We’ve been hearing that ‘SEO is dead’ for the better part of the last 4 years. While it’s certainly true that the value of SEO has become harder to understand and that the tactics employed to accomplish search ranking continues to evolve, we believe that SEO is far from dead and that it should remain a very important part of your overall hotel marketing strategy. In this episode, we go through a very basic SEO checklist that you should pay attention to in 2018.
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Audit Your Site
- Identify any technical errors like 404 Not Found or 500 Server Errors
- Eliminate as many of these as possible. Can be done through redirection
- Audit your content.
- See what’s been performing well in terms of traffic and rank. Find out what content doesn’t perform well and find out what needs to be done to improve it. (this will come up later in the episode)
- Audit your competition
- Find out what your competitors have been doing that you are not. Develop a strategy how you can do it better.
Claim Your Local Listings
- If you have not yet claimed your local listings there is no better time than now
- We recommend you check the following sites:
- Google My Business
- City Search
- Insider PAges
- Best Of The Web
- Ensure that you have your listings claimed and that all of your business info is correct and consistent
- We use Moz’s tool, Moz Local, To help us do these efficiently
Make Sure Your Site Is Mobile Friendly
- If your site is not already mobile friendly you need to make that a top priority in 2018.
- If you’re not sure if your site is mobile friendly you can find out with Google’s mobile friendly test – https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly
- This tool will identify any mobile-friendly issues your site may have and give you a list of what you need to fix
Make Sure Your Site Is Lightning Fast
- We have talked about the importance of load speeds before and it’s only getting more important.
- Page speed has been a ranking factor for desktop for a while and Google just announced that it is a ranking factor for mobile now too
- To monitor page speeds you can use:
- Google Page Speed Insights – https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/
- GTmetrix – https://gtmetrix.com/
Revisit Keywords and Messaging
- It’s important to look at your keywords and messaging periodically
- The way people search for things can change, which means your search volume can change
- If you used to get a lot of traffic to a certain page but that traffic has died off, look at what keyword you were targeting and see if people are calling it something different today.
- Example: Maybe when you created the page it made sense to target Oceanfront Hotels but search volume has changed now so it makes more sense to target Beachfront Hotels.
Optimize Title Tags & Meta Descriptions
- This goes hand-in-hand with revisiting your keywords and messaging
- Use your updated keyword research and make sure you’re including target keywords in your page titles and in your meta descriptions. It’s also important to use those target keywords in your header tags too.
- You already did a content audit so now it’s time to find out what worked best, and repurpose that content.
- Let’s say you had an article about New Year’s Eve events in your city that drove a lot of traffic. Repurpose that by making a video of some of those events.
- If you have some outdated content it’s time to update it. Let’s say that NYE article we just mentioned has last year’s event details on it. Time to do your research and update it. This is why we don’t like using years in our URLs. You want to keep reusing that page each year so make sure your URL string doesn’t have new-years-eve-events-2018.
- Schema markup and structured data are crucial in helping search engines understand your content.
- Take the Hotel Schema markup for example.Specifically check in/out times. There are options to enter check in and check out times within your hotel schema. If someone asks Siri, or Google Home or Alexa what time is checkout for your property, these markups will help the voice assistant provide the correct answer.
Set Up Search Console & Analytics
- This should be a no-brainer, especially for our listeners.
- You need to understand what’s working for you and Search Console and Analytics are essential for tracking your performance.
In The Newaies
White Moose Cafe (Charleville Lodge) Incident
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