Hotel Marketing Podcast Episode 218 – Boost Your Hotel’s Local Ranking With These Five Tips
Your local profile and rankings are a critical step to ensuring your hotel is maximizing your potential impression share to guests. We have a comprehensive article with the 12 things every hotel should do at https://www.travelboommarketing.com/blog/local-seo-for-hotels/ and today we are going to look at five of the items on the list.
Start with these five, before diving into the rest of the checklist…
Verify your hotel’s Google Business Profile listing
- This should really be your starting point for local search optimization, as verified businesses are more likely to appear in local searches than unverified businesses.
- The actual process of claiming your listing is simple:
- Type your hotel’s name in the Google search bar
- Select the “Own this business?” option in the knowledge graph
- From there you will provide additional information about your business and select a verification method
- If your hotel is new, you can add your business via Google Maps
Complete your listing’s attributes
- Attributes tell customers more about your hotel and can be a differentiating factor from the competition. Think of attributes as the amenities and services that your hotel offers.
- These attributes will typically display in your hotel’s knowledge graph in Google Search, Maps and Travel
- Google has a fairly large selection of attribute categories to choose from for hotels and are separated into two groups: Property details and Room details
- Under property details, you’ll find categories like:
- Food & drink
- Wellness and so forth
- Other features include Health & Safety, Eco Friendliness, and Sustainability
- Under room details, categories include general room features like A/C and bath information, and food-related room features like kitchen and cooking appliances available in the rooms
- Just know that customers can influence attributes that appear on your listing via proposed edits on Search. It’s a good idea to audit your listing from time to time because of this.
Manage and respond to reviews
- Google knows people like to read reviews before making a decision for any particular product. So it’s not surprising that reviews factor into Google’s local ranking algorithm.
- Whether good or bad, you should be taking the time to respond to reviews on your listing. Doing so demonstrates that you value your guests and humanizes your business
- No cookie-cutter responses. Tailor your response to each individual review.
- Also, don’t stuff your responses with keywords, and don’t directly ask reviewers to leave keywords in their reviews. It comes off as disingenuous.
- With that said, that doesn’t mean you can’t influence reviewers to leave keywords in their reviews, which could potentially help your local search presence.
- Should you delete negative reviews? No. A listing with positive and negative reviews is an indicator of authenticity. It’s also your chance to respond and improve.
Upload high-quality images and/or videos
- Photos and videos are a huge determining factor in a traveler’s purchasing decision. These assets should include exterior shots, rooms, amenities, food services, etc.
- Your images and videos should be high resolution
- Anyone can add photos or videos to your listing. It’s a good idea to audit these assets uploaded by customers periodically and flag any photos that misrepresent your property
Optimize your website for long-tail local keywords
- Most of what we’ve discussed is off page SEO and optimizing your Google listing. Now comes the on-page SEO and strategizing local content that travelers are searching for.
- Google says that a website’s position in the organic search results is in fact a local ranking factor. So it’s important that you optimize your website’s content to match local searches.
- We know that it’s incredibly difficult for independent hotel websites to rank for broad search terms like “hotel + location” (think along the lines of “hotels in las vegas” or “new york hotels”.) That’s why hotels should optimize for long-tail search queries.
- Search queries like “hotels for + traveler”, “hotels with + amenity”, and “hotels near + attraction/landmark” (e.g. “hotels in las vegas for families”, “charleston hotels with indoor pools”) typically offer a much better opportunity for independent hotel websites to rank in the search results.
- People searching for such specific queries are also more likely further down the purchasing funnel.
- This also doesn’t have to be specific to just property-specific keywords. This is a chance for your hotel website to become a source of information for your guests and anyone traveling to your area that may be looking for more information.
- We recommend using our Keyword Research for Hotels guide to get started, which you can find in the TravelBoom blog. Once you’ve found the local keywords you want to target, incorporate them into the appropriate web pages and/or create kick-ass hotel content that will help grow your hotel’s local search presence.
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60 Seconds To Success:
Take a few minutes to thank your team. We’re continually talking with hoteliers who have staffing issues. Whether it be housekeeping, maintenance, or front desk staff; finding good team members is incredibly difficult. On top of that, your all-stars are probably being hunted to join your competition.
The easiest way to to retain, and attract new, staff is to constantly show gratitude and thanks for the hard work your team is putting in day-in and day-out. First and foremost, you need to be paying a fair wage in today’s economy. However, once you have that done. A simple thank you for exceptional service, the occasional donuts for the staff in the morning, working to accommodate time off, and those little personal touches that connect one human to another are critical to staff development.
Think about the concept of surprise and delight that we apply to our guests and do the same thing for your staff. They’re the ones that deliver the experience to visitors and you should be thinking about how you can deliver the same to them.