Today, I want to talk about something that’s incredibly important for your hotel’s web presence. Namely, search engine optimization (SEO).
Most travelers use the Internet at some point when booking their trip.
For example, 74-77% of travelers use it to plan their trip. This includes Google searches.
At the same time, only 8.5% of Internet users click through to the second page of Google results.
It goes without saying that it’s important to rank high on Google for certain keywords to get all those travelers to come to your site instead of another hotel’s site.
No wonder that search engine optimization, or SEO, is important for the hospitality industry!
But how do you manage to get on the first page of Google?
There are various ways to optimize your content.
In this article, we’ll look at one of them: Publishing fresh content.
1. Why fresh content matters
Figuring out how to rank well on Google is difficult. Unfortunately, the Silicon Valley giant is quite secretive about its exact ranking algorithm.
However, professional SEOs continuously try to figure out the right combination. That’s why we know something about Google’s ranking factors.
For example, many SEOs maintain that Google ranks sites based on freshness or how new the content is. It awards sites with a freshness score and categorizes the content based on freshness needs.
The reason is that Google wants to help users find the right information.
Before, it was easier to use “black hat” SEO techniques to rank high on Google. What this means is that rogue SEOs tricked the system by using spam techniques.
Google has made several algorithm updates to prevent sites from spamming their way to the top.
With those algorithm updates, Google wants to make results as targeted and relevant as possible. This way, users keep coming back for more, which is a win-win situation for Google and site owners.
If you think about how you use Google, you probably agree that the fresher the content is, the more useful it tends to be. That’s why Google prioritizes fresh content in many situations.
Google also ranks fresh content because users specifically search for the newest content when they type in certain keywords.
For example, if there’s an event in the hospitality industry, Google wants to show fresh content for searches relating to that event. By targeting events and news in the hospitality industry with fresh content, your hotel could rank high for days or weeks for that event.
2. How do you keep content fresh?
We’ve established that you need fresh content to rank your site on Google. But how do you keep content fresh? Good question!
While we can’t know for sure, it seems that websites that update their sites by regularly adding new pages to them earn a higher freshness score.
Obviously, you can’t add random pages and pray that your site ranks high on Google. Your pages must serve a purpose.
Fortunately, there are some great ways in which you can regularly add fresh content to your site. Consequently, you improve your freshness score.
First, you can add fresh content to your site by using reviews from other sites.
For example, a visitor might have reviewed your hotel on Booking.com or on their own blog. You can use that review on your site and link to it. That way, you always have fresh content that you can use for your site.
Apart from SEO benefits, using reviews has another benefit: You build trust with your site visitors.
Disclaimer: Some OTA’s (like TripAdvisor) don’t allow properties to copy/paste the reviews to their own website. You must use their official Review badges and widgets. So make sure to check the terms and conditions for the websites containing reviews of your property.
According to some of the most prominent professional SEOs in the industry, sites that add blog posts could achieve a higher freshness score.
That’s why you need to update your blog. You might be wondering how you should do it with all your other to-dos. After all, blogging takes a lot of time and effort.
It’s important to remember that you can think of blogging as a way to interact with your audience on social media.
You don’t necessarily have to use lots of time on every blog post that you write. Instead, use your blog as a way to communicate with your visitors.
Here are some examples of content that you can publish on your blog:
- A photo of a loyal customer who keeps coming back to your hotel. (ask for permission)
- If someone blogged about your hotel, feature that on your blog.
- Tell a story about your hotel.
- Use material from other websites by linking to infographics or videos.
As you can see, the possibilities are endless!
Local events and attractions
One way to kill two birds with one stone is to maintain a list of local events and attractions. For example, you can maintain an event calendar on your site.
Potential visitors will love this because they’re always looking for things to do and to see in your area. And if you keep adding new events and attractions, Google will reward you for the fresh content you put out there.
I have previously talked about using events in hotel marketing.
However, when updating your content, remember that fresh content is not all that matters.
There are several other ranking factors that determine how your hotel website ranks on Google. A few of them are on-page SEO, backlinks, and quality content.
Creating fresh content is important, but make sure you get the other factors right to see a boost in your rankings.
In this day and age, it doesn’t come as a surprise that most travelers use the Internet to book their trip. Google is one of the primary resources for travelers looking to find information about their travel destination. That’s why it’s important for hotels to have a strong presence on Google.
Fresh content is essential for search engine optimization. Google uses fresh content as a relevancy factor when it ranks content. It often prioritizes fresh content and sites that regularly produce fresh content.
For hoteliers, producing fresh content doesn’t have to be very difficult. There’s a lot of information you can use to woo your website visitors and keep content fresh for Google, like blog posts and reviews.
Take a look at your blog: what kind of content do you publish there? How can you make it as frictionless as possible to post new content? To increase your chances of getting ranked on Google, create a plan to ensure that you keep publishing new posts.