We’ve all heard the real estate adage that location is the most important factor in buying property and this applies to hotel properties as well. But with research showing that over 80% of people use Search Engines to research their hotel choices, is it merely the physical location of the property that is drawing consumers to book hotels? Here are three reasons why your Search Engine location or ranking (hotel SEO) is becoming just as vital in achieving hotel bookings, generating revenue and online sales.
The position of a hotel is obviously very important; absolute waterfront, rugged mountain views or beachside locations all add to the appeal and allure of a hotel to increase hotel room bookings and resulting in low vacancy rates. However, the position of the hotel on a Search Engine Results Page and first page real estate is equally as important to a hotel’s continued success.
Hotels must firstly have a website presence and create a website that achieves a balance between showcasing the best features of the hotel and its location and being SEO-friendly. Websites that hope to rank highly in Search Engines must have a continued focus on their link building strategies and creating fresh, unique content about their hotel, the location and local attractions.
A Google Local Business Centre Listing (GLBC) is essential for hotel marketing. When someone is searching for a hotel, the Google map and first seven listings are displayed before organic listings even start. Try searching for Sydney hotels and see what comes up in the first seven listings. Before you can start optimising your listing, you need to verify your Google Local Business Centre Listing..
As per your website, your GLBC should be updated regularly. Ways to update your listing include providing:
Read more about how you can optimise your Google Local Business Centre Listing.
Hotels also need to actively participate in social media in order to stay relevant and maintain their brand presence. According to a Nielson survey, social media currently account for around 18% of the search market with consumers combining online search with conversations with friends and family before making purchasing decisions.
Google’s Social Search is poised to have a strong effect on social media marketing and Google has inked a deal with Twitter (as has Bing) to display real time updates in search results. Not only is it important for hotels to have a Facebook, Twitter account and other social media accounts, but it’s also important for hotels to manage their online reputation and respond to reviews and feedback on blogs, forums and social networking websites.
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