In this episode of The Check In, Elle Berroya, SEO Specialist at Leonardo explains the importance of backlinks in building a successful SEO strategy. Watch the video to get a crash course on what backlinks are, why they're important, and how they effect your website's ranking on Google.
If you’re ready to gain more trustworthy, valuable backlinks to your hotel site, check out these 5 tried and true methods!
- Approach Local Attractions and Businesses
Do you have an existing relationship with a local attraction, festival or event? Ask your contact if they would be willing to link to your hotel website. Suggest that they include your hotel on a “recommended accommodations” page on their site.
Backlinks from .EDU, .GOV, and .ORG websites carry a lot of domain authority—one link from a source like this can be worth tens of other website links. Your local chamber of commerce is a terrific place to start.
Approach this technique with caution as mass emails requesting backlinks won’t be well received by local businesses and attractions. Your best move is to start with connections you already have.
- Use Your Google+ Business Page
Naturally, as the owner of Google+, Google encourages activity on the network and rewards proper use by businesses.
Posts on Google+ have a better chance of appearing in organic search results than posts to any other social network! Your hotel details can appear in the knowledge panel, increasing your chance for organic clicks to your website, along with increasing your page ranking.
Though it’s not publicly promoted this way, Google tends to favor frequent posters to the platform in their search results.
A Google+ account should be treated like your hotel’s other social media accounts. You can post content here similar to what you would typically post on Facebook. Remember to include a headline, text and image in every post and link back to your website.
If you don’t have a Google+ Business page for your hotel yet, you can create one here.
- Offer to Host a Community Event
Does your property have a meeting or event space? Explore how you can get listed on your city's website by hosting a community event. What’s nice about events is that the benefits are twofold. You get to give back to your community and you’ll potentially gain high quality backlinks to your hotel website.
Some events to consider are educational classes or meetups, a fundraiser for a local cause, networking events for local businesses, toy/food drives, or act as the start or finish line for a community 5k race.
Hosting an event helps you build more offline connections in your community, along with potentially gaining backlinks from your city’s website and community news sources.
Remember if you want to take advantage of the Local SEO benefit of building citations, it's important to host the event at your business location. Promote your Business Name, Address, and Phone Number as the event venue on many outside websites.
- Show Off Your Green Side
More and more hotels are becoming environmentally conscious. Is your property one of them? Does it operate according to low energy standards or are you at least on track to be green? There are a lot of benefits to being green, both online and offline. Some eco-conscious consumers do the majority of their business with companies that are eco-friendly and it’s likely this will just continue to soar.
As an eco-friendly hotel property, you can get links from places like business directories and local news organizations who promote green businesses.
Search for directories by using search phrases like Eco-friendly business directory, Green business directories and submit your hotel to be listed. This is also a hot topic in the blogging world. Do some research to identify bloggers in your area who promote green business and reach out to discuss opportunities to be linked from their blog.
- Promote Discounts for Select Groups
Does your hotel property offer discounts for government or military service people? What about a discount for teachers, nurses or alumni from the local college?
When you offer discounts to select groups to stay at your hotel, you’re providing incentive for guest loyalty and opening up a terrific opportunity for backlinks!
Be sure to promote your discounts on the Special Offers section of your website, then share this information everywhere you can. Reach out to local organizations, schools and educational websites notifying them of the discount you offer and encourage them to share the link to your website on their own website.
Not every one of these ideas will work for every hotel, but it’s likely that one of two of them will be a good fit for your property! Start thinking about the natural, mutually beneficial places you could request backlinks to point to your website.
The more quality backlinks pointing to your hotel site, the better the SEO impact will be. Be aware of pursuing quality, legitimate links (not spam sites) and promoting authentic content and you’ll see your website climb up the Search Engine Results Page!