Keyword research lays the foundation of aligning your SEO strategy with your hotel’s revenue goals. You want to identify keywords that fit in to the three phases of the Search Funnel – awareness, consideration, and action in order to capture your audience in each stages.
Going after long tail keywords and looking into other areas of interest, such as things to do in your local area or information about local transportation, can solidify your hotel as an authority and allow you to capitalize on other keywords. The following tools allow you to identify where that opportunity lies.
Google Keyword Planner
A big selling point for Keyword Planner is that it is free to use. If this is your first attempt at conducting keyword research, this is a great tool to start with. Google Keyword Planner gives other suggested keywords and provides an estimation of the search volume. Keyword planner also gives you a suggested bid for pay-per-click campaigns. Keyword Planner also allows you to target different cities and their surrounding areas allowing you to get a sense of what the searches are in your local area.
What’s great about SEMrush is it is not just for keyword research, this tool can be used for so much more. The biggest benefit is you can use SEMrush to perform a competitive analysis to see the keywords your competitors are ranking for and where there might be opportunity for your hotel to rank. With most keyword research tools you have to start with a preliminary keyword but SEMrush allows you to use URLs to do your research. Giving you a sense of the search volume and forecast traffic trends for a particular keyword. Unfortunately, SEMrush costs $99 a month for the basic services.
In the early days of SEO we focused on vanity keywords or keywords with a very high search volume, but often times those are the most competitive keywords. Keywordtool.io is a great tool to identify long tail keywords with lower search volume that will be much easier for your hotel to rank for. Examples of these keywords are “hotels in chicago with an indoor pool” or “hotels in chicago with free parking.” These types of keywords are great opportunities for your hotel tools like Google Keyword Planner will not suggest. This tool is free if you just want a list of keywords but to get more details like search volume the basic package is $48 a month.
Google Trends & Autocomplete
Finally, a couple more free tools we want to discuss are Google Trends and the AutoComplete function on your Google Search Bar. Because hospitality is a seasonal industry, Google Trends is a great way to identify what amenities people might be searching for at certain times of the year or what seasonal events might be of interest for people visiting your area. Google’s AutoComplete function on the search bar is another great tool to see what kind of long tail searches are being made at a particular time. The suggestions that populate here are built around real searches being made. This tool should not be used on its own, but it is a great jumping off point to start finding long tail keywords.
Blue Magnet utilizes the above keyword research tools most, but below are a list of honorable mentions. These are tools notable in the SEO world and are also very useful in your research.
Final Thoughts on Keyword Research Tools
Do not get hung up on your keywords. Keywords should act as guidelines, not your goals. Fixating on one or two particular keywords can really limit the potential of your hotel’s website. Utilize your research and these tools as a way to guide your writing and the creation of pages for more information on topics relevant to your potential guests. These tools are more of a “best guess” on the kinds of searches being made in Google, so make sure you are conducting the searches yourself and utilizing the Google AutoComplete feature to figure out what is really being searched.
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