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SEO: In-house or Outsource
 

By: Joe Hyman, VIZERGY® President & CEO
 
By now, most properties with a Website know the importance of hotel Internet marketing, specifically search engine optimization (SEO).  Many owners and managers of all types and sizes of properties find themselves taking on this challenging and time-consuming task with little help... or doing nothing at all.  This tends to create negative situations, considering all the other responsibilities they have, like focusing on the complexity of the SEO process and the competitive nature of the business.  Frequently, the end result is that other areas of the property, such as guest services and operations, suffer, with less time being devoted to them.  So the question is: Is it best to keep SEO in-house or outsource it?
 
Be Objective
 
The entire SEO process involves many steps and skills.  While outsourcing all SEO tasks saves time and allows you to focus on other key issues that impact your hotel’s fiscal performance, it may not always be a practical option.  Here’s where some objectivity comes in handy.  First and foremost, be honest, and carefully analyze the in-house strengths, skills and time constraints of your organization.  If you pride yourself on being the content guru, perhaps you could keep that task inside and outsource other areas, such as keyword research and link building, which you may find too challenging or time consuming.  If your property is not confident in any particular area of SEO, maybe outsourcing the entire operation is best.
 
What Content is all About
 
Property owners frequently keep the area of Website content development in-house, simply because they know their property and audience so well.  However, if writing content is not your forte, or requires too much of your time, it should be outsourced.  Often, it is especially important to outsource content creation when new services or local demand generators arise, so that you capitalize on new optimization opportunities.  Always thoroughly check the experience level, reporting capabilities and references of the companies you consider for this critical task.
 
Choose Your Keywords Carefully
 
When it comes to keywords, it’s tempting to cut costs and opt for one of the free research tools available.  However, there is much to be said for outsourcing keyword analytics, research and selection.  Outsourcing this task helps give you better insight and clears your head of pre-conceived notions about existing keywords.  An outside team can also open new doors to audiences previously unexplored.  Because this process is so vital to your Website’s results and profits, keyword research is probably the top candidate to outsource to an experienced SEO team.  Keep in mind that competent SEO consultants have the resources and expertise to identify the most powerful keywords to drive traffic to your site.
 
Page by Page
 
Of course, there are other elements necessary to ensure that your site’s pages are ranked by the major search engines, including title and meta tags, links, keywords and optimized content, etc.  These on-page optimization elements are usually more costly to outsource, but absolutely critical for a comprehensive SEO effort.  You may decide to keep this task in-house, so that you can dedicate more of your budget to other SEO areas.  In any case, if you are unsure about your knowledge when it comes to on-page optimization, it’s better to be safe than sorry.  It’s likely most properties will need to outsource this investment, especially to gain a peace of mind that it’s taken care of properly.
 
More to Consider
 
A wide range of SEO related tasks can be accomplished in-house or effectively outsourced, and we’ve only touched on the major pieces – content, keywords and on-page optimization.  Many other elements such as Web design, hosting, analytics and social media functions are all SEO related as well.  Every Website project or task should be done considering the SEO campaign in the forefront.  Your property’s assessment of its priorities, talents and goals will help determine what specific efforts are best outsourced.  Once your property determines which elements to keep in-house and which to outsource, the path to a revenue producing SEO program gets much easier.

A Few Specific In-house Suggestions
 
Lastly, let’s review a couple of ideas to supplement SEO and engage guests that can be easily managed in-house.  If your property supports a blog, it’s a good idea to have someone at the property tasked with managing it.  Posting weekly entries about local happenings, activities, property news, etc. can build a loyal following.  Facebook profiles are also best managed at the property level.  The site allows you to connect with friends, while sharing your hotel staff’s personality, specials and guest comments.  Link building and advertising on your local Convention and Visitors Bureau, local media stations and directories such as superpages.com and wedding guides will help you better reach niche markets.


VIZERGY is a hotel Internet marketing company that empowers properties to drive revenue through the Internet.  VIZERGY offers Internet marketing, search engine optimization, paid search ads, Website design, e-mail marketing, reservation services and e-commerce strategy development to help hotels aggressively compete online.

For more information on VIZERGY and its services, please visit www.vizergy.com, call Amakeda Ponds at 904.389.1130 Ext. 179 or email Amakeda.p@vizergy.com.

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Contact:

Amakeda Ponds
Marketing Manager
Amakeda.p@vizergy.com
904-389-1130 ext. 179
www.vizergy.com

 

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Also See: VIZERGY® Undergoing Expansion; Hotel Internet Marketing Company Thrives in Tough Economy / December 2009

VIZERGY® Wins Prestigious Adrian Awards; Company Recognized for Best in Web Marketing by the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) / November 2009

VIZERGY® Webinars Internet Marketing and Social Media; Free Expert Advice from the Leaders in Search Marketing / November 2009

VIZERGY® Webinar Internet Marketing: Are You Doing the Basics? Free Expert Advice from the Leaders in Search Marketing / October 2009

WNW Hospitality Experiences Success with Aggressive Online Marketing; WNW generates significant increase in group leads in first few months / September 2009

VIZERGY® Enhances its Long-standing Google Qualified Company Status; Company s Entire Search Marketing Team now Google Qualified / September 2009

VIZERGY® Webinar Free Advice from Hotel Internet Marketing Leaders; Social Media How do I know where to start? / September 2009

New Distribution Management Tool Connects Directly to Expedia; VIZERGY® offers new tool linking hoteliers to over 70 Expedia affiliated sites / August 2009

VIZERGY® Webinar Free Expert Advice from the Leaders in Search Marketing / Internet Marketing: How to Drive Website Traffic / August 2009

VIZERGY® - One of the 50 Fastest Growing Private Companies in NE Florida; Hotel Internet Marketing Company Honored for Rapid Growth / August 2009

VIZERGY® Webinar – Internet Marketing: Are You Doing the Basics? Free Expert Advice from the Leaders in Search Marketing / June 2009

Hoteliers Seek New Ways to Cut Spending; New Tool Offers More Control of Web Site for Less / March 2009

VIZERGY® Honored with Prestigious Adrian Awards; Company Wins Seven Awards, Including Two Gold, from Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) for Best in Web Marketing / November 2008

Hotel Internet Marketing Company VIZERGY® Celebrates 10 Years of Profitability / September 2008

2,000 Hoteliers Manage Multiple Web Activities with Ease; VIZERGYTM's My Web WorldSM Platform Makes it Possible / June 2008

Web 2.0 Continues to Transform Hospitality Industry; VIZERGY's Oklahoma City Workshop Offers Hoteliers Tips for Success / May 2008
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