Hotel link building in 2024: Proven strategies that work

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Did you ever read a review of a great hotel, only to not find a link to it at the bottom of the article? It’s infuriating, isn’t it?

It leads you to search all over the net and you have to figure out if that really is the hotel that you want to stay at. We’ve all been there.

That’s why hotel link building is so important to SEO. Getting sites linking to your hotel is a must, and it can even affect search engine rankings. Let’s take a deep dive on how this works and why you need it for your venue. 

What is hotel link building?

Regular SEO involves weaving keywords into your hotel’s content so that website crawlers detect your site and start ranking it for relevant searches. It’s still considered to be the backbone of search engine optimization.

If SEO content building is the backbone, then link building would be the legs of the operation. There are two different types of link building.

  • External link building is the art of getting other sites to link to your hotel.
  • Internal link building involves you linking to various pages on your site. 

External linking example via infidigit

What are the benefits of link building?

There are several key perks to link building:

  1. It helps search engine crawlers find your site. Search engine crawlers are constantly working to find new sites. If they see a lot of referrals, they will end up ranking you higher as you are relevant to peoples’ searches. 92 percent of marketers believe link building will make a big difference on search engine results.
  2. It makes it easier for humans to find you. One click on a review site, and they’re there! What could be easier?
  3. It also can make your hotel look like an authority in the field. A link from a major travel blog or a hat-tip from an influencer can make a world of difference for your hotel’s public image. People trust influential sites and celebrities more than the average person. If they find out their favorite celebrity, say Kim Kardashian, hangs out at your hotel, you better believe people will go there just because she did. The same can be said of travel magazines. People trust in them to know what’s the best of the best.

What are the risks of hotel link building?

While it would be great to say that all links are good, it’s not really true. In the world of SEO, links are a lot like school lunch tables. There are good places to “sit” at, and places where sitting with the crowd can turn you into a pariah. 

Quality matters, which is why high-authority sites are the key to great results. According to Hubspot’s blog, “65% of marketers measure their link quality by looking at their domain authority. Meanwhile, marketers also use domain ratings (48%) and page authority (36%) to determine link quality.”

If you choose link farms as your site, you can see slowed SEO efforts. In really bad cases, it can even get you banned off Google.

Website’s Domain Authority ranking via Sitechecker

12 ways to build backlinks to your hotel

It’s important to play it safe with backlinks. Let’s talk about the most effective ways to get those links without putting your site at risk.

  1. Directory submission

Link building often means that you are going to have to go fast. Not all online directory sites are the same. Some are link farms that can actually penalize your site, but submitting your business’s information to the right people can change things up. 

The best directories for hotels include Google Places, Bing Businesses, Yelp, and Alignable. Choose wisely, but definitely get on Google Places. It’s one of the best ways to get your hotel discovered.

  1. Hotel review sites

As you might have noticed, Yelp and Google Places also double as two of the most reliable review platforms for travel businesses. Those reviews matter because they tend to be the easiest way to get user-generated content and shares of your site’s link.

Many companies, including Travelocity and TripAdvisor, have reviews as part of their services. Registering your business with them can make a huge difference.


  1. Collaborate with local businesses

Do you have some friends in hospitality? Do a collaboration with them and mention one another on your sites. This is a fast and reliable way to build up links, especially on blog posts and social media. 

One of the most common ways to collaborate would be to contact local event companies. Ask them to do collaborations at your venue and mention adding a link to their site so that attendees can visit quickly.

  1. Social media

Have you ever shared a link on social media? If so, you have already done social media link-building. Keeping your social media profiles active and linking to your page on a regular basis is a quick and easy way to boost your SEO work.

Most people, particularly travelers and influencers, will use social media to share links. It’s a major source of user-generated content and gives your SEO work an authentic endeavor.

Marina Bay Sands influencer collaboration on Instagram

  1. Broken link building

Do you see a broken link on a travel site you regularly frequent? If so, you might want to do some broken link-building. Shoot the site owner an email with a heads-up about the link, then offer a new link from your site to replace it with.

It flips the script in a way that many site owners are amenable to dealing with. The hard part, of course, is doing outreach for that purpose.

