Hotels and travel brands seeking to boost their search engine rankings need to put sector-specific SEO strategies in place to achieve their goals. While there might be some SEO practices that produce effective results across all industries, recent research from Searchmetrics discovered that businesses operating in the travel market needed to adapt common approaches to reflect customer expectations and their user experience.
The findings demonstrate why it’s necessary for firms in the competitive industry to continuously reassess and adapt their hotel digital marketing strategy. With nine in ten consumers researching and booking their holidays online, how far up the search engine results your hotel is placed has a significant impact on reservations. Your hotel’s website needs to be accessible, functional, and SEO friendly to maximise opportunities and turn potential leads into customers.
Years ago, search algorithms ranked all pages on a single set of criteria but that’s changed. Today, Google has developed hugely and through assessing the terms searched, can identify the context. It’s led to different criteria for various industries- after all consumers don’t want the same experience when searching for a holiday as when they’re looking for financial information. For those responsible for digital marketing for hotels it’s essential that the intelligent progress search engines are making is factored into strategies.
So, which factors need to be considered when formulating a hotel digital marketing strategy?
1. Consumers like to browse
When booking a holiday, consumers like to browse and this is reflected in the specifics that Google looks for when they make travel related searches. Internal links are a key way to help visitors navigate their way through your website. The study found that the top performing travel websites had around 23% more internal links, indicating that connecting your content and information could give your website a boost up those all-important rankings.
2. Images attract attention
With keywords and copy in your mind, you might be tempted to reduce the number or size of the images you use on your website. But you’d be making a mistake. Holidaymakers want to see quality images of their destination and hotels, it’s a customer expectation that SEO is reflecting. Travel websites that come out top have around 38% more images over 200 pixels per page and while they load slower, there’s value in using large photographs.
3. Travellers want details
Short and sweet copy might be the way content produced for other industries is going but for the travel sector long form copy is the way forward. Travellers want to get as much information and will take the time to read comprehensive copy if it’s engaging and interesting. Across all sectors the pages that rank in the top ten have an average of 1,633 words per page. For the travel sector it’s a figure that soars by more than half, with the average page featuring over 2,500 words. Longer content doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t consider readability and make it simple for readers to pick out key information. Longer bullet point lists can give you an extra push up the SEO rankings too.
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