For Hoteliers: SEO Best Practices
SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” It is the process of affecting the visibility of your website in a search engine’s unpaid results, with the goal of gaining free, organic search traffic. All major search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo have primary search results, where web pages and other content like videos and local listings are shown and ranked based on what the search engine considers most relevant to users.
To garner the greatest SEO value, every element of your hotel’s web pages should use keywords that are optimized for what your guests are looking for. What those keywords are will be unique to the details of your hotel, its location, and what it has to offer guests. The most critical on-page elements to optimize are:
- Descriptive URLs
- Title Tags
- Meta Descriptions
- Alt Tags
- H1 (Heading) Tags
- Body Content
- Internal Linking
SEO Best Practices
Instead of having a URL with non-descriptive parameters and words, you should optimize the URL to describe what the page is about. For example try something like, www.thehotelbeta.com/hotel-beta-events-calendar (optimized) vs www.thehotelbeta.com/evenet234667=? (not optimized).
The title tag should contain the hotel’s name and keyword phrases like those used in the descriptive URLs. For example, “The Hotel Beta Events Calendar.”
The meta description will be visible in search engine results. It should contain a call-to-action and entice the prospective guest to click through to your website to view your content (and hopefully, to book with your hotel!). For example, “See this month’s upcoming events at The Beta Hotel in Phoenix, AZ” is a meta description that would work well for a hotel’s events page.
All images that are uploaded on the page should have alt tags. These alt tags should be optimized based on what the image is displaying. For example:
H1 (Heading) Tag
This is the first paragraph header on the page. It should contain a descriptive phrase about the body content listed below it. For example, “This Month’s Events at The Hotel Beta.”
The best content contains descriptive phrases that prospective guests will use when searching for information on topics related to your hotel. This is why blogging has become such a pervasive internet phenomenon – blogging takes advantage of long-tail keywords that are highly relevant to users looking for what your hotel has to offer.
For both SEO and usability, you should link your pages together as is applicable to the content on your website. For example, if there is a page that should naturally link to the Events Calendar page, you should incorporate it. So, a blog post on a recent culinary event at your hotel could link to the Events Calendar page as a call-to-action.