It took a lot of years for the hotel industry as a whole to buy in to the importance of keywords and content optimization for boosting web rankings. Now it seems like 95% are there—and the unfortunate result for users is drab, meaningless hotel copy.
There’s the general overuse of the location name on hotel websites (this New York City hotel features, this Paris hotel features, etc.). Just a reminder, the consumer knows where your hotel is by the time they’re at your website, so this is useless content. I also see a lot of the complicated, awkwardly placed keyword such as “the Miami airport hotel parking lot.” While unrelated to the race for rankings, there’s a plague of superlatives that are totally annoying: the well-appointed, airy guestrooms; the thoughtfully decorated, spacious guestrooms; the supremely comfortable guestrooms; and so on.
Too much emphasis on getting sites in front of guests has failed guests once they get to the site. There are so many ways for a guest to find you now that being first or fifth on Google doesn’t matter as much as it used to.
What’s the end result? Guests scan the website looking for what they need (king suite-check, fitness center-check, restaurant-check, parking rates-ugh) and then they go to review sites to figure out what the reality of the stay is, because the website doesn’t come across as honest or accurate anymore.
While I’m loathe to say that hotel SEO doesn’t matter anymore, because I think it still matters some, I’m not sure it matters enough to be boring your guests and sending them off to review sites where they feel like they get real, straightforward information. Draw them in, create an experience for them, sell your property truthfully and without extraneous keywords all over the place. Don’t make them go to TripAdvisor after they’ve scanned two pages as quickly as they can. Engage. Get them interested. Then they can go to TripAdvisor, if they go at all, already sold on what you’ve got and less deterred by some minor violations.