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Effective technical SEO plays a pivotal role in the success of hotels and resorts by boosting their online visibility, enhancing user experience, and driving conversions. By implementing sound technical Hotel SEO practices, such as optimizing website speed, mobile responsiveness, and overall usability, hospitality businesses can ensure that their properties are easily discoverable by potential guests searching online. This increased visibility not only provides a competitive advantage by outranking competitors in search engine results but also fosters trust and credibility among travelers.

A well-optimized website not only attracts more visitors but also converts them into customers at a higher rate, ultimately leading to increased bookings and revenue. Technical SEO paired with effective on site SEO tactics for hotels and resorts also supports their overall marketing strategy by amplifying the effectiveness of other digital marketing initiatives, such as content marketing and social media. Investing in good technical SEO is crucial for hotels and resorts to remain competitive online, as it not only improves search engine rankings but also enhances the overall online presence and user experience, ultimately driving business growth and success.

In this blog post I, Natalie Le, CEO & Founder of Ormi Media and top Hotel SEO expert in the United States am going to take you through our ultimate Technical SEO checklist for your hotel or resort.

Site Architecture and URL Structure

A well-structured website architecture is the foundation of effective technical SEO strategies for hotels and resorts, due to their significant impact on search engine visibility, user experience, and overall website performance. It ensures that search engines can easily crawl and understand the hierarchy and organization of your website’s content. A well-organized site architecture facilitates easier navigation for search engine crawlers, ensuring that important content is effectively crawled and indexed. This increases the likelihood of your pages appearing prominently in search results. A clear and intuitive site architecture enhances the user experience by enabling visitors to navigate your website seamlessly and find relevant information effortlessly. Optimized URL structures allow for the inclusion of relevant keywords, signaling to search engines the relevance of your content to user queries and improving your chances of ranking for targeted keywords.

A well-structured URL hierarchy supports effective internal linking, which distributes link equity throughout your site and guides users to important pages. Furthermore, clean and optimized URL structures contribute to improved site performance and loading speed, enhancing both user experience and search engine rankings. By focusing on optimizing site architecture and URL structure, hotels and resorts can improve their online visibility, attract more organic traffic, and ultimately drive more bookings and revenue.

Here are the key elements to focus on:

Logical and SEO-friendly URL structure: Your URLs should be descriptive, concise, and include relevant keywords. Avoid using unnecessary parameters, session IDs, or dynamic URLs when possible. For example, use “https://www.yourhotel.com/rooms/deluxe-ocean-view” instead of “https://www.yourhotel.com/rooms.php?id=123&type=ocean”.

Flat website architecture: Aim for a flat website structure with no more than three clicks from the homepage to any given page. This makes it easier for search engines to crawl and understand the importance of your pages.

Proper use of canonicals: Implement canonical tags to prevent duplicate content issues and specify the preferred version of a page (e.g., with or without “www” or using HTTPS).

Internal linking: Strategically link between related pages on your website to distribute link equity and help search engines understand the context and relationships between your content. For more on this, check out our guide on [link to “On-Page SEO Best Practices for Hotel Websites” cluster content].

Crawlability and Indexability

Even with a well-structured website, search engines may still encounter obstacles that prevent them from effectively crawling and indexing your content. Crawlability and indexability are fundamental aspects of SEO for hotels and resorts, crucial for ensuring that their websites are effectively discovered, understood, and ranked by search engines. Crawlability refers to the ability of search engine bots (crawlers or spiders) to navigate and access the content on a website.

For hotels and resorts, having a crawlable website means that search engine bots can easily explore all pages, including room listings, amenities, location details, and booking information. If certain pages are inaccessible to crawlers due to technical issues like broken links, blocked resources, or complex navigation structures, those pages may not be indexed and therefore won’t appear in search engine results, resulting in lost visibility and potential traffic. Indexability, on the other hand, refers to the inclusion of web pages in a search engine’s index, making them eligible to appear in search results.

It’s essential for hotels and resorts to ensure that their content is indexable, as this determines whether their pages can rank for relevant search queries. By optimizing their website’s crawlability and indexability through techniques like creating a sitemap, using robots.txt files, fixing crawl errors, and improving internal linking structures, hotels and resorts can maximize their chances of being discovered and ranked by search engines, ultimately driving organic traffic, bookings, and revenue.

