Why Hotels in Australia Need SEO to Compete Online
How SEO Increases Customer Inquiries
Visibility online has an impact on the success of your business.
What you may not realise is the role that search engine optimisation plays in that process.
Even with the rising prominence of social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter, search engines continue to dominate in terms of driving targeted traffic. Google alone processes billions of searches every single day from all around the world. Ranking for your target keywords can mean the difference between having empty rooms and complete bookings.
Which would you rather have?
Whether you operate a small hotel in the country or manage a multinational chain, SEO is a key marketing strategy to attract new guests to your business. There is certainly some value from booking sites such as Expedia and Agoda but search will generate far more customer inquiries. Consumers conducting a search are also far more likely to convert as they know exactly what they are looking for.
With that said we look at the many reasons why hotels in Australia need SEO to remain competitive.
1. Consumers Start With Search
A survey on local search behavior found that 4 out of 5 consumers use search engines to find information about local businesses including:
- Business hours
- Contact information
- Store directions
- Product availability
- Product research
The same study found that 50% of consumers then go on to visit a store within a day of their local search.
The key takeaway from this?
Consumers turn to search to find local businesses.
But it is not enough to have a site.
Because your competitors are competing for the same keywords so rankings will not be easy to come by unless you have a strategy in place. SEO helps your hotel’s site rank higher in the search results through the following:
- Keyword research: Keywords are at the foundation of a search marketing strategy. This step involves conducting extensive research to find the most relevant keywords that will drive targeted traffic and sales to your business.
- Content optimisation: Content is an important ranking factor so all aspects of your stuff including the title tags, meta descriptions, and copy itself must be properly optimised. Doing so gives your site a much better chance of being found online.
- Site optimisation: Technical issues can negatively impact your search rankings. So in addition to optimising content, SEO also addresses and fixes common issues that may be affecting your site.
- Link building: Links continue to carry a great deal of weight in the search engines. But the key to building authority is to build links from relevant sources.
SEO brings all these together to increase your rankings for local searches.
2. Visibility Leads to Strong Branding
There is a reason why companies such as Apple and Coca Cola continue to pour hundreds of millions of dollars into their marketing budget. Because they realise the value of brand recognition. A good brand is one that instantly instills trust and credibility with a target audience.
When your target market conducts a search for hotels and sees your brand, they are more likely to click through and even get in touch. A number of studies have shown that the top results in Google earn the most clicks. Ranking on the first page increases visibility and credibility to your brand.
Here are some of the top results for “hotels Perth”:
These are strong brands that are instantly recognisable. And yours could be ranking alongside those results with SEO.
3. Search is Constantly Evolving
The digital landscape continues to shift.
So your business must learn to adapt or it risks losing a competitive advantage. Your site could be ranking on the first page now but those rankings won’t last forever. The only way to rank and actually stay there is to be aware of the latest algorithm changes and update your strategy accordingly.
The most recent change is mobile-friendliness as a ranking factor. If your site is not optimised for mobile devices, your rankings will suffer in the mobile search results. The change certainly makes sense as more consumers browse and shop from their smartphones.
In fact, a number of studies have shown that consumers are less likely to purchase from a site if it is not optimised for their mobile device.
Hotels in Australia need SEO as it keeps them updated on the best practices such as the example illustrated above. There is no telling how Google will change its ranking algorithm next but an effective strategy will better prepare your site for future updates.
If your hotel constantly has vacancies, it is time to consider investing in an SEO strategy. Ranking at the top of search is practically guaranteed to drive more targeted traffic to your pages and generate more customer inquiries as a result. A strong online presence also lends more credibility to your brand.