A Beginner's Guide to SEO and PPC for Hotels

A Beginner's Guide to SEO and PPC for Hotels

27 Jan 2015 Toby Shaw

SEO and PPC are two of the best avenues to drive direct bookings to your hotel or resort. Here is a layman’s guide on each so you understand the basics of these marketing channels to get more revenue.

What is SEO?

Short for search engine optimisation. SEO refers to the changes on and off a website that increase its rankings in search engines.

While there are over a hundred factors to improve your SEO, a few major website changes we’ve made to help SEO to give you an idea of what's involved, that have given clients more direct bookings include:

  • Optimizing title tags and meta description (code on the website)
  • Correcting errors seen by Google
  • Boosting page speed
  • Creating a clear site structure

Changes off the website that help SEO include, but not limited to:

  • Your online reputation, reviews, and what people say about your brand
  • The number and quality of links pointing to the website. Google have described this being similar to a voting system
  • Social information like Google Plus

Google is the main search engine covering 70% of the search engine market so most SEO focuses on improving Google rankings.

No company can guarantee a ranking or give you an accurate time frame of when you’ll appear at top spot for “your keywords”. Any company that does is selling snake oil.

The difficulty in guaranteeing results comes from algorithms. An algorithm refers to the system search engines use to rank web pages in search results. We at Fastrack have a deep understanding of Google’s algorithm, but its exactness is unknown by every outsider to protect the integrity of search results. The unknown nature of algorithms gives rise to many Australian companies doing SEO with no positive business results.

SEO is best measured with an increase in organic visitors and revenue rather than rankings you see in search results.

What is PPC?

Short for pay-per click. The most popular form of PPC advertising is Google AdWords. You pay for every click on your ad.

The Google AdWords network can let your ads appear in Google search results, their partner networks like Yahoo, and on millions of sites that display Google ads.

You "bid" on search terms against other websites. Every time some does a Google search, Google automatically run an auction that displays ads in an order based on their max price per click and ad quality.

The business who pays the most per click is not necessarily the one who appears in top position. Click-through rate of the ad; keyword synergy between the search term, ad copy, and landing page; and the click-percentage of your ads on mobile devices all affect ad quality and the end cost per click. If your campaign is well-managed, you can end up paying 400% less per click than a competitor.

How Does SEO and PPC Differ?

About Toby Shaw

Toby specialises in SEO and SEM, especially with a data-driven flavour. He is from the UK, and previous to moving to Queensland worked for the SEO platform Linkdex for 5 years as an Insights Analyst and Data Scientist. Toby has completed a Bachelor’s from Imperial College London with a degree in Materials Engineering. When he isn’t at work, Toby is a keen cellist and cyclist, as well as a fan of Everton FC.

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