Luxury in search barYou may have the most attentive staff, finest restaurant and softest pillows in the world, but if you fail to get the word out about your hotel, it will all be for nothing.

Fortunately, it’s easier than ever before to introduce people to your hotel’s charms. Once your website is up and running, you can use it to connect with people who are looking for exactly what you have to offer.

This series of blogs will give an overview of the world of SEO for beginners, help you to put some of the ideas into practice, and give you advice on using online marketing to grow your bookings, and boost your hotel’s profits.

What is SEO?

SEO, or search engine optimisation, is simply the process of making sure that you website is the one that readers see – and visit – when they type a relevant query into Google, or one of the other search engines.

So if a family are looking for somewhere to stay in the Lake District – chances are they’ll stick something like ‘Hotels in the Lake District’ into Google, and see what comes up. If you’ve mastered some basic SEO techniques, then your website is much more likely to be the one that they see.

With a little effort, Google can help you to attract substantially more bookings.

Sounds Great!

The issue is, there’s a lot of competition, and studies show that you need to be in the top three listings to really benefit – as people using Google rarely go beyond the first three search results. If you’re going to focus on SEO, you need to do it well to see a return on your investment of time and energy.

While SEO can sound daunting and complex – and it can be – the fundamental principles are actually surprisingly simple and logical.

You simply want to make it easy for Google to understand what content is on your website, who wants to read it, and to help the search engines see that your website has great quality content on it.

So your website should be easy to use, attract and retain your visitors, and provide interesting, relevant information. Keep these ideas in your head at all time, and you won’t go far wrong when it comes to SEO.

A Blog

Creating a blog for your website is one of the best ways to build the authority and reputation of your website – in turn attracting visitors, and showing Google that yours is a great site.

Where most people fall down, is that they don’t understand that their blog needs to provide real value for readers. Simply using it to advertise your business, or to ramble about the weather, won’t work.

Instead, you need to think about what your audience members will want to read, what will be useful to them, and what they’ll be inclined to share with others using social media.

A regular, effective blog is a superb way to build a following for your site, communicate with your audience, and also – crucially – help your website to rise up Google’s rankings.

Do I need a copywriter?

No – as long as you can write well, and you understand what your audience want, then you can definitely run your blog yourself. Don’t think you can cut corners, however. Writing a good blog, that makes a real difference, is very time consuming – so your efforts may be better spent elsewhere.

A blog will often become neglected during busy periods, so hiring a freelance travel copywriter is a worthy investment for many people.

What other SEO steps can I take?

Over the next few posts we’ll be looking in-depth at basic SEO techniques, which you can use to help draw more visitors to your website, and grow your number of bookings.