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Digital marketing in hospitality: Get to know SEO

Search Engine Optimisation or ‘SEO’ is the process of maximising the number of visitors to a website by ensuring that the site appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine.  In a highly competitive market, having your hotel or restaurant’s website appear higher than your competition will make potential visitors see your site first and be more likely to visit it and book in with you.

We know digital marketing can become a bit of a mine field if you’re not an expert so we thought we’d list our four easy steps for hospitality business owners wanting to improve their SEO:

Review your current state

Before you even start to make changes to the back-end side of your website, you need to see where you currently are in terms of google rankings, top performing pages and keyword performance.

There are many third-party websites such Google Analytics and Moz that make reporting on your site easy, often coming with pre-installed templates that include all the main data points that matter. Many website-hosting companies often have these reporting capabilities too.

By reviewing the performance of your site before you make changes, you will be able highlight the areas that need work and by benchmarking you will be able to set realistic and accurate KPIs and note any improvements.

Understand how your users search

Before you start improving aspects like web copy, you need to understand what words are important for ranking.

By understanding how hospitality customers search when looking for somewhere to stay or eat, you will be able to get much more bang for your buck when it comes to spending time and money on improving the copy you write for both your website and any google ads you may be creating.

Including phrases like “romantic room for a young couple” may mean your rooms receive more hits from people looking for this kind of room, Saying that, it’s important to consider that including too many keywords (‘keyword stuffing’) or misleading keywords could have an adverse effect on your sites performance e.g. high bounce rates. An example of using misleading keywords would be to include a phrase like the one above on a page for a basic bunk bedroom..

Update your website

Once you have reviewed your website and understood how your users search, the next and most important step is to go in to the back-end of your site and do a complete overhaul of your website.

Ensure the copy on all pages of your site includes the keywords you want to rank well on and check all pages making sure you fix any 404 or 500 errors. It’s also important to overhaul any media that is live on your website, updating the SEO for all images and videos including meta-descriptions and alt-tagging all pre-existing images and any visual content you add going forward.

Report back

If you’ve spent all this time improving the SEO performance of your site, it makes sense to invest the resources in checking its success.

With many of the services mentioned in step 1, you are able to set up monthly reports that are automatically sent via email every month, giving you regular updates on what pages are doing well, how you’re fairing against your competitors and sometimes even suggesting ways to improve.