hotel seo

Sofitel: Any Press Is Good Press?

May 18  |  Link Bait Tactics  |   Ryan Clark

With the recent shenanigans with IMF director at the New York Sofitel, you’d wonder how bad is all this for business. I know it’s a touchy subject, this is why I have zero opinion on what happened, but more so one about how badly this will effect business for them…or if it were any hotel for that matter. The NY Sofitel has a long struggle ahead of them, but the press might eventually work out in the long run. I know it may be a little early to touch on the subject, but I thought it might be interesting to see how it’s already impacted them in both direct traffic, social media and of course the links.

I do put out my warmest regards to the Sofitel PR team, they are most likely sweating it right now trying to do damage control. If you’ve turned on a TV, read a newspaper or checked out your favorite blog you’ve most likely heard the story over and over. This is quite the scandal so some of the biggest sites on the web are out writing, linking and tweeting!

This definitely has shown to be driving some seriously hefty traffic Sofitel’s way, and most likely not for bookings at the moment! While this also might not be true for return client’s to the hotel chain because having stayed at a few Sofitel’s myself, I can say that loyalty to this hotel is something they don’t lack in. While I cannot get accurate traffic statistics, we’ll have to rely on Alexa and Compete for this post;

So how is bad press sometimes good press? Well I imagine down the road once no one cares about this in a week or two, all those thousands of links, social media mentions and branding will have gone a long way. According to my current SERPs (and checked with Scroogle), I’m seeing Sofitel just on the verge of the top 10 for “Luxury Hotel New York”. I’ll make sure to check back in on how they’re doing this a couple months down the road.

I’d really be interested to hear from them a month from now as well on how bookings are doing, but I imagine that information will never see the light of day…good or bad.

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Hotel Link Building Resources

January 29  |  Niche Link Building  |   Ryan Clark

I’ve been wanting to do more work in the hotel marketing arena so I thought I’d stir up some link building ideas you can use that I’ve found useful in the past. If you’d like to explore these ideas further then consider working with us to expand your hotel’s business both locally and beyond. There are a lot of ways you can build links in this industry and I wanted to show you a few that you may have overlooked.

Marketing a hotel can be a daunting task because no matter where you are, you have active competition that’s always trying to out do you. If you’re a hotel in a small area ranking well can be absolutely crucial to your survival in a local area. I’ve worked with a few hotels before and the one thing I have come to realize is that you need a good mix of link building and social media marketing.

There are a lot of things you can use I’ve already blogged about, or other link building posts that can apply to your hotel’s marketing strategy. While you can use a press release service to get some news out just like everyone else, you can also make use of hotel industry specific news sources. These are links privy to the hotel industry so you know you’re getting targeted links from great news sources.

Hotel PR Services:

These hotel specific PR services are a great way to reach the who’s who in your industry while picking up some links along the way. I’d try and put away the budget to do a press release every time your hotel hosts an event or conference. While some of these wire services may not snag you a link in the release, you may get a link from a site reporting on it. You never know until you try!

Backlink Analysis:

Mulling over backlink data is only fun for those who enjoy perving on websites link portfolios…I still recommend thoroughly going over everyone in the top 20 for your target keywords. Then once you’ve gone over and obtained any goodies from that, do the same for another 20 hotels in another city/country/place. This may yield you some link opportunities that you can use for yourself. If it brings you nothing then blame it all on me and curse the day you ran across this post.

Get Links From Partners:

Almost every business is able to leverage some links from partners it may not even realize it has. Hotels are able to do a lot of things to build links steadily over time. Sometimes these opportunities come along for a certain event so try and keep your mind on the target. You really want to be on the lookout for these link opportunities because these are quality links your competitors most likely cannot copy. Some ways to explore partners for links are;

– get links from conferences or conventions you`re hosting which can lead to bloggers linking to you in most cases

– use weddings as an opportunity to get links from wedding sites, tweets and other social media means

– somehow try and get a celebrity endorsement

– invite local bloggers to come stay and write about their experience at your hotel

– make videos and get links from social video sites

– offer discounts to students and try and get .edu links

– partner with local restaurants for promotions and for links

– partner with real estate agents in your area. They sometimes have out of town clients coming in to see property and they could be recommending your hotel with a link from their site.

– do you outsource your cleaning services and does that company have a website

Hotel Business Directories:

There are a bounty of hotel directories out there with most being not the highest quality, there still is a decent amount of links to be had. So not only are there hotel specific directories, you can cross over and get listed in some of the most authoritative travel directories.

What type of hotel/motel/B&B/boutique are you? Take that into consideration as well because there are a few great luxury hotel sites out there you can get into.

If you’re a Bed & Breakfast then you also have an angle to work here with tons of niche specific directories such as;

You’ll be able to sniff directories like these for cabin rentals, vacation homes, resorts and the list goes on. Keep in mind a lot of directories you’ll come across will cost some money or require a link back, so don’t expect a whole lot of magic to happen.

Hotel Social Media:

I could write so much on this topic so I’ll try and keep it short, simple and to the point. There are now hundreds of social media/network sites for travel so you are going to be busy for the next year straight. Some of these sites will allow links so keep your eyes peeled. Mainly you’ll want to be active on these sites to reap the rewards of becoming a trusted voice in the online travel community.

Most of these sites are review sites that are backed by your affiliates so you’re mostly only going to be able to interact with customers. If you’re skeptical about devoting someone to social media for your hotel give it a try for 2-3 months and see what kind of results come out of it. It takes a little while to get the ball rolling but once it does you can start to streamline certain aspects of it.

Hotel Coupons:

If you have an online booking engine of sorts or feel like running a coupon the good ole fashioned way then you have plenty of link building options. Coupons can be a big hit if you’re on some of the bigger sites, so getting a link is just a bonus really. There are dozens of coupon sites and forums and you can find lists already made by other people through Google Blog Search. Be sure to get on these though;

Widgets & Apps:

If you have a programming budget that’s big enough to tackle an iPhone/Blackberry/Android/Wordpress/Facebook app then I say go for it. If you can get something cool and unique done you’ll be able to grab links from all sorts of places. App review sites are a good place to start and you could also drum up some business via the mobile web.

I’ve seen a few hotel booking widgets that would just list the lowest price or best deal with no ties to an affiliate program. The boutique hotel wasn’t big enough to have its own affiliate program so they were just straight up marketing with a widget on local blogs. The links they gained from it did all the good little things they’re supposed to, rank you higher.

Hotel Link Building Resources:

Link Building Case Study for Luxury Hotels

5 Link Building Strategies For Hoteliers

Link Marketing For Travel & Tourism Businesses

Travel SEO Internet Marketing Guide

Hotelcast 2.0 Show For Hoteliers

Hotel SEO

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Hotel Link Building With Tom Critchlow

September 9  |  Link Building  |   Ryan Clark


SEOmoz’s conference just ended and I really didn’t read too much on it but Tom Critchlow was speaking about hotel link building and I caught this video. It’s short but has a few *killer* tips for link building in there, so hotel marketer’s better listen up. The video is shot by O’Rourke Hospitality Marketing and I thank you for getting this out. I would have loved to see Tom speak at the conference but I tend to not get out much.

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