Off-page search engine optimization (SEO) is as important for search engine visibility as on-page SEO. Many off-page SEO factors rank among the most important when it comes to great performance in search results.
What is off-page SEO?
Off-page SEO refers to activities not directly related to the content or coding of your website e.g. creating links to your site from other websites or increasing your social media presence. In particular, it helps to tell search engines what others think about your website. It builds the trust, authority and relevance of your website and is a major factor for higher ranking in search engine results.
Why is off-page SEO important to hotel websites?
The number of sessions on your website is probably the most important metric for a hotel website. It is the essential performance indicator for what we call customer acquisition. Understanding search algorithms and ranking factors which are constantly changing, is crucial to maximising your visibility in search results and hence traffic to your site. Even without any other considerations, the more sessions on the site, the more bookings you will get. SEO
is a key tool in driving your direct bookings.
What is the difference between on-page SEO and off-page hotel SEO?
On-page SEO focuses on the content and technical aspects of your website over which you have control. Off-page SEO comprises a number of different strategies which influence external factors, and improve the relevance, trustworthiness, and authority of your website.
What does off page SEO look like for hotels?
1. Link related off-page SEO
Building backlinks is the most effective off-page tactic. Search engines determine the value of a web page by the number and quality of backlinks. A website with many high-quality backlinks will usually rank better than a site with fewer backlinks, no matter how useful and fresh its page content might be.
When building backlinks, do not sacrifice quality for quantity. Consider:
● A linking site’s popularity and how relevant it is to your site.
● The authority and trustworthiness of the linking site.
● The relevance of the anchor text (the text you click on) to your linked page.
● The freshness of the links e.g. if all your links are more than 3 years old, they won’t have as much equity
● The number of other links on the linking page – pages with more links pass less equity.
There are three main types of backlinks:
✔ A natural link is one that is given organically through no action of the website owner.
✔ A manually built link comes from a process of link-building activities, e.g. proactively asking other sites to link to your website or asking influencers to share your content.
✔ A self-created link is a non-editorial link added in an online directory, press release or forum. Exercise caution with this type of link building as Google penalise some of them.
2. Non link related off-page SEO
As mentioned above, any activity outside of your own website which helps to boost your search ranking can be considered as off page SEO. Here are some non-link related examples:
▪ Social media marketing. Likes, mentions and shares of your content across social media platforms are all logged by Google and help to improve your sites profile. They can also result in a link back to your site.
▪ Guest blogging. Guest posting (writing an article for another site with a link back to your own site) can be a worthwhile way to get backlinks but don’t overdo it.
▪ Brand mention. References to your brand in articles, reviews, forums and social media networks are invaluable. Follow up positive mentions of your services and try and get a backlink. Ensure that you respond to negative comments.
▪ Influencer marketing. This is the world's fastest growing form of online marketing and the mainstream media will reference it too. You can approach an appropriate influencer and pay them (or offer a value add such as a free night’s stay) to create content promoting your services.
3. Local off-page SEO
Off-page SEO is based on human’s natural instincts to follow or discuss people, brands and services which they like. This will often be online but can also occur in your local setting, where word-of-mouth referrals can create a buzz about a high-quality business. Some organisations such as health services explicitly use a ‘friends and family test’ and ask users if they would recommend them to their friends/family. As hotels pivot to local staycations during the COVID pandemic, this type of local advocacy is invaluable in building your brand.
How can off-page SEO techniques help to boost your hotel's online visibility?
All the strategies mentioned in this article will result in mentions of your brand, shares of your content and comments from sources external to your own website. Focus on getting your brand onto strong social media platforms and gaining links from reputable sites. Monitor your performance using a tool such as moz.com and as you see your site’s authority build, you will also see your positions in search engine rankings improve.
Aró Digital’s expert marketing team can provide advice on any aspect of hotel marketing and SEO techniques.