Lately, we’ve been curious about how seriously the US hotel industry takes Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and their direct channel websites.

NB: This is an article from three&six, one of our Expert Partners

It seemed to us that SEO was being overlooked, and direct hotel websites weren’t getting the attention they deserved. This raised a question that we couldn’t ignore: do hotels prioritize SEO?

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When measured against SEO best practice metrics, US hotel direct websites score just 58.3% on average. The results, equivalent to a US High School Grade F, are the headline findings from our recent white paper titled “A Wake-Up Call: The State of SEO in the USA Hotel Industry”.

Although the poor performance grabs the attention, it didn’t come as a total surprise to our team at three&six. For quite some time, we suspected that direct hotel websites were underperforming, especially compared to other industry sectors, but had no real proof.

To find the answer, we embarked on a mission. We decided to survey 3341 properties across 32 major US destinations and dive deep into the world of SEO. Our team meticulously benchmarked each website on over 100 distinct SEO data points. The early months of 2023 were spent analyzing the results, and what we discovered was quite eye-opening.

Anecdotally, we sensed hotel websites had been relegated to a box-ticking exercise behind OTAs and other third-party channels. From the data we found, the findings point to wider issues in both website performance and quality of content.

While many of the statistics in the white paper may not come as a surprise, it is crucial to address the current situation. Fortunately, most of the SEO errors identified are relatively easy to fix and there are detailed explanations of the top issues along with practical recommendations for improvement.

Even the smallest of changes could offer significant improvements in online visibility that will push a hotel website up the rankings and ahead of competition.

While putting together this white paper, one of our Founders, Ben Hanley, pointed out “Hotel revenue and booking managers might be unknowingly missing out on a big chunk of their direct market share because of some avoidable SEO mistakes”.

Echoing this sentiment, Tristan Heaword, another Founder of three&six, suggested “In a world where most independent hotel websites are underperforming, even small improvements can make a huge difference”. He believes that there has never been a better opportunity for hoteliers to grab a bigger share of the market.

Not only can you download your copy of our white paper below, but you can also benchmark your own property against the overall results. We’re offering you a FREE 100-point SEO audit for your hotel website. Just click the link below, enter your URL, and you’ll receive a personalized report with tailored recommendations straight to your inbox.

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