Links are the currency of search engine optimisation and an important element of the fuel that will drive your hotel’s website visibility to the top of Google’s search listings. There are other important considerations of course, such as how mobile-friendly your website is and how good, relevant and useful your content is but, all industry experts agree on the power of links for SEO performance.
Of course, especially in an industry as competitive as hospitality, the competition for links is fierce and, obtaining good quality, highly relevant links from authoritative sources can be a long term endeavor. Introducing robust, agile link building strategies into your chosen hotel marketing solutions should be a firm priority. If however, you’re finding it difficult to get started, or simply don’t know what other tactics you can try to build relevant links, try our five tried and tested strategies outlined below…
1. Use your competitors’ links
This sounds like it may be counter-intuitive but, why not start your link building strategies using the groundwork that your competitors have already laid?
To make this work, you’ll need to get nosey and research which links your rival hotels have pointing back to their sites. You can subscribe to link tracking software services such as Moz or Ahrefs to create a list of links pointing back to a competitor site. Simply list the links that the competitor has that your site doesn’t to create a target list. You’ll then need to reach out to those sites and focus your link building efforts on targeting those highly relevant domains.
2. Create a highly shareable infographic
According to industry research, 37% of marketers say that visual content is their most important form of content creation. Visual content, and especially infographics, have the potential to spread like wildfire. If you create very niche or very specific infographics, they can be used to build highly relevant links.
What’s more, infographics can spread virally and build likes, shares and links organically over a period of time, meaning they’ll continue accruing links for you long after they are created. To make sure the subsequent links are highly relevant, keep topics very focused – a guide to a specific area for example – or targeted to a very specific type of traveller.
3. Try crowdsourcing
Anyone who has ever backed a project on Kickstarter or Indigogo will appreciate the power of the crowd. Why not apply this philosophy to your link building too? Poll experts at sites you’d like to link back to you and ask them for their opinion on a certain subject or news item. Compile the results and share the article. Chances are, the person will be flattered to have been asked and vanity will ensure they share a link back to your article. Mission accomplished.
4. Invite guest posting
If you’re regularly approached by bloggers and other brands for guest posting, consider taking some of the more authoritative ones up on their offer. Be sure to check their style meshes with your own blog’s tone of voice and agree on a topic beforehand. Confirm that you will have exclusive use of the blog and it won’t be submitted elsewhere too. It’s in the blogger’s interest to share their post on your site, meaning they’ll actually do the link building for you.
5. Create useful resources
Some of your hotel marketing solutions budget will undoubtedly be dedicated to content marketing. Why not put this to work and make it pull its weight twice? Instead of creating a standard article or post, invest extra time and effort creating a really useful resource. This could be a complete guide to your destination, with a list of restaurants, attractions, taxi companies, bars, water sports centres, business centres etc. Once complete, let everyone you’ve included know.
This creates not just a great piece of content but means all of the other businesses included can be contacted with a request to link back.