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Content should always play a significant role in the SEO process.  Thus any site that doesn’t have enough content could not and cannot be better than other sites that offer meaningful and fresh content for its users. 

With the arrival of Google Hummingbird that was unveiled at the end of September 2013, this new algorithm looks at the searcher intent and not keywords. The conversational queries in natural language matter more and search engines are trying to cover this need with the advent of Hummingbird as it is more comfortable with conversational queries. We should point out the fact that Hummingbird is not all about indexing but all about improving the way Google interprets search queries. 

Therefore, not only the SEO keywords matter but also the attempt of analysing the intent behind each query starts to matter. 

As best practices with the new Hummingbird algorithm we should:
 

Use keywords that sum up longer search terms.

Create conversation-types keywords as they are where natural (e.g in headings).

Use synonymous search terms as Hummingbird takes into consideration not only keywords but also their synonyms found on a page. 

It’s also important to get listed in travel sites (e.g. Mr and Mrs Smith) such as ‘’The Best Of” and ‘’Top 10’’.

See which sites your competitors are mentioned in and try to reach the editors/webmasters of these websites.

  oIn order to find out the websites that cite your competitors you need to perform a full analysis of your rivals’ backlinks profiles. 

The anchor text still matters to Hummingbird and thus we need to revise when/if it’s necessary to keyword-rich anchor text.  For more information you can refer to the basic guide for anchor text

All the above concern the latest developments in SEO that have an impact on content marketing and is a long-term investment that hotels need to seriously consider and start revising their content marketing for the future. 

All the above concern the latest developments in SEO that have an impact on content marketing and is a long-term investment that hotels need to seriously consider and start revising their content marketing for the future.  

However, in the meantime the tips that will follow can have a significant impact on rankings, that will increase the number of their clicks and thus their click through rate for the individual pages. 

Most hoteliers who run a business sell an excellent product (with a unique USP, e.g. a hotel just for families or a honeymoon hotel or a hotel only for couples or a boutique hotel the city centre etc.). 

Since they are running a business that ‘’promotes’’ a unique product that defines their business, the logical next step is a website that will reflect the unique character of their hotel.

If not, then this can have a significant impact on the user experience and on their online sales.

Assuming that the website is well designed but there’s a lack of content (or thin content), then you have done half of the work in order your website to be considered as fully SEO functional. What a well-designed website (that reflects the high quality of your services) needs is content

What does the SEO professional needs to have in mind before assigning the content development to the SEO copywriter? 

 

Guidelines for Content Length

Take this example of how the content length affects rankings and conversions can prove the aforementioned hypothesis. With simply A/B testing on the homepage (one homepage content length had 1,292 words and the other one 488 words). This experiment proved the page that converted better was the one whose content length was 1,292. In your case, we are not saying that you need to create such extensive content for your homepage, but it is essential to create content length (approximately 450-500 words for your homepage). Without any further ado, these are some tips that should be taken into consideration for the content length: 

When keywords are allocated in the organic text, there should be a natural flow when the user is reading the text. 

oWe should include a key phrase in the 1st line. However, you shouldn’t immediately include the same key phrase in the second line, as this does not create a natural flow of text for the reader. 

The content should be fresh, original, unique, meaningful and without any errors (grammar, syntax).  Any mistakes in the content can be considered by search engines as a signal for low quality content. 

oDuplicate content: You shouldn’t use duplicate content and avoid using the same content on multiple pages as this can also be perceived by search engines as low quality. 

 

Thus the SEO copywriter should be qualified with extensive knowledge of the hotel and the travel industry. 

Breaking the text into paragraphs and headings

•Strictly avoid a consecutive text of 400, 500 words without paragraphs and headings tags, as it can be annoying for users. 

•Ensure that your audience can find what they are looking for, using headings to break up the text.

•Where possible, incorporate bullet point lists, as they can grab the attention of the user.

Guidelines for Keywords and Key phrases  

•Do not use repetitive keywords in content as this can be annoying to readers and also seen as an attempt to manipulate rankings by search engines. 

• Keywords should be placed in a way that will not be annoying for users and at the same time it will be beneficial for search engines.

