Looking to grow your hotel’s website and increase SEO (search engine optimization) efforts? Although there are many techniques to increase your hotel’s online visibility, one of the most effective ways is to create a landing page. A landing page is essentially any page a website visitor lands on after clicking a link from an email, a search in Google, or any other type of targeted campaign, including Facebook ads, pay per click (PPC) ads, email marketing, etc. While BMI builds and launches sites with core pages (i.e. home, hotel info, dining, events, etc.), it is important to create unique landing pages that will differentiate your hotel from its competitors. For example, local events calendars, dining guides, or things to do pages – just to name a few.
Top 10 Hotel Landing Page Tips
Once you’re ready to create a landing page, how is it done and done well? By implementing Blue Magnet’s best practices for landing pages, you will likely discover more potential guests visiting your site, an increase in conversion rate, and differentiation of your hotel from its competitors. Ultimately, well designed landing pages will help create a unique voice for your hotel.
1: Pick a Relevant Topic
Creating a landing page is fun, but where does one begin? First, you must perform keyword research to determine what users are searching for on the web. Without keyword research, you will not be able to understand whether guests are actually searching for your so-called “popular” attraction, and may be dismissing valuable opportunities to rank for relevant search queries.
After choosing your top three search terms, (i.e. “local area attractions in Chicago”, “things to do in Chicago”, “places to visit in Chicago”, etc.) perform a search engine results page (SERP) analysis. In other words, take a prospective keyword and plug it into Google’s search bar to see what results populate. Then, decide if you have a realistic opportunity to rank for that keyword phrase. To determine this likelihood, examine the top ten organic search results for the following:
- Type of Domain: Your competitors showing as a result of the search is a good indication that the keyword is worth targeting. Alternatively, if you are finding search results that are not related to the topic or to the hospitality industry, it is best practice to ditch that keyword to find a different, more relevant variation.
- Domain Authority (DA): According to Moz, “domain authority is a score (on a 100-point scale) developed by Moz that predicts how well a website will rank on search engines. Use domain authority when comparing one site to another or tracking the ‘strength’ of your website over time.” Investigate the DA by using MozBar, a tool that predicts where the domain will rank on the search engine. For example, if your site has a DA of 39 (pictured below), it is unlikely you will be able to outrank a competitor’s site that has a DA of 50. The higher the number, the stronger the domain authority.
- Page Authority (PA): Similar to domain authority, “page authority measures the strength of individual page,” according to Moz. Examine your competitors’ PA to determine the overall strength of their landing page. It is important to note that Google indexes and ranks pages, not domains. Although the DA is a general indication of the overall power of the domain, it is the PA that matters. A page with a high PA will stand a better chance of outranking a page with a lower PA.
- Title Tags: Evaluate the title tags to determine which keywords the pages on the SERP are targeting. If your keyword is “hotels near navy pier” and your competitor’s title tag is “navy pier – chicago il,” the likelihood of ranking above your competition is high because the competitor’s site isn’t optimized for your chosen keyword phrase.
After you perform a SERP analysis, not only will you have your topic determined, but also the meta title (pictured below in purple), which is one of the most important on-page SEO elements. Note: The meta title is limited to only 50-60 characters as it fits into a 512-pixel display on the search engine results, which is why it is important to write strategically and capture the user’s attention immediately.
2: Outline Content
Organize the content in a way that makes sense for both the guests wanting to learn more and for the robots crawling the page. Structure your page using the appropriate tags or headings (H1, H2, and H3).
The H1 tag is considered the most important header tag because it describes what the page is all about. Pictured below is a screenshot of an event calendar landing page. The H1 tag is organized as “Local Area Events” because the landing page is about events happening around the hotel. The H2 tag highlights sections throughout the page, beneath the H1 tag. For example, the image below the H2 tag tells the guest which month each event takes place. You can identify “December Events” as the H2 tag. Within the H2 tags, you’ll find H3 tags listing the unique events happening each month.
3: Consider Length
How long does the landing page need to be? There is no definitive answer, but do not fret! Since some topics naturally require more information than others, there will always be some sort of variation. As a general rule of thumb, skip the fluff and get straight to the point. Most importantly, stay on topic and be as concise as possible.
