A recent study by SearchMetrics identified the things that travel websites with high Google rankings have in common. We’ve identified 3 of the most relevant factors for B&B/Hotel websites.
3 Key Ranking Factors for Hotel Websites
Travel websites that rank well in Google have the following in common, per the SearchMetrics study. Based on my experience, these items absolutely factor into the success of a hotel/b&b website in Google. We built Odysys to include all of these factors or to make them easy to implement:
1. Lists / Bullet Points
Think of this point as “browse-ability” or “scan-ability” of your website content. Bullet points help travel website users scan for detailed information and more easily compare things like packages or amenities. If your website doesn’t have bulleted lists throughout, you probably aren’t giving your users content they can digest quickly and easily. And don’t be afraid to have longer bulleted lists where you need them.
2. Comprehensive Content
If I’ve done a customer success consulting session with you before, you’ve undoubtedly heard me talk about “depth and breadth of content”. Travel-related pages that rank higher tend to have more text. In fact, top-ranking travel pages have 57% more words than top-ranking pages in other industries. Be wordy where necessary on your site. Add more content to it, whether that’s expanding your “things to do” page or adding to the descriptions of your rooms, or having lengthy blog posts. BUT don’t forget – the copy has to be “browse-able” so use those sub-headlines, images and bullet points to make your content scannable.
Fun fact about keywords: According to the study, the travel industry’s top-ranking pages are less keyword-heavy than in other industries. So focus more on writing great, helpful, unique, useful and scannable content. Don’t fret over keywords and use old and dated keyword-stuffing techniques to try to “optimize” your content. Put your keywords in title tags, page headlines & sub-headlines where it makes sense, and write naturally after that.
3. Images, Images, Images
Travel-industry websites and top ranking pages have more images and larger images than in other industries. This makes a lot of sense. So your bed & breakfast or hotel website design should feature lots of great quality images. Hire a photographer if you need to, not only do high-quality pictures help your website rank better, it will convert better as well.
Fun fact about site speed: It’s OK if those images slow down your website a LITTLE bit. Site speed is a ranking factor, but generally speaking the bar is a little lower for travel websites. So if your Google PageSpeed test isn’t 100/100 – that’s OK as long as your scores are in the green.
Here’s an infographic highlighting all the findings of the SearchMetrics study. Click for a full-sized version:
If you like this post, you’ll be interested in our resource for Innkeepers & Hoteliers: 10 SEO Myths to Leave Behind