Local SEO has become more important than ever over the last 12 months thanks to the rapid increase in the number of people performing location-based searches from their mobile devices. As a result of this, hotel online marketing
has adapted to cater to these new searches, and the new emphasis on locality.
Now, hotel marketers must ensure they’re focusing on the various ranking factors that will dictate their hotel’s local SEO performance. But what are these ranking factors – and how can you ensure your marketing team are catering to them? Let’s take a look.
Proximity of search
Unfortunately, the factor most important in dictating your search engine ranking is the one you can do the least about – proximity of search. That means that location technology will be used to show the businesses that are closest to the person performing the search. This move aimed to make local search more accurate and useful for users, but it could also technically mean that a higher-quality search engine result could miss out on high rankings purely because they’re a little further away.
Google My Business category associations
Many of those working in hotel online marketing will already understand how important it is to claim your Google My Business listing. But did you know that choosing the right category for your business listing is now an important ranking factor? This doesn’t necessarily mean that choosing the right category will send you soaring to the top of the search engine rankings – but if you happen to choose the wrong category, it could do your rankings harm.
Consistency of citations
This is an important ranking factor, and one which is very easy to address if it’s causing you problems. Your citations (the information listed about your business on various directories, often called your NAP – name, address, phone) need to be consistent across every directory – and attention to detail really matters here. For example, if one directory has your address listed as ‘Unit 12, Main Street’ and another directory has you down as residing at ’12 Main St’, the search engine may get confused and choose to prioritise a competitor over you in terms of rankings.
Reviews are essential to the success of your hotel online. Nobody wants to book a stay somewhere that has consistent 1-star reviews – and search engines know that. That’s why review signals are now an important ranking factor. Search engines will look at factors like review quantity, positive sentiment in reviews, review diversity, and even the authority of third-party sites on which reviews are present. Interestingly, one negative ranking factor, according to experts, is receiving too many Google reviews too quickly. Google wants to see reviews building organically over time, and a huge influx all at once could work against your hotel.