4: Add Links, Buttons and PDFs
While writing strong and relevant copy is important, adding links, buttons, and PDFs are also crucial steps to constructing an effective landing page. Your landing page has a better chance to rank higher in search engines when using highly searched terms. While using these keywords in buttons supports SEO efforts, it also makes the page more user friendly by breaking up heavy text content.
5: Add Visual Interest with Images
Bring your page to life by adding high resolution images that complement your copy. If you have multiple images worth featuring, create a photo gallery to keep the page clean and concise. Whether you are pulling stock photos or obtaining images from a local attraction, be cautious and make sure you have full permission to use those images. If you are questioning your rights, refer to our recent post, ”Keeping Your Website on the Good Side of the Copyright Law” by Don Angelo.
6: Be Unique
Creatively use landing pages to differentiate your hotel from your competitors. Instead of taking copy from an existing site and modifying it, add something unique. Explore other sites like TripAdvisor and Yelp for reviews and more information to include in your copy. If your topic is Navy Pier, include tips that guests will find useful when they visit the attraction. For example, “Tip: Children’s Museum restaurant only accepts cash.”
The front desk staff can be a great resource for these tips. They often serve as the local area expert by giving guests advice, so why not showcase their knowledge on the page? Anyone can use facts to create content about a local area attraction, but including quotes from team members is something that makes the page truly one of a kind.
7: Create Internal Links
Take advantage of interlinking, which means to link to other pages on your hotel’s site from the new page. Only interlink to pages that are relevant and make sense for guests. For example, if you are creating an RFP page, it is a good idea to create a link on that page to your meetings and events page.
8: Use a Call to Action
What action do you want a potential guest to take? Don’t be shy; tell them! Incorporate information about your hotel, whether it is about a related special, a particular amenity, or accommodation details. Do not forget to include contact information.
Not so fast! You have written content and uploaded the page, but there is still more work to do. You will want to understand how the page is performing and whether or not it is meeting your objectives. Once your page is published, check Google Analytics and examine the following:
- Pageviews: After launching any new page, you will want to determine how many users are entering your website through the new landing page. Pageviews are an important metric to analyze, helping you understand the amount of guests finding your site on the search engine results page. In order to pull this specific report, navigate through Google Analytics to view the number of sessions during a given timeframe (Behavior > Site Content > Landing Pages). This report will show the traffic coming to the site through this specific landing page. In other words, users that come to the homepage first then navigate onto your new page will not count as a session in this report. Only those who enter your website through the landing page will be factored into this report.
- Bounce Rate: The bounce rate is calculated by the amount of users that enter your landing page and leave without interacting with any other page on the site. There are multiple reasons guests leave your site without moving onto another page, including poor site design or a lack of the information they are looking for. If guests are accessing your site through their iPhones and your website is not mobile optimized, it is unlikely that those users will continue to read other pages since pinching and scrolling through tiny text on a phone screen can lead to a frustrating user experience. You should also assess your keyword strategy to make sure you are ranking for the most relevant keywords possible, ensuring that guests are finding the information they are searching for.
- Goals: A goal is any completed action on the page which supports your hotel’s measurement plan. In this case, one of the most important goals is check rate. If guests are checking rate from the new landing page, that is a good indication your page has compelling content that is enticing guests to book their stay at your hotel.
10: Monitor and Update
Now that you are BFFs with Google Analytics, keep improving the page. Since Google likes to see content that develops over time, regularly refresh your page with the following:
- Search Trends: Something to note: search trends change. Complete an on-page SEO audit to ensure your keywords are still worth targeting.
- Time-Sensitive Information: Remove any outdated text about events that have already passed. Not only is it irrelevant information, but guests may interpret this as your hotel not being on its game, and if anything, you are definitely on your game!
Creating a landing page that attracts new visitors to your website is a rewarding investment for your hotel. When you follow these 10 tips, you can end up with a strong landing page like Blue Magnet’s hotel digital marketing page.
Contact our team to learn more about creating effective landing pages for your hotel’s site and other hotel Internet marketing initiatives.