The following information was taken from the eBook, A Beginner’s Guide to SEO, co-written by Leonardo and Marco Braggio. The full version can be downloaded from our website here.
SEO is a bit of a buzz word these days, and your property website can definitely benefit from improving its SEO. But before we talk about how to improve SEO, let’s first make sure we’re all on the same page as to what SEO actually is.
What is SEO?
SEO, also known as Search Engine Optimization, is the process of affecting where a website shows up in a search engine’s search results. Generally, the higher ranked a website is on a search engine’s results page (SERP), the more visitors it will receive. And more website visitors mean more bookings! So it’s important to do what you can to improve your website ranking and SERP placement.
Your Vizlly website has been built to be SEO friendly, but there are some things you can do to help make your website’s SEO even better! Here are 9 tips you can implement right now, to help you get there:
9 Tips to Improve Your Vizlly Website’s SEO
1. Be Consistent and Keyword Driven
Keyword research is the foundation of all on-site SEO. Providing consistent and keyword driven descriptions of your site and pages within it helps search engine bots clearly identify the content that is covered on each page. You don’t need to create multiple pages about the same thing in order to optimize for different keywords. Instead, you should have a well-written, citation-worthy topic page and optimize it for multiple keywords. Keyword-rich page URLs and file names are an important factor in user experience and search engines.
2. Use Header Tags
Header tags are used to separate the heading of a page from the rest of its content, and they are very important to SEO. In particular, an H1 tag tells search engines what your page is about. Each page of your website should have one and only one H1 Heading. Then use H2 Headings for all of your pages subheadings – to visually break up the content on the page, and help search engines understand what your page is about.
3. Choose a Good Domain
Your domain (or website URL) is the address that travel shoppers will type into a browser to access your site directly. It’s how consumers will find you. With this in mind, owning your own domain is better than using a third party like blogspot.com. The URL length should be short and sweet and easy to read.
For example, a good domain would be something like www.hotelname.com. If you don’t have a domain name yet, check out this article on how to register a domain.
4. Write SEO Page Titles
Vizlly provides you with the ability to auto generate best practice titles for each of your website’s pages (these page titles are also what display in the tab of a browser). However, you can customize each page title to be even better optimized for SEO if you have a keyword strategy. Your ‘SEO Page Title’ tag should be 65 characters or less, or only a few words in length, with the keyword near the beginning of the title. Your title should align with the content of your page. Page titles help with SEO ranking because they provide a clear explanation of what your website is about.
5. Write SEO Page Descriptions
An SEO page description is the brief description that shows up below your Page Name in Search Engine Results Pages. It’s recommended that you provide a brief SEO Page Description for each page of your website as this description tells travel shoppers what your page is about and can compel them to click through to your site. Your SEO Page Description should provide a brief description of what the page is about, include primary keywords within the description, and a strong call to action. Keep the length to no more than 145 characters. For example, your ‘Offers’ page can have a description such as “Special Offers and Exclusive Deals at Hotel Nicole in Los Angeles, California.”
6. Use Links!
Whenever you can, link within your website content. Link internally (meaning, to other pages within your website) or externally to other relevant pages. Internal links help users navigate and help establish importance to search engines by the number and quality of links to a given page. It’s good to link out to third party websites, but make sure they are of authority and relative. However, it is bad for your rankings when you have many links to/from the same sites – it suggests link buying or spamming to Search Engines.
7. Create a Custom Text Only Page
Creating a custom text only page that follows all of the above best practices will do wonders for your website’s SEO. Custom text only pages can be used to optimize against specific keywords, and they are a blank canvas on which you can implement these SEO best practices. Make the content of your page relevant and useful for travel shoppers, and make sure you use H1 and H2 headings – and don’t forget to create a great page title with a keyword at the beginning of the title!
8. Have Great Visuals with Keyword Rich Metadata
Search engines can’t read images but they can read the text descriptions (or meta data) associated with the image. Your image caption, short description and long description should describe the content of each image and include keywords where relevant. Having great visuals will also increase the quality of your website, thus increasing the potential for other websites to want to link to it – which is an important factor for our final tip.
9. Go Beyond On-Page SEO
On-page SEO is just the first 25% of what matters to search engines. 75% of SEO is dependent on off-page optimization, which is all about building your website’s online authority though inbound signals. Off-page SEO is the quality and relevance of links to your website, which will establish your SEO authority and ultimately influence your search ranking results. Links that are coming from external websites are the #1 way that search engines can evaluate and rank your website. A great way to generate inbound links is to provide helpful, quality content that others want to link to. For accommodation providers, think about partnering with websites of local restaurants, local attractions and community organizations, sharing their content and vice versa to drive traffic and improve ranking for your website.