How to Find the Best Hotel Keywords For SEO

How to Find the Best Hotel Keywords For SEO

Keywords are an important part to your hotel marketing strategy. Along with SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, every hotel needs a content marketing plan to compete in the digital space.

Knowing how to find the right keywords for your hotel is the first step towards developing your content marketing plan.

Without these keywords, any hotel SEO strategy or content writing for your hotel simply won’t be effective.

When it comes to SEO, the landscape is always evolving. Algorithms are changing, a different searches are being implemented, AI is taking over. The list goes on and it’s a lot to keep up with.

It goes without saying that hoteliers can benefit from learning the basics of hotel SEO. Starting at the beginning, understanding keywords is the first step.

Today, we’re going to look at what keywords are, how to find them, and which hotel keywords to target. We’re also going to show you how to properly implement keywords on your hotel website.

After reading this hotel keyword tutorial you’ll be well on the way towards starting your hotel SEO strategy off on the right foot. Should you have any questions, we’d be happy to help you out!

By the way, if your hotel doesn’t have a blog, you definitely need to start one ASAP!

Your Content Marketing Strategy Starts With Hotel Keyword Research

finding keywords for hotel property

Assuming you have a hotel website, with the basic pages set up, you’re probably wondering about how to start your hotel marketing strategy. When it comes to digital marketing, specifically hotel SEO, it all starts with keyword research.

If you’re not aware, let’s talk a little bit about what keywords are and how to identify the best keywords to go after. This is a phrase you will become familiar with and eventually will master learning how to find hotel keywords.

There are a couple ways to define what a keyword is. In the search engine sense, a keyword is a word or phrase that describes the subject or topic of your page. These keywords are the terms that people use on Google and other search engines when they’re looking for information online.

Ranking in the first position for a high-volume, hyper-specific keyword like “New York City Hotel” probably sounds tempting. Guess who else wants to rank for a keyword like this? Every other hotel in New York City AND booking websites like Booking.com, Expedia, and TripAdvisor.

Websites like these dominate the search engine rankings. Through paid ads they claim even more of the top results. With a large budget, your hotel could try to outbid them with a paid advertising strategy.

Thankfully, there are other ways to get your hotel website ranked in the search engine results. The best practice remains to optimize your hotel homepage for that coveted “(Your Location) + Hotel” keyword, even if it seems impossible.

In less competitive markets, in smaller cities for example, your hotel website could still rank organically on the first page. This ranking can have a noticeable impact on your website traffic and ability to generate direct bookings online.

Looking at the big picture, you might be thinking that it’s only worth ranking for the coveted keyword we just mentioned. It’s important to remember that this is just one keyword. There are likely hundreds, if not thousands, of related and relevant keywords your hotel could be ranking for instead.

Keywords Customers Are Actually Searching For (The Infamous Long Tail Keyword)

girls pointing at a screen

The booking journey for any future traveler is a funnel. At the top of the funnel is the largest number of potential hotel customers.

These are individuals that may have been recently inspired to travel. They’re probably just starting to research their options for accommodation and hotels.

At the beginning of this research process, these future travelers will be using broad keywords. They’ve decided to go to New York City and know they’ll need a hotel, but they’re far from ready from making a booking.

This is why hotel aggregators and booking websites like TripAdvisor and other OTA’s dominate these broad search results. They don’t care what hotel someone books, as long as the hotel is booked on their website.

So what does this mean for hotels? What keywords should hotels be going after?

The solution is to go after “long tail keywords” and use these keywords on the internal pages of a hotel website.

At this point, you’re probably wondering – what’s a long tail keyword? These are specific search terms and phrases that consist of three or more words.

Typically, they have lower monthly search volumes, but offer a higher potential for converging. People searching with long tail keywords are further down the hotel booking funnel and more likely to book a specific property they find.

For example, consider someone searching for “New York City Hotels near Times Square”. This is an individual that isn’t looking for just any New York City hotel. They’ve decided that being close to Times Square is important to them.

That’s an example of a long tail keyword. Keywords like these can work into your hotels favor, depending on the keywords your hotel is targeting.

Let’s say your hotel is right down the street from Times Square and has relevant content ranking on the first page of results. Congratulations! Your hotel has instantly become more attractive to that customer and more likely to win the booking. These are the keywords you want your hotel website to be ranking for.

Despite lower search volumes, meaning less people using these key words, the people using them on more likely to book. It’s possible to focus on long tail keywords and generate enough bookings without ever having to rank for the coveted keywords we mentioned above.

How to Find the Best Keywords For Hotels 

how to find hotel keywords

Hopefully, you have a better idea of what type of keywords to look for. Now, it’s time to find some keywords that will work for your hotel.

