Did you know that 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine? People are hooked on search - no question. It’s the easiest way to navigate the internet and find what you are looking for. However, attention span for search is limited. Three-quarters of people never scroll past page one of their search results. As the internet meme goes, the best place to hide a dead body is page two of Google.
With this in mind, how can you ensure that you are one of the top search engine results, especially given the multitude of other properties competing for customers? Search Engine Optimization (SEO) allows you to increase your profile on search results, ensuring you stay top of mind with in-market travelers.
The Beginner’s Guide to SEO
SEO is, broadly, the process of increasing your rank on search engines. If a potential guest searches for “hotel New York September,” they’re going to be inundated with results. Through SEO, you can work to put your property at the top of the results page.
Here are four steps you can take to get your SEO efforts off the ground:
1. Refresh your content, and often. New content shows that you’re an active participant on the internet, which boosts your SEO rating.
2. Think like a potential guest. What words and phrases would your ideal customer use to find your property? Use those phrases as a guide in your descriptions.
3. Go beyond bookings. Providing educational content may not drive sales directly, but it can certainly boost the experience for your customers and help with SEO. Suggesting local restaurants on your website is helpful for booked and potential guests to plan their weekend.
4. Create a true ‘web’. A great way to build SEO is hyperlinking to other websites. If, for instance, you mention a restaurant like we suggested in step three, hyperlink to that restaurant’s website for your customer’s ease.
Go Even Further with SEO
SEO is more an art than an exact science, but there are some tools you can use to see how your efforts pay off over time. Website Grader is a free tool that shows your website’s performance. All you need to do is enter your site url and email address, and they will provide you with some simple tips and tricks to improve your site.
Perhaps the best advice when it comes to SEO is – be patient! Constantly test and optimize towards what works. Having your property at the top of the search results page will ensure that you are one of the top locations that people search, which increases the chances of them booking with you.
Want to learn more about SEO and other tips and tricks to drive direct bookings? Download our eBook Creating a Website that Converts: The Hotelier’s Guide to Driving Direct Bookings now!
Ashley is Sojern's Business Development Manager and works in the London office. Originally from Canada, she's been living in London for over four years, and is actively trying to fill all the pages in her passport. She has never met a cheese she didn't like.
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