Managing your hotel’s local listings to improve SEO

Managing your hotel’s local listings to improve SEO
by Matt Tutt September 26, 2017 Comments SEO

Local listings play a crucial role in determining your level of online visibility and reputation. Not only do they impact your rank position in the search results, they provide customers with important information about your hotel that ultimately can influence their decision-making.

But a lot of hotels aren’t aware just how important local listings are, so they fail to treat them with the level of attention they deserve.

In the following post, we’ll discuss why this part of your business demands serious attention. Along with describing exactly what local listings are and how to best manage them, we’ll explain how you can take advantage of Travel Tripper’s new free listings tool for hotels.

Local listings: what are they and why do they matter?

Local listings ensure you exist on the web. At their most basic, they let people know your Name, Address and Phone number—also referred to as NAP data. But beyond these simple details, you can add other helpful content, such as images of your property and destination, amenities, and your hotel’s star rating.

Combined, this content gives potential guests the vital information they need to decide whether your hotel fits their needs and preferences. The more you tell them about your property, the more informed and confident they’ll feel about booking with you, giving you a vital edge in an increasingly competitive booking space.

But local listings do more than just convey information. They also ensure you show up online in the first place.

Google wants to ensure its users receive the most relevant information to match their likely search intent. Increasingly, this means offering local content as online interaction shifts towards mobile-based, hyperlocal queries.

To that end, local listings play a significant role in how businesses are ranked in search results.

In order to gain Google’s attention, the simplest place to start is by claiming all possible local business listings. This should include your Google My Business page and sites such as Yelp, TripAdvisor, Facebook and other leading travel listing directories.

Being cited in a wide range of reputable sources can significantly improve your visibility in Google’s search results. However, this level of visibility is also heavily influenced by how consistent and accurate this information is seen to be across the web.

Why listing accuracy is crucial

From a customer’s perspective, finding incorrect information about a business can confuse and irritate in equal measure. And if people keep finding incorrect data, they’ll stop trusting what Google tells them.

As you might expect, Google wants to avoid this kind of situation at all costs. That’s why its search algorithm places such huge emphasis on favoring businesses whose details are accurate on every online listing. If inconsistencies are found on different sites, Google will start doubting the information you provided, and potentially drop you from its search results.

To prevent this from happening, the first and most important thing you need to do is check your NAP consistency. This process involves ensuring your Name, Address, and Phone number are consistent across the web.

It’s important to note that your NAP needs to be exactly the same on every site. Even a slight variation in your hotel name (e.g. Hotel NYC vs. The Hotel NYC) between different sources can negatively impact your local SEO.

How to maintain listing accuracy

To start with, you’ll want to make sure all the details in your Google My Business page, are up-to-date.

You can also conduct a complete local citation audit to clean up any errors in your NAP consistency on other sources. This involves manually finding and fixing any incorrect data you know might exist. It’s a simple task if you know what you’re looking for, such as an old phone number.

In this instance, you just need to carry out a Google search mentioning your hotel along with your previous phone number and then update any sites displaying the inaccuracy.

However, things can become incredibly time-consuming if your hotel is listed on dozens or even hundreds of different websites. To make life easier, you might want to focus on correcting the main citation sources in your location and methodically go from there. For instance, each week you could aim to check off ten new citations.

One potential stumbling block: there could be numerous sources that mention your hotel that you’re not even aware of. Perhaps your old phone number is featured on a local directory you registered with a decade ago. Maybe your hotel address name is written slightly differently on an obscure travel review site.

The ever-expanding web makes it hard to track every piece of online information related to your business, which means errors can still occur. So to help with that problem, Travel Tripper has created a brand new listings checker that all hotels can use for free.

Travel Tripper’s free hotel listings checker

Local listings tool for hotels

Our free hotel listings audit tool is designed to make it easy for you to check your hotel’s contact details are accurate across the web. You just need to enter your business name, street address and phone number, and the listings tool will scan over 50 directories to check for accuracy, review rating, and number of reviews.

It’s a quick and easy way to instantly check that your most critical location data appears on Google, Yelp, Facebook and dozens of other maps, apps, search engines, and directories.

You can try the listings checker out now to get immediate feedback on any updates your hotel might need to make.

The immense value of online listings

As the web becomes increasingly driven by mobile and defined by locally based search intent, the importance of local listings will only continue to grow.

From the perspective of enhancing your local SEO, building up and managing your hotel’s online listings should be considered absolutely essential as a way to boost your ranking position during search results.

As travelers spend more time quickly researching their plans on the move, it’s also essential to make life easy for them with accurate, easy-to-find information that moves them one step closer to booking with you.

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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