If there’s one thing that makes or breaks a website as the centrepiece of a hotel’s marketing strategy it’s whether the site’s getting Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) right. That is, whether Google’s picking up on relevant, eye-catching keywords from the site, thus boosting its pages’ visibility in search results. SEO mistakes are common and, frankly, they’re a killer for websites. Often, business owners of all stripes only recognise these mishaps when they notice their sites’ rankings have dropped or – even worse – when the site’s been penalised by Google. So how can you avoid making these mistakes? For starters, you might ask yourself the following questions…
How fast/ slow is your website?
Right off the bat, site speed is the fixable fault that can kill conversion. The hard truth (and it’ll doubtless be true for yourself as an online surfer), if a site takes longer than three seconds to load online users are likely to abandon it and go on their merry way elsewhere. Indeed, research proves that for every second a site takes to load, its conversation rate drops by 7%. It’s not just users who actively play a role in this, though; Google does too. It will happily de-rank or even remove your hotel’s site from search result pages should it be deemed ‘too slow’. It’s imperative then you test the speed of your site on a monthly basis.
Are your pages duplicated?
The idea of filling your site with content – and, thus, different pages – is to provide information and, of course, attract potential visitors to the site through SEO. What you clearly don’t want then is for, in Google’s eyes, two or more pages on your site to be competing for one or more keywords. This can occur because your on-page optimisation or internal linking hasn’t been carefully enough carried out. If you’ve run afoul of page (and keyword) duplication, merge the two offending pages into one or, less drastically, unoptimise one of them.
Does your website contain broken links?
In some ways, SEO isn’t just ‘all about you’. It’s true that external linking can build trust and goodwill for your site and business – and Google likes it. But it’s only an effective hotel search engine marketing
tactic if executed well. That means it’s imperative your site doesn’t contain external links that are broken (or ‘dead’) – they’ll slowly erode the goodwill and trust the site has built up over time. The solution? Check for broken links and replace them.
Be honest, how much of your content is low-quality?
One of the golden rules of website optimisation is that content is king. In which case, in the long run it never pays to carelessly publish low-quality content. Do you make sure your site’s content is proofread? Is its facts checked for accuracy? Are its typos and grammatical errors corrected before it’s published? The trick with constantly producing good-quality content is having a good, reliable content marketing strategy in place. That means including articles that showcase your hotel’s standing and enhances its reputation; they must be interesting, informative, well researched and unique. There’s no point cutting corners if it means your site’s visibility and conversion suffer!