When it comes to search engine optimization (SEO), restaurant and hospitality industry has several challenges. Potential customers can get almost everything they need to avail from Google Maps, Google Reviews, etc. for these two industries. This helps working with citations and reviews, particularly important for places like restaurants, hotels etc.
The number of citations you have indicates how seriously you take your local SEO. Those that build large number of citations will be investing in many other areas including reputation management, local link building. Also, public relations and onsite optimization which lead to a higher local pack rankings.
With so many listings sites available for hotels and restaurants, it makes sense that business owners want to be seen in as many online spots as possible. The consistent and numerous citations are considered a small ranking factor. But these types of listings sites are very popular with the public. So, your online visibility is impacted by your appearance in them.
You need to keep in mind that the quality is generally considered more important than quantity, before you go building as many citations as possible for your hospitality business.
You need to make sure that the hospitality citations you build are consistent. It should include as much accurate information for potential customers and search engines as possible.
It is quite critical that your name, address, phone number and website URL are exactly the same across all citations. Improper information has been shown to severely impact trust in businesses. So, you need to make sure that any change is made on every citation you have.
You also need to make ensure you don’t just add your business to any old citation site. It is important you limit your participation to relevant sites in your industry or local area as relevance is a key local ranking factor.
In the current scenario, hospitality business listings are no longer solely made up of name, address and phone number (NAP). They can include photography, consumer reviews, video, menu examples, attributes and much more. Therefore, it is a very good idea to add as much detail as possible into these listings.
You can control some of what’s in the listing such as the uploaded images, the descriptions you write and the categories you select. But may be more impactful are the things you can’t control like user-generated photography and consumer reviews.
Few tips to get you started on the road to a great hospitality business:-
- It is essential to genuinely provide an excellent service. No amount of fake reviews will work. If you are delivering a bad experience, your reviews will reflect that. So don’t start investing time and money in getting customer feedback till the time you are confident that feedback will be positive.
- You need to include links to key review sites in your emails, on postcards and on the premises. But bear in mind that different sites have their own restrictions and they will come down hard if you abuse them.
- It is believed that the inclusion of relevant keywords in reviews can boost your business’ relevance signals and improve local pack rankings. So, don’t be scared to be up-front and ask customers to include certain keywords. You need to always respond to reviews and make your Instagram handle public and visible.