Digital Marketing, Digital Marketing for Hospitality, Search Engine Optimisation

Mastering SEO for Hotels: Strategies to Boost Your Online Presence

Search Engine Optimization “in general” is using different online, “un-paid” strategies to make sure your website can easily be found in internet search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, and others for search terms that are highly relevant to your hotel, location, and services. 

This is important because the better you are found online, the better your results at the bottom of your business line will be.

Hotel SEO requires an investment of time and energy but does not cost money per website visitor or booking compared to tactics such as Google Ads, Facebook Ads, OTAs, or other “paid” advertising channels.

Search Engine Marketing for Hotels helps increase your online performance and we recommend implementing both Local SEO strategies and Multiregional / International SEO strategies. This way a Hotel can focus both on new clients nationally and internationally.

When Hotel SEO is done properly it helps increase your online visibility, drive more traffic, enhance your “rankings” and drive more organic direct bookings through your booking engine.

A great example of how local SEO can help grow your business as a hotel is our client BYD Lofts, which grew 130% in organic clicks to the website through the Google Business listing and Google Maps. As such SEO should be an integral part of your overall hotel marketing strategy.

Contact our experts to discuss how we can help you get similar results

Table of Contents

Why is SEO an essential factor for hotels?

Nowadays the online competition between hotels in popular travel destinations is enormous and every year more hotels get built, increasing the competition even more. Hotel marketing advertising strategies become increasingly more expensive and therefore, being found on page 1 of the Google search results and on other search engines is essential to stay ahead of the competition.

Direct benefits that hotels can get from ranking high online are

  1. More online visibility.

The higher you show up on Googe, Bing, or Yahoo search engine results pages, the more people will see and visit your site.

According to Search Engine Journal, the first position on Google receives over 25%! of all clicks from people searching for search terms that your hotel can be found for! 

  1. More SERP Real-Estate.

This one is very simple. When more places on a Google page contain your information and include links to your site, statistically, the more people are likely to click and end up on your website. 

Therefore it is important to show up for both search terms and in the “Local Pack” results.

  1. Cheaper conversions.

When you don’t have to pay for a click or pay an OTA a commission your leads and conversions become cheaper. 

This is especially important as the average cost per conversion, on “paid channels” such as Google Ads cost $27.04 for search campaigns and on Facebook cost $22.50.

Can you imagine the increase in the number of conversions and the decrease in the cost per conversion if you could get 25% or all organic clicks in position 1 on Google!?

  1. More and better conversions 

People searching for hotels in their dream destination are more likely to book at your hotel if you show up in the search engines for their search terms compared to people who see a banner of your hotel on a website.

Every traveler’s journey starts with a search. With the right SEO, make sure your hotel is their first stop.

On-site SEO optimisation for Hotels

On-site optimisation regards any work that can be done on and to your hotel’s website. The main focus of on-site optimisation for hotels is to make the site easier to use, and better to understand for your target audience.

Additionally, it is best practice to then also keep the site easy to understand for search engines alike. With onsite optimisation you will mostly look at and include elements such as.

  • URL structure
  • Page Titles
  • Meta descriptions
  • Content Headers
  • Written Website content
  • Images
  • Video
  • Schema
  • Canonical URLs 
  • Cleaning up of Error (404) URLs.
  • Website site loading speed.
  • Ease of use.

These optimisations can be done for the complete site or for single pages and are done in order to rank higher and earn more relevant traffic from search engines. Discover how an Hotel SEO agency you can help you work on improving your on-site SEO and give our team a call.

Mobile Usability and Friendliness

Creating a website that performs well on mobile devices isn’t just about making your desktop website smaller. It is important to make sure that your website is responsive so it can fit different devices and screen sizes. 

Besides fitting the right screen, it is also important to pay attention to how people interact with your website and make sure that they can easily find the most important information and execute the most important actions easily. 

Some issues you might encounter are related to your viewport property, device-width settings, and making sure the text on your site is large enough to easily be read on smaller screens.

When you have set up a Google search console account for your website you can use the Mobile Usability Report to find any issues that Google might have in displaying yours.

