SEO for hotels, or search engine optimisation is often a term synonymous with aspiring to be on the front page of Google when a would-be customer googles ‘hotels in [your location]’
Well, I’ll be frank here – the content of this post won’t reveal the hidden secrets to leap-frogging booking dot com to the top-spot for those most lucrative keyword searches – no, that would be like attempting to explain the science behind how we got a man on the moon in one sentence.
Instead, this post will offer you something of exceptional value; something that 99% of hotels do not know even exists.
I’m referring to a Robots.txt file.
It’s a horribly jargonish and techy term – but suffice to say that if your website doesn’t have it, Google (and other less significant search engines) are actively penalising your website, serving you less traffic than you would otherwise receive.
If your website does not have a robots.txt file, it’s a bit like sticking a big wall around your website and as Google’s little crawlers attempt to rummage through your website so they know where to rank you; they have to work really hard to get over that wall. Now because you made it difficult for them, they pop you down a little lower than they would if you made it a little easier for those little crawlers.
Yes, naturally this is a super-simplified way of explaining it, but the principle stands true: no robots.txt file = less organic traffic making its way to your website.
Now, how to check you have one.
Pop yourself over to this website: https://www.lipperhey.com/en/ – it’s the most comprehensive free SEO report.
Naturally, robots.txt files is one of the first things it looks for.
If your website’s got one – great.
If not, you can create one very easily using this link: http://bit.ly/2y7xDGA
Adding it to the site is a 15 minute job for someone who knows what they’re doing – tell your webmaster to add this file to the highest level director of your site, or the root of your domain (don’t worry if those last few words meant nothing to you – they will).
Don’t have a webmaster? Head over to this website: http://bit.ly/2y0pSkR – It’s a search within fiverr.com showing a list of people online who will happily create a robots.txt file and add it to your website for as little as $5.
The difference between having a robots.txt file and not having one, is a bit like opening a restaurant on the high street, or opening one three streets back from the high street. Give yourself the best chance of being found online: it’s a small job, but will make a big difference to your business.