The Secrets of Hotel SEO: How to keep your content fresh on your hotel Web site

By Junvi Ola Principal, Hospitality Content Studio | December 09, 2012

If you want to be successful in Google's world, you have to play by Google's rules. However, this leading search engine recently announced the "freshness" update, creating yet another rule that hotel's have to play by in order to secure their spot in search engine results. The "freshness" update will affect 35 percent of total searches and will seek sites that are both relevant and recent for high-volume search queries. Now, why might this be important for the hospitality industry, you might ask? It turns out between 50-70 percent of hotel visitors and website bookings originate as leads from the major search engines, like Google and Bing. Traditionally, hotel websites are content rich vs. new rich, with descriptions and information explaining in detail every facet of the hotel and service, from bed linens to the capacity of a meeting room. The static, original content might be there, but fresh content is usually lacking, this being the biggest issue with current hotel websites after the latest Google algorithm updates. So if hotel websites aren't intrinsically fresh, how do hoteliers respond to the latest Google update? Here are eight ways your hotel can secure its place at the top of the search engine results.

Blog, Blog, Blog!

What a better way to keep your site fresh than with frequent, interesting posts? Having a blog on your hotel's website is an excellent way to not only supply your website with fresh content, but also help drive traffic to your site. It also opens up an unlimited option to add fresh content regularly, without affecting your hotel's main pages. Here, you can write about both hotel-related information and regional topics. It offers quality content that people want to link and share for a website that is not exactly in the content-creation business. Be sure to feature a blog on your sites main domain (www.yourhotel.com/blog), and not on a sub domain (blog.yourhotel.com) or a third party blogging site to ensure that any traffic you pull into your blog counts as a visit to your hotel's website. You should plan on updating your blog with fresh content once a week, and be sure to link back to inner landing pages of your site when appropriate.

Link Your Social Media

Because everybody enjoys being able to see what is going on in the world of Facebook even when they are just checking out where to stay during their weekend getaway. Real, up-to-the-minute Twitter feeds and Facebook interaction information are a great way to ensure that you are constantly broadcasting news about your hotel. Whether it's new promotions on vacation packages, group travel deals, or sweepstakes and giveaways, linking the news to your outside social media accounts can really bring in the business! This topical interaction can reflect your hotel's usage on social platforms, whether it may be a live Twitter feed, Facebook "like" buttons site-wide, or even Google +1 buttons. Social media interactions can certify that your fresh content reaches outside of your domain.

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Coming up in June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.