Small boutique hotels often get lost in the shuffle in terms of rankings when compared to larger, chain hotels. With well-known hotel brands such as Hilton, Marriott, and Holiday Inn, it can be hard for boutique hotel websites to outrank these websites due to their smaller size. So how can boutique hotels compete with the major chain hotels? Below are a few simple tips on how to improve your boutique hotel’s rankings in local search results.
It all starts with finding the right keywords for your hotel. First, you’ll want to incorporate the city and state within each of your keywords. Broad terms such as “boutique hotel” or “small hotel” simply won’t work alone. Incorporating the city name into your keywords is the first step when it comes to ranking well locally. For example:
- “Chicago boutique hotel”
- “Boutique hotel Chicago IL”
- “Small hotel in Chicago”
Next, it is time to go after niche keywords. Typically, when someone searches for a city name and hotel (Ex: Chicago hotel) big hotel names are always the first to show up in results. To be honest, it is hard to beat out these larger hotels in rankings if you limit your keywords to this strategy. Which is why it is more beneficial for boutique hotels to go after keywords that are geared more toward their amenities and offerings.
Long-tail keywords are a great approach for boutique hotels since they are very specific. When doing long-tail keyword research it requires a bit more thought. When people make searches for something specific, they typically know what they want, which usually provides better results for companies. The best way to find long-tail keywords is to make a list of everything that is unique about your hotel. Are you located in the downtown area, on a popular street, or beachfront? Do you provide a luxurious atmosphere and amenities for guests? Does your hotel feature a pool, breakfast, or free parking? These are all great ideas to add in your keywords to help increase your search visibility. For example:
- “Luxury boutique hotel in downtown Chicago”
- “Boutique hotel Chicago Magnificent Mile with free parking”
- “Small luxury hotel in Chicago with indoor pool”
- “Downtown Chicago Boutique hotel near Navy Pier”
Once you have your selected keywords, make sure to target no more than 3 keywords on a page. Include your keywords in page titles, meta descriptions, and in the body copy. However, it is important to avoid keyword stuffing and to incorporate your keywords in a natural way.
Business NAP Information & Schema
With any local business, it is important to have your local NAP (Name, Address, and Phone Number) information consistent across the web. This means that your NAP information should be the same and up-to-date in your hotel’s online citations, as well as on your website. Having a local phone number is also important for local rankings. If your hotel only has an 800 number, then definitely consider acquiring a local number as well. Implementing schema into your site can also help move your hotel’s rankings in map listings and local search. It’s easy to add schema to your site, learn how here.
Link Building & Local Directories
Submitting your business to online directories is another important factor to gain inbound links to your site. Directories such as Yelp, MapQuest, Whitepages, and Foursquare are only a few of the major online directories to be listed on. However, finding niche directories that directly relate to travel or tourism are also beneficial to be listed in. Booking websites such as TripAdvisor, Booking.com, and Trivago are also great opportunities.
Competing with popular chain hotels is hard, so acquiring strong backlinks is another important strategy for SEO. When seeking link building opportunities look at local businesses, visitors bureaus, local event’s websites, and even look at your competitor’s backlinks to see where they are getting their links from. However, always make sure the links you want to obtain are from a quality website. Quality over quantity is important when acquiring backlinks for your site.
Update Social Media Accounts
Your social media accounts are also an important aspect to the success of your hotel. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest are only a few of the many social platforms that are indexed by search engines, so double check these accounts and make sure your NAP information is consistent. Lastly, make sure you create a Google My Business account as this will help make sure your hotel is listed in map results. Include your hotel hours, phone number, address, and select the “hotel” category, as well as any other categories that relate to your hotel. Obtaining good reviews from your guests can also help with your website’s rankings.
By taking the advice and steps mentioned above, boutique hotels can start to improve their traffic and search rankings. Results don’t happen overnight and consistent off-site work is important, so remember to continuously monitor and improve your rankings over time for the best results.