Show Me The Links!
It is common knowledge that getting other relevant websites to link to your website is one way to improve your search engine ranking. One of the biggest challenges we often hear from hoteliers is “I don’t know how to do that” and I am frequently asked to share the things that I did as a hotelier to be successful with my internet marketing strategies. The following are three easy steps to help get more local links to your website and enhance your search engine optimization.
Step 1 – It’s All About the Niche
Think about the niche markets that you currently target. For example, if my hotel is near a University. In the offline world, I would saturate as many departments as I could, from athletics to law to the business school, in an effort to find new business, take that same strategy online. While most of my competitors might have a listing to a brand site on the school’s ‘general hotels in the area’ page, by asking a few well-placed questions on my calls, I may not only get a listing to my independent website, but also listings from a few other departments as well. Search engines give more weight to .edu and .gov sites, and by taking a few extra minutes as part of a normal sales call, you can secure more links and greatly compliment your search engine optimization efforts.
Step 2 – Every Sales Call
Many of the large corporations have travel departments through which they book. However, many of the smaller guys still book direct. Use this to your advantage. One of my favorite questions to ask as part of a sales call is: “Do you publish information on your website for your travelers?” If they do, provide them with your site information and if they don’t, explain why it is a great tool to allow their travelers to “inspect” your property and see the value they can get before they stay with you. While this strategy probably won’t work with a Microsoft or Intel, it works more often than not for small to midsized companies. You can then use your analytics tools to track which companies are referring more business to you through their website.
Step 3 – Enhance with More Research
If you have exhausted all of your normal resources and you are still looking for more, one simple tool to find more potential links can be found at freekeywords.wordtracker.com. Type in your city and/or state in the tool, and it will give you an idea of what consumers are searching for. In the example below, Stamford Connecticut led to several results including several searches for the phrase “Stamford Connecticut balloon parade”. By doing a quick search, I found information regarding the parade online as well as a website and phone number for more information. The next step would be to call the organization and see about partnering and/or getting that link back to my website.
These steps will help you learn to overcome the “I don’t know how to do it” syndrome and go out there and generate more links for your website.
Contributed by: Tammie Carlisle, Milestone Internet Marketing