One of the main hotel web design trends for 2022 is competing with OTAs in favor of direct bookings. There are all kinds of ways to make your website enticing to your web visitors, however, the key is bringing visitors to your website and as you probably know, SEO is key. SEO in 2022 is so much more than keywords and meta tags. While content remains king, it’s only so if you develop the right content based on travel trends and niche interests. SEO these days is more about guest segmentations, search queries and trends, and a holistic content approach. Here’s what you need to know for hotel SEO in 2022.
Just as guest expectations have changed through the course of the pandemic, so has internet user behavior. The increased reliance on technology for connection and communication has made guests much more tech savvy than before. We’re also spending more time online and have less patience for cluttered content and slow site speeds, for example. While reconsidering your SEO strategy in 2022, it’s important to take a holistic approach and look at your entire website experience, which includes functionality and aesthetics. Consider how guests will use your site, from voice searchable SEO to accessible content, among other web design trends for 2022.
Including keywords in your content remains important for your hotel website’s SEO. In addition to using words and terms aligned with your specific property, we recommend leveraging current travel trends when applicable and incorporating those keywords and phrases too.
Destination Insights with Google monitors travel trends and provides insight into where people are traveling and if your location makes the list. Google Hotel Insights gets even more granular with details about where searchers are based—internationally or domestic. If the vast majority of travelers are domestic, then your content and digital marketing efforts can be geared to that market segment, for example.
Check in with TripAdvisor Travel Trends too. For 2022, travel intent is higher than pre-pandemic travel in 2019! Seventy-one percent of travelers intend to travel for leisure. In the USA, these travelers are trending at spending 29% more than usual on their travel, and with 75% of Americans saying it’s important to “see new places” when they travel, it’s time to amp up experiences in your hotel’s SEO.
Another important place to track trends is within guest reviews. According to a sentiment analysis among reviews compared from 2019 to 2021 by ZS, the top concerns guests had (and were most dissatisfied with) are cleanliness, customer service, dining options, and price. Conversely, guests expressed most satisfaction with the pool, quiet, room, and view. That’s everything you need to know for guest satisfaction in 2022! Hit those points in your content and your operations.
After looking at the trends, what can you leverage? What does your hotel or your region or your neighborhood offer that has trending appeal? Rewrite content blocks on your website, add or rename images and alt tags, and write blog posts. Content creation is connected to your hotel offerings too, so if you’re adding experience packages, for example, it can help your SEO if you’re wanting to capitalize on a particular trend. Remember when writing new content, all the best practices of SEO remain the same in 2022, namely optimized URLs, page titles and meta descriptions, and image alt text.
Guest segmentation: The path to booking a hotel is not linear. Guests, who may start research months in advance, google a variety of topics to understand their travel destination, from attractions to restaurants to shopping. It’s impossible to appeal to everyone, nor should you want to. Create guest segments by determining your niche offerings and honing in on who your guests are. From there, think about each segment holistically and determine their key interests as related to your hotel and beyond.
For example, if families with young children form a large segment of your guests, focus on what your hotel can offer them but, not only that, think holistically about what families with young children will search for prior to booking their trip, such as family-friendly restaurants, parks, fun kids’ attractions and tours, and toy stores.
When creating content, then, incorporate the topics, keywords and phrases as they relate to your guest segments, from blog posts to meta fields.
Blog posts: Blog posts are a wonderful way to boost bookings by creating relevant and on-trend content related to the interests of your guest segments. It may be a blog post about your hotel’s offerings specifically but for a broader reach, write about the top 10 family-friendly restaurants in your town, for example. And perhaps your on-site restaurant is on the list, too! The regular creation of blog posts also signals to search engines that your website is active.
Remember, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Keep your blog posts alive by keeping them up to date, write new versions, keep sharing on social media and in your newsletters, and link to them from other blog posts.
FAQs: In addition to being helpful to guests, a hotel FAQ page is exceptional for hotel SEO. Considering how important an FAQ page is for web SEO, it’s surprising how many hotel websites either don’t have one or created one as an afterthought — which could give you a leading edge. Optimize your FAQ page in a Q&A format. All questions should be written in a colloquial style to match how people search online, particularly as more people move toward voice search. Questions on your FAQ page could potentially appear at the top of the page as a Google rich snippet — as long as it’s marked up with structured data (ask your web designer to help with this if need be).
Core Web Vitals
In 2021, Google released its latest algorithm—Core Web Vitals—essentially as a way to prioritize websites that provide users with the least amount of friction. According to Google, friction or site health is determined by website loading speed, input delay speed (interactivity), visual stability (does it load and offer a consistent experience or keep reloading and bouncing around—you know the ones). All of these areas are not difficult to fix. Your web designer can run a diagnostics test for you and suggest changes to improve site health as outlined in our blog post about guest-centric web design.
Outside of Your Hotel Website
SEO is essential but it’s not the only ingredient in bringing guests to your website. As you update and align your web content with current trends, ensure your refinements cross over to your other channels so as to not confuse your visitors and to provide a trustworthy and seamless brand experience—which is key to securing bookings.
Social media content: Connect the dots between your social media content with your SEO content. If you know your guest segments like a particular topic, be sure that crosses over from your keywords and phrases and onto your Instagram. Keep it simple by leveraging existing website content and snippets from blog posts, paired with some superb video or photography—then post away!
OTAs: Hotels are trying to capture direct bookings as much as possible in response to the high commission rates that come with online travel agents. However, they remain an important piece of the booking puzzle. As such, ensure your profiles are kept up-to-date and aligned with your keywords and phrases. Keep in mind OTAs are a great way for guests to discover your property, whether they book directly or not. Ensure to respond to your reviews!
Google Business Profile: Because 81% of travelers turn to Google search to start planning their travel, it goes without saying that you need to keep your Google Business Profile up to date and keep it optimized by managing your Google Posts, Hours, Attributes, and responding to reviews. Here’s everything you need to know to set yourself up and manage your Google my Business profile. Perhaps the best thing about a google business profile is the Map Pack, which shows your hotel on a map when a guest searches for hotels in a particular area. This is where your review ratings are going to make a big impact.
Google Hotel Search: In 2021, Google launched Google Hotel Search, complete with free links to help drive direct bookings at no charge from Google. To manage your rates effectively and timely, ensure to integrate your booking engine with Google.
Perhaps more than ever before, hotel SEO in 2022 takes a holistic approach, which begins with your guests. It’s not enough to fill your webpages, meta fields, and alt tags with keywords and phrases—though that’s certainly part of it. In 2022, savvy hotels begin by looking at travel trends and creating guest segments to determine specific and niche keywords, phrases, and topics to incorporate not only in their onsite SEO but within their larger digital strategies as well.