Boutique Hotel SEO: A Quick Guide for 2024

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Your hotel isn’t like those other hotels…It’s a cool hotel. If that resonates with you, chances are you are a boutique hotel owner. Boutique hotels are meant to fly in the face of typical corporate-run hotel venues. 

Known for their chic surroundings, individually-styled rooms, and upscale ambiance, boutique hotels are elegant and awesome. They’re not meant for the everyday traveler. They’re meant for people who want a one-of-a-kind experience

Boutique hotels are great, but getting the word out about them can be difficult. That’s precisely why boutique hotel SEO is the best way to make it happen.

alami boutique villas
Alami Boutique Villas, Bali

What is boutique hotel SEO?

Boutique hotel SEO is a form of search engine optimization geared towards boutique hotels. In a nutshell, this is a practice that helps boutique hotels reach the top of search engine result pages. 

If you’re a hotel owner who wants to save money on paid advertising while keeping visibility up, you’ll want to consider boutique hotel SEO. 

What do I need to do for boutique hotel SEO?

Great question. These steps below will help you maximize your SEO efforts. 

Produce more content

Content is (and always will be) king. To get crawlers to notice your hotel, you need engaging, beneficial blog posts that offer value to your potential clients. This can include things to do in your area, a guide to hotel policies, hotel amenities, and more. 

Of course, you also need some visuals to go with those words. Well-tagged, well-captioned photos with alt text describing your location go far for SEO endeavors. If you have the budget, adding video tours of your boutique hotel on YouTube can also send your site to the top of search results. 

four seasons hotel magazine
Four seasons hotel magazine page

Optimize for search intent

Your goal with SEO should be to attract people who want to book a room at your hotel. That is obvious, but it’s important to remember what kind of person books a boutique hotel room. 

Boutique hotels are often used for romantic getaways or photoshoots. Adding keywords like “most Instagrammable hotels” can help you get the right demographic to your venue. 

Local SEO

Whether you are a boutique hotel or a franchise here doesn’t matter. Your travelers are going to be searching for hotels by location. Use that to your advantage by adding your location into your blog post content from time to time. 

To get the most out of your local SEO efforts, make sure you mention the following aspects of your location:

  • Your city
  • Your state
  • Your neighborhood, if you are in a large city
  • The local landmarks closest to your hotel
  • The local restaurants and nightclubs close to your hotel
  • Your county

Hire a photographer

We’ve already discussed why photos are so important, but we haven’t addressed the power of great images. A good photo looks like a happy family photo. A great photo looks like it was taken professionally and will dazzle your audience. 

A photographer doesn’t just give you good photos. The right photographer will provide enough content to fully stock your social media campaign and put your best foot forward. 

boutique hotel
Alami Boutique Villas & Resort in Bali, Indonesia

Optimize for mobile

Over half of all internet traffic now comes from mobile devices—specifically, about 55 percent of all traffic. Unsurprisingly, search engines have picked up on this trend and are actively promoting mobile-friendly sites. 

A mobile-friendly website makes getting clients who use phones for their bookings easier while boosting your desktop-friendly website. The right web developer can help you out with this.  

Presence in different channels

You can’t just run a website these days. If you want to build backlinks to your site, you need to be on social media as well. Since boutique hotels don’t have as much corporate backing, it’s important to claim your spot on review sites like Google Places, Yelp, and TripAdvisor. 

It’s not uncommon for hoteliers to hire a social media team to handle all these accounts. They are vital to boosting your backlinks, encouraging user-generated content, and gaining a more substantial online presence. 

Track the performance and iterate

You can’t really figure out what to improve if you don’t know how you’re doing. An SEO analysis and performance tracking tool can help you with this. Thankfully, you have plenty of options to choose from here. 

SEMRush and Moz are the two most popular SEO tracking tools on the market, but you can choose almost any kit. You will need to run a diagnostic to begin with. From there, you’ll get a plan on how to improve your SEO status. 

Semrush overview

We suggest running checks every week to every month, depending on how intense your efforts are.

Use the right tools

If you are worried about being able to estimate the number of times you need to add keywords or aren’t sure whether you are formatting your URLs well, you’re not alone. Thankfully, there are a ton of website tools you can use to guide you while you create blog posts and other content. 

The most common ones used today include Yoast and SurfSEO. However, you must check out your particular needs to find the right one. 

Optimize your website performance

Did you know that search engines actually track how fast your website loads? Website speed matters, which is why optimizing your site’s performance can boost SEO. 

Still not sold on optimizing your website? Conversion rates may convince you to address this issue. Websites that load in one second have a conversion rate that’s five times higher than sites that load in 10. 

Consult with knowledgeable experts

Finally, it’s important to remember that boutique hotels thrive on word-of-mouth recommendations. You might need help actually getting recognition for the work your hotel does. An expert can help you get the outreach you need to succeed in that realm. 

The same can be said about difficult-to-coordinate SEO efforts. Boosting your site’s SEO is difficult and can be tedious at times. Having an expert or a team of marketers can take that burden off your shoulders.

10 tips for boutique hotels in need of SEO for 2024

We made a basic outline of what it would take for a boutique hotel to do its SEO, but wait! We’re not done. We have even more tips that will be particularly important in 2024.

  1. Write for people, not machines. Search engines loathe simplistic, trite, and fluff-filled writing. You’re not there to just stuff keywords into content. You want to give people value when they read. Search engines always try to gear themselves toward better user experiences, so make sure that what you offer works well with their experiences.
  2. It’s not a sprint. You need to come up with an SEO plan and work with it. This can take more than six months to accomplish, depending on your site’s age and the location you are trying to optimize for. 
  3. Make a point of getting press whenever possible. Whether it’s Newsbreak or a major travel magazine, getting that official press can help improve your SEO and public relations.
  4. Keep an eye on your Google Places page. This should be registered to you as soon as you start your business. Make sure to keep those reviews positive and professionally address any unsatisfied customers. Reviews count!
  5. Remember to do SEO work for any bar or restaurant inside your hotel. This can actually boost your hotel’s credibility and authority, too. 
  6. Keep up to date with the latest SEO updates. Google, Bing, and Yahoo all change their algorithms regularly. What works in 2024 probably won’t work in 2029. Keeping abreast of changes can make a huge difference. 
  7. Incentivizing your guests to tag and post photos at your hotel is always a brilliant idea. At worst, you might get one or two cool photos on social media. At best, your boutique hotel might be the next one to go viral…and that can lead to many new guests. 
  8. If a famous architect designed your hotel, mention it. Architecture fandom is real. If fans of a specific architect find out your hotel was designed by them, it could lead to a booking. The only way they’ll know it is if they find out through your content, so make sure to mention it. 
  9. On a similar note, backstories and quirks sell. An excellent example of this is New York’s Algonquin Hotel. The hotel has many stories about being purportedly haunted, not to mention stories about famous writers and a resident cat. People actually search these stories up, which is why the hotel added them to its SEO strategy and content schedule. 
  10. Finally, remember that the age of your website and domain can impact SEO. It can take newer websites a little longer to get results. Be patient!

The wrap-up

SEO is a serious business, and it’s important to remember that every website needs it. As a boutique hotel owner, you owe it to your venue to have a solid plan for SEO. If you’re unsure whether you need to hire someone, it’s okay to ask for a consultation. You’ll be able to figure out whether hiring a pro is right for you after that.

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