One easy way to discover which changes you can make to improve your website’s mobile friendliness is with the Mobile Friendliness Test from Google. This test will assess how easily a visitor can use your website on a mobile device. Just enter a page URL to see how your page scores. If there are any issues then Google will also advise on how to address these.

Making sure your website is mobile-friendly and easy to use is essential in capturing those travelers on the road who book hotel nights from their phones. 

Website loading speed

As important as the mobile usability and friendliness of your website is the website loading speed. If your site does not load fast on both desktop and mobile devices then people will leave your site to book at competitors.

In general, according to Cloudflare, websites that load under 2.7 seconds have an average conversion rate of 1.9%. This percentage drops to less than 0.6% if your website takes 5.7 seconds to load.

These averages are different for websites in the hospitality industry, however, the large decrease clearly shows why it is important for hotels to have a website that loads fast on any device.

You can discover how your website performs by using tools such as the page speed insights report tool from Google, alternatively, you can use tools such as GT Metrix or Pingdom

Interested in finding out more on how to improve the loading speed of your website? Then read through these techniques for improving site performance or contact our team and discover the different SEO services we offer for hotels.

Page Titles and Meta Descriptions

When you finally rank your website for relevant keywords you want to make sure that your page title and meta description are optimised to ensure the best performance possible. The page title and meta description of your hotel’s website are the first thing a searcher sees when they find your hotel.  

It is important to leave a good first impression and be relevant to the search term you are found for. Follow these tips on creating a great SEO page title for your hotel:

  • Include a keyword you want to rank for as much as possible at the beginning of your title.
  • Include a USP in your title to make you stand out from the competition.
  • Make sure your title stays an accurate description of the page it belongs to.
  • Make sure every page on your site has a title specified in the <title> element.
  • Keep your within 240 to 560 pixels, which translates to around a maximum of 50 to 70 characters.
  • Include your hotel’s name at the end of your title to increase brand awareness.

Even though the meta description is not a ranking factor, it can be a decisive factor in the click-through rate. 

The meta description of your hotel website appears below your page title in the search results.

Therefore, it is important to write an engaging meta description that entices people to click through to your website. Follow the below tips on creating a meta description for your hotel website.

  • Include a keyword that is relevant to the page and you want to be found for.
  • Include a unique selling point of your hotel. 
  • Include a call to action. (Book Now, Read More, Discover More)
  • Keep your meta description somewhere between 420 and 920 pixels. This translates into around 155-160 characters.

When keeping your page titles and meta descriptions within the above-mentioned limits ensures that they are most likely displayed fully when you show up in the search results without getting truncated. 

To make your life easier you can use this tool to draft your page titles and meta descriptions and easily see when you exceed the recommended limits. Additionally, plugins like Yoast SEO or Rank Math can be used to easily implement your new page titles and meta descriptions on your site. 

Not sure where to start? Let us scan your site and have a look at your current page titles and meta descriptions.

“While amenities attract guests, it’s SEO that makes sure they find your hotel in the first place.”

Image Optimisations

Amazing images are important because people like looking at images more than reading text, especially in the hotel industry. Therefore, making sure your website grabs the attention of your visitors through appealing visuals contributes directly to better online performance. 

According to Jumpshot, in 2018 in America, Google image search accounted for 20% of all queries performed. Therefore, there is a huge benefit in showing up in the image search results with the images from your hotel website. 

Additionally, there are other important factors that contribute to better SEO performance for your hotel website. It is important to look at elements such as genuineness, quality, optimisation, file size, and more. 

When it comes to image quality you should make sure that you avoid using stock images and only use images that are taken at your property. 

The size of your image needs to be around 100 kb where possible. This is to ensure that the image does not “weigh down” the site too much and increases the site loading speed.

Each image has a file name, this is the name you give the image before you upload it to your site. We recommend using file names that describe the image well and include a keyword you want the page the image is placed on to rank for.

Another important element you can optimise is the alternate text of an image (alt-text). This text is displayed when an image goes missing, the internet connection is slow, or when an image can’t be displayed. Similar to your page title, ensure you include a keyword you want the page to rank for, and keep it specific and to the point.

 

Basic Structured Data for Hotels

Schema.org  (often called schema) is a semantic computer vocabulary of tags (or microdata) that you can add to your website code to improve the way search engines read, understand, and present your website in the search engine results pages.

