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SEO Guide I. How to find keywords for your website.

Written by: Cristina García

Do you remember the SEO positioning test? In it we explained the bases of SEO to optimize your hotel’s website so that it was visible in the search engine result pages (SERPs). And while SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is one of the fundamental parts of any digital marketing methodology, we know that getting the highest score is not always easy.

We must do our best. For this we can start with one of the aspects of Search Engine Optimization, SEO On Page, that is, the optimization strategy of your website for search engines and user experience. But of course, for this you have to optimize code and content.

To understand this better, when we describe SEO On Page, we think about keywords, hierarchy of information, prioritization of the most relevant content during the navigation time... we think of Google and our potential customers. But before you even start by modifying the code, you first need to lay the foundations down by performing a keyword search for the right people. How?

Study your potential customers.

If you want to attract and create content for the right people with the right keywords, you need to find out what their motivations are when traveling, what they expect from that experience, what they will do during their stay at your hotel, etc. You need to understand who they are and why they come to you. And for this, we create representations of our potential clients that we call buyer personas.

Although by definition, they are semi-fictional representations, the buyer personas profiles we create are not based on fiction. In fact, they are marketing assets, which are alive and need to be revised as your digital strategy needs vary. These buyer personas are based on data and real people and we can study them:

1. By using tools like Google Analytics.

That way you can better understand the interests, needs and desires of your website users. In addition, you'll know which sources drive them to your website before they book or register. And demographic reports will allow you to segment your potential customers based on their age, gender, location, etc.

2. Through the interviews.

Then you will have a more detailed idea of what attracts them, motivates them and what they think about your products and services. Your staff members at the destination, in this case, would be able to help you. They are the ones who can know firsthand the feedback from your final guests and let them talk about their experience.

No you might be wondering what this buyer persona profiles work for, what do you do with them?

Find the right keywords for them.

Buyer persona profiles make sense when we can use them in different online marketing strategies. Considering SEO, the right keywords are the words that your buyers would write on the search engines. That is, the information (content) they are looking for regarding their trip. Your hotel should have specific buyer profiles, with specific needs and expectations. How well you know them will result in a successful keyword search. And how do you start?

1. Make a list of keywords based on the relevance they have for your hotel website.

Bring together your marketing and sales team and brainstorm the keywords for your business. On the one hand, think that search engines are smart, so all possible variations of keywords would work. On the other hand, keep in mind the consumption trends of your potential users, in each of the online channels.

2. Use ranking tools and related searches to expand your keywords list.

With SEMRush you can analyze how competitive they are and the volume of searches they have. With Ubersuggest and Google Trends you can also see the search trends and searches related to the keyword you are analyzing. As you can see, you can get a whole range of keywords with semantic variations that will work for your users.

How to search the right keywords with Ubersuggest

3. Categorize keywords based on two types.

On the one hand, short-tail keywords should be those whose destination is to classify the main pages of your hotel’s website, i.e. short phrases that speak of your products and services, which generally have more competition. On the other hand, you will have the long-tail keywords that work best on secondary pages, landing pages, blog entries, social networks publications... with which you can improve your SERPs ranking and get a qualified traffic.

4. Classify the long-tail keywords according to the buying cycle of your buyers.

To ensure that keywords are effective before you start generating new content, you need to know how to target the right people at the right time. To do this, we classify the keywords based on the traveler's journey stage in which our buyer personas are, that is, how close they are to book:

Dreaming (awareness stage, top of the funnel or TOFU): keywords based on consumption preferences in the travel sector in your area.

Planning (consideration stage, middle of the funnel or MOFU): based on the different solutions and offers of experiences and activities that exist in your locality.

Booking (decision stage, bottom of the funnel or BOFU): based on the purchase decision and therefore on the options that your hotel brand can offer, that is your products and services.

5. Perform a content audit.

It is a good idea to document the content that has already been posted on your website and is still up to date. Based on the above steps you can evaluate if it is relevant to your buyer personas, as well as classify it around the appropriate keywords. You may find that what you need to do is not creating new content, but rather ranking and recycling what you already have, because it's still important.

As you can see, these are the first steps for any SEO On Page strategy. Once you have solved these previous steps, you can start with the optimization of the code and content.

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