What happens if you perform an incognito Google search that has as its subject “hotel Rome,” “boutique hotel center,” “hotel near piazza di Spagna,” or “restaurant Rome,” “seafood restaurant,” or “restaurant for spaghetti carbonara,” or “best restaurant in Rome”?
If you are a Hotelier or a Restaurateur or simply want to understand how Google collects information about your business, cataloging the data and presenting them as an answer to your potential customers, this is the article for you.
I am Giancarlo De Leonardo, a former hotelier and restaurateur, founder of Caro Collega and my goal is to help Hotels and Restaurants develop additional revenue directly attributable to digital marketing activities. And SEO as you have realized, is one of them.
In this article
- What is SEO and why is it important for hotels and restaurants
- Google: The Power of Search
- Local Search Results: local SEO for Hotels and Restaurants
What is SEO and why is it important for hotels and restaurants
SEO, which stands for Search Engine Optimization, is a set of strategies and practices that aim to improve your website’s ranking on search engines such as Google. The goal is to achieve a prominent position in relevant search results for your hotel or restaurant, thereby increasing the likelihood that people will find and visit your website and make a reservation.
SEO plays a critical role in the success of your hotel or restaurant for several reasons:
- Increased Visibility: being visible on search engines is essential to being found by potential customers. A good position in search results increases the visibility of your business, generating more visits to your website.
- Qualified Traffic: SEO allows you to attract a highly qualified audience because they are aligned with your business’ proposition. By optimizing your website for relevant keywords such as “Hotel with spa” or “Seafood restaurant,” you will attract visitors interested in the services you offer, thus increasing the chances of conversion.
- Credibility and Reliability: being listed high in search results lends credibility and reliability to your business. People tend to trust what appears at the top of searches, so a good position can positively affect potential customers’ perceptions and turnover.
- Competitiveness: in the hospitality and restaurant industry, competition is fierce. SEO allows you to differentiate and stand out from other competitors by bringing out your strengths and attractiveness to potential customers.
Google: The Power of Search
Google is the most widely used search engine in the world, and optimizing a website for Google search is a crucial step in the success of your hotel or restaurant. Google’s algorithms are constantly analyzing and evaluating websites, trying to provide the most relevant and effective search results for users.
Google’s mission is to provide relevant answers to users’ intentions so the more up-to-date and well-maintained your site is, the better chance Google will give it the visibility it needs to attract customers. Quality of photographic content, quality of uploaded videos, SEO-optimized and written text, and speed of page loading are just some of the generic characteristics required by this search engine.
You must also consider that the time users spend on your site and therefore on Google is another of the rewarding factors. The more users are on the platform the more Google will be able to monetize revenue by selling advertising space. If you don’t take care of your presence on Google your potential customers will bounce from your site to those of your competitors and so you might as well say goodbye to the extra revenue directly attributable to digital!
One distinction to pay attention to is between On-page and Off-page SEO. On-page SEO refers to optimizations you can do directly on your website, such as optimizing page titles, content structure, keyword usage, and page loading speed. Off-page SEO, on the other hand, concerns the actions you can take outside of your website to improve its visibility, such as creating backlinks i.e. clickable links that from authoritative sites such as Gambero Rosso’s or Puntarella Rossa’s take users to your website. Or like the interaction you can do by moving potential customers from your social channels to your website.
Local Search Results: local SEO for Hotels and Restaurants
One of the most important aspects of SEO for hotels and restaurants is optimizing for local search results. When people search for a hotel or restaurant in their area, Google shows them the results that are most relevant and close to their current location. Taking advantage of local SEO allows you to compete effectively in this context and capture the attention of potential customers who are near your business are ready to spend their money at you. Obviously, it is more important for Restaurants and those hotels that are centrally located or oriented to a business clientele.
Here are some key strategies for local SEO:
- Local Keyword Research (keyword): identify keywords specific to your geographic location, such as “Boutique Hotel Rome” or “Seafood Restaurant Milan.” Check that these keywords are contained in your website, meta tags, page titles and descriptions.
- Optimize your hotel or restaurant’s profile on Google: create or optimize your business profile on Google. Include accurate information, such as address, phone number, hours of operation, and photos. Make sure your profile is complete and up-to-date.
- Reviews and Ratings: customer reviews are an important factor for local SEO. Invite your satisfied customers to leave positive reviews about your business on platforms such as Google, TripAdvisor, or Yelp. Respond to reviews in a timely manner, showing your interest in responding to reviews.
- Localized Content: create content on your website that is relevant to your geographic location. For example, you can publish travel guides about your city, visitor tips, local news, promote events or make special offers. The effort and care you put into updating and optimizing your company’s profile on Google will be proportional to the customers the same search engine will send you.
- Local Link Building: look for opportunities to obtain links from other local websites or businesses related to your industry. These local links can improve your visibility and reputation in the eyes of Google.
SEO is an ongoing process that requires time and constant effort. However, investing in SEO for your hotel or restaurant can bring many benefits, including increased qualified traffic, increased visibility, and better ranking against competitors.
SEO is a key element to your hotel or restaurant’s success in an increasingly digital world. Implementing local SEO strategies allows you to reach your target audience, attract qualified visitors to your website and convert them into reservations or visits to your business. Take advantage of SEO opportunities to position yourself at the top of local search results and stand out from the competition.
In conclusion, understanding and leveraging SEO, including local SEO, is essential for today’s hoteliers and restaurateurs. Through strategies such as local keyword research, optimizing your hotel or restaurant profile, managing reviews, and using localized content, you can increase the visibility of your business, attract an interested audience, and generate lasting bookings and success.
It goes without saying that you will have to seek the help of SEO consultants to achieve memorable results, but if you find a skilled consultant who is passionate about the organic positioning of your Hotel or Restaurant, it will be the best investment of your life, especially if this activity is included in an integrated digital marketing plan.
Article written by Giancarlo De Leonardo, former Hotelier and Restaurateur, founder of Caro Collega