This is important because it will make it easier for search engines to understand the content of your website. Additionally, with schema implemented you create more opportunities to be shown in featured snippets. 

Showing up on SERPs in special places such as knowledge graphs, FAQs, etc. are called Featured Snippets, otherwise known as Rich Snippets. 

These placings are an amazing opportunity to show up on out-of-the-ordinary places in the search engine results pages and oftentimes contain information pulled from a web page’s schema markup. Featured Snippets often attract a higher click-through rate from the search results and don’t need your site to rank for a specific keyword.

Search engines already understand a great deal about your website but schema will help them filter out the most important information on the page from the lesser important information.

When applying the highest level of schema markup for hotels you can choose from three core objects.

For example a hotel, a hostel, a resort, or a camping site. This is effectively the business location and building that houses the actual units of the establishment. So you would implement this on your homepage. 

This refers to the actual units of the establishment, such as hotel rooms, suites, apartments or meeting rooms, camping pitches, etc. In this case, Schema refers to the actual units offered for rent. So you would implement these on your rooms pages.

This refers to a specific offer you have running to rent out your unit. 

Schema offers the opportunity to mark up your content in much more detail, and the more detailed you mark up your content the easier it becomes for SERPs to understand your website. Additional schema markups for hotels that can be beneficial include:

Interested to learn more about Schema and what to implement on your website? Be sure to check out Schema.org or contact our webdev team who can help you with implementing relevant schema mark-up for your hotel website. 

Off-Site SEO for Hotels

Off-site SEO refers to all the SEO-related tactics, jobs, and work you can do to improve the rankings of your site without doing any work on your website directly.

Many SEOs refer only to “Link Building” as being off-site SEO but at Hy Digital we also work on other strategies such as.

  • Content Marketing
  • Link fixing
  • PR
  • Local SEO (GMB and Citations)
  • Social Media
  • Forums
  • Influencer Marketing
  • Guest Posting
  • Reviews
  • Content Syndication

Optimising your off-site SEO ranking factors helps improve the way search engines and users perceive your brand. It creates authority, trustworthiness, and popularity which all matter as they contribute to better rankings, more traffic, and more clients.

Discover more about some of the off-page SEO tactics for hotels we use in more detail below.

Re-gaining SEO value through fixing broken links for Hotels

If your hotel has a website that has been around for some time, then it’s likely that you are the recipient of multiple backlinks from other websites that point to yours. These links are called backlinks and help build the authority of your site. 

As your site, and the internet, is ever changing sometimes these links are linking to outdated pages or pages that don’t exist anymore. Then these like are called “broken” and as such don’t add value to your website. 

So, the easiest way to increase your online authority is by fixing these broken links and re-gain the SEO benefit of these links to your site. 

You can use tools like your search console account or Ahref’s Broken Link checker to find broken links pointing to your site. With this information, you can reach out to the specific sites and ask them to update the link to your site. 

This technique does not require much effort or cost any money and can help improve your online rankings significantly.

Content Marketing for Hotels

Another way to increase your authority, relevance to your audience, and trustworthiness is by combining your SEO with your content marketing.

When you create great pieces of content for your hotel blog you should use those to your advantage while you are waiting for search engines to rank them in the search results.

A great way to get more publicity for your blog content is by letting others know about your new blog post.

 

But who do you reach out to?

Step one would be to find similar content online. You can search Google for similar themes and keywords you are using in your article. Then when you have found articles relevant to your own work you can analyse the top 10 search engine results to find which websites link to these pages. 

This becomes easy and quick with tools such as SemRush, Ubersuggest, or Ahrefs to help you find the backlinks. Just drop the URLs of the top 10 search results in one of these tools and you will be presented with a long list of URLs that link to these pages.  

Start Your Outreach campaign

With a long list of websites, you can now start your own outreach campaign. Send emails to each website that links to the articles you found and let them know you have created a better version that they might find interesting to link to as well.

Doing so can give you more backlinks in a shorter timeframe and increase your rankings and website traffic. 

Don’t forget to add your content to your social media channels to drive more free traffic to those pages. More traffic increases the signals to Google that your website is interesting and should be presented more often in the search engine results pages.

