When it comes to the hospitality sector, most of the possible customers are online. Most people go on social media to find the best locations and accommodations for their vacation from friends, family, followers, or influencers.
Other people just type a search in Google and use the results to find their destinations. Not to mention that many tourists use YouTube to get recommendations for what to do and where to stay at the locations they’ve selected.
In short, hotels, restaurants, hostels, bed and breakfast businesses, Airbnbs, guest houses, and other organizations in the hospitality sector must have a strong online presence. For this, businesses often work with an SEO agency to make the establishment more visible and easier to discover for possible customers.
However, not every SEO agency is a good fit for your business. Plus, not all SEO specialists know and understand the industry well enough to provide the results you want. So, to avoid wasting your hard-earned money, here are a few mistakes to avoid when choosing the SEO agency to represent your business online.
1: Not Knowing What You Want
Like with every aspect of business, SEO requires a strategic approach. But you can’t build a strategy when you don’t know where you’re going, right?
Let’s say you want to improve the conversion rate on your site. How do you convey this to someone who doesn’t know your business (which is often the case when working with external partners)?
First, it helps to have a well-defined goal, such as increasing bookings by 20% in the following 3 months. Once you know what you want, you can ask the agencies interested in working with you for a rough strategy to see how they plan to take your business there.
2: You’re Looking for Quick Results
SEO is a strategy for the long-term, and it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to bring a business to the top of SERP. Plus, depending on the level of competition, some keywords may not be a good fit for your budget or business.
So, when you’re looking for a quick strategy, anyone who knows SEO will tell you to be patient. On the other hand, if an agency is more interested in getting your money, they may offer you a backlink bundle. This is when you pay to have links to your website posted on other pages, blogs, and so on.
While backlinking is a solid SEO strategy, it doesn’t work if the websites that link back to you are not relevant to your field and target audience. For instance, a business in the hospitality industry will have a lot to gain if one of the best travel websites in the world recommends it to its readers.
Quick tip: Steer clear of anyone who promises they’ll put your business on the first page on Google in a short time span! Unless this is a reasonable goal, they either don’t know what they’re doing, or they’re using shady techniques which may attract a ban in the future.
3: Choosing Based on Price Alone
The temptation of a good deal is quite strong, especially if you are not familiar with what SEO entails, but cheap work will not bring good results. Of course, this doesn’t mean that a high price means the best results either.
So don’t choose only based on price. You need an SEO agency that’s experienced and knows your industry. For instance, a trusted local SEO agency may be a better fit for your business because they know the market. But you can also check with former and actual local customers and get more information on how they work.
4: You Forget About Your Website
SEO can do a lot of things, but it can’t create a great user experience if your website is not working properly. The technical aspects such as page loading speed, good navigation, easy browsing, and functioning tools are your responsibility (or the team developing your site).
However, it’s not always easy to understand these technical aspects. So, one way to choose a reliable SEO agency is to check if they also do website audits. In fact, many offer free audits as a bonus for signing them for the job.
The audit will provide valuable data for your website developers and will pinpoint the areas that need immediate attention.
A successful SEO strategy takes into consideration your business’s needs and goals while also regarding the industry in which you are active. However, positive changes don’t happen overnight. Depending on what you plan to achieve, it may take months before you can see any improvements.
So, a reliable agency will be able to come up with a viable long-term strategy without using shady tricks and promising you fast results. SEO is never one straight path; each improvement is achieved through trial and error by adjusting according to the initial results. So find an experienced agency that you trust, and that knows your business model and domain.