5 Tips for Improving Your Hotel’s Visibility on Google
Securing more traffic from Google is vital to generate more direct bookings and decrease your hotel’s reliance on OTA and meta-search engines. But for many hotels, this is difficult to obtain whilst also managing the operations of a hotel and ensuring guests receive a great experience as well.
But with a bit of time and effort, you can start increasing your traffic from Google and, to help you achieve this, Customer Alliance have put together 5 key areas on which to focus.
Deliver a great website experience
Everyone believes they have a great website, but is this really true? Users are not only looking for answers to what they are searching for, but want to enjoy the experience on your website. Focus upon ensuring that your website loads fast, displays correctly on a number of different browsers and that users who have never visited your website before can easily navigate to what they are looking for.
- List a number of the most important parts of your website, such as details about rooms, prices and how to book a room, then get family or friends who have never been to your website before to try and find that information. Can they find it within 3 clicks or 1 minute?
- Visit your website on a number of different computers, mobile phones and tablets. Does the website look and behave correctly on all versions? Make sure you at least test your site on a PC and Mac computer, iPhone and Android mobiles, and, if possible, an older computer with an outdated browser.
Provide awesome unique content which is appealing and the best available for what people are looking for
Sometimes it is simply not possible to achieve rankings for very popular keywords, such as “hotels in Berlin” or “best spa in London”. Every single hotel in those cities, OTAs, meta-search engines and even Google themselves want to have their website ranking for those terms, so it is extremely competitive and unless you have a very large marketing department, the chances of competing are slim. So get more specific and focus on more specific search queries, such as “hotels in berlin with great restaurants” where the competition is less and you can leverage the specific strengths of your locale.
Once you know what specific keywords you are going to focus on, next comes creating content which is the best available to answer the question which the user is asking. Check out which websites are currently ranking for those keywords and determine how you can make content which is more informative and better for the user.
- Be realistic with which keywords you can compete on. It’s unlikely you can compete with Expedia, Booking or TripAdvisor, so focus on phrases which highlight the strengths of your hotel and dominate that niche!
- Be really critical of the content you produce. It’s natural to believe that the content which you created is the best available, but have it reviewed by someone else who will give you honest feedback.
- Don’t give up! Just because you aren’t ranking high for keywords which you are focusing on doesn’t mean that it won’t happen. Google can sometimes be slow to update or discover your great content. It’s a game for the long-term!
Improve user behaviour metrics
Google has two fantastic free tools called Search Console (formerly known as Webmaster Tools) and Analytics which provide you information about the visibility of your website on specific keywords, how users are interacting with those results and how they behave once they’re on your website. Always try to be improving three key metrics – Click-Through-Rate, Bounce Rate and Time-On-Site
Click-Through-Rate – this is the number of Clicks divided by the number of Impressions as displayed in Search Console. Evaluate this for every keyword. You can improve this metric by making your Page Title and Meta-Description more appealing for the user.
Bounce Rate – this is found within Google Analytics and represents the percentage of users who returned to Google after arriving at your site. If a user “bounces,” it generally indicates to Google that they weren’t satisfied with your webpage, which discourages Google from showing your site in the future. However, know that a 0% Bounce Rate is impossible, but you should try to keep this below 60% on average.
Time-On-Site – the more time that a user stays on your website once they visit, the more likely it is that they are getting a great experience. If you are creating really interesting and engaging content, then users should stay and read it more frequently. When this happens for users which Google refers to your website, then they will take this as a good indicator that your site fulfilled the needs of the user and be encouraged to show your website more often to users.
Promote your content and get other sites to link to you
Now that you’re creating really great content, people need to see it! Try working with bloggers, industry related websites or local news outlets to have them mention your hotel, the services which you provide or any upcoming events which you may have. If possible, they should also link to your website so the user can easily find out more – and best of all, Google places great value in this link as it represents a “vote of confidence” in your website. The more votes you receive, the more Google will trust your website as authoritative and encourage users to visit more often.
- Never, ever pay for a website to link to you! This is a violation of Google’s policies and could result in your website being entirely removed from Google. Also be very careful when “exchanging value” by giving free services or even a free night at your hotel.
- Think about what value you can deliver to the other website (and their visitors) who you want to link to you. Be generous and website owners will be happier to link to your website.
Take advantage of our XML Integration, Rich Snippets and My Business
Using the XML integration from Customer Alliance, your website can integrate the reviews which you collect on your website. Not only does this create new unique content on your website (which Google loves!), it also allows your webmaster to generate rich snippets which Google may display in their results and will help improve your Click-Through-Rate (remember that?).
Lastly, Google’s My Business service helps ensure that Google has all the necessary information about your hotel to display to users who are enquiring. With the Customer Alliance distribution feature, you can also collect more reviews on Google which display within your My Business results on Google. Make sure this stays up to date!
Integrating the XML integration and generating rich snippets is quite advanced and will require the assistance of your webmaster or developer. Make sure that they are aware of the benefits of these to help you out!
Find out how Customer Alliance can help you improve your Google rankings with the use of our XML review integration. Talk to us. Anytime.