A hotel’s website is the foundation of a strong online presence and provides hoteliers with a platform to showcase their property, build trust with potential guests, and encourage direct bookings.
A well-developed digital marketing strategy can help hoteliers increase their website’s visibility to reach more travelers at the right time in their research process. Read on for some easy (and free!) ways for hoteliers to boost their website’s search engine ranking to generate more clicks, page views, and hotel bookings.
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Why online visibility is important for all hospitality properties
STR estimates that there are over 187,000 hotels worldwide vying for travelers’ attention online. To stand online, hoteliers need to establish a strong online presence to attract potential customers and convince them to book rooms.
An optimized hotel website gives properties the ability to expand their distribution strategy across multiple channels to drive more direct bookings and reduce their reliance on online travel agencies (OTAs). In today’s market, OTAs dominate online hotel searches due to their enormous budgets (Booking.com spent over $3.8 billion on marketing in 2021 alone!), making it hard for independent properties to compete.
A strong digital presence can help hotels build brand awareness to increase direct traffic to their site and direct booking rates. As a hotelier, the key is to be consistent in your hotel marketing efforts and start small with simple but effective strategies.
Can independent hoteliers improve their website performance without advanced SEO?
Many independent hoteliers ask themselves — can I improve my website’s performance without advanced SEO?
The short answer is, yes! There are tons of simple ways for hoteliers to improve the performance of their website without having to learn complicated search engine optimization (SEO) practices.
Start by ensuring your website design is user-friendly and optimized for mobile devices. Over 53% of total web visits in 2022 were on smartphones, making it a critical component of a well-performing site.
Next, ensure your website’s content is relevant, engaging, and includes keywords you want to target. Google crawls your content before recommending it to travelers to ensure it applies to the indicated search term.
After building a website with a good user experience and high-quality content that aligns with your keyword strategy, make sure you have the tools to convert website traffic. A booking engine can help streamline the booking process for website visitors and significantly increase your conversion rates. Add calls-to-action to ‘book now’ on your home page and throughout your site to encourage visitors to book.
For optimal efficiency, your booking engine should be integrated with your property management system (PMS), so you can send confirmation emails and pre-stay communications to build trust and loyalty with guests.
A user-friendly website, strong keyword strategy, and high-quality content are great starting points for your hotel website. Once you have these in place, consider adding the following four additional channels to help boost your hotel website’s performance.