Here’s how to ensure your hotel website is fully accessible to search bots:

XML sitemaps: Create and submit an XML sitemap to search engines, providing them with a roadmap of all the pages on your website. This makes it easier for them to discover and crawl your content.
robots.txt file: Use the robots.txt file to specify which pages or directories should be crawled or excluded by search engines. This can be particularly useful for blocking access to development or staging environments.
No-index and no-follow tags: Use these tags judiciously to prevent search engines from indexing or following specific pages or links that you don’t want to be accessible (e.g., login pages, admin areas).
Identify and fix crawl errors: Regularly check Google Search Console for any crawl errors, such as server errors, blocked resources, or redirect issues. Address these promptly to ensure search engines can fully access and index your website.
Eliminate duplicate content: Implement measures to avoid duplicate content issues, which can confuse search engines and dilute your website’s ranking potential. This may include using canonical tags, redirects, or removing duplicate content altogether.

Site Speed and Performance

Website speed and performance are critical factors that can significantly impact user experience and search engine rankings. Slow-loading websites not only frustrate potential guests but also risk higher bounce rates and lower conversion rates. If you want to learn more about improving your conversion rates, check out our Conversion Rate Optimization Guide for Hotels and Resorts.

Search engines like Google prioritize fast-loading websites in their rankings, as they aim to provide the best possible experience to users.

To optimize your hotel website’s speed and performance, consider the following best practices:

  • Leverage browser caching: Implement browser caching to store static assets (CSS, JavaScript, images) on the user’s browser, reducing the number of requests and improving load times on subsequent visits.
  • Enable GZIP compression: Compress your website’s files (HTML, CSS, JavaScript) using GZIP compression to reduce file sizes and decrease download times.
  • Optimize images and media: Properly size and compress images, videos, and other media files to minimize their impact on page load times.
  • Minify CSS and JavaScript: Remove unnecessary whitespace, comments, and code formatting from your CSS and JavaScript files to reduce their file sizes.
  • Lazy load non-critical resources: Implement lazy loading techniques to defer the loading of non-critical resources (e.g., images below the fold) until they’re needed, improving initial load times.
  • Leverage a Content Delivery Network (CDN): Distribute your website’s static assets across a global network of servers to ensure faster delivery to visitors, regardless of their location.
  • Monitor and optimize performance: Regularly monitor your website’s performance using tools like Google PageSpeed Insights, WebPageTest, and Lighthouse. Identify and address any bottlenecks or areas for improvement.

Mobile Optimization

With the majority of online traffic now coming from mobile devices, having a mobile-friendly website is no longer an option – it’s an absolute necessity, especially for hotels. Search engines like Google use mobile-friendliness as a ranking factor, meaning that non-optimized websites risk losing visibility and traffic to their mobile-friendly competitors.
To ensure your hotel website is optimized for mobile devices, follow these best practices:

Responsive design: Implement a responsive design that automatically adjusts and optimizes your website’s layout, content, and functionality based on the user’s device and screen size.
Dynamic serving: Alternatively, you can use dynamic serving to detect the user’s device and serve an optimized version of your website tailored for their specific device.
Optimize for mobile usability: Ensure that your website’s design, navigation, and interactive elements (forms, menus, etc.) are optimized for touch-based interactions and smaller screen sizes.
Test and validate: Regularly test your website’s mobile experience using tools like Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test and mobile device emulators. Identify and address any usability issues or rendering problems.
Implement Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP): Consider implementing AMP for news, blog, or other content-heavy sections of your hotel website to provide an ultra-fast and optimized mobile experience.

Security and HTTPS

Website security is paramount – not only for protecting sensitive user data but also for enhancing trust and credibility with potential guests. Search engines like Google have been pushing for a more secure web, prioritizing HTTPS-enabled websites in their rankings and explicitly warning users about non-secure websites.

