SEO is on the tip of every hospitality owner’s tongue at the moment. I reached out to Melisa, who is an SEO whiz. She kindly put together a 2019 trend-spotting guide featuring upcoming online marketing factors that everyone should be looking out for.
Website promotion is an area which develops actively. Some trends are currently changing, but overall, upgrowth in website promotion as a marketing strategy continues. Website optimisation strategy is evolutionary, but not revolutionary. Let’s take a look at what’s likely to be big during this upcoming year.
1. Take a multifaceted approach
To improve your website, work with all different types of online media. For example, consider setting up contextual advertising. For those of you who aren’t in the know, contextual advertising is relevant to the content of the web page where it’s hosted. If you want to run an effective contextual ad on your hospitality’s website, look for local business partners and services that benefit your hotel. This will strengthen your site and help you gain the backlinks that will push your website higher in search rankings.
Remember to focus on your after sales service. In other words, follow up with your guests after you make a booking. Send them an email, or better yet, a text message. Let them know that they care about you. All the website promotion in the world won’t help you in you don’t show your client that you’re human. That’s the heart of the philosophy of effective branding. Your hotel’s brand needs to be warm and welcoming, just like your rooms. Make sure that your website emphasises your unique selling point and the many reasons that customers should book with you. These are what makes your brand stand out, even if you’re a little business competing with giant hotel chains. If you don’t construct your website to show people who you are, then nothing else about your marketing will work correctly.
Be aware of your website’s relationship to other pages, too. A few years ago, backlinks were the most critical element of good SEO. If enough other websites linked to your homepage, then you could almost guarantee that your site would land near the top of a Google search. However, this system was ripe for abuse. Spam websites artificially raised the rankings of their pages by farming dozens, and sometimes hundreds, of junk pages whose sole purpose was to generate backlinks. Next year, Google is going to get stricter about backlinking, meaning that this might not be as sure a path to success as it has been in the past. Watch out for guest articles that link back to your page. If there are too many of those, Google might assume that you’re trying to inflate your search ranking and penalize you.
That said, guest posts are an important marketing strategy. Just use them sparingly and backlink in small doses.
2. Changes in link building
In addition to Google’s upcoming crackdown on spam, the search giant is going to be looking at the quality of your page’s backlinks when determining how high your page should appear in search results. A backlink should come from a page that is similar to yours in terms of subject. For example, if you’re a hotel, a useful backlink might come from the website for the magazine Travel + Leisure, which often spotlights guesthouses and hospitalities. In this case, you can count on linking mass to raise your search ranking, and therefore, on your customer capture.
Beware of relying on third-party websites for backlinks. Your website needs fresh links to hold its place in search rankings, and a three-year-old mention on a partner website just won’t cut it. This is where guest blogs can be useful to you. Be sure that you’re contributing to a conversation that is thoughtful and relevant to your field. Spammy blogs will be obvious and Google will pick them out easily. Avoid them. Instead, continue your current guest blogging strategy mindfully. Look for bloggers who are opinion leaders in their fields or have a relationship with your business.
3. Website usage monitoring
It’s critical that you monitor how your customers are using your website. This is the only way that you’ll be able to tell if users are even making it past your homepage, much less all the way to full conversion. For instance, maybe your homepage has a high bounce rate. That means that people are logging on, but then immediately leaving. What’s the problem? Do you have a clear BOOK NOW or CHECKOUT button? Does your website need a redesign? Are there broken links?
Modern web page management tools make it possible to track the effectiveness of specific menus. This is a game changer.
Users need to feel comfortable navigating the site. Menu metrics can tell you what functional aspects of your web page are not working for your customers. Individual menus that don’t work or are broken will stand out. You’ll know exactly what to fix. If you see general problems, you’ll know to check your website’s load speed. Remember, even patient customers will click away from your site if it makes them wait for more than five seconds!
When you do find that one of your menus is driving customers away, analyse it closely. There are a number of things that can go wrong with a menu item, including accessibility hiccups and mobile display problems. If necessary, bring in a fresh set of eyes. Your website is only as strong as its weakest link.
Focusing on your website’s functionality will save you money that you might otherwise waste promoting a page that just drives your potential guests away. Ultimately, your customer will benefit, too, when you don’t have to raise room rates to cover a bloated advertising budget!
4. Voice search
Voice assistants have officially become standard in mobile devices. From now on, more and more of your clients will tap the little microphone on their device’s keypad and talk to it. This represents an enormous change for SEO strategists. Why? Because people type differently than they talk! Search engines have a soft spot for non-natural lexical structures. A user might type “London buy fish,” which is not something that they’d normally say out loud. But if they’re dictating, they might search instead for “I want to get some fish in London.” A search for “Krakow flat cheap” becomes “cheap flats located in downtown Krakow.” When you construct your long-tail keywords, be aware of how someone might say their search as opposed to how someone might type it.
5. Video content and multiplication
Rich content is the key to converting customers. Internet users respond best to audio and visual information, especially when it comes packaged in an engaging video. Fun embedded movies on your website will increase your old customers’ loyalty and improve your first impressions with your new customers. If you’re familiar with CSS, you may already be comfortable incorporating video into your site in a few different ways. If you aren’t, either do some research on the topic or rope in some web design help.
When you support a website, you’re competing with dozens of other businesses. Visual content can give you an edge. It shows that you care about engaging your customers. They’ll reward you for your effort.
6. Quick replies
Recently, businesses famously began to provide quick replies, sometimes using chatbots, to interact with customers on Facebook or on website-supported chat. However, although this is a good strategy on its face, there’s one entity with which all chat services must compete: Google. Google directly answers about 30% of the questions it receives. In other words, you can’t count on your quick reply software to improve your search rankings. Have a chatbot, but also have a separate SEO strategy.
Both search engines and people prefer structural information, like charts, which parses raw data into a form that we can assimilate easily. In the next year, search engines are going to favour structural data more than they have in the past. Include plenty of this kind of media where you can. A lot of the questions that chatbots answer are also different versions of the same few queries. This is where having an FAQ page can be useful. Not only can an FAQ answer your customers’ questions, but Google might draw its quick answers directly from your page, and, if you’re lucky, lead customers right to your doorstep.
Remember that when a customer asks a question, they use the words “how” and “what” often. Take this into consideration when you make your FAQ page. If you can anticipate and immediately answer a customer’s question, you’ll convert faster and more reliably.
Promotion in 2019 will be about specific technologies that you tailor to fit your brand philosophy. Successful enterprises will try to find a way not to some abstract customer, but to a customer they understand and want. Study the behaviour of your customers when they use your site, then adjust the structure and content of your resource to meet the specific needs of your particular client base.
At the same time, expect some general SEO trends to affect how you manage your website. Watch out for the following:
? Find new ways to build links. Too many guest posts are likely to make Google think that your page is spam.
?Naturalise your long tail keywords. Voice search is changing the SEO game and you need to be in front of it.
?Update your video content. Engaging, mobile-friendly videos will cement your customer loyalty and draw new clients.
This was a Boostly Guest Blog by Melisa Marzett.
I asked Melisa to say a few words about herself, and this is what I got back. She’s an inquiring mind seeking after knowledge. She is fond of reading, especially on emerging trends. Melisa works for Essay Editor Revision Company for the time being. She loves writing, drawing sketches, practising yoga and travelling.