What you need to consider and find agreement on before starting work:
In order for your site to become user-friendly and its position in search engine results to be high (on the first page or, even better, in the top five), the site needs to be optimized. After site optimization the Search engines (Google and Yandex) correctly and quickly “read” its content and present it in the search.
Search engine optimization is a whole range of works that are carried out in a complex. The most pleasant effect is an increase in traffic to the hotel website. Traffic affects the number of potential customers (for commercial resources). And for informational websites optimization affects the subsequent monetization of the site. For example, you can sell ads on sites with high traffic.
Your hotel has a website. You understand that your potential guests are online, you want to understand how to effectively promote the hotel on the Internet. Moreover, competitors say that they sell well through search. The solution is obvious: make the hotel website a new sales channel. And for this you definitely need SEO-promotion.
What to expect from these SEOs? Where are the pitfalls? What do you need to know to achieve success or part of the success that you have planned?
When Should You Hire an SEO Specialist?
First! You must properly assess the risks and determine if SEO is right for you. Maybe you should still use something else?
You DEFINITELY need SEO when:
- you already have a website, and it (very preferably) was not created yesterday, so that your website domain has at least some history;
- the site not only exists, but is also not much inferior to competitors from the top in terms of page volume and content. For example, you have 10 pages on your site, and sites from the top have about 50. It’s easy enough to check: enter in Google the command "site:yourdomain";
ATTENTION! We compare our site with the sites of competing hotels, and not with the sites of aggregators or resellers.
- your site is adaptive - for verification you can useя the service from Google;
- your guests are looking for a hotel in your city or a vacation in your region on the Internet. This is easy to find out using Google's service https://trends.google.com, where you can see the dynamics of user interest in a particular query.
Have you checked? Is everything all right? Let's go!
How to choose a contractor for maximum results
- have been on the market for a long time and have cases in your niche (very desirable);
- have good reviews;
- work in a team, are not a bunch of hastily assembled outsourcers;
- make a clear plan of what they will do with your site for the next 4-6 months. Moreover, the contractors are ready to tell you more about this plan and explain what “response completeness”, “Google Business card optimization” and other things you don’t understand mean items in this plan;
- and they are ready to implement this vision. Meaning, this single team has all the necessary skills and capacities to implement all the points of the TK, and you do not have to look for other specialists.
Important! The performers you have chosen should tell you from the get-go about the pitfalls that await you when working on the site. Before starting work, you really need to understand what actions lead to certain results, what is what and how each feature can affect the growth of positions and the increase in the number of room bookings on the hotel website. Read about it in detail in our article.
An example of a short work plan for a 20 rooms Carpathians hotel website to understand the picture.
First month of work
- Setting up Google Search Console, integrating Analytics with Google Search Console;
- semantic core development and adjustment;
- development of technical specifications for the site technical errors elimination, adjustment of technical specifications, implementation;
- writing a content plan for 4-5 months;
- development of technical specifications for landing pages optimization and the implementation of developed specifications;
Second month of work
- Development of technical requirements for site usability, implementation;
- partial implementation of the TOR for optimizing landing pages;
- writing articles according to the content plan;
- posting and optimization of the above mentioned articles;
- working with response completeness for landing pages;
Third month of work
- Writing articles according to the content plan;
- posting and optimization of the above mentioned articles;
- working with completeness of response for landing pages;
- creating an anchor list;
- working on the links profile based on above mentioned anchor list;
How to control the contractor to make a selling hotel website?
So, you share a common vision for the site development with the contractor, you define a work plan. Also you have an understanding of possible obstacles, and ways to eliminate them are included in the work plan. It remains to be understood, how to control the execution?
- What kind of reporting you want to receive and how often.
- What metrics will you track.
- What KPIs should be achieved during the workings and by what date.
- How you will receive notifications about the work on the site.
- How and who will coordinate the implementation of changes on your site
How it is established to work with clients in "SPRAVA"
An example of one of our reports can be viewed here.
- We track:
- attendance by channels;
- goals achievement in the context of channels;
- positions for queries from the semantic core;
- bounce rate;
- time spent on the page;
- search queries that led to the site;
- CTR of such queries;
- visitor data (geography, age, etc.)
- the behavior of visitors on the site, etc.
- KPI always depends on the specific project and your goals, so you should discuss this issue. A good contractor will tell you what scheme you can work with and why it is optimal for you.
- For example, in "SPRAVA" we do the following:
- The customer has a work plan for the project, broken down monthly. The plan states clearly what, in what order and in what time frame will be done. Upon completion of each item from the list of works, we send a notification. It briefly says what was done and from which part of the TOR. At the end of the month, we make a detailed report for each client with unloading the most important metrics from Google Analytics and comments on it. In other words, you, as a customer, understand what each figure means in the report, tracking the dynamics together with us.
- Specialists of "SPRAVA" came to the following conclusion: the best result can be achieved if the client's interests are represented by a competent employee. This person must have knowledge of what Internet marketing is, its laws and ways of development. They must also be personally interested in achieving the project goals. It is very important that they can independently make strategic decisions or quickly coordinate the necessary actions with executives. And the most important is operational communication, when a decision must be made quickly, and the project curator on the part of the customer must be available.
So, what do you need for high-quality SEO promotion of your project?
- A common vision of the ultimate goal between the customer team and the executing team.
- Regular interaction and data exchange.
- Understandable KPI accepted by both parties.
In our experience, the best results can be achieved if the client's representative participates in regular project sessions (usually two to four times a month), where the results are discussed and the strategy is adjusted depending on the results obtained.
If you have read up to this point and understand that you need to consult about the promotion of your site - wellcome! Contact us and we will discuss your project, scope of work, terms and cost, and we will show cases in this niche.
Important advice from Captain Obvious
You must have all access not only from the domain and hosting, but also from Google Ads, if you run it, from Analytics and the call tracking system. This is trite, hackneyed and of little interest, but we are still constantly faced with the fact that the owner does not have access to a particular account because everything is left to the previous team that worked on the site. And as a result, you have neither complete statistics nor campaign launch history in context, so each time you change working teams it's similar to starting from scratch.
Do not do it this way!
Increasing the efficiency of the hotel website: SEO specialist + site owner = team
SEO is a team effort, and not just the performers, but yours as well. Yes, you are on this team too. You will be required to be involved in the process:
- PARTICIPATION, INTERACTION, INTEREST;
- readiness for changes on the site and/or in internal processes;
- providing the necessary data about the product, company, your buyer;
- prompt approval of TOR;
- analysis and control.
Let us look at an example of teamwork. The customer took the preparation of expert content for the agro-themed website with all seriousness. As a result of joint work, traffic increased by 111%. Want to beat those numbers? Then let's try it together.
Before starting work, prepare a clear TOR. You will need a detailed, segmented portrait of your visitor, the geography of your current and potential visitors.
At the launch stage of the promotion, voice your expectations to the performers.
And to make the work of the SEO team more productive I highly recommend checking your site by the checklist below. As a result of working with more than 50 individual projects, we have derived a formula for the content that must be on landing pages:
Hotel website checklist
So, the start page and all landing pages of the hotel site should contain:
- phone - large, in the upper right corner of the header;
- H1 heading - should be above all page content, below the header;
- "breadcrumbs" block - under the header;
- module describing your hotel's advantages over competitors;
- hotel’s current special offers block;
- rooms block, with prices and a "Book" button;
- text block;
- online booking block;
- video block (desirable);
- hotel location information block;
- reviews block;
- map block;
- the site should contain a "Site Map" page;
- the site should contain the section "News", "Promotions" or "Blog".