One of the most sought after relics in the search engine marketing realm is the coveted backlink.

NB: This is an article from Staah

Essentially, a backlink is a link from another website back to your own. Why are they so coveted? Because they’re difficult to acquire.

What are backlinks?

Backlinks are incoming links to your website from other websites. These links to your website are viewed as votes of confidence to search engines. It means your property’s website is important and relevant enough for other websites to link to and associate themselves with.

They are also known as “inbound links” or “incoming links” and are responsible for linking any users from one site to another. Backlinks are extremely useful for optimising and improving your own SEO, helping to push websites up the search rankings, as a site that has multiple links pushing users through to your website is automatically seen as a more reliable source to one that is not, giving your website extra credibility and kudos in the eyes of the “mighty” search engines (we’re looking at you Google)!

So why are they so important and why does your hotel need them?

Google recognises a link back to your site as a sign of trust and value, verified by the fact that that link exists. At the end of the day, people aren’t going to link back to mediocre content or content that doesn’t help their readers. In turn, Google takes this verified trust signal and begins to increase your website’s visibility within their search results.

Take this real-life example of choosing to go to a new restaurant or café based on recommendations from your close friends. Back-linking in its basic form is the same sort of thing; it is taking a digital vote of confidence from other quality websites that you trust.

How do you start building backlinks for your business?

Probably the simplest way to generate more links to your website is by attempting to mimic any of your current, real business connections online. It’s extremely likely that your hotel already has many connections with other local businesses, such as food suppliers for your restaurant, or interior designers that helped style your rooms. Although these may be very real business connections, it’s likely that they’ve not considered (or currently aren’t) linking to your hotel’s website from theirs.

Approach your partners and ask if they would be open to cross-promoting business online. Perhaps they can include your hotel as a case study on the website, or simply listed as a key client on their sales page. If they are a vendor, offer to give them a testimonial for their website that they can link back to your hotel site. In return, you can promote your partners on your hotel website on a “featured vendors” page or on the blog. You both will benefit!

Half of the battle with search engine optimisation for your hotel website is crafting and creating content that your customers like, in turn, proving your worth to search engines, by engaging with your brand on social media, linking back to it and not just bouncing away from your website as soon as they land on it.

If you can build a great brand reputation on social media, acquire backlinks from a host of different sites and create exciting and engaging content that search engines like, you shouldn’t face any problems getting traffic to your hotel’s website.

Become part of the online directory presence

Online business directories like Yelp and Google Business are integral components of a local (and overall SEO) hotel marketing strategy. Finding niche directories that are focused on your business can send necessary signals to the search engines.

Another benefit is that countless potential customers utilize these directories. Individuals who have visited a business can voice their experience on said business’s official page. Those thinking of attending an establishment use these opinions, directory recommendations, and other listed information (features, amenities, and pricing) as they finalize their plans to select an establishment to patronize.

‍Frankly, online business directories today are what the Yellow Pages were many years ago.

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