Start your year by refreshing your resort or hotel’s website Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and you will reap the benefits. While many consider SEO to be a dark art and is a complete mystery to others, there are some simple activities that you can do to improve your site’s performance. So, please don’t shy away from it.
Many of the suggestions below are simple to implement, and you do not need to be a technical genius!
Before you begin your SEO activities, ensure you have all the right tools in place. This includes setting up:
- Google Analytics and adding the tag to your website
- Google Search Console, including verification
- Bing Webmaster Tools
- If you have a CMS such as WordPress, install a plugin like Yoast or AIO SEO to help.
Now that you have all these set up (don’t forget to store your passwords safely), here are some top tips to make your site stand out in search engine results.
1 Make sure your resort website is search engine friendly
- Use Google Search Console’s Inspect URL feature to make sure Google can find your website.
- Check how mobile-friendly your website is with Google’s mobile-friendly test, and then, if your result is poor, speak with your web designer to make improvements.
- No one wants to wait for a website to load, so check your Google Page Speed Insights. Ideally, your site should load in less than 3-4 seconds.
- Use Google Search Console’s Crawl Statistics to resolve 404 or 500 errors.
- Identify and fix any broken links both internally and externally.
- Read through your site and check for duplicate content, potentially lowering search engine visibility.
- Use services like Screaming Frog or Sitebulb to check your URLs. They should be clean and easy to read.
- Does your site have structured data? First, check Schema.org’s markup validator to check. If not, speak with your designer.
2 Understand how your target market searches online
Once the basics are done, it’s time to learn more about what your audience is looking for in search engines.
Several services will help you find what potential guests are searching for. These include Ahrefs, SEMRush or Google’s Keyword Planner. You’ll be surprised that they could be looking for a resort that’s pet friendly or one that’s near them.
Develop a list of asked questions and prioritize this list by the monthly search volume. These services will provide this information. Then write relevant, well-researched, quality content to answer those questions.
Google Trends and Google Keyword Planner will help you discover when guests are searching. This will tell you when you should promote your website to potential guests.
3 Improve your website’s content
Making sure that your content is as good as possible is critical to SEO success.
Copy needs to be well-crafted, engaging and adds value to the reader. Google will not send people to a website that it believes is low in content value as they will bounce off and have a poor search experience.
Spend some time updating duplicate page titles, meta descriptions (Yoast) and heading tags.
Update your content so that it reflects your resort today.
Optimize your images by improving file names, alt text and choosing images that add value to the visitor. Allocate some budget and have some professional photos taken. Also, use Screaming Frog and Sitebulb to audit your images and replace outdated ones.
SEMRush content audit will help you identify duplicate content. Or, check Google too using site:website:com “keyword” and see how many similar pages appear.
Use the research you undertook in section two and create content that your audience is looking for to encourage them to visit your site to read.
Google Analytics and Crazy Egg will help you measure your content’s success. Are they reading and engaging with it or bouncing away from your site?
Make sure that your content has a clear call to action to help guests sign up for your email list or make a reservation.
4 Make sure your resort has a business listing
Your guests will likely see your business listing before reaching your website, so use these tools and add great images, promote your facilities and add reviews.
Set up your free Google My Business account then:
- Make sure your business is verified
- Add your resort information
- Respond to reviews – even the negative ones – as this shows you care
- Add photos and videos regularly
- Chat in real-time
- Add the GMB app to your phone to unlock other functionality.
Remember, your star rating is based on data gathered by Google from third-party sources, so you will not be able to amend this.
5 Measure your search engine optimization
Once you have undertaken all these Search Engine Optimization activities, you’ll need to see the results of your work. Ultimately, it is down to how many bookings you received from organic search (not advertising involved), but rankings will provide you with direction.
Use Google Analytics to set up conversions and goals.
Head back to your Google Analytics tool to:
- Set up custom reports to measure key performance metrics
- Learn which pages are driving reservations
If you are experiencing lots of traffic, but not many bookings, explore Conversion Rate Optimization, which involves increasing the number of visitors acting on your website – i.e. making a booking.
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