The Search Ranking Factor That Your Hotel’s Website is Probably Missing
So you want your hotel’s website to rank high in search engines. You have SEO the basics down. Your page titles are on point. Your content is good and provides value to guests and prospective guests. Your navigation is seamless. Any user would have a fantastic experience on your website. But there’s one problem: Your site’s having a hard time ranking in search engine results pages.
Some in the SEO industry don’t want to talk about rankings. You’ll hear this phrase a lot: “It’s not about rankings; it’s about the user experience…and everything will fall into place.” Although we at Revinate believe wholeheartedly that there is truth in that approach (just as there is truth on focusing on guest experience to drive success in a hotel), we also believe that you can help yourself by improving your rankings.
Who wouldn’t want to be on the first page in search results organically? That’s one of our main goals as online marketers. Some 75% of searchers never go past the first page during their search, so it’s imperative that you be on the first page, or that you at least strive to be.
Various ranking factors contribute to ranking your website and content high in search results, but the one that is seemingly ignored across industries is consistently identified as the one with the biggest impact: links. Top influencers in the search industry say links are one of the main contributors to higher rankings.
How Inbound Links Help Your Hotel Website
Simply put, links are a connection between your website and another site. That’s it. The fun part is why they’re important and how they help your website.
A link to your site is a vote for your website. It’s kind of like the popularity contest in high school. When you’re not popular and you make friends with the popular kid, everyone takes notice. When authoritative websites start linking to you, search engines start taking notice.
- Links establish your authority. If websites start using you as a resource in their content, search engines start to recognize your content as valuable for the user.
- Links reaffirm your content’s value. If you create a piece of content that starts earning links, it’s evidence that the specific piece of content is valuable and useful for the user on that specific topic.
- Links help drive traffic. If you earn links on the right websites, you will see an increase in traffic to your site, which we all want.
- Links improve domain authority. This is basically a measurement of trust. The higher your domain authority, the more trustworthy you are—somewhat like a credit score. Quality links help build that authority.
How to Earn Links for Your Real Estate Website
Earning links for your real estate website is not something that is going to come easy. It takes hard work and commitment. It’s doable, absolutely, but only if you’re willing to commit.
Earning links for your website is no different from earning links for any other website in another niche. You can earn authoritative links in various ways, and we’re going to discuss most of them—not only what to do but also how to do it, so you can get out there and start earning links.
Create Linkable Content for Your Hotel’s Website
Creating awesome content for your hotel’s website doesn’t mean that you write something every single day. But it does take consistency. It’s important to establish how often you can write, and stick to it. And here’s how to get started.
Step 1: Figure out what you can write about
One good thing about working in hospitality is that you have plenty of things to write about that are valuable to many readers. The bad part is that those topics have likely been covered extensively. So you need to get very specific with what you can write about.
Start by brainstorming. Ask yourself questions such as these:
- What are the most frequently asked questions I receive from guests?
- How can I address those and other questions through articles? Or, what would I like to say?
- What are common mistakes I see from travelers in my geographical area? How can I be specific about each?
- What are some attractions in my area that are commonly praised by my guests?
Those are great questions to ask yourself as a hotelier, and they also work as great article ideas.
Another great way to find topics users are interested in is by using Google Suggests. It’s a simple process: Open up the Google search engine, start typing in a keyword or two, and Google will suggest the rest of the sentence.
You can also do some serious research if you’d like. For that, you could use a tool like Google Adwords and perform competitive research to see what is out there and what still needs to be covered.
How might this look in practice? Check out the Things to Do page The Charles Hotel has on its website. This is an easy way to start helping your hotel rank in search for topics that are relevant to your prospective guests, and there are so many ways to go from there.
Step 2: Make that content amazing
If you can create content that is relevant and useful to consumers, it can pay off big time in earned links. There is no magic potion or exact way to make your content great enough to start earning links. But there are some guidelines you can follow to make sure you’re on the right track. Rand Fishkin is a leader in the marketing industry who explains it well in what he calls “10x Content”:
Get Influencers Involved, or You Be the Influencer
This method might be one of the most effective methods in building valuable relationships, increasing your audience, and ultimately earning some high-quality links.
Get Influencers Involved
Having top influencers in your industry or those related and relevant in some way to your industry can be extremely effective in helping your hotel’s website earn some high-quality links, establish credibility, and increase your reach.
How might this work for a hotel? It depends on what you have to offer. If your hotel is well known for its concert venue, perhaps bands that play there would be willing to post about their experiences with your property on Instagram. Or, if you have a particularly stunning pool or spa, perhaps a lifestyle blogger with a large following is the right person to approach.
Become an Influencer
Chances are various authors and editors are writing about topics within your expertise. You just have to find them, and then find opportunities to contribute content to their websites. Doing so helps position you as an expert on the topic, builds your influence, and earns you high-quality links. How? One way to do this is by using a service called HARO (Help a Reporter Out) and signing up for the Travel industry requests. This can get you connected with top reporters and help you become an influencer. Check it out if you’re serious about earning links for your website.
Four Other Ways Hotels Can Earn Links
- Get involved locally. Find opportunities in your community and surrounding communities to get involved or to create partnerships. It’s a great way to build lasting relationships that will help amplify your hotel’s presence in the area and create link-earning opportunities with local partners.
- Outreach to authors and blogs. Blogs and authors in travel and hospitality create weekly roundups, top 10 lists, and spotlight-type articles (a comprehensive review of a topic). Reach out to them to see whether you can help provide content for their website or you have an article that would be perfect for their spotlight content.
- Create a valuable resource. I enjoy linking to tools and resources or embedding them in my own content. They are helpful for the reader and help enhance the content. Try approaching bloggers in travel and hospitality and asking them if they’re willing to republish your content with links back to your website.
- Create a guide. An in-depth guide will do well organically and become shareable content; it will also be linkable content. For example, a locals-only guide to your hotel’s city will be highly valuable to others searching for and writing about that topic.