Keywords are, for lack of a better word, key to your success in your hotel website’s SEO. Effective use of particularly selected key terms and phrases will not only get visitors to your hotel site – it will attract the right kind of visitors. This means you’ll get visitors who are looking for you, who want what you have. In short, the ones most likely to convert and book a room.
The first step toward success in keyword usage is proper initial research. Solid keyword research is the key to keeping up with the times. It allows you to react to trends and know exactly what your customer wants.
Once you have understood your consumer’s motivations, you can properly tailor your website and its content to meet that demand.
Keyword research is all about the user. You’ll uncover what they are looking for, and what they want when they are searching for terms in search engines. The words they type into the search box tell you exactly what they want. Once you understand the users and what they are looking for in their searches, you can optimize your website to meet those needs and get ahead of the competition.
So where to start with keyword research? It’s pretty simple: use the keywords you want to appear for.
Step one is to put together a list of terms and words that are the most relevant to your hotel. The use of topic-specific keywords leads to greater relevancy for your website on said topic, something search engines are looking at closely when ranking.
Your list should include:
- The type of property
- Your location
- Amenities you provide
- Exclusive features of your hotel
Try to keep it short and sweet. If your list tops 25+ titles, you’ve gone too far.
Once you have your key titles, begin to list all relevant keywords and phrases that fall under that category. If you have a title listed “Dublin airport”, you can include keywords like “park and fly”, “shuttle bus”, “airport hotel”, “hotel near dublin airport” …etc.
Keywords can take on multiple shapes and forms. Don’t assume that simply having the term “cork b&b” means you’re covered. In this case, you may also want to include “cork bed and breakfast” and “bed and breakfast in cork”. Even little changes in the phrasing can make all the difference.
Things to Watch Out For
Limit yourself to keywords that represent your brand, not just the ones you think will be appealing to the public.
For example, you shouldn’t include the keyword “shuttle bus” if you do not have or provide a shuttle bus to the airport. Misrepresenting yourselves and what you can provide will likely increase your bounce rate, and be damaging to your SEO. In more human terms, you’ll be annoying your potential guests!
Watch out for keyword overuse as well. Excessive keyword usage or a lack of relevancy can be seriously damaging to your SEO though. No need to stuff your page full of the same repetitive keywords. Google will not prioritize you. On the contrary, you’re actually more likely to be faced with a penalty.
The keywords you choose to use and focus on, have to be relevant to your content and brand, as well as reflective of your goals. If your goal is to boost bookings into your spa, make sure keywords relating to your spa are present wherever applicable.
Tools to Help
Once you have your core set of terms together, you can begin the search for similar terms. A manual search for your keywords in Google will reveal several similar search terms for you to consider.
However, if you want a more in-depth list, there are a few tools to try out. Our favourites are the Moz Keyword Explorer and Google Search Console.
The Keyword Explorer tool from Moz is perhaps the most all-encompassing aid out there.
Moz’s tool provides you with:
- A monthly report of search volume data
- A reference for how difficult it may be to rank for a specific keyword
- Suggestions of similar keywords
- Estimates of click-through rates
- Your potential ranking score
Google Search Console caters to your site specifically. In the Search Traffic tab of this tool, you can easily identify all the terms surrounding your brand that get impressions. This way it’s easy to know what people are searching for, and where you stand in relation to these key phrases.
Long-Tail Keywords: Where the Money Is
Imagine you are a hotel in Cork city centre. Your first instinct may be to aim for key terms like “hotel in cork city centre” or “cork hotel”. They may be useful, but, unfortunately, they aren’t guaranteed to actually be worth anything.
This is where long-tail keywords come into play. The generic common keyword may receive hundreds, if not thousands, of searches daily, but they only make up about 30% of web searches, according to Moz.
The other 70% are made up of long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords are the highly specific keywords that represent a goldmine for your hotel.
Imagine you are an affordable hotel with self-catering apartments that offer child beds in Dublin. Sure, hundreds, maybe thousands of people type in the search term “hotels in Dublin” or “apartments in Dublin”. It’s all well and good to appear for those terms, but a person using a long-tail keyword like “child-friendly self-catering apartments in dublin” is all but handing you their credit card. They are searching for something very specific, and you can cater to that.
The chances of conversion from a long-tail keyword search like that are higher than your average keyword search. Long-tail keywords often convert much better than their shorter counterparts, as they are reflective of a customer who is already further along in the purchase cycle. Someone searching for “hotel” is a lot further away from conversion than someone with a long-tail keyword search like “hotel near the English Market Cork”. Getting to the bottom of what your audience is looking for is critical to the success or failure of your keywords. While these may sound like a recipe for the perfect AdWords campaign, they are just as important to your SEO.
If your website is already up and running, keyword research is still important! This isn’t just something to do when starting out.
If you already have a site full of content, there is still room to grow by optimizing the keywords, terms and phrases you’ve established in your research. You can also use these keywords in paid search campaigns on AdWords and similar platforms.
Using the right keyword is crucial to your website’s SEO. Knowing exactly what your audience wants will help you get the right information to bring the right visitors to your site. Improved search results ratings, valuable visitors and conversions are all just a keyword away.