There there are a number of different keyword tools available that make the keyword research process easy to do. To help get you started, here are some of the best free keyword tools you could use:

  • Google Auto-Suggest (Head to Google and start typing in keywords related to your hotel. Google will provide you with suggestions in both the search bar and at the bottom of the results page)
  • Google Trends (This tool visualizes the relative search popularity of a specific keyword over time)
  • Keyword Sheeter (This is a useful tool that automatically pulls thousands of the Auto-Suggest results from Google)
  • Keyword Surfer (A free Google Chrome extension that shows estimated Global and monthly search volumes for the keywords you type in)
  • Keywordtool.io (An autocomplete scraping tool, similar to Keyword Sheeter)
  • Google Search Console (This is an Analytics tool that tracks your website’s performance in the organic search results. There is a lot of keyword data that can be found here)

Some of the information provided, such as competition and bid value, usually isn’t very useful for hotels. Even the average search volume doesn’t have as big of an impact as you might think.

Keywords with a search volume of 10 or more can be useful. Despite showing such a low volume, keywords like this can get hundreds of searches per month.

How to Use a Keyword Tool

analytics

With any of these keyword tools, it’s important to know how to find the right hotel keywords for your property. Once you get the hang of it, hotel keyword research becomes a straightforward process and just another part of your hotel marketing campaign.

To get started, enter in your location followed with the “hotel” word. Using one of the auto suggestion tools will immediately provide you with a list of related and relevant keywords.

For example, some ideas to get started with could include “New York City hotel”, “best New York City hotel”, “hotels in New York City”, and so on. Try to choose keywords that specifically align with your ideal guest persona.

If your luxury hotel, you will want to be ranking for luxury related keywords. Hotels close to specific attractions will want to rank for keywords related to that attraction.

Here are a few more examples that should help clear things up:

  • New York City hotel near Times Square or New York City hotel on 5th Avenue (Find points of interest like a popular attraction, museum, or well-known neighborhood)
  • Best hotels in New York City with a view or New York City hotel with a pool (Focus on the unique features or amenities at your hotel offers its guests)
  • Romantic hotels in New York City or best hotel in New York City for families (Don’t forget about your guest persona. Does your hotel suit a particular lifestyle or occasion?)
  • New York City Convention Center hotels or New York City hotel near Madison Square Gardens (Proximity to sports games, conferences, or concerts could be deciding factor for your guest)

What To Do When You’ve Found the Right SEO Keywords for Hotels

SEO For Hotels

As your keyword research process develops, start grouping similar keywords together. This can be done using Google Docs or Excel, whatever you’re comfortable with.

For example, any keywords related to a point of interest could be organized under a “Destination Guide” category. Next, you’ll want to start creating landing pages for each keyword. Then, start writing content that’s relevant to that point of interest.

When you’re writing this content, ask yourself what information your potential guests might need about that point of interest. For example, they might be wondering:

  • How close is your hotel to the point of interest?
  • Does the hotel have any unique or special connections to the place being mentioned? Any special offers, interesting historical ties, or exclusive access?
  • Why should a guest that wants to be near a specific attraction or neighborhood choose your property over others?

This is the baseline publishing quality, relevant, and helpful content. Now you’re probably wondering, how soon can you expect to see results once you start publishing? In all honesty, it depends on a number of different factors.

It starts with how quickly Google decides to check out your hotel website and add the new content to its search engine results. This is known as “crawling” and it can happen at random intervals.

Hotels with access to the Google Search Console analytics tool can submit any new pages directly. This helps speed up the process to start getting your new content ranked and driving traffic.

Once you start posting regularly, start checking the website analytics. Look to see how your organic search is performing.

This will let you know which keywords are ranking well and which keywords aren’t making an impact. From here you can fine-tune your strategy using the analytics you’re provided with.

One important statistic to look at with landing pages is the “bounce rate”. A high bounce rate means visitors are exiting your website instead of continuing to browse or make a booking. If your hotel website has a high bounce rate, this is something that needs to be corrected quickly.

To help keep potential guests on your site, your landing pages need to have a clear call-to-action. Each page should seamlessly take a visitor to the next step along their path to making a booking. If potential guests are exiting instead of exploring other Pages, you’ll need to revisit your copy to make changes.

Summary

It’s important to remember that SEO is not a quick fix. The results of any hotel SEO strategy are measured in months and years, not in hours or days – even if you’re working with a hotel SEO agency.

This is a long game, but if you play it right, SEO can have an enormous impact on the bottom line of your hotel.

Finding the right keywords is just the beginning of any practical hotel marketing strategy. There’s a lot to learn along the way, but it all starts with keyword research.

As a hotelier, you may be feeling overwhelmed with all this information. Don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns. We’d be happy to help!

Hey! I'm Alexander - the founder of Wizard of Tourism!

About the author

Alexander has been working with business in the travel and tourism industries since 2012. With over a decade of experience, Alexander and Wizard of Tourism strive to help those in the travel industry grow their business online.