how SEO can help hotels get bookings

How SEO Can Help Hotel Websites Supercharge Their Bookings In 2024

by | Jan 16, 2024

Did you know 83% of travellers first go online before booking a hotel room? If you’d like your hotel booked solid without draining your resources, then we’ll show you how SEO can help your hotel open the floodgates to the surge of interest on search engines. Exciting, right?

Gone are the days when someone would pick up the phone and dial a hotel to book a room. Now, your website is like the receptionist’s receptionist. So fix it up. Adapt to change. Avoid the chaos and enjoy your business!

Okay — let’s run through the need-to-knows in this no-fluff dispatch on how SEO can help hotels get bookings.


What Is Hotel SEO Marketing?

Hotel SEO marketing is the leg of your strategy that caters to guests that are seeking you out. These people are trying to give you money, if you’d only let them find you!

You could think about the main parts of SEO in terms of your hotel itself:

  • The ‘front-end’ of SEO for hotels (which searchers see first) is like the curb appeal of a property. It’s how good it looks at an outsider’s glance. These are your ‘SERPs’ (search engine page results). You know them as the links that show up on search engines like Google when you type something into the search bar.
  • The better aligned these ‘meta elements’ are to what the searcher seeks — which include your title and description — the better the chances of them clicking on your site. This is sort of like your hotel’s digital sign that lets people know your hotel is what they’re after.
  • The ‘back end’ concerns your website, such as implementing those search terms or ‘keywords’, organising blog posts and images as well as optimising the copy on your homepages, about pages, and contact forms. Compare it to the hotel itself. You wouldn’t leave the lobby and rooms in a messy state, right?

Is SEO important for hotels? Yes, yes and… yes! Here’s why.


Why Is SEO Important For Hotels?

How SEO can help hotel websites
boils down to ‘buying’ new guests for less money. It’s still just marketing — only geared towards the online space. Although SEO doesn’t have the speed-appeal of paid advertising, the long-term gains are more than worth the wait. 

Here’s a run down of why:

  • Once you’re ranking well, your guest flow becomes more passive – Isn’t automatic income not every busy business owner’s dream? SEO is a highly accessible route to gaining passive leads for hotels. That’s because your links will simply sit tight in position, scooping up high-intent traffic, while you crack on with other stuff. There is a little maintenance involved, sure, but nothing compared to the hustle and bustle of actively seeking out new guests all the time.
  • You don’t need to run about like a headless chicken – Savvy keyword research (which we’ll cover shortly) will form your net for scooping up said traffic. You can find out precisely what people are searching for AND how many people are searching it to tailor your content accordingly. That means you can waste less time experimenting because the data is right there.
  • You can outperform and outmanoeuvre competition for more reliable success – With a few good chess moves, you can actually bump yourself ahead of competitors simply by spotting weaknesses in their hotel content and keyword strategies and adapting your own.

Now, let’s go onto how to get this stuff working for you.


How To Use SEO For Hotel Marketing

SEO ain’t the kind of thing you can crank out on a Sunday afternoon over tea and biscuits, but this run-down will outline what absolutely needs to be done:


1. Sleuth Out The Keywords That’ll Put You Ahead

Your first order of business is to dip into the SEO toolbox to find what people are searching for. The best free tools are Google Keyword Planner and SEMRush (limited use – paid version is $129.95 per month). There are three main kinds of keywords you’ll be noting:

  • Primary – Short, simple and broad phrases to describe your page e.g. “London hotel”
  • Secondary – For slightly more niche or refined terms e.g. “London hotel near Hyde Park” or “London hotel with pool”
  • Long-tail – Much more specific queries where users want an answer to a specific question e.g. “best hotel in London for tourists

Two things to be mindful of here: First, cramming in a boatful of keywords no longer works. Second, don’t mindlessly compete for the ‘best’ keywords that are already dominated by the top dogs! Use a balanced blend of different keyword types for an effective strategy.


2. Post The Best Goddamn Content In Your Business

Content marketing is an almighty method for building your brand narrative as well as attracting guests.

Once you’ve identified a ‘cluster’ of keywords that form a topic, you’ll have some proven subjects that you can write posts about. The idea is when you include those keywords, you’ll attract the visitors who search for them to your website.

We won’t tell you it’s easy to produce a high-ranking post, because the competition has some serious fangs (not to mention online travel agencies). Plus, Google lives and dies by its ability to serve up the best content to its billions of users.

But hard-nosed marketing insights and some good ol’ wordsmithery can absolutely equip you for success in this merciless arena.

If you’d like to know how, check out our full post on the topic here.


3. Sort Out Those Tricky Technical Bits

Does SEO jargon make your eyes glaze over? For most people it is about as fun as cleaning your room (although we love it – SEO, that is…our rooms are total mess), but good housekeeping keeps your website in tip-top shape. For SEO, that involves being neat and thoughtful on the back-end of your site. Some of those things include:

  • Title tags
  • Meta descriptions
  • Clean URLs
  • Alt text
  • Page speed

If you let these basics gather dust, you might as well hand the keys over to your competitors.


4. Polish Your Website Until It’s Smoother Than A Buttered Dolphin

When you welcome guests, do you send them on an aimless expedition through your hallways, or do you escort them directly to their rooms?

Same goes for your site. Aim for eye-candy visuals — no pixelated nightmares or haphazard layouts allowed! Your site should guide your visitors down the ‘happy path’ with the grace of a five-star concierge.

That means clear signposts (think: well-placed, well-labelled buttons and crystal-clear menus) that usher them smoothly from A to B to Z or wherever you want them to go.

When guests linger on your site like they’re savouring wine, search engines take note and mark you as the go-to destination.


5. Get Your Website Out There Like An Internet Celeb

This is where you start to pour some gasoline on the fire. If you can start making a name for your website across the web, it’ll give it some serious juice that will be hard to syphon away from you.

A few ways you can do this are:

  • Have other reputable websites and social media posts link back to your site (ask them to accept a high-quality guest post with a backlink on your targeted keyword AND the name of your hotel).
  • Create a top-notch Google Business Profile and prioritise local SEO (since hotels typically don’t move, this one’s a dealbreaker).
  • Allow search engines to pull key info like prices, amenities and reviews using a schema markup which they can present to searchers in a ‘rich snippet’.

Is this list exhaustive? Absolutely not. But it’s a solid overview to get the ball rolling.


Ready To Check-In To The SEO Master Suite? Let’s Get Your Bookings Booming Today.

If you’d rather be folding sheets than getting your hands grubby with SEO, we’re here to help make your hotel irresistibly bookable without the guesswork.

Hit us up and we’ll let you know if we’d make amazing partners.

Stay sharp, stay booked!


About the Author

David Harfield

Writer, Traveller & CEO of Pepperstorm.

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