SEO guide for hotels

SEO For Hotels: Everything You Need to Know

The better your Hotel SEO, the more direct bookings you’ll get!

Guest_statisticsIt’s 2022 and hotels face a changing landscape of OTAs, Metasearch Engines and more. With the potential of paying so much commission with every booking, there’s only one option – SEO for Hotels.

You can have a beautiful hotel website, the most exquisite pictures and even the best value for money included on your rates, but without good SEO you may as well just use the OTAs and ditch your website.

SEO puts your hotel in front of potential guests. It plays into both the user’s search results and the user experience.

For your hotel website, SEO is your best friend. Or it should be – so let’s discuss how to take care of that.

From the bare basics to fully optimised, let’s discuss SEO for Hotels!

What is SEO for Hotels?

Why is SEO for Hotels so Important?

How to Do SEO for Hotels Properly

Optimised SEO for Hotels

What is SEO for Hotels?

SEO is important for every website.

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation and it is essentially the process of making sure that your web pages match what guests are searching for. If your Hotel SEO is good, then Google will show your web page higher up in its results.

If your hotel SEO needs improvements, then Google will still show your page, but search engine users will have to scroll through many pages of Google to find you. 

Why is SEO for Hotels so Important?

You want direct bookings at your hotel don’t you?

In the hotel industry, OTAs & Metasearch Engines play an enormous role in arranging bookings. They are convenient for guests and aid hotels a great deal in the off-peak seasons.

hotel_social_mediaHowever, you can pay up to 25% commission on each booking made through an OTA. That’s a full quarter of the price that a guest pays going straight to the OTA. Now while we said that they do help fill up beds – this isn’t a rate that you can rely on completely.

Your profit margins come first and if you aren’t receiving direct bookings, then you are losing money. With optimised SEO for hotels, you can be competitive with the OTAs and even outrank them on Google.

If your stellar service has piqued the interest of potential guests, then you want them to come directly to your website. Not to Google your name and be redirected to an OTA!

Another possibility when it comes to Hotel SEO is even worse. If your SEO is exceptionally bad and you haven’t defended your hotel against brandjacking, then Google can even place other hotels above your own. Either based on geographical location, or similar names! 

How to Do SEO for Hotels Properly

This is a quick hotel SEO checklist for you to examine your marketing strategy by yourself. It only contains the basics (we have to keep some tricks to ourselves!) but by following this you can drastically increase SEO for your hotel.

Define Your Guest Type

Strictly speaking, this isn’t even an SEO step. This should be written all over your hotel in terms of branding and strategy, but it’s a good reminder.

  • Is your boutique hotel experience soft, romantic and luxurious? Well then you’re more likely to be targeting honeymooners, anniversaries and other such events.
  • Are you near a financial or business district? Your primary guest type could well be corporate guests, which you can then leverage into bleisure.
  • Do you have adventure, activities and rugged scenery around your location? Then you will probably be looking at millennials, young families or groups of leisure travellers.

Each one of these different guest types is looking for something different, and that is what you will use to drive the SEO for your hotel! Let’s look at some good examples:

  • Hotels in *your location*hotel_location
  • Romantic getaway in *your location*
  • Fun holiday activities in *your location*

They all involve location, but the first part of the keywords are looking for completely different hotels and come from very different travellers. The first is a bog-standard traveller, most likely looking for a budget hotel. Following that we have a potential anniversary couple and then a young family with children.

Wrapped our heads around that? Great! Now you’re prepared to encounter keywords.

Keyword Research

It’s boring, we know. But it’s also necessary.

The examples we listed in the previous section are just some varieties of keywords that you want your Hotel SEO to rank for. To do that, you’ll need a Keyword Research tool.

Semrush, AhRefs and others are among the top Keyword research tools available, but let’s use UberSuggest for example.

This tool from Neil Patel gives fantastic insights into who is searching for what, and how often they search for it. He’s even offering a new tool with UberSuggest to gain traction on your compset!