•One of the guidelines that the SEO copywriter should take from the SEO professional is where to place the (exact match) key phrases. In other words, the most important key phrase of your page (e.g. Luxury hotels London) should appear in the first 100-150 words of your page. This way it will be easier for search engines to understand what your page is all about. Similarly, for users, who are considered as “scanners” when they read a page, it will be easier for them to determine whether the website is relevant to their needs.  

•Search engines are at an advanced stage where they are able to ‘’understand’’  from the surrounding text what a page is all about.  Therefore,  even if there’s not an exact match key phrase such as ’5 star hotel Bristol’ (the location has been omitted), search engine spiders are able to understand that this 5 star hotel is in Bristol, based on the surrounding text.

 

Guidelines for  Long Tail Key phrases 

The use of long tail keywords can make your business stand out, particularly in this competitive field of the travel industry. Evidence that show that users prefer using long tail keywords (based on data released by Hitwise: 

  1. 1-word searches = 20.29% (previously was 19.02%)
  2. 2-word searches = 23.65% (previously was 32.58%)
  3. 3-word searches = 21.92% (previously was 25.61%)
  4. 4-word searches = 14.89% (previously was 12.83%)
  5. 5-word searches = 8.68% (previously was 5.64%)
  6. 6-word searches = 4.65% (previously was 2.32%)
  7. 7-word searches = 2.49% (previously was 0.98%)
  8. 8-word searches = 3.43%

The overall benefit by using long tail keywords can be summed up on the below: 

Higher conversion rates, as users know what they are looking for. For instance a user who is using a keyword like ‘’Hotels in Bristol’’, doesn’t know what they are looking for. The user is not sure if they want an affordable or a luxury hotel. On the other hand,  another user who is looking for a hotel only for couples will perform the respective query. Example: honeymoon hotel in {area} or hotel for couples in {area}.

Better rankings – You are more likely to rank higher using long tail keywords e.g. “luxury hotels London” than you are using generic keywords such as “hotels London” because competition to rank using these keywords is much higher.

Guidelines for Internal links - Text links – Anchor Text

One of the instructions that should be given by an SEO professional to the SEO copywriters, is to use anchor text within the website. In other words, we are talking about the use of the clickable text that directs users to another page(s) within the website. 

The text link should be relevant to the page that is pointing to. 

Irrespectively of the page you are, the text link should: 

•Point to the most relevant page of your site (let’s assume that it’s a boutique luxury hotel in Bristol). Example: From your Accommodation page we want to create a text link pointing to the homepage. Thus, in this case the text link that is pointing to the homepage should have a relevant anchor text, e.g.  ’Bristol luxury hotel’’ or ‘’boutique luxury hotel’’ or ‘’boutique luxury hotel in Bristol’’ or ‘’Bristol boutique luxury hotel’’ or ‘’{Brand Name} luxury hotel in {area}’’

•Not be the same, but ensure that for each page, if you create text links they should be diverse (as you notice on the example above).

•Not be appearing twice in the same pointing to the same page. You can include 2, or 3 text links but they should not be pointing to the same page, but they should be pointing to different pages within the website. 

•Be pointing in most cases to the homepage. Always bear in mind that the most important page of your website is the homepage and thus the majority of the text links should be pointing to the homepage.

Guidelines for Heading Tags

Header/Headings

oUnder each header the content should be relevant to the header.

oYou need to ensure that the headers are optimised and captivating.  Examples: 

     o     Bad example:

Spa

 

     o     Good example:  

Spa Hotel in London

 

     o      Bad Example:

Restaurant

 

     o      Good Example:

Bristol Organic Restaurant or Organic Restaurant in Bristol

 

oEach page should have at least 2 headers (and maximum 3).

     o     Example for the Restaurant-Bar of a hotel page: 

  • Organic Restaurant in Bristol

    (and the content will be relevant to the USP of this hotel, which is related to its organic restaurant attracting the users who are vegetarians). 
  • < h2> Jazz Bar in Bristol > (and the content will be relevant to the  live jazz music events that take place in this bar). 
  • Bristol Cocktail Bar

    > (and the content will be relevant to the unique cocktails that this bar is making).

 

In a nutshell 

The SEO professional should prepare the respective SEO material for the copywriter. This SEO material (that will be the backbone of the SEO organic text), should include a list for each section of the optimised page:

•Keywords and key phrases

•Text links

•Heading tags

•Content length

Let us know if you find these guidelines useful in the comment section below.

 

 

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