Local SEO for Hotels

Local SEO for Hotels – 12 Elements of a Successful Strategy

By: Frank DePino | September 22, 2022

Search engine optimization (SEO) can help your hotel generate leads while building your brand and driving traffic to your website. While hospitality is the heart of your business, local SEO for hotels should be the heart of your digital marketing strategy. 

What is Local SEO for Hotels?

Local SEO for hotels is the practice of making your website rank higher in online search results using a combination of digital marketing strategies. Using keywords related to the hospitality industry, hotel location, and niche market, local SEO for hotels helps generate leads, increase bookings, build your hotel’s brand, draw web traffic, and grow your business’s visibility.

As pandemic restrictions lift and the world is ready to travel again, the hospitality industry must adapt to market trends to stay relevant. Numerous studies show that the majority of consumers research online intensively before booking a trip, usually also online. Hotels must be featured on the first page of results for searches in their area to be noticed and maintain growth.

Read on to learn more about local SEO for hotels and the twelve elements of a successful search engine optimization strategy. 

  • Local SEO ranking factors for hotels
  • Create a Google Business Profile (GBP)
  • Verify a GBP for each hotel location
  • Provide complete contact information
  • Manage GBP reviews and respond to all of them
  • Leverage reviews
  • Build popularity
  • Link building
  • Do local keyword research for your website
  • Add local content and local guides to your site
  • Implement, improve, or fix your Schema markup
  • Maintain the ongoing process
Local SEO Ranking Factors for Hotels

Local SEO Ranking Factors for Hotels

Relevance

How well does your business profile match the customer’s search? Does your hotel meet the searcher’s needs? One of the most effective ways to leverage local SEO to benefit your hotel is by identifying your niche and focusing your digital marketing efforts on your target audience. An effective SEO strategy will make your site show up in relevant searches. 

Distance

The distance between your hotel and the location the customer searched for is a significant factor in local search engine optimization. Ensure your hotel’s SEO is effective in your area by linking your site to local attractions. Every page of your website should feature keywords for the local area.

Prominence

How well-known is your hotel − online and offline? Maintain a stellar reputation offline and establish your hotel as an authority in the industry by ensuring Google has updated, verified information about your website.  Cultivate reviews at online sites like Google, Yelp, Yahoo, and Bing.

Create a Google Business Profile

The single most important facet of local SEO for hotels is the creation of your Google Business Profile. Google Business Profile is a free tool for companies to make it easy for customers to find them online with information like location, hours, and reviews. Google is the first and only stop for many internet searches.

Download Our FREE Whitepaper

10 Hotel Website Must Haves to Drive Traffic & Generate New Leads

Does your Hotel Website have all 10? Learn the secrets to driving more traffic to your Hotel website, generating more leads, and ultimately increasing sales.

Verify a GBP for each hotel location

It’s essential to verify a GBP listing for each of your hotel’s locations. Verified locations carry more weight with Google’s algorithms and rank higher than non-verified businesses. Simply search for your hotel on Google, select the “Own this business?” option, and follow the verification instructions.  Each hotel location should have a separate listing, even if they are part of the same chain, and the information is available on the website. 

Provide complete contact information

Maximize the effectiveness of your GBP by ensuring your UNAP (URL, name, address, and phone) information is constantly updated and accurate. List the same information on your website as a footer across the bottom or on a separate contact page. Your GBP and website UNAP information should always match. Discrepancies in the UNAP information between Google and your site can negatively impact your search engine optimization. 

Manage GBP reviews and respond to all of them

Respond to all reviews for your hotel, whether they are good or bad. With most consumers checking reviews before booking their trips, responding to reviews becomes an integral part of how you represent your hotel. Responses reflect positively on your business because they show you value your guests and their experiences. Respond individually, skipping a copy-and-paste answer. Personal responses allow you to humanize your company, letting potential consumers see the person behind the desk. 

