How to Manage Your Hotel SEO on a Budget

SEO for Inns, Hotels and Other Small Properties

By Brandon Dennis VP of Marketing, Cloudbeds.com | October 04, 2015

Sure, with an endless marketing budget, anyone hotel can get perfect SEO. But what about hotels with limited marketing funds? What about hostels, inns, bed and breakfasts, and other small properties? It is harder for small properties to get SEO done right. The good news is that it's possible. Here's how you start...

Become "The SEO Guy"

The big hotel chains have SEO teams. Even large independent properties have a marketing and SEO guy. You need one too. Now, maybe you already have a web development person on staff. Or maybe you have someone who produces content, and does social media. Great! This person needs to take on SEO duties.

If you don't have an employee who does this, then you need to do it yourself. I realize that you're already busy with running your property. I realize that you are already stretched for time. But you must market your business online to ensure its success. If you don't have someone on staff who can do this for you, and if you don't have the resources to hire one, then you need to it it--pure and simple.

A great way to free up time to work on your property's SEO is to simplify the other aspects of your business. Too many properties are still using spreadsheets to manage their daily activities. Invest in an affordable property management system to free up your time, and then use that time to forge an SEO strategy.

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Coming up in April 2019...

Guest Service: A Culture of YES

In a recent global consumers report, 97% of the participants said that customer service is a major factor in their loyalty to a brand, and 76% said they view customer service as the true test of how much a company values them. And since there is no industry more reliant on customer satisfaction than the hotel industry, managers must be unrelenting in their determination to hire, train and empower the very best people, and to create a culture of exceptional customer service within their organization. Of course, this begins with hiring the right people. There are people who are naturally service-oriented; people who are warm, empathetic, enthusiastic, pleasant, thoughtful and optimistic; people who take pride in their ability to solve problems for the hotel guests they are serving. Then, those same employees must be empowered to solve problems using their own judgment, without having to track down a manager to do it. This is how seamless problem solving and conflict resolution are achieved in guest service. This willingness to empower employees is part of creating a Culture of Yes within an organization.  The goal is to create an environment in which everyone is striving to say “Yes”, rather than figuring out ways to say, “No”. It is essential that this attitude be instilled in all frontline, customer-facing, employees. Finally, in order to ensure that the hotel can generate a consistent level of performance across a wide variety of situations, management must also put in place well-defined systems and standards, and then educate their employees about them. Every employee must be aware of and responsible for every standard that applies in their department. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate and manage guest satisfaction in their operations.