Location, location, location. We always talk about the importance of location in marketing, especially when deciding where to locate your hotel. However, many hoteliers forget to include location in their digital marketing efforts.
In this blog post, we'll discuss the benefits of local SEO for hotels, how to incorporate location into your digital marketing strategy through local SEO, and define what local seo really is.
What is Local SEO?
To begin, we'll start off with explaining what exactly is local SEO. As defined by HubSpot, local SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the process of improving search engine visibility for local businesses, primarily those with brick-and-mortar locations. In other words, it is the process of increasing the web presence of your business (in this case, your hotel) for online searches related to where your business is located.
Local SEO Efforts Can Include the Following:
Creating locally focused content
Optimizing Google My Business Listings
Managing your online business reviews
Benefits of Local SEO for Hotels
Now that we have an understanding of what local SEO is, let us go over the importance of local seo for hotels. As we mentioned earlier in our blog post, the location of your hotel is very important and we want to include this in our SEO efforts. According to GoGulf, 46% of all Google searches are looking for local information, with this being said, your local SEO efforts will play a significant role in you capturing this audience.
Hotels that are able to reach audiences through successful local SEO efforts tend to benefit from the following:
Higher quality website traffic
Increased ecommerce conversions
A lower website bounce rate
More engaged audiences
And most importantly, increased revenue
Implementing Local SEO Efforts for Hotels
There are a variety of different local SEO efforts that hotels can implement into their digital marketing strategy to reap the benefits that it brings and it is recommended that you include all of these efforts to have success with local SEO.
One of the first steps that you can take in local SEO is implementing keywords in your website that are relevant to the location of your hotel. The keywords that you implement can be either location-based keywords or event-based keywords depending on the content and audience you are focusing on. Location-based keywords, as the name states, are keywords that revolve around the location in which your business is situated. Some examples of location-based keywords for a hotel in New York can be "Hotels in NYC", "Hotels Near Times Square", "Accommodations Near Little Italy" and other similar keywords. Event-based keywords are keywords that you allow you to capitalize on certain events that your guests may be interested in while staying at your hotel. Examples of event-based keyword terms for a hotel in Miami can include "Miami Hotels for Ultra Music Festival", "Accommodations Near South Beach Food and Wine Festival". Event-based keyword terms can also include seasonality for those hotels that rely on seasonality, some examples are "Best ski resorts for the winter", "Popular Lakefront hotels for the Summer".
Rather than just blindly throwing event-based and location-based keywords that are relevant to your property onto your website, it is important to understand how difficult it is to rank for these terms and how much search volume each of these terms receive. The SEMRush keyword magic tool and Ubersuggest are excellent tools to research new keyword terms and see the volume of website traffic they drive, as well as how difficult it is to rank for those keyword terms as displayed below:
It is also helpful to understand what keyword terms your competitors are ranking for to see if you can incorporate these terms to your website as well or if it sparks any ideas for new keyword terms. Both Ubersuggest and SEMRush allow you to do research your competitors keyword terms. It is important to note, however, that both of these tools require paid subscriptions and may only offer limited use for free.
Locally Focused Content
Tieing into our previous topic of keyword terms, locally focused content is another great way to reach a local audience and location-based or event-based keyword terms should be included in this content for best results. Locally focused content for your hotel can consist of creating a blog post or a page on your site dedicated to local attractions near your property. This is very popular across many hotels and tends to yield great results. For example, many hotels may create a dedicated page on their website displaying a calendar with upcoming local events. Some hotels also create a things to do page, which lists all the popular attractions available near their property. As for blog posts, some ideas can include a recap of a popular local event that has just passed, a quick preview of what to expect for an upcoming local event, or even a review of some of the best things to eat at nearby restaurants.
When creating locally focused content, be sure to include location-based and event-based keywords to achieve optimal results and draw in as much high quality traffic as possible. By focusing your content on your location, guests that are researching things to do when visiting the place where your hotel is located will come across your content, making it simple for them to navigate to your website or will at least help you remain top of mind when they begin searching for accommodations.
Link building is another area of local SEO that is of great importance for hotels, as it can help increase high quality traffic going to your website. Link building is the process of acquiring links from other websites that send users from their website to a page on your website. On the local SEO level, link building can be acquiring links from local businesses near your hotel or popular blog posts related to where your hotel is located. For example, a San Francisco hotel can benefit from gaining a link from a blog post that lists some of the best hotels in San Francisco because many travelers planning to stay in San Francisco may be looking into this blog post with the intention of staying at one of these properties. When it comes to acquiring links from local businesses, a hotel in New Orleans, for example, can benefit from acquiring links from perhaps a popular bar or venue hosting an event for Mardi Gras on a page that lists recommended accommodations. The importance in this is ensuring that the link you acquire is relevant to the page on your website that it is linking to. The more relevant the link is to your webpage, the greater the result will be for your hotel
Link building does require some networking and reaching out to other parties, which can be difficult. To give you a more in-depth lesson on link building and improve your chances of successfully acquiring links, we have included a video with some tips and strategies for link building below:
Managing Your Listings & Reviews
Another area of local seo that can really help you lure in more guests is managing listings and reviews for your hotel. If your hotel has not done so already, setting up a Google My Business listing is a must. Google My Business allows you to provide the address of your hotel, a phone number, photos, a link to your website, and much more information front and center on Google when people search for your property. Users are also able to leave reviews for your hotel here and rate their experience. This is very important as guests are becoming increasingly reliant on reviews to make their decision on which hotel to stay at. Google My Business makes it easy for your guests to contact you and quickly find the information they need pertaining to your property.
It is important that you manage your hotel's reviews and respond to guests in a polite manner if you notice that a bad review was left due to a bad experience. Responding in a negative way will only cause other guests to look down on your property when considering staying with you. The great thing about reviews is that they can oftentimes be pretty telling and give you insights on what areas you can improve or what changes you can make to your hotel. I have worked with a hotel that realized they had great reviews, however, many guests had mentioned that they experienced issues finding parking at their property due to limited availability. Based on these reviews, our client was able to come to the decision of removing self-parking and adding valet parking instead to relieve guests of this issue during their stay, which ultimately led to improved reviews and guest experience.
With this being said, managing your local listings and reviews can help attract more guests and give you better insight into your property, making it a very valuable aspect of local SEO. Keeping all of your hotel's information up to date on listings like Google My Business is very important and will benefit you and your guests. For hoteliers with several properties, tools such as Yext, make it easy to manage all of your listings in one place.
Need Help with Local SEO for Your Hotel?
As you just saw, local SEO for hotels can be very demanding, but it is also very rewarding. There are many different areas of local seo and combining all of these can lead to significant increases in high quality traffic and revenue. Fortunately, Selva Digital offers local seo services, that take care of most of these areas and we execute these tasks using our experience and knowledge acquired through working with numerous hotels across the U.S. and around the world.
Selva Digital specializes in helping hotels and other travel business yield higher returns of investments from digital marketing efforts and identify opportunities for growth via marketing analytics. To get help with local SEO or any other digital marketing needs, contact us today!