Online reviews can hotelas help with local SEO, if properly managed

Leverage reviews

Leverage your hotel’s reviews by using the customers’ positive words where potential clients will see them. More than 70 percent of consumers read reviews online before making a purchase. Let reviews aid your conversion rates, as the experiences of paying customers carry more weight than even the best paid advertisements. A recent study by Fan and Fuel shows that as much as 92 percent of consumers hesitate to purchase a product or service with no reviews. Display your most positive reviews on your website. You have multiple options for sharing your reviews, like a header/footer on important web pages, a sidebar on your “about” page, a carousel on your homepage, or a separate webpage.

Build Popularity

Solicit reviews from customers to continue building your hotel’s popularity online. If you use an email marketing service, consider an automated email to ask the customer how they enjoyed their stay. Use keywords related to your region and specifically to your location naturally. Consumers may use the same words in their reviews, further increasing your hotel’s local SEO. Focus your efforts on promoting customer satisfaction for your hospitality and tourism attractions near your location to build popularity, increase bookings, and rank higher in searches. 

Link Building

Building a network of internal links and backlinks to your website is an incredibly useful tool that makes your site more legitimate to Google and improves your SEO. Internal links take visitors from one page of your website to another, sharing additional relevant information. Backlinks point visitors to your site from external sites. Trusted sites linking back to your website will increase your hotel’s local SEO by boosting your site’s credibility. High-quality backlinks can be next to priceless for helping your website rank higher in search results. Local backlinks endorse your hotel as a prominent business in the industry. If your hotel partners with any local businesses, ask them to include a backlink to your hotel on their site, helping also with lead generation.

Local keyword research for your hotel website

Do local keyword research for your website

Research local SEO keywords relevant to your hotel and the region. Include geographic terms and locations, as well as tourism attractions. Every page of your website should include relevant keywords. Don’t stuff your content with keywords, as it can be off-putting, but natural keyword use that flows within the text will boost your SEO. Local keywords should be one of the center stones of your hotel’s digital marketing strategy.

Add local content and local guides to your site

Having a professionally designed website isn’t enough to get your hotel on the first page of search results. Make your hotel’s website an authority on the area by including local content and guides. Are there walking tours, local festivals, historic sites, or fun things to do in your region? Publish content on your website to share helpful information about the local attractions. Most travelers will plan their trips online, and the more often your hotel appears in search results, the more likely searchers will book a room with you for their vacation. Leverage SEO and storytelling in your content marketing plan. 

Implement, improve, or fix your Schema markup

Delving into the technical side of SEO, your Schema markup − used by the internet’s top search engines − can help your website stand out from competitors in the industry and get rich snippets. Category-specific Schema lets you provide information about your hotel, like check-in and check-out times, amenities, UNAP, website, and social media links.

Download Our FREE Whitepaper

10 Hotel Website Must Haves to Drive Traffic & Generate New Leads

Does your Hotel Website have all 10? Learn the secrets to driving more traffic to your Hotel website, generating more leads, and ultimately increasing sales.

Maintain the ongoing process

Search engine optimization is not a set destination. Instead, it is an ongoing process you must maintain. Even if you hire an SEO agency to handle your day-to-day digital marketing activities, continuing efforts are required to achieve and maintain the first page of online search results. Pay attention to the market so you can anticipate hospitality marketing trends. Ensure your UNAP information is consistently accurate and up to date everywhere. Post regular content to your blog or insight page. Build relationships with other businesses in your industry and grow your backlink network. Local SEO for hotels should become a central part of your company’s digital marketing strategy.

Conclusion

Think about how often you’ve searched for something online. How many times did you find the information you needed on the first pages of search results? Now you can see the power of effective local SEO for hotels. Whether you build your own strategy or outsource it to the experts, search engine optimization can make an enormous difference.

By: Frank DePino

Frank DePino is Principal and Founder of Mediaboom. Since 2002, Frank has led Mediaboom’s award-winning staff of creative and technical professionals building the most effective marketing and advertising solutions for its clients.

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