Structured Data and Schema Markup

Providing rich, structured data about your hotel’s offerings can significantly enhance your website’s visibility and click-through rates in search engine results. By implementing schema markup, you can display additional information (ratings, amenities, pricing, etc.) directly in the search results, making your listings more informative and enticing to potential guests.
Here’s how to leverage structured data and schema markup for your hotel website:

Implement schema.org markup: Follow the guidelines provided by schema.org to mark up your website’s content with relevant structured data. This includes information about your hotel’s address, contact details, room types, amenities, events, and more.
Use appropriate schema types: Utilize the specific schema types designed for the hospitality industry, such as “Hotel,” “LodgingBusiness,” “Room,” and “Event.”
Mark up review and rating data: Incorporate rich snippets for reviews and ratings by marking up your hotel’s customer reviews and star ratings using the appropriate schema types.
Validate your markup: Use tools like Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool or schema.org’s validation tools to ensure your markup is correctly implemented and doesn’t contain any errors.
Monitor and update markup: As you add or update content on your website, ensure that your schema markup is kept up-to-date and accurately reflects the latest information about your hotel.

Monitoring and Tracking

Maintaining optimal technical SEO for your hotel website is an ongoing process that requires regular monitoring and tracking. Search engine algorithms and best practices are constantly evolving, and it’s crucial to stay ahead of the curve and address any potential issues promptly.
To effectively monitor and track your hotel website’s technical SEO performance, consider the following strategies:

Google Search Console: Regularly check your Google Search Console account for any crawl errors, security issues, indexing problems, or other technical SEO-related alerts. Address these promptly to maintain your website’s health and visibility.
Site audits: Conduct regular site audits using tools like Screaming Frog, DeepCrawl, or Sitebulb to identify and fix any technical SEO issues, such as broken links, redirect chains, or duplicate content.
Performance monitoring: Use tools like Google PageSpeed Insights, WebPageTest, and Lighthouse to monitor and optimize your website’s speed and performance continuously.
Analytics tracking: Set up proper analytics tracking (e.g., Google Analytics) to monitor your website’s traffic, user behavior, and performance metrics. This data can help you identify and address any technical issues impacting user experience or conversions.
Stay updated: Keep yourself informed about the latest technical SEO best practices, algorithm updates, and industry trends by following reputable SEO sources and attending relevant conferences or webinars.

International SEO and Multilingual Considerations

For hotels catering to a global audience or operating in multiple regions, international SEO and multilingual considerations are critical for ensuring optimal visibility and user experience across different markets.

Here are some key technical SEO best practices for multilingual and international hotel websites:

– Subdomain or subdirectory structure: Decide on a consistent and SEO-friendly structure for your international and multilingual content, using either subdomains (e.g., fr.yourhotel.com) or subdirectories (e.g., yourhotel.com/fr).

– Hreflang tags: Implement hreflang tags to specify the language and geographic targeting of your website’s content, helping search engines serve the appropriate version to users based on their location and language preferences.

– Translation and localization: Ensure that your hotel’s content is properly translated and localized for each target market, accounting for cultural nuances, date/time formats, currency, and other regional preferences.

– Load times and hosting: Consider hosting your multilingual content on geographically distributed servers or using a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to optimize load times for users in different regions.

– Sitemaps and robots.txt files: Create separate sitemaps and robots.txt files for each language or regional version of your website to facilitate efficient crawling and indexing by search engines.

– Analytics and tracking: Set up advanced tracking and filtering in your analytics platform to segregate and analyze data for each language or regional version of your website.

 

Technical SEO for Hotel Websites with Multiple Locations

Many hotel brands and hospitality groups operate multiple properties across different locations. While this can present opportunities for increased visibility and reach, it also introduces unique technical SEO challenges that must be addressed to ensure optimal search engine performance.

Here are some key considerations for managing technical SEO for hotel websites with multiple locations:

Location Pages and Taxonomies
– Create dedicated location pages or taxonomies to organize and showcase your different hotel properties.
– Implement structured data and schema markup to highlight important details about each location, such as address, amenities, and services.
– Optimize location page content with relevant keywords and descriptions to improve visibility in local search results.

Local SEO Optimization
– Optimize each hotel property’s online presence for local SEO by claiming and updating listings on directories like Google My Business, Bing Places, and industry-specific platforms.
– Encourage customers to leave reviews on these platforms, as positive ratings and reviews can significantly boost local search visibility.
– Implement local schema markup to enhance your hotels’ listings in map packs and local search results.

Check out our in depth guide to local SEO for hotels and resorts.

Location-Specific Content and Landing Pages
– Develop location-specific content and landing pages tailored to the unique offerings, attractions, and target audience of each hotel property.
– Leverage local keywords and optimize this content for improved relevance and visibility in targeted geographic searches.
– Implement geo-targeted ad campaigns and landing page experiences to further enhance local relevance and conversion rates.

