SEO is a hugely complex subject and one that it can take years to master. The landscape is constantly changing, new Google updates – some major, some minor – are deployed every day and there are new additions to the ecosystem seemingly every week. The way we look at SEO is changing, and the measures you must take to ensure your hotel website is search engine optimised must adapt too. If you have been left confused by talk of Panda, Penguin and Possum, aren’t sure which direction to take your blog and don’t know if your hotel’s web site is prepared for the mobile first index, keep reading. We’ve outlined the key SEO ranking factors 2017 in one handy list, making it easy to get your SEO efforts on track and more bookings flooding in from your digital marketing investment.
This isn’t about spamming your prospects with things they don’t want or need. It isn’t even about simply producing a huge amount of material and throwing it out there. A good content strategy for SEO optimisation is one which addresses the needs of your target market and gives them what they want and need. It also focuses on high quality, consistent offerings over quality, meaning you may find yourself spending more on single pieces of content, producing less blog posts overall but offering more value in fewer pieces.
Optimising your content could mean any of the following:
- Creating shareable content which you have written or produced with a view to feeding your social media profiles. Channels like Facebook and Instagram are a great way of boosting your following and can have a direct impact on SEO. Social profiles contribute towards your SEO rankings indirectly, so make sure yours are in great shape!
- Contributing articles or blog posts which position you as a thought leader in the hotel industry to other, authoritative sites or industry publications. This helps build trust and authority with potential visitors while also working wonders for your SEO.
- Content optimisation for SEO can also mean getting rid of superfluous or redundant copy, too. Check over your website with a full content audit and cut the fluff.
Google’s latest initiative means your website’s rankings are increasingly dependent upon the mobile version of your website, not the desktop version. If you have a mobile responsive website, you’re good to go – and if you don’t, now might be a good time to reconsider. However, even if your website is mobile friendly, remember to test your page speed on a regular basis. The advent of AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) means visitors no longer want to wait for your website to load. A clunky, slow moving website will be punished by Google for its sluggishness and will see your potential guests departing for a hotel with a quicker loading site.
Cultivate (Quality) Backlinks
This links back to the first two considerations, as a valuable backlink strategy is closely tied to good content and the cultivation of meaningful online interactions with other websites in your field. Make ties with local businesses who can help strengthen your position as a superior travel destination and encourage mutual link building.
It can take a lot of time and effort to build an effective SEO strategy, and Google’s ranking system is constantly evolving, which means a continuous adaptive mind-set is required. Take heed of these top SEO ranking factors in 2017 to create a solid foundation on which to grow.