At Instant World Booking, our goal is to enhance the business and profitability of our hotel and hostel lodging partners. There’s no question a hotel’s website is at the core of any marketing strategy in tourism.
As a small hotel or hostel owner, SEO, or search engine optimization, is the most important element in building a successful online presence. Most people online have heard the term SEO, but it remains a mysterious process to many. One of the reasons SEO is so mysterious is that it can be a complicated process and search engines are constantly changing the way they rank websites.
If you have limited time and resources to devote to marketing your website, you should at minimum concentrate on Google. Google has set the standard for technology in search engine algorithms that can track the relevancy of a website to its content and SEO efforts.
For beginners to SEO, many think the only SEO tool they need is keyword density. While keywords are important, they are not the only means to an end. Back linking is another important component. While back linking remains one of the most successful ways to get your site to rank high on the search engines, it also has evolved. The type of link is important, so that search engines do not penalize a site for bad incoming links.
The term “back link” refers to an external link on another site that points to yours. In the past any link from another site would have a positive impact on your site by the search engines. Because there were so many gimmicks developed in the last few years to aggregate large numbers of back links, such as link farms, and irrelevant reciprocal linking, Google began to develop a way to weed out links that were purchased, or had little meaning or relevancy.
Even though back linking is used to manipulate search engine popularity there are many very legitimate reasons for using the system of back linking. Finding web sites that have a common interest to your own who are willing to place your link on their site can get you extra exposure. So, look for websites of local tour operators, transportation companies, restaurants, tourist attractions, etc., and see if they will place a link to your website on their own. When their visitors come to their site they will see your link and likely visit your site as well. Search engines work in somewhat the same manner.
Google works so hard to be sure that back links are really quality links, and not manufactured links. Your hotel or hostel website will get higher ranking on a search engine for a number of truly appropriate back linking partnerships. However, if the sites linking to you do not share any common information services Google will penalize you for the link. Google may even devalue your website if the site that links to you is considered of bad quality. Bottom line, it is important who you choose to link to, and also who links to you.
Probably the best way to obtain a back link to your site is through anchor text. That is when you have another website with content that is relevant to your own including your site in the actual content of their site with a hyperlink inside the text. These back links are valued much higher than a simple banner link as long as they appear in the text in a way that has a meaningful association with the content of the article. There are several ways to get such back links.
Providing articles about your location, city, or area tourist attractions to content sites with your link built into the article is one method. Also, if you write compelling content on your website, there is a good chance someone else with a similar site may wish to point it out on their own. They may put a link on their site back to yours. You may not even realize they are doing it unless they tell you about it. This is one of the main reasons it is important to keep an eye on who is back linking to you. While the majority of those types of links are wonderful and you should thank the site owner for their inclusion, if you feel the site that is linking to you does not meet your standards, have similar information, or the content is not relevant to your site you should definitely ask them to remove your link.
Back linking is an extremely important aspect of SEO development, which in turn is very important to marketing your hotel or hostel on the internet. It is therefore something you need to understand well in order to implement properly. There are many secrets and mysteries in the SEO world that diligent study can clear up. Keeping your hotel website in a good position with the search engines will ensure a vital and profitable future for your hotel’s online business.