Technology has greatly shaped the hospitality industry. In fact, a report by Google says that 83 percent of leisure travelers and 76 percent of business travelers plan their trips online. Statistics grow bigger every year, influencing the way hoteliers market their business. Apart from email and social media marketing, another effective way to boost a hotel’s online presence is through search engine optimization. And how can hotels take advantage of this? By combining SEO and web design. Let’s explore three best practices.
RESPONSIVE DESIGN: A NECESSITY
Do you know that 61 percent of consumers are more likely to contact a local business if they have a mobile-friendly website? Mobile, undoubtedly, is on the rise and it is affecting consumer decisions. Hotel businesses should take advantage of this, especially since a huge number of hotel guests are travelers and on-the-go business people who rely on their mobile devices when looking for accommodation.
Indeed, responsive web design is a necessity in the hotel industry. It is not an option, but more of a need. Many businesses skip the strategy, thinking it will cost them more when, in fact, investing in responsive website design for hotels can cut down business expenses. One responsive website can open hotel establishments to numerous opportunities. If you are not convinced, here’s how an optimized and mobile-friendly website can support your hotel’s SEO strategy.
It allows Google to rank websites faster
A responsive website uses only one URL. It also has the same HTML regardless of device. As a result, Google can crawl, index, and organize web content faster and more efficiently. It allows search engines to focus on one website and place it on a higher ranking.
It decreases bounce rates
A slow and hard-to-navigate website can frustrate site visitors (and potential hotel guests), making them exit in an instant. When this occurs, bounce rate increases ultimately affecting a website’s SEO performance. Responsive design can prevent this by making viewers stay longer and browse more pages. It also allows for a one-of-a-kind user experience, which results in more direct bookings and higher hotel revenue.
It makes websites look more appealing
A responsive website can make your hotel look credible even on a tiny mobile device. It can attract guests from all over the world and encourage viewers to share your services on their social media pages. It helps expand your hotel marketing strategy even without much effort.
A mobile-friendly website needs more than quality content and exceptional layout design. To further your hotel’s SEO strategy, stunning photographs are essential.
THE ROLE OF PHOTOS
Photos are extremely important to a hotel’s website. Appealing and cost-efficient, professional photography can boost your site’s SEO by making viewers browse longer and by encouraging social shares. Visitors want to see images of where they will be staying to visualize and prepare for their trip.
SELECTING PHOTOS WISELY
Stock photography is a no-no for hotel websites. Hoteliers must exert every effort to showcase their establishment, especially the unique selling points. As such, uploading overused stock images is a terrible strategy. Hire an experienced photographer who can provide high-quality images of your hotel. Focus on rooms and suites, conference rooms, as well as gym and pool facilities. You can also add photos of your staff and menu to further entice new customers.
A little cropping and minor edits can enhance your photos and make them look more professional. Blurry and low-resolution images are unacceptable, so take time when choosing the best ones. Demonstrate hospitality and excellence even through photography.
OPTIMIZING IMAGES FOR WEB
Before uploading images on your website, you need to optimize them first. Optimized images can boost your online ranking by supporting related web content and providing a holistic visual experience to users. Here are some good practices when optimizing images:
Save photos as JPEG
Web designers prefer JPEG because it can generate small file sizes without sacrificing image quality. JPEG is the ideal image format for photo galleries as it prevents website lagging, contributing to overall faster loading times.
Create an image sitemap
House all your images in one place by creating an image sitemap. An XML sitemap will help Google index and crawl your photographs, allowing their system to identify the content of your website. This brings your hotel closer to potential guests and online competitors.
Don’t forget alt tags
Google cannot read images so you need to help it out by including alt tags on your photos. Alt tags are descriptive texts made especially for SEO. It’s a great way to add keywords on your page and boost your online ranking.
Developing an effective website and SEO strategy for your hotel can be challenging. Once you have everything down pat, take it up a notch and start focusing on website translation. – this feature will boost your SEO and attract international guests.
IMPORTANCE OF WEBSITE TRANSLATION
Website optimization isn’t all about finding the right keywords and adding them into content. It’s also about effectively localizing a web-page to entice customers from all over the world. Hoteliers who wish to expand their establishment to bigger audiences should take advantage of web translation. Here’s why.
Increases hotel revenue
One way to secure direct bookings is by developing a multilingual website that can break the language barrier between hotel and visitor. Foreign guests will find your website more convenient than that of competitors, which will encourage them to book directly on your page.
Makes your establishment stand out
Multilingual websites aren’t only unique; they are also capable of delivering specific customer needs. Having a localized web-page gives your hotel the edge that other competitors don’t have.
Boosts SEO strategy
A localized website can gain more traffic than monolingual pages. In an article published by Quick Sprout, Neil Patel says that his blog traffic grew by 47 percent after translating it into 82 languages. Other than gaining more direct bookings, a multilingual website can significantly improve page traffic, as well.
Your website is a gateway to potential hotel visitors. Make good use of it. Publish relevant content and visually-appealing images that will attract them to your business. A good web experience can establish trust between you and your guest, enhancing not only your online presence but your hotel’s credibility, as well.