Hotel SEO UberSuggest Tool

But first let’s examine a bog standard search term:

Hotel SEO UberSuggest Search

In the results page, you can examine related keywords, their search volume, their cost-per-click (CPC) and much more!

Hotel SEO UberSuggest Results

Now while you may not be ready to enter into CPC advertising for your hotel, you can get a whole new level of understanding of your potential guests. You can examine where you lie in regards to your competition. How to angle yourself into your market.

For example, how many of these search terms are from people looking for something specific that you can offer them?

You can even use Google for keyword research too!

Simply type in your search term and look for the suggested search box. With our term of “hotels in London” we can determine that there’s high desire for top-level hotels, hotels that offer spas (see those romantic getaways appearing again?) and also budget accommodation for travellers and visitors.

Hotel SEO London example

With all this information at your fingertips, you can determine your competitor’s ranking keywords, the desires of your potential guests, and how best to rank SEO for hotels!

The Meta of SEO for Hotels

This is how your Hotel will rank for Google searches and how guests will see your hotel before they visit the website.

Page Title (MetaTitle) 

This informs users what your website is about, and how it relates to their search terms. Google’s indexing crawl bots also check out your page title to make sure that your page matches the information within.

Web Page URL

The URL is what people type into their browser to visit your hotel directly. It needs to be directly related to your Page Title so that there is zero confusion in what your page is about. Consistency is key when it comes to SEO for hotels.


A quick summary of the page’s content to be used with the page title. It needs to use the keywords that you are trying to rank for and is the most visible of these three points. More often than not, customers will check out the metadata before they see the Page title or URL!

Here’s an example of one hotel that we worked with. Notice that Paradero Todos Santos ranks above any OTAs or Metasearch Engines!

Paradero Hotel SEO

Here we have a simple URL, and the page title is also very simple. This is because the brand is so well known, the focus is on preventing brandjacking. For different hotels, this may have to be altered on a case-by-case basis depending upon your situation.

However, you’ll notice that the meta description jumps out at you? It tells you a tale of what is in store at this hotel, but doesn’t completely overwhelm you. You need to incite curiosity within guests.

And with our top-page ranking, guests go directly to the hotel website and not with the OTAs!

Optimise Your Page Content

Content is King. Unfortunately, the number of tricks and methods to optimise your content are endless, so we’ll cover them in brief. But first, let’s separate images and text.

Hotel Text for SEO

Have you noticed that many hotels and even businesses launch constant blog posts and articles? Why would they do that? 

That’s because every single article is another way to spread your online presence. Every cleverly written guide or review blog post hits more keywords and attracts more search results. 

Google loves web pages that produce more content, as long as it is good content.

These are blogs that are made for SEO. They target relevant keywords and use them throughout a 1,000 word article. The headings use keywords and answer questions that users are looking for. 

We’ll need a full in-depth guide for optimising blog content alone, but drawing up a comprehensive hotel article strategy is an absolute must for hotels that want to grow.

Hotel Images for SEO

Rich, vibrant colours of rugged landscapes, laughing families and stunning vistas. You’ve taken vivid, high-quality images that incite the desire for adventure and wanderlust within your website visitors. 

So just slap them on your hotel website, right?


boutique_hotel_roomIn SEO for hotels, you will damage your website, because you damage the user experience. Let’s examine.

You click on a search result and get redirected to the page. You wait… and you wait… and you wait… 

By this point, 5 seconds have gone by and… still nothing. Is it a faulty link? Is your computer frozen? More than likely you start to click the “back” button, or close your browser entirely. 

Now you’ve burnt your bridge with a potential guest for one reason and one reason only.

You didn’t optimise the images of your hotel!

Beautiful they may be, but guests don’t have the chance to see them. They’re waiting while your images, the sizes of which are suitable for a cinema screening, load.

You do need high-quality images to improve your SEO for hotels. But don’t overdo it. Especially when many visitors are on mobile devices, the enormous sizes are not necessary

When it comes to long pages packed with images, you should also check out tools such as lazy loading to improve your hotel website page load speeds! Every image also needs to be optimised with alt text, but that’s a conversation for another day.

