The beginnings of the hotel industry
There have been places for the tired and weary traveler to stop and stay at since time immemorial. After all, Jesus himself was born in a stable – having been turned away from an Inn. The Romans exported the concept of thermal baths all over Europe (notably to Britain) during their time as colonial power. And even the Greeks has a form of an Inn in their heyday. But, when can we say the hotel industry really developed into the multi-million dollar business sector that it has become today?
The Early Days – filing in the register
If we are not to include that period of time when the Romans and Greeks were busy looking after worn weary travelers – but try to look back to the time when the modern hotel was born – then, depending on where in the world you live, the earliest “legalized” forms of hotels started to spring up between the thirteenth and fifteenth centuries. The thirteenth century is the date often cited as being the time when staging posts in China and Mongolia first started to appear. However, its questionable whether you can really differentiate between these and those earlier Inns kept by the Romans. So, if we are really looking for the first form of “legalized” hotel, then the period would have to be the fifteenth century: when both French and English law started to require Inns to keep a register of all their guests.
The brand name
Around the same time as French and English law required Inns to keep registers of their guest, Inns started to take on the shape of hostelries. In their primitive form, the architecture of these places was such that they contained a paved interior court, which could be accessed through an arched porch. Both sides of the courtyard had rooms for lodging in. On the outside of the “hotel” was hung a signboard announcing to the world that it was both a place to stay and eat – and the brand name was born!
The business and leisure travelers
The next real step in the development of the hotel industry came as a result of two major events in mankind’s overall development – (i) the stage coach, which used to stop off at Inns on its way between towns; and (ii) the Industrial Revolution, which resulted in the first real business and leisure travelers. The second of these two events also caused the first hotels to be built in city centers – notably, the first inner-city hotel was built in New York City.
At about the same time modern day spas started to spring up all over the place – notably mainland Europe – and well-heeled travelers started to venture further a field, to North Africa and India.
Le Grand Hotel Paris
All of the earlier developments in the hotel industry finally came together in the culmination of the world’s first “Grand Hotel” – Le Grand Hotel, Paris. Le Grand opened its doors for business in 5 May 1862 with a spectacular inauguration presided over by Empress Eugenie. Although many a fine hotel has opened since Le Grand, and although many may claim the accolade of being more luxurious than Le Grand, anyone contemplating a night’s stay in a Paris hotel still has the choice of a night at Le Grand: evidence that to this day, hotels are here to stay!
Those who work in the hospitality industry for a long period of time will come to realize 2 things about this industry.
First, realizing that the hospitality industry is a busy and active business compared to other industries.
This field presents a merciless set of challenges such as: running a 24/7/365 business, dealing with online travel agencies, directing a dynamic pricing system, and more. When all these problems are combined, it demands a unique and strategic digital marketing solution for your hotel.
Secondly, when talking about technology and e-commerce, hotels are without a doubt at the end of the curve. Of course, there are hotels doing better than others and are pioneers in the world of online marketing and technological innovation.
However, we’re talking about the hospitality industry as a whole. Independent and major hotel brands are growing aware of their lack of involvement with the internet that causes a decreased effectiveness of their e-commerce efforts.
Island Media Management is a Bali based digital marketing agency that has been working with both big and small hotel names.
Working in one of Indonesia’s most visited tourist destinations, we have offered smart and simple ways to implement digital marketing strategies for hotels to grow their business, especially SEO for Hotel business.
In this blog post, we have tailored a guide which will talk about the surface of what is SEO, why use SEO, and how to use SEO for your hotel.
What is SEO?
SEO, otherwise known as search engine optimization, is a strategy composed of creative and technical aspects that comes in handy to generate a sense of authority and online presence.
In a nutshell, by implementing SEO, this strategy will let search engines know that the quality of your content is legitimate and relevant. The strategy will result successfully based on 3 elements:
- The structure of your website
- The content in your website
- Your website’s trust flow based on who is linking back to you for reference
Why use SEO for Hotel Business?
The answer is simple: if your website isn’t optimized by a resell SEO company, it will become a challenge to receive organic results.
Imagine if your hotel’s web page results not on the first, but the third or fourth page of Google: it’s a nightmare.
This can be avoided by implying SEO.
Tweaking your business by doing brand awareness will also help. Your website should be on the first page when people type in your brand directly – after all, your brand a highly targeted search is making a statement of authority and means people are interested in your business.
Now that the search engine is aware of what your hotel is and its services, it’s time to tell them why your hotel appears more relevant compared to competing hotels.
How to use SEO for Hotel?
Hotels are local businesses by nature. Through our experience offering the SEO service for hotel clients, we have discovered what we feel could be the important tactics to approach to search engine’s that their website should be the top of the ranks.
Here are the 2 tactics that resulted in the most important and effective:
- Optimize local listings
Regardless of a hotel being part of an international brand, every hotel has a location unique to itself. Being located somewhere specific, this can be used to give search engines relevance. |This would mean to insert location related information on your website. You can optimize this even further by establishing your location on their terms by managing, optimizing, and claiming your Google+ local page, Bing local listings, and yahoo local listings.
- Build unique and relevant links
The local listings mentioned above will make sure that the search engine knows where your hotel is located, but will leave them unsure whether your website is authoritative and trustworthy.In order to get the search engine’s trust, you need to provide your website with content of the highest quality. In order to let your search engine know that you are indeed trustworthy, you need to get people to find your content informative and helpful.
In SEO terms, the solution to do this is to do link building. What’s great about this is that it doesn’t demand technical skill. It could be done by business owners, general managers, and directors.