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SEO for Hotels: Not a “One Time” Thing

When Can I Stop My Hotel’s SEO Campaign?

“SEO is dead.”
“It’s all about link building.”
“We’re ranking well in the Search Engines, let’s drop SEO.”

Have you ever caught yourself saying those things? We hear it often. Every time you write a new piece of content, redesign your hotel website, talk about online reviews or reputation management, SEO is there in the background.

As a decision maker in your hotel, it’s normal for you to think about the expense of SEO as it relates to your bottom line. It’s often the last piece brought on board in a hotel and usually the first piece that people feel they no longer need. Before we can discuss stopping your SEO campaign, let’s take a look at the other ways SEO affects your hotel:

SEO for Hotels– The Silent Marketer

Most people can “see” SEO in your content, but do you know that SEO goes beyond what is visible to the human eye? Take a look at the different departments that are affected by SEO:

Graphic Design – SEO is there, in the naming of your images. It may seem like a silly question, but think about it – your graphic design team relies on your SEO team to help make your images more meaningful to your site visitors.

Web Design – Your web development team takes their navigation from your SEO. In addition, your SEO team works hand-in-hand with your web development team to create the proper code for search engines and humans alike. They are here in your Heading tags, your Internal Links, your Local SEO and your analytics. They are also tell the search engines which pages to crawl in your website and redirects the old pages to the new ones.

Social Media – You can guarantee that your SEO team is working with your Social Media gurus. When you write a new blog post or content piece for your site, these are shared in your Social Media. When visitors come to your site, they can share your content on social media channels. Anytime you use Social Media, you also have a piece of SEO right alongside it, working together to make your hotel a success.

Hotel Bookings – When your front desk is receiving phone calls, when forms come in requesting wedding information, when people want to book a reservation for your restaurant, or learn more about your specials, SEO is present. Invisible in this role, your SEO team helped generate these leads or inquiries. They did competitive research, worked on your content pages and choose the keywords your target market will use to find you.

Hotel Deals, Restaurants & Venues– Your SEO team works with your account managers to design a strategy for all of these areas of your hotel marketing. What keywords should you use? Are they seasonal specials? Is your competition also marketing the same type of venues? These are all things your SEO team takes into consideration when you talk about hotel deals, restaurants, weddings and corporate events.

Video – Does your hotel create videos to help sell your property? Your SEO team is optimizing the videos, assisting with the titles, descriptions and keywords used in your videos.

Do not underestimate the power of SEO and don’t think it something you can do for your property just once and experience success. Any ongoing investment, the long term effects of SEO far outweigh the short term, as it takes time to build your online reputation and brand.

As a hotelier, you may not need to know the minutia of what SEO does, but you will notice a huge difference in your overall website traffic without one. The truth is, your SEO campaign is never finished and continually adds value, even when you don’t see it in the foreground.

Learn more about our SEO services or read about the times when hoteliers must use SEO.

When Should I Use SEO for My Hotel?

Why Hotels Need SEO

SEOServicesforHotelsWhen SEO is mentioned as something you should have for your hotel, how do you react? Ambivalent because you find it is a waste of resources? Trepidatious because it is unknown? Excited because you know it has value?

Many hoteliers may respond with any mix of these emotions and that’s ok. SEO is a powerful tool in your marketing arsenal, but its true value is often underestimated. SEO is not a one-time thing, nor is it something hotels can afford to overlook, especially in certain situations.

Which situations? We’re glad you asked! Our recommendation is that hotels have an SEO plan and strategy implemented at all times, but because we realize this isn’t possible for all properties, I’ve share a list below of times hoteliers should absolutely hire an SEO. The list is comprised of situations every hotel has faced at some point. These often complicated times can be improved with expert SEO strategy. When used correctly, it helps to increase your bookings over time and eliminate the pitfalls your competitors often make in these same situations as it affects the rest of your digital marketing more than you may realize.

6 Times Hoteliers Should Hire an SEO

Anytime you do or experience the following, utilizing SEO can profoundly impact your efforts — whether it is in website design, content creation for your site, a social media campaign, improving search, updating your local business listing or staying on top of algorithm changes.

    • Website Redesign – You need a SEO to work with your web development, graphic design and marketing teams from the beginning. The SEO team is responsible for your keyword management, information architecture, image names and directory structure. They are also the part of your team that integrates web analytics, webmaster tools and schema information on your site.
    • Social Media Marketing – If your hotel has a social media presence, it needs SEO. The two should be working hand-in-hand ensuring that your promotions and marketing efforts stay consistent. As you work to establish solid social media content, your SEO helps you with keyword structure and link building efforts, ensuring the proper marketing messages are sent at the right time.
    • Search Engine Ranking – Your competitors are using SEO to rank well in the search engines and gain followers on social media. If you don’t stay on top of (and ahead of) your competition by implementing an SEO strategy, it means a loss in bookings and search engine traffic.
    • Create Site Content  Every time you create content for your website, you have to SEO the content. This includes keyword research, writing titles and descriptions and ensuring your site code has all proper SEO elements.
    • Local SEO – For smaller hotels, Local SEO is not as easy as it looks. A lot of SEO goes into making sure you are listed in the proper way across multiple directories, that your NAP (name address phone number) are all the same in your website code and the directories.  In addition, hotels are unique in that they change ownership and names.  All of this data has to be updated in a timely fashion and additional marketing campaigns may be needed.
    • Major Algorithm Changes – Google is constantly changing their algorithms to accommodate end users, as evident with the recent Panda, Penguin and Pigeon updates. Not keeping informed of the changes can result in that penalties will affect your overall rankings and search engine visibility. Without an SEO to help you, you could lose your search engine traffic altogether.

SEO is critical to the growth of your hotel. We hope that our list gives you an idea of when you should implement SEO into your hotel marketing plans or hire an expert to do it for you. Exponentially, the benefits are enormous and to go without it will surely hurt your online marketing in the long run.

For more insights in SEO for hotels, please visit our website or contact us!

Podcast: CoMMingle Social Media Marketing For Hotels

Hot out of the studio, we're pleased to release our CoMMingle Social Media Marketing for Hotels podcast.  Twelve minutes you can listen to online or download into your iPod!

Lodging Interactive  makes sure your ears and eyes are tuned into the ever changing, ever important marketing component of "Social Media" and the impact it can have on your property.  Get Tips on how to measure the reach of your Social Media footprint.

Visit CoMMingle  and see how we can assist you in the jungle of Social Media vines most hoteliers get tangled in…It's all here on HotelCast 2.0!