While there are universal best practices for SEO, the travel and hospitality industry possesses its own unique challenges and opportunities. Ahead, we’re sharing some examples of hospitality brands that are executing an excellent SEO strategy and offering our insight on what we can learn from them.
Prioritize SEO keywords on your homepage.
While this is a sound recommendation that spans all industries, it is particularly important in the context of a hospitality brand. Not only is your homepage an opportunity to communicate the core elements of your hotel to the visitor, it is the first page that search engines crawl to index and categorize your website. As such, copy and content must be refined, well researched, and well organized – ideally in a summary paragraph. This content block, which occupies prime homepage real estate, offers the visitor a concise yet compelling overview of the property while seamlessly integrating crucial keywords.
As such, after you’ve done your all-important keyword research, ensure that the top indexing keywords for your website appear in the first copy block of your homepage – multiple times, if possible. In fact, the very first sentence of your introductory paragraph should contain your highest-ranking keywords. Along these lines, consider adding a headline that summarizes your paragraph and integrates your top keywords, as search engines work from top of the page down to rank a page.
Who Is Doing It Right?
Marriott Hotels uses this strategy in the introductory paragraph of the JW Marriott Washington DC, emphasizing its downtown DC location and status as a luxury hotel before launching into the particular benefits of the property.
Create a separate “Location” page in order to capture hyper-local searches.
While it might be tempting to forego a separate “Location” page and simply integrate your hotel’s location into other parts of your website (namely, your homepage), you’d be remiss to do so. Travelers not only search by city or state, but also by hyper-local qualifiers such as neighborhood or proximity near top landmarks. As such, it’s important to take advantage of these specific queries to delineate and expand upon your property’s location on an optimized page.
Who Is Doing It Right?
Starwood’s W New York – Union Square does this well, offering the visitor a comprehensive overview of the property’s location, including specific information about the neighborhood plus nearby attractions and cultural opportunities.
Integrate customer reviews.
Search engines love fresh content, as it indicates a healthy, thriving website. But this can be a difficult task to achieve as a hospitality brand. By integrating and featuring user reviews (through a widget), then, your hotel’s website is automatically plugged into a constant stream of new, keyword-rich content. Moreover, given the colloquial nature of user reviews, your website will benefit from the fact that they’re usually rich with long tail keywords. Added bonus? Research has shown that 61% of customers read a review before making a purchasing decision, making them a valuable on-site sales tool.
Who Is Doing It Right?
Even luxury properties can benefit from this strategy, as evidenced by examples like Hyatt’s Park Hyatt Shanghai, which prominently features a review portal on its website’s homepage.
As we say all the time here at Galileo Tech Media – SEO is about so much more than just Google. Creating a website that answers your audience’s questions is our #1 SEO Best Practice.
About Galileo Tech Media
Galileo Tech Media is based in NYC and specializes in Search Engine Optimization for the Travel Industry – Keyword Science, Wise Content Creation, Technical Audits, and Authentic Authority Building. Their marquee client is Marriott International, for which they research thousands of highly-targeted, hyperlocal SEO keywords and write hundreds of pages of SEO content generating organic traffic and conversions world-wide.
About Joseph McElroy
Joseph McElroy is a technology and SEO expert who understands it takes much more than “words” to enhance a brand. It takes wise words, wise content. Joseph lives and breathes a brand, and realizes the emotional and psychological elements of marketing. Joseph’s experience with big-data tools, inbound marketing strategy and implementation, and all the ins and outs of SEO have brought him in contact with some of the top brands in the world.