The Benefits of Local SEO
Optimizing your website for your resort’s location gives locals an easy way to find your property.
Resorts interested in driving traffic to their website and increasing their potential for bookings know that SEO is important to improve their search-engine rankings. And when SEO is done locally, says Faith Aronow, director of digital marketing at RCI, it’s even more valuable. Appearing high in local organic rankings “can be a gold mine for resorts,” Aronow says. Locals looking for a restaurant, spa, or staycation can find what they need at a resort if it appears in a search for local attractions. “Appearing on search, in the moment of need, can provide a steady stream of new customers to your on-site services.”
“At its most basic, SEO is using multiple strategies on your website, or off it, to influence your search-engine ranking—notably on Google,” says John Kinnear, marketing director at Clearlink, a marketing and advertising agency based in Salt Lake City. While SEO can be complex, localizing your SEO strategy to attract residents in your area can be as easy as ensuring that local attractions each have a dedicated page on your site and that your resort has a current Google business page that provides data to populate reviews on Google Maps. It’s also important to include keywords related to local places and words that residents might naturally use to come upon your resort on a search engine such as Google, says Aronow.
Digital and content strategist and growth marketer Shannon Carrol recommends taking advantage of people looking for one precise thing. Imagine, she says, you run a resort in Hilton Head, South Carolina, and want to attract local guests: “I’d start with my differentiators. Is my property kid-friendly? Dog-friendly? Great for some kind of exotic fishing? I’d go for long-tail SEO: trying to attract a smaller group of people who are looking for one precise thing and are likely to convert when they find it (such as dog-friendly beachfront resorts in Hilton Head), over short-tail search, which will attract a ton of people, but most of whom won’t convert (such as Hilton Head resorts).”
Illustration by Tara Jacoby