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 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.