Search engine optimization
(SEO) is a digital marketing tool used to make sure your website is found by search engines such as Google. It also ensures that your business’ organic listing (i.e. not coming from a paid ad) appears as high as possible on page one of the results' page.
There are many other highly sophisticated digital marketing techniques to drive more visitors to your site (traffic). Getting the basics of SEO
done right should still be a cornerstone of any digital strategy. It remains a simple fact that the more traffic you get, the more conversions you will get.
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO is based on the premise that a search engine knows where you are geographically. For example, if someone searches ‘emergency plumber’ Google knows that they are probably not looking for businesses all over the country, they need someone nearby. It will present results for local plumbers and highlight those whose websites have been optimised for local SEO.
Now imagine you are travelling and need a hotel at short notice. The same principle will apply if you search ‘luxury hotel with pool’. The results would be completely different if you were in Dublin rather than London. The highlighted website will be for the hotel which a) fits the search intent b) is local and c) is best optimised for local SEO.
It focuses your listings, website structure and content in order to promote your services to a target guest in a specific location at the exact moment they're searching for hotels. Browsers are nearly 50% more likely to click on a listing which Google choose to show as a local result.
How to improve local SEO for your luxury hotel?
In this article we present 4 great tips on how to do local seo well, with the intention of your getting hotel's website to rank better for local audiences and convert them into guests.
1. Optimize your NAP, Google Maps and update citations
NAP is your name, address and phone number and it is your primary tactic for appearing in the local pack. Ensure that each is right up to date and your phone number includes the area code.
Google Maps is a great tool for business and leisure travelers alike and promotes your overall presence online. You can use Google My Business to claim your map listing. Not only it does offer a brief overview of your hotel for increased exposure, it will also give you a quick boost to your Google ranking.
2. Gather citations They are mentions of your brand name and address on other web pages. They will improve your ranking in Google even if there is no direct link to your website. Businesses which don’t have a website can appear in local search results just from citations on Facebook for example.
3. Post content with local keywords
Start with local content which focuses on coherent keywords for your area and educates your website visitors about the surrounding community. This is an excellent win-win.
It is great for local SEO and for your visitors to learn what museums are open, what festivals are on, what restaurants are close by and what sightseeing options there are.
Reviews from these local businesses are also a great way of building your profile. Make sure you reply appropriately to reviews, for example: “We appreciate your feedback on [product/service] in [city, state]…”
4. Build your local links
One of the most powerful components in any SEO is top-quality links from other credible websites which relate to your hotel.
Find niche companies that provide complementary services such as nearby tourism organisations and ask them to link to your hotel on their website.
Be aware of local clubs, festivals, arts, restaurants and events and build relationships with them. When considering backlinks always go for quality over quantity.
5. Optimise your Booking process
In order to make the most of your local search traffic, it is imperative that your website has a quick loading speed, a good user experience and a high converting booking engine, particularly on mobile devices.
Most browsers performing local searches will be doing so on their phone. They will soon leave your site without booking if it is slow or hard to navigate.
If Google chooses to present local results they are usually shown as a ‘three pack’ i.e. three similar nearby businesses which fit the search intent and geography.
For the best chance of being in the three pack, work on your NAP, citations and reviews. Even better, if the search is specific enough, your luxury hotel may appear in the coveted one-box which is the large panel to the right of the results listings.