  1. Niche forums and communities

Yes, it’s true. Hotels are a major part of many niche communities. Whether it’s for people who have a thing for romantic getaways or just a local events page, you probably know at least one or two sites that feature people talking about where to book a good stay. 

Your goal, as an SEO marketer, is to subtly add links to the site and get people talking. If done well, it can make your hotel a major online local presence.

  1. HARO

Did you know that reporters often have a hard time finding people to interview for stories? It’s true and they have a service that you can use to help them out: HARO. HARO, or Help A Reporter Out, allows you to pitch your two cents to reporters in need of an official scoop. 

What’s more is that you can do multiple pitches and also have the leads sent to your inbox. This can be fairly difficult because you are competing with a wide range of professionals in your industry. It can be very “luck of the draw” compared to other sites.

  1. Participate in local events

An easier way to get reporters to pay attention to you is to make them come to you by throwing local events. Having a steady presence in the local area is a quick way to get good connections to the press. It also helps you build links naturally

  1. Offer to write a guest post

At this point, you are going to have to leverage your own personal connections to major blogs and newspapers. Guest posting is a very common way to build links, but it’s not an easy way because most people are vehemently protective of their blogs. 

If you go this route, you will have to endure a lot of rejections. Others may ask you to pay for the privilege. All things said, it can be a very big hit-or-miss.

You can learn more about Guest posting mistakes here: Don’t Make These Guest Posting Mistakes: Tips for Success

  1. Start a hotel-related blog

Are you having a hard time getting links to your site? If you’re really struggling, it may make sense to launch a blog totally dedicated to hotel travel. Featuring other hotels alongside your own, boosting SEO organically, and getting good content can pay off in the long term.

This strategy can turn into its own unique vehicle of income, not to mention a way to advertise your hotel on the cheap. However, the biggest drawback here is that it triples your workload and can cost a fortune. 

  1. Influencer marketing

Influencers and the hospitality industry go hand-in-hand these days. The goal of an influencer is to spread the word about cool and trendy places. From there, they will drop a link to your site as part of the deal. Some influencers charge per post, while others might charge per booking. 

Sites like Grin and Aspire make it possible for you to connect with influencers who are in your field. You will typically have to do the legwork when it comes to scheduling posts and deliverable discussions. Agencies might do this for an added fee.

Influencers can be very flighty, so agencies might be the best route here.

influencer marketing
Influencer marketing in Bali resort

  1. Competitor link analysis

Sometimes, the best offense is a good defense. This means that you should check out what your biggest competitors are doing online. SEO software will give you an inside scoop on what links your competition gets.

From there, you can see if you can get similar links to your site and also improve upon what they were able to do. 

What to stay away from when working on backlink building

There are three main cardinal sins when it comes to backlink-building mistakes. These are the big mistakes to avoid and why you should avoid them:

  1. Avoid blackhat SEO link farms. A site that has low authority, viruses, or ties to sketchy behavior will get you penalized by search algorithms. Sketchy sites linking to your site will tarnish your site’s reputation faster than you could believe.
  2. Do not go for low-effort, low-quality posts or spam links. Content still matters! If your link has nothing to do with the blog post or if your post provides no value, no one will click on it and the link will not do you any good. 
  3. Do not try to force other blogs to post about you. Bullying behavior, spamming, and harassment will get your company a bad reputation fast. On a similar note, try to avoid paying for links.

Consult with a Hotel link building professional

Does reading about the how-to’s make you feel exhausted? Most companies choose to have a professional do their link building for them, primarily because it’s one of the most work-heavy parts of SEO. If you are ready to take the next step, give us a call. We’re here to help.

Request a Custom SEO Analysis

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Should I pay for link building?

Link building is not something that you should pay for in most cases. If a search engine finds out you’ve bought links, then you might get penalized. However, there’s nothing wrong with paying someone to link build for you.

What are examples of link building?

Link building can take a wide range of different faces. It can be building links by posting a referral on a site like Reddit. Or, it could involve getting a mention from a blog post listing the top hotels in your area.

How do I find link building opportunities?

The easiest way to find link building opportunities is to trawl social media and review sites. If you read about reviews or major lists targeting the best hotels in your area, then you can use that as an opportunity too.