Too much of an effort? Then contact our team and let’s discuss the right SEO strategy for your hotel.

SEO and PR for Hotels

Why don’t you utilise those important PR relationships to further your SEO efforts? When high authority sites link to your website you gain better rankings for essential keywords and your branded terms. 

Consider using the below techniques to drive more traffic, value and boost the SEO for your hotel! 

  • Press releases.

The most common form of PR in digital marketing is a press release. You could write up your press release, include important keywords you want to rank for and add a hyperlink to your site or specific page. 

These press releases can be about any new offers, new events, new rooms, features or amenities. Basically anything that your (local) news outlet might find interesting enough to share with their audience. 

When news sites, blogs and other sources then add these to their sites you benefit from their authority and create more backlinks which increases your website’s authority.

  • Applying for Awards.

Every year the hotel industry hoasts many awards that your hotel can sign up for. Signing up online brings free publicity and free links. You might even win an award as well!

Some of the hotel awards you might be able to sign up for include the World Luxury Hotel Awards, Muse Hotel Awards or the World Travel Awards.

Signing up and competing is not only fun for your hotel, it also drives more credibility among your audience. Additionally, when award sites, blogs or other sources link to your site, you benefit from their authority and create more backlinks, increasing your website’s authority.

Starting with SEO for your Hotel

Basic SEO for hotels is not that difficult to apply when you know where to start. Use this article as a guideline in creating more organic online visibility for your hotel through SEO. 

As a hotel marketing agency, we work with hotels and hospitality businesses to drive direct traffic, maintaining a healthy mix of direct and indirect channels through a full range of hotel digital marketing services.

Do you have any questions, or would you like to discuss a more in depth hotel SEO strategy, then contact one of our experts to discuss the different SEO services for hotels we offer and help improve your visibility in the search engine results pages.

Ready for the Next Level? Transform your online presence and reach new heights.

Frequently Asked Questions about Hotel Marketing Plans

In our exploration of SEO for hotels, many readers and hoteliers alike have posed insightful questions about optimizing their online presence. To provide clarity and further aid in your digital journey, we’ve curated a list of frequently asked questions and their answers. Dive in to uncover some of the most common queries and expert solutions.

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is vital for hotels because it helps improve their online visibility. With a majority of travelers starting their hotel search online, having a strong SEO strategy ensures your property appears in top search results, driving organic traffic, and potentially increasing bookings.

It's recommended to regularly update your website content, especially if there are changes in hotel services, amenities, or pricing. Additionally, maintaining a blog with fresh, relevant content every month can boost SEO and engage potential guests.

Local SEO focuses on promoting your hotel to local searchers. Key strategies include claiming and optimizing your Google My Business listing, gathering positive reviews, ensuring consistent NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) across online platforms, and building local backlinks from reputable sites in your area.

Keywords are terms or phrases that potential guests might use to find your hotel. By integrating relevant keywords into your website's content, meta tags, and URLs, search engines can better understand the context of your pages and rank them for related searches, increasing your chances of attracting targeted traffic.

Directly, social media metrics aren't a major factor in search engine rankings. However, an active social media presence can indirectly benefit SEO. Sharing content can drive traffic to your site, and if that content is shared widely, it can enhance brand visibility and may earn backlinks, both of which can aid in SEO efforts.

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Digital Marketing, Search Engine Optimization

About Us

At Hy Digital, we believe in the power of connection. Driven by creativity and fueled by innovation, we are a marketing agency that focuses on delivering meaningful and engaging content. Our passion for digital landscapes has helped numerous businesses establish their online presence and connect with their audience in a way that resonates.

With a dedicated team of experts, we navigate the ever-changing digital world, using our unique insights to help brands tell their stories. Our approach isn’t about hard selling or pushing products; it’s about understanding what matters most to our clients and their customers.

Hy Digital’s goal is to inspire, engage, and transform the way businesses communicate online. We are more than just a marketing agency; we are your partners in building lasting relationships with your audience.

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Michael ten Holder
A highly skilled Digital Growth Consultant with a proven track record of driving transformative results. With a deep understanding of the ever-changing digital landscape, Michael crafts data-driven strategies that propel businesses to new heights.

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