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Hospitality SEO 101

Posted on: June 28 2013 | Posted in: Client Help

Not too long ago, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) was putting up a website, adding some text loaded with keywords, and building as many links as possible from other websites to your business's website. Things have changed.

Now, SEO is a combination of creating unique, high caliber content. The main focus is on quality and providing value to visitor to the website, but now also includes indicators from social media activity; technical SEO and developing high quality backlinks to your website.

Long gone are the tricks and techniques to get to the top of Google.

Quality Content

As mentioned above, a key factor to making sure a business's website does well in the search engine rankings is to have quality content that provides value, informs and entertains the prospective customer.

Quality content is at least 250 words per page of unique text that's optimized for the readers, not just search engines. Stuffing the text with keyword after keyword no longer works. You can still use keywords, but most importantly the text should appeal to the reader, not the robots that scan your business’s website for the search engines.

Another factor that search engines like Google take into consideration when deciding how a website should rank is the freshness of the content.  Businesses that keep their website updated on a regular basis with blog posts or new pages will see a higher spot in the search results. Sites that go for years without updating will see their rankings decrease as their competitors update their sites.

SEO and Social Media

In our last blog post, we touched on hospitality social media marketing 101. In more and more ways, these two areas are connected.

Now, just being active on social media sends a message to search engines that a business’s website is important and should be ranked higher in the search engine results.

Also, a business should make sure that their website, especially blog posts, are easy to share on the social networks like Facebook and Twitter. Google and the other search engines view the more shares and likes a business's website receives as a sign that the website is important or an authority, and therefore should receive higher rankings.

Technical SEO

Now that your business’s website has high quality website and the right social signals, you have to make sure that the search engines can properly view your great content.

The search engines send out virtual robots (called bots in the SEO world) to index your site, and if these bots can’t do their job, they can’t rank it properly. These bots need to be able to crawl your site easily, so website owners need to fix any crawl errors that could slow or stop the bots.

With more and more people using mobile devices to access the internet, another factor in search engine ranking is making sure a site loads quickly. Sites with un-optimized images, lots of code errors and other problems will be penalized when it comes to their search engine ranking.

Overall, it all comes down to providing a good experience for the user. Those crawl errors are often broken links that would lead a website visitor to a 404 page. A site that loads slowly may make the user go to another website that loads quicker.

We’re here to help…

Keeping up with everything going on in the SEO world can be overwhelming, especially if you don’t have a lot of time to focus on it because you’re busy running your hotel, taking care of your restaurant guests, or making sure that your swamp tours go smoothly.

That’s what we’re here for. It's our job to stay up to date on SEO, and we’re passionate about it. We make sure that when your website launches, it has the technical SEO done correctly and the quality content that it needs to get it going in the right direction. We can help consult you on social media strategies and keeping your website at the top of the search engine results. Please contact us to learn more.

Stay tuned - Next week we’ll talk about the basics of hospitality reputation management, including TripAdvisor and Yelp.

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