4 ways hotels can generate visual content for SEO

4 ways hotels can generate visual content for SEO
by Matt Tutt November 25, 2016 Comments Content Marketing, SEO

One good way that hotels interested in building their websites’ backlinks (a good way to boost domain authority ranking and thus organic search ranking) is to generate exciting and highly visual content that other websites are likely to share. Here are five visual content ideas that hotel marketers can put together for their hotel website:

1) Video tours of your hotel and city

Though not a particularly new idea, video tours are something that are easily accessible to all types of hotels, especially considering the improvements in mobile-phone video quality and other portable recording devices. All that’s needed is your mobile phone (a Gopro would work nicely too), a simple stabilizer stick or phone camera mount, and someone with a good eye for shooting video.

It’s good to include a mix of both on-property and off-property footage. You’ll want to feature your rooms, amenities, spa, restaurant, or any other amenities, but it’s also good to capture what’s available in the local neighborhood as well, especially if you’re in a city with lots to do—landmarks, attractions, local food and drink, nightlife, etc. You might even consider doing a video series geared toward a specific topic or theme, so long as it fits in with your brand’s theme. Here’s an example from the Hyatt Hotel’s Andaz London featuring both the property and local east London neighborhood.

With this type of video content you’d benefit by uploading it to your hotel’s YouTube channel (or other provider such as Vimeo or Wistia) and embedding it on a relevant page on the hotel’s website. Posting the video on social media channels would help to get the initial views and help search engines to crawl the video content, and as the internet moves rapidly towards favoring video content over text, you’d likely see the video starting to rank well by itself too. Ensure you write a good, detailed description of the video and add all the necessary tags to help the search engines properly categorize your video.

2) Time-lapse videos of your hotel and city

Thanks to a proliferation of new photo apps, it is now possible to easily create eye-catching timelapses with your mobile phone or tablet. Some of the more popular options include Lapse It on Google Android, and Hyperlapse by Instagram (iOS).

The idea here is simple—create a polished and relevant timelapse for your hotel, as in the example above from the W Hotel in Barcelona. It could be as simple as the sunset from a room within the hotel, or from a fixed point outside the hotel, or it could be a timelapse of the crowd during a big sports game at the stadium located just a few minutes from your hotel (or any other attraction near your own hotel).

Once you’ve got your timelapse recorded, it is relatively easy to upload the video to share on social media or on your hotel’s own website. Instagram and Facebook are both excellent channels for sharing such videos, as they can be quick pieces of content—a 30-second to minute-long video should suffice.

Although likes, retweets, and shares don’t directly influence your SEO ranking, they definitely won’t hurt it. Each time your content gets shared you’re going to be a) getting more people viewing your content and b) increasing the chances that someone does link to your hotel’s website (imagine if a news media agency picks up the content!). Sometimes it’s important to think of SEO outside of the typical backlink approach and view it from a wider perspective.

3) Entertaining infographics

Infographics are a great way to build backlinks to your hotel’s website and generate interest in your hotel’s brand, although they do require quite a bit of legwork if you want them to be a hit. An infographic is simply an image (or graphic) that contains information (hence the name!). So for your hotel you’re going to want to tailor it to your industry, or towards the target user, depending on your overall goal.

It’s essential that you make the infographic fun, memorable, or surprising. For example, you can do a city map, as shown in the Marriott example below, or perhaps you can supply some interesting statistics or facts for people who are visiting major events in the city or area.

marriott-infographic-example

An infographic by Marriott hotel, detailing things to do in New Orleans. Click to see the full infographic.

Infographics like this also make for great content for local media or news outlets; combined with the right PR strategy you can then distribute the infographic for publishing in multiple websites. Don’t forget to ask for a link back to the infographic on your own hotel’s website!

4) Virtual reality tours

As the technology to make virtual reality becomes cheaper, and social media makes distributing VR video easier, hotels are going to find it so much easier to create virtual reality content. There are a number of exciting opportunities when it comes to VR, and at the moment one of the simplest ways to enter the fray is simply by having 360-degree video footage shot within your hotel. This will give you the basics you need for your VR footage, enabling potential guests to experience your hotel without actually being there.

In the example below from Marriott Munich, videographers used a GoPro stereo rig to shoot this 360-degree video of a business meeting.

In this particular case, there’s a big first-mover advantage attached to virtual reality, so the first few hotels that are actually able to generate a credible immersive VR experience are likely going to get a huge amount of publicity from doing so. Just about all news publishers love to talk and speculate the potential of virtual reality, so those hotels and businesses that adopt it quickly will likely see a lot of positive PR coming their way as a result—including backlinks from some very authoritative sources.

Matt is a SEO Specialist at Travel Tripper with extensive knowledge of optimizing hotel websites for maximum visibility online. He loves helping hotels to improve their organic search rankings and grow their direct bookings. Outside of work he loves hiking and playing football (or soccer, as it's better known in the US).

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