Internal Linking and Navigation
– Establish a clear internal linking structure that allows users and search engines to easily navigate between your different hotel locations and properties.
– Consider implementing location-based navigation menus or filters to enhance the user experience for visitors seeking hotels in specific areas.
– Strategically distribute internal links to ensure that link equity flows appropriately to your most important location pages.

Analytics and Tracking
– Set up advanced tracking and segmentation within your analytics platform to monitor performance metrics and user behavior for each hotel location.
– Identify top-performing locations and areas for improvement based on data-driven insights from your analytics.
– Continuously optimize and refine your technical SEO strategies for each location based on performance data and evolving market trends.

Preparing for Technical SEO Migrations and Redesigns

Over time, many hotel websites undergo significant redesigns, platform migrations, or domain changes. While these projects can be exciting and beneficial for improving the user experience and functionality, they can also pose substantial risks to your website’s technical SEO if not properly planned and executed.

To ensure a smooth transition and minimize any negative impact on your search engine visibility and rankings, follow these best practices when preparing for technical SEO migrations and redesigns:

Comprehensive Site Audit and Planning
– Conduct a thorough site audit to identify and document all existing technical SEO elements, such as redirects, canonical tags, sitemaps, and structured data.
– Create a detailed project plan that outlines the migration process, timelines, and responsibilities for each task.
– Involve your technical SEO team or agency from the outset to ensure that SEO considerations are integrated into the project’s planning and execution.

Redirection Mapping and Implementation
– Carefully map and implement 301 redirects to preserve existing link equity and ensure that all old URLs are properly redirected to their new counterparts.
– Test and validate redirects thoroughly before launching the new website or migration.
– Monitor for any redirect chains, loops, or other issues that may arise during or after the migration.

Content and Metadata Optimization
– Audit and optimize all existing content, metadata (titles, descriptions, etc.), and structured data to ensure it aligns with the new website’s structure and design.
– Identify any content gaps or opportunities for new, high-value content that can be developed as part of the redesign or migration.

Change of Address and Domain Migration
– If the migration involves a domain change, ensure that you follow best practices for domain migrations, including updating listings, submitting Change of Address requests, and monitoring for any ranking fluctuations.
– Implement domain-level 301 redirects and update all internal links to point to the new domain.

Testing, Monitoring, and Communication
– Thoroughly test the new website or migrated platform in a staging environment before going live, addressing any technical SEO issues or bugs identified.
– Closely monitor your website’s performance, rankings, and traffic following the launch, addressing any unexpected issues promptly.
– Communicate proactively with your team, stakeholders, and customers about the upcoming changes and any potential downtime or disruptions.

Continuous Improvement and Staying Ahead of the Curve

Technical SEO is an ever-evolving discipline, with search engines continuously updating their algorithms, best practices, and ranking factors. To maintain a competitive edge and ensure long-term success, it’s crucial to adopt a mindset of continuous improvement and stay ahead of the curve.

Here are some strategies to help you stay on top of the latest technical SEO developments and trends:

Ongoing Education and Professional Development
– Regularly attend industry conferences, webinars, and training sessions to stay informed about the latest technical SEO best practices, tools, and techniques.
– Follow reputable industry blogs, podcasts, and thought leaders to stay up-to-date with the latest trends, algorithm updates, and emerging technologies.
– Consider obtaining professional certifications or pursuing advanced training in technical SEO to deepen your knowledge and expertise.

Experimentation and Testing
– Foster a culture of experimentation and data-driven decision-making within your organization or team.
– Continuously test and validate new technical SEO strategies, techniques, and tools to identify what works best for your hotel website and target audience.
– Leverage A/B testing and controlled experiments to measure the impact of technical SEO changes on key performance metrics.

Collaboration and Knowledge Sharing
– Encourage collaboration and knowledge sharing among your team members, agencies, and industry peers.
– Participate in online communities, forums, and local meetups to exchange ideas, insights, and best practices with other technical SEO professionals.
– Foster an environment of continuous learning and growth, where team members can share their expertise and learn from one another.

By addressing technical SEO issues, hotels and resorts can improve their rankings, visibility and user experience. All of this adds to more direct bookings. If you want our experts to work with you on your growth goals get in touch for a free consultation!