Sure, it's easy to understand that content plays a key role in any successful marketing plan for a hotel or destination. But a large part of that is making sure that your content is discoverable, because if no one is reading it, what purpose can it serve?
Most hospitality professionals understand that they need to optimize content for search — especially considering that 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine, according to imForza. However, SEO has become far more sophisticated than simple keywords.
Demonstrate Your Authority to Search Engines
William Alvarez, organic search director at digital marketing agency Catalyst, offers his clients many best practices for getting found online, one of which is to establish authority in your content. When you get other credible sites to link to yours, search engines see those as votes of confidence in your content.
How do you get those links? Start by making sure that your content is original and engaging, Alvarez says. The links will come naturally if it is relevant to your target audience and worthy of sharing.
Leverage Websites That Are Popular in Your Market
Khanh Tran, a marketing communications executive for Villa-Finder.com, generates these referral links by making connections with industry sites that may be interested in the company's content. This strategy has resulted in some top travel media mentions through outlets such as Travel + Leisure.
“Industry news is something that has worked really well for us," Tran says. “We take advantage of our own knowledge and expertise to write research and articles" relevant to their customers.
Don't Forget to Optimize All Content Pages and Elements
Search optimization should be a major focus of every page within your website, not just the homepage. This is especially important for hotels and destinations looking to attract more group business, since their homepages are often geared almost entirely for leisure travelers. Make sure you have pages on your site that are optimized for the terms and industry content that planners are searching for.
In addition to making sure the content itself is optimized on a webpage, Alvarez reminds his clients to consider the other elements of a site. For instance, the page title and URL can help set the stage for the website and improve its search performance. Pay attention to the meta description and other metadata as well — even though they are behind the scenes and don't actually appear on your page, they can make a big difference.
Want More? Come to Cvent CONNECT!
Alvarez will be sharing more of his SEO expertise with hospitality professionals during our "Getting Found" session. Register for Cvent CONNECT now or browse our agenda to find out more about this and other sessions!