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3 Easy Ways to Increase Your Hotel’s Search
Engine Presence… Without LinkBuilding!
by Adam Dorfman
February 24th, 2007

It’s been said there are thousands of variables that go into how the search engine’s algorithms determine which websites rank where. While there may be truth to this, in reality there are a few key things you change on your website that will quickly improve how often your hotel’s website shows up in the search engines. And although I would never claim that if you do all of these you will see an increase in traffic from the search engines, I will go on the record that I’d be surprised if you didn’t at least see a bump. All of these tips are important enough to warrant an individual in-depth look so expect future posts on each of them in the future.

1. Optimize Those Title Tags!

I’ve been doing search engine optimization (SEO) for almost ten years now and if there’s one thing that hasn’t changed in that time, it’s the fact that the absolute easiest thing you can do to improve your site’s search engine presence is to create relevant keyword rich title tags for every page on your site. Since most search engines use what’s in the title tags as the text displayed on their results pages having great titles can increase not only the amount of times your website shows up in search engine results, but also can impact on how many times people click to your site!
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How To Optimize: In the source code for each page of your site look for the text that occurs between the <title> and </title> tag on each page and make sure it represents what the page is about.

Example: If I had a hotel in Miami Florida I might want to make the title tag for my homepage to look something like <title> Luxury Beachfront Miami Hotel – Adam’s Neat Hotel – South Florida Beach Accommodations</title>


2. Optimize Those Meta Description Tags!

This is another SEO 101 tip, but can offer one of the biggest bangs for the buck. This is also another case where you can potentially have an impact not only on how you rank, but how often people click on your ranked site. While the description in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) don’t always come from the Meta Description, they often do and making sure yours is optimized is critical to maximizing the amount of traffic you receive from the search engines
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How To Optimize: In the source code for each page of your site look at the top for the tag <meta name=“description” content=“This is where the description goes”> and make sure that each one is unique, relevant and filled with keywords pertaining to the page it exists on.

Example: Continuing with the Adam’s Neat Hotel example, this is how I might write the tag: <meta name=“description” content=“Offers luxury hotel accommodations in Miami’s fantastic South Beach district. Onsite spa, steakhouse and world-class workout facility makes this beachfront hotel a destination unto itself!”>

3. Filling Out that Content
But let’s not kid ourselves: No matter how great your Title and Meta Description tags are, if you don’t have content that matches what’s in them, they aren’t going to do you much good. Optimizing content for the search engines is a tricky business but if you follow these rules, your site should be viewed favorably by the search engines.
  • The content should be written for your visitors, not the search engines. I know! You’re probably thinking, we’re talking about how to improve your search engine rankings so shouldn’t you be telling me how to write for the search engines now? The reality is writing for the search engines is a losing proposition and writing quality content that will keep visitors on your site and hopefully entice them to make that click to the booking engine or that call to your reservation department is invaluable. 
  • Pictures are important but don’t neglect that text. You can have a site filled with some of the greatest pictures of your absolutely gorgeous hotel but if there isn’t any text there to complement the pictures, the search engines will have no idea what is on the page. And there isn’t a correct content ratio or “keyword density” no matter what you may read out there. Just make a site that’s useful to your visitors and with text the search engines can index and the listings in the SERPs should follow.
  • Expand Your Geo-Targeted Keywords. Avoid restricting the content on your site to just the city your hotel is in. While your hotel may be in Miami, it doesn’t mean that people searching for “South Florida hotel,” “South Beach hotel,” or “Hallandale hotel” would not be quality visitors to your site. Try to work in these additional geo-targeted terms within your copy and see if you can’t nab some additional listings in the search engines!
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Contact:

Adam Dorfman
SIM Partners
773.259.9319
adorfman@simpartners.biz
http://www.localhoteldirectory.com/

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Also See: Hotel Website Optimization - The Blueprints for a Robust Direct-to-Consumer Online Distribution Strategy / Max Starkov and Jason Price / February 2003
Hotel Website Mythbusters: Search Engine Marketing is the Bait; Content Makes the Sale / Shane Ettestad / May 2006
Nine Tips to Create a Dominant Hotel Web Site / Neil Salerno / May 2006
Basic Components of a Hotel Website: Current Weather, Flash Animation, and Virtual Tours?? Plain Talk About Internet Sales / Neil Salerno / February 2004
Case Studies Prove Hotel Search Engine Optimisation Delivers Results / February 2006

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