below to improve your local SEO strategy.
Get a Google My Business Profile
Creating your own Google My Business profile is free and easy, and the benefits of creating one are many. Adding details such as the name of your business, your phone number, your address, and hours of operation will improve your local SEO. It will helping search engines display you as one of the top three Google Map packs. The Google Map packs are the most prominent search results at the top of a search result page. When a guest types in “best hotel in Kansas City with a pool,” three results with their location pinpointed on a Google Map on the side appear at the top even before the blue links. To appear there means the hotel SEO and local SEO of those sites are highly optimized.
According to a study, 67% of people don’t click beyond the first five listings on the search result page. Hence, the top three map pack is a coveted place, and it’s possible to get there by strategizing hotel SEO.
Get Listed in Local Directories
Your customers hang out in places other than a search engine too. They use local directories to check out reviews and plan their trips. It is important that you get listed in these as well. But make sure that your business’s information is consistent and displayed in the same order everywhere. This consistency will assure the search engines that you are genuine. Local directories also help you build citations and valuable backlinks. A few such local directories you can seek listing on are Trip Advisor, Booking.com, Expedia, and Kayak.
Optimize Your Website
Your website needs to be up to speed on local SEO practices and have a fast loading speed. Provide virtual tour options, 3D diagrams, and high-quality photos and videos of your hotel, optimized for faster page loading. You can also optimize your website’s local SEO to appear in voice search results.
To achieve that, do diligent keyword research to find exactly what your ideal customers expect. For example, the keywords they type online could be “hotels with fitness centers in Kansas City.” If you want Google to list your hotel first when a customer types those words on a search engine, you need to have those exact words on your website several times. Only when you highlight that you have a fitness center at your hotel for your guests to use at all times can Google find you and show you to your customers looking for hotels with a fitness center. Similarly, search for keywords using free keyword research tools like the keyword planner and include them on your website along with the geotags (ex: Kansas City). This keyword optimization is a fantastic local SEO practice to boost your hotel SEO.
The keyword research you did for your website will also be useful for your content marketing strategy. It isn’t enough to have a website alone to build authority among your peers. If you want a better SEO rank than your competitors on search engines, you need to have a robust content strategy in place as well. Some content marketing strategies that’ll liven up your local SEO are:
- Writing articles regarding the local tourist attractions near your hotel
- Giving information based on the interests of your guests
- Guest blogging to gain the audience of well-known travel blogs
Social Media Marketing
In today’s world, social media is essential to establish a strong digital presence. So how do you go about using social media for marketing? You can start by promoting your offers and discounts for your party halls and conference rooms for special occasions on your hotel’s social media handles with your address.
You can also collaborate with a travel vlogger to vlog about their stay in your hotel and their travel experience in the locality in exchange for a free stay or a complimentary dining experience at your restaurant. In addition, you can offer perks like a discounted stay in return for tagging your hotel on their social media handle and following your hotel’s social media page or account.
Another idea is to collaborate with event organizers and ask them to mention you and tag you on their social media handles in exchange for a discount on the party hall rent. You can also conduct free giveaway contests for the best pictures taken on your hotel premises posted on guests’ social media pages, mentioning your hotel and location.
Finally, think about shooting videos of your head chef in action or your bartenders taking care of your well-stocked bar, your grand party halls, meeting rooms, and pictures of the mouth-watering dishes on your menu. Post them all as Instagram stories, Reels, and Facebook posts.
Interesting Hotel Marketing Ideas to Improve Your Local SEO
On top of all the SEO strategies mentioned above, there are a few more hotel marketing ideas that you can employ to improve your local SEO.
Create a Podcast
More than 25% of Americans listen to podcasts, so using the podcasting platform to improve your local SEO is brilliant. You can use your podcasts to talk about how your hotel brought to life an event that was talked about by the whole city or how your hotel’s waterfront access allowed your guests to enjoy the New year celebration’s fireworks over the river.
Create Content to Make Work Easy for Event Planners
Create a checklist of all the conveniences your hotel offers to event planners, on social media or in blog posts. This could make your hotel more appealing for local event planners looking for a space to throw an event.
Make Engaging YouTube Videos
As an example, you can shoot YouTube videos about how all the food in your restaurant comes from local produce, star your local farmers in the video, and include what they say about your hotel.
Host an Event
Host a local event that will attract people to gather at your hotel and advertise the event on social media and local media and also ensure press coverage for the event. These events will be an effective word-of-mouth marketing strategy.
Request your guests who enjoyed their stay at your hotel to subscribe to your newsletter. And keep them entertained with your newsletter by providing valuable information while keeping them aware of offers and special prices at your hotel.
Highlight Your Strengths
Always post the experiences you offer beyond the requirements of a usual hotel on your website, blog posts, social media, and newsletters. If you have a spa, you could offer yoga classes for couples, a local hiking trip organized by a guide at your hotel, or magic shows provided by your in-house magician for kids, market them on all channels.
SEO Design Chicago and Local SEO for Hotels
If you need help bringing these local SEO ideas to life, then turn to the team at SEO Design Chicago. We have years of expertise helping hotels like yours improve their standing on search engines both locally and nationally.
- Why is SEO important for hotels?
- What should you include on Google My Business profiles?
- Why are local listings important?
- Why is social media marketing important?
- How can you optimize your website?
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