Some hotel marketers feel overwhelmed by the abundance of SEO information available. There are a lot of moving parts in any SEO strategy, it can be intimidating to ensure every piece is in place, leading you to a top position on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP).
It might surprise you that some of the SEO mistakes made by hoteliers that negatively impact their property rankings could be easily avoided.
Check out this list of common hotel SEO mistakes and learn how to easily correct them!
By the way, if you need some help understanding any of the terms in this post, check out the SEO Glossary.
Your NAP isn’t consistent across the web.
Are there a couple of variations of your hotel name? It might not seem like a big deal to go by a slightly different name (think “Downtown Inn & Suites vs. Downtown Inn”) but a small inconsistency in your hotel Name, Address and Phone number (NAP) can cause a negative impact on search engines’ trust in your property information.
Each place that you list your hotel’s NAP online, be diligent about using the exact same information. Search engines will like the consistency, and the consistent business information safeguards against confusing travel shoppers.
You don’t have a Google+ page.
Everyone wants their website to get some love from Google, but did you know that Google+ can be an effective part of your SEO strategy? Naturally as the owner of Google+, Google encourages activity on the network and rewards proper use.
Posts on Google+ have a better chance of appearing in organic search results than posts to any other social network! It’s crucial to increasing your hotel’s visibility online. By using the platform, your hotel details can appear in the knowledge panel, increasing your chance for organic clicks to your website, along with boosting your page ranking.
Though it’s not publicly promoted this way, Google tends to favor frequent Google+ posters in their search results.
You publish duplicate content.
Duplicate content is content that appears on the Internet in more than one place. Reusing text from one webpage to another may be tempting, but there are a few reasons why it’s considered best practice to publish fresh, unique content on every web page. Unique content increases the likelihood that you’ll tell a story that really resonates with your website visitors and inspire them to book.
Hosting duplicate content on your site can also send negative signals to the search engine bots, and ultimately can decrease your hotel website’s authority. When there are multiple pieces of similar content on the web, it becomes more difficult for search engines to identify which version is the best result for a search.
Avoid this SEO error by looking over your website to ensure there is fresh content on each page and that large passages of text haven’t been copied and pasted from elsewhere. This will help make both search engines and travel shoppers happy!
You don’t pursue link opportunities.
A link is a connection between your website and another site. Links allow search engines to discover how pages are related to each other and in what ways. Search engines tend to treat links like “votes” for popularity.
Through links, engines can not only analyze the popularity of websites and pages based on the number and popularity of pages linking to them, but also metrics like trust, spam, and authority. Trustworthy sites tend to link to other trusted sites, while spammy sites receive very few links from trusted sources.
Take opportunities to have other businesses link to your hotel website, as this will increase your website authority. The better the authority of the site linking to you, the more valuable the link.
Not Using Anchor Text for Internal Links.
Have you ever noticed links on a website that say “click here,” and other generic text?
From an SEO perspective, this is a waste. Linking this way misses the opportunity for tailoring your anchor text, one of the most important components of SEO.
For example, if you’d like to link to your special offers section, make the anchor text “Special Offers at Miami Inn and Suites” or something similar, rather than “click here”.
Optimizing your anchor text with relevant words that explain the link is important, but don’t use the same anchor text for every link to a page. Mix it up using natural language that will make sense to the visitor. Use variations on the phrase and sometimes add in the name of your hotel.
Skipping Title Tags and Meta Descriptions
There are a few elements to consider when optimizing the content on your hotel website. A common mistake is simple adding in some keywords, and leaving it at that.
In addition to your keywords, title tags and meta descriptions are essential elements of SEO that should not be forgotten. Skipping them means a huge missed potential for your content. These optimizing factors are considered by search engines when crawling your website, so if they’re done right, they can improve the performance of your content.
Another detail that hotel marketers sometimes forget is including image tags. The alt tags of the images you include on your website are important, as they are another sign of how you are targeting articles. Search bots cannot ‘see’ the pictures – but they can read the alt tags and add this information in the way they index your pages.
Vizlly now adds alt text to your hotel images by using captions, read more about this product feature in the release notes.
Your site has broken links.
One of the ways search engines rank websites is by crawling the links on the site. If your hotel website has outdated or broken links, it can prevent search engine spiders from crawling and ranking your site- a major SEO loss! Therefore, it’s extremely important to check links regularly to ensure they are still working. If you do find broken links on your site, be sure to redirect them to the proper place as soon as possible.
Are you guilty of any of these SEO mistakes? The good news is, they are all relatively easy to correct. If you are a Vizlly SEO customer, many of these elements are already taken care of for you!
As always, if you have any questions on these or any other features, contact your Success Coach.