In the competitive hotelier world, additional income streams can greatly support your hotel in the quieter periods of the week/ year. Maybe you have a few conference rooms set up and you also hire out some space for weddings/events but unfortunately the adage of ‘if you build it, they will come’ does not apply here. But what if they did come? How much additional income would this bring? How would this allow you to do an even better job of servicing your guests? Well, we are glad to say that there are ways to get your venue fully booked all year round through effective search engine marketing.
SEO – the basics
Before getting into the specifics of what you venue can do, there are a few much lower hanging fruits that if you cover effectively, you will have strong rankings. These being:
- Fast Website – What is the load speed for each of your pages? When the ‘Page Experience‘ update hits search engines in 2021, this will become very important for your rankings
- Mobile First – Piggybacking of the ‘Page Experience’ update, with most users coming to your site via a mobile device, having your website optimised for mobile will be very important
- Google My Business – Having this set up allows you to control how your venue is portrayed across the Google Search network, this is because you can add your business information which will be shown potentially on relevant searches
- Off-Page SEO – When setting up your website, you want to make sure that your site is well optimised behind the scenes. This involves optimising your meta-title and meta-description as well as ensuring all your image names are relevant. This will immediately make your search results more ‘clickable’
Creating great content
Your hotel blog will become the centre of your content plan as this is where you can develop the content that signals to Google that you are the best result. For example, if you are wanting to attract more weddings to your venue, you may make a series of blog post dedicated to providing value to people who have an upcoming wedding, making sure to throw in relevant geographical terms too as this helps to reaffirm to Google where you are based. We would advise you to then look up existing results on the searches you want to show for thinking ‘how could I do better?’ and then write down any ideas that come to mind. If you are still short on ideas, why not visit some wedding blogs and gather ideas here? The important thing is to get down a bunch of ideas on paper and then ideally set a date on which you will get each idea turned into a blog.
How many blogs is enough? The answer will depend largely on where you are located but as a general rule of thumb, doing one post a week and monitoring the results will be a good way to go. Do this for 2 years and you have over 100 blog posts, that’s a lot of ‘signals’ to tell Google you deserve those #1 spots you’re after!
For your websites static content, such as your homepage and services page, you will want to ensure that you are using keywords that help to show your venue is relevant to your location and is relevant to the types of venue hire you want to attract. The best way to show this would be the below before and after:
Before – ‘Our hotel has 3 rooms which you can hire out for your various needs’
After – ‘Our hotel’s venue centre, which is located within our grounds in Clifton, Bristol contains 3 separate spaces which can be used as a wedding venue, conference room or a space to hire for your next event’
You can see how by going one level deeper, we have now been able to tell Google we have a venue that can service weddings, conferences and general space hire based in Clifton. In doing so, Google will now consider showing your venue page on far more searches than previously was the case.
The most important key to success with SEO is to just keep going. Make a content strategy for the next 12 months, stick to the plan and make incremental changes based on analysis of your blog post performance. If you do a good enough job, the blogs you made 5 years ago will continue to bring you regular inquiries for as long as search engines exist – which looks to be a very long time!