Headings Are Important in SEO for Hotels

Headings are like street signs for users and for Google crawl bots.hotel_seo

They guide a guest’s attention and structure your pages in an easy-to-read way. These define what each section will talk about so that guests can already know if they want to read more or not.

If your hotel website is a chunk of text scattered everywhere, then no one wants to read that. Guests are looking for structure and guidance, ideally straight towards a direct booking.

H1s should be page titles, such as your hotel name

H2s should be vital aspects of your hotel, such as “Rooms” or “Services”

And these continue all the way down to H6 in order of importance. Make sure to bear in mind that H1, H2 & H3 are the most vital in terms of SEO for hotels. Headings H4-H6 can be used for less important, but still helpful, keywords and other information.

Mobile Friendly Hotel Websites

hotel_social_mediaWe mentioned this in the images section before, but it pertains to your entire website. 

Research shows that over 60% of Google searches are made from a mobile device. That means that over half of your potential guests are visiting your hotel website from their small handheld screen.

For hotels, this rate is even higher. Thanks to excellent social media strategies for hotels, guests can also access your website from being tagged in Instagram stories or Facebook posts. Both of these are even more accessible from mobile than from desktop.

That’s why having a mobile-friendly version of your hotel website is essential. If guests have trouble with your website, they won’t make a booking! Nor will they return at a later date. 

Each potential guest that is put off by your SEO is another bridge burned. You very rarely get a second chance when it comes to first-time visitors!

Google Business Profile for Hotels

Google is your best friend when it comes to SEO for Hotels. It is the primary search engine of most of the world!

Google Business Profile is something that you need to do for your hotel.

  • Firstly, claim your listing. Your business must be registered with Google Business Profile.
  • Secondly, optimise your profile the way you want to be viewed (consider your guest type from earlier!)
  • Thirdly, make sure that your hotel name, address and contact details are correct and listed as guests will need those!
  • Next, double check that the Google Maps marker is in the correct location. Be precise on this one!
  • Finally, include extra details on your hotel. Your amenities, Wi-Fi, disabled access, in-house services etc.

When it comes to SEO for Hotels, Google offers many other tools for monitoring and improving both your SEO and driving direct bookings. These involved Google Hotel Search, and Google Search Console. However, due to the nature of Google, these are often updated, altered and otherwise mixed around thanks to updated algorithms.

When it comes to these more advanced tools, we recommend letting a professional take care of your Hotel SEO to ensure maximum effectiveness!

Optimised SEO for Hotels

Now that we’ve covered the basics, it’s time for you to shine and start to put the work in. SEO can be a time-consuming, complex task at the end of the day, especially for hotels! However, it is something worth investing in.

You increase direct bookings, reduce the commissions paid to OTAs, build upon guest relationships and otherwise build your own hotel brand!

If you have any questions about SEO for hotels, don’t hesitate to contact one of our hotel marketing specialists. We even offer free hotel marketing examinations completely free of charge. That’s right, any hotel can take advantage of this offer!

Simply complete the form on our website and we’ll get back to you with a full report within 48 hours. We’ll hand over our findings within a 30-minute one-on-one meeting with you and you’ll leave feeling more confident about what is going on with your hotel’s market strategy!

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Just fill in the form and we'll arrange a brief meeting to discuss your current marketing efforts.

Feel free to ask us anything that you're having trouble with and we'll do our best to provide exact recommendations on how to improve.

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    free website analysis report in 48 hours

    How good is your hotel website?

    You always want your guests to book on your website, but. ..

    • Can they book directly there?
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    • Why would they book there instead of Booking.com?

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      Get Free Consultation

      Let's talk Hotel Marketing

      FREE of charge in just 30 minutes

      Just fill in the form and we'll arrange a brief meeting to discuss your current marketing efforts.

      Feel free to ask us anything that you're having trouble with and we'll do our best to provide exact recommendations on how to improve.