Given the widespread adoption of digital technologies, businesses around the country are looking for ways to stand out online and attract new customers. One of the most overlooked digital marketing strategies for businesses, particularly those in the California hospitality industry, is local SEO.

The phrase search engine optimization, or SEO, refers to the process of optimizing or enhancing the ability of digital content or websites to rank higher on search engine page results. SEO has many facets, many of which we will cover here, but one of the most important is local SEO. 

Local SEO refers to SEO designed to generate search results for a particular geographical area, particularly important for brick-and-mortar businesses. California hotels stand to benefit immensely by engaging in local SEO efforts. Let’s explore a few of the most important aspects of a successful local SEO campaign for California hotels. 

Google My Business

Google My Business is a program offered by Google that allows users to create business accounts for brick-and-mortar businesses. Any physical business, including California hotels, can apply to create a business account. As part of this process, Google sends a postcard to the physical address of your business to verify its location.

After confirming your business location, Google will maintain your business account, which means it will be more likely to show up after users search for relevant queries. For example, suppose a user searches for hotels in California or hotels in Los Angeles. In that case,  some of the first results that will show up will be Google business accounts for popular hotels in those areas.

After setting up a Google My Business account, users can write reviews and rate your business on Google. Users can upload pictures and additional information about your business that other Google users will see.

As the account’s administrator, you can also add your business’s information, descriptions, and photos. It is an excellent idea to do this as part of your local SEO efforts, mainly to upload high-resolution photos of your business that present it in a popular light. High-quality images will contribute to better rankings for your business on search engine results.

 Verifying Existing Business Accounts

 It is important to note that if you do not create a Google My Business account for your hotel, Google will often create one automatically by using its algorithm to crowdsource information about your business. In this process, users will upload or confirm the name of your business as well as descriptions and photos. However, since you do not own the account, you will have significantly less control over the information and photos on the site.

It is important to check if Google has automatically created an account for your business. If so, you can navigate to the account and click a button to verify your ownership of the company. Google will then work with you to prove your ownership by receiving a postcard from Google to verify its location.

You may also need to provide some additional information, but be careful not to give any sensitive documentation that could make you vulnerable to any cybersecurity risks from third-party actors. 

Getting your existing business account verified will positively impact its search engine rankings. Google always focuses its algorithm on companies that it perceives as authoritative and validated. Hence, verification is a significant step to bolster the credibility of your business or hotel in California.

Establishing Social Proof and Being Listed in Directory Sites

Google will sometimes send out small posters after verifying a business that encourages patrons to rate the business on Google. These posters can be worth displaying in prominent areas in the hotel since they might help to encourage guests that have had a good experience staying at your hotel to leave a review.

Getting your hotel listed in directory websites such as Yelp, Trip Advisor, and travel blogs is another vital part of local SEO. Many of these directory sites rank highly in search engines for location-specific queries. Getting your hotel listed or verified on Yelp, for example, is similar to the process for Google My business, and it can be a great form of organic marketing in California. 

Trip Advisor is a more popular option in Europe, but it can still be helpful for California hotels. Having your marketing department submit to these directories or verify the existing listing of hotels on them is a cost-effective way to bolster SEO efforts. There are third-party services such as Yext and others that allow businesses to submit to multiple directory sites at once in an automated way. 

Aside from the SEO benefits, creating social proof is a well-known marketing and persuasion strategy that has proven timeless and continues to work in the digital age. 

White authentic interior in comfortable bedroom with large cozy bed, night stands and elegant lamps inside beautiful house or hotel room

Technical SEO and Backlinking Campaigns

After getting your business listed on Google and various directory sites, it can be good to consider performing technical SEO or internal SEO. Technical SEO refers to modifying web pages to include meta tags and meta descriptions related to the web page’s content. 

Google picks up this metadata when their crawlers, special computer programs, sift through different web pages to index them on their search engine. By doing technical SEO work, you are programmatically telling Google about the contents of your web pages so that they can better present search results to their users.

Technical SEO also involves compressing large audio or video files to improve the performance of web pages, including keywords in website copy, and removing broken links from a website. It would be best to optimize the user interface and links.

Finally, California hotels and other businesses should consider creating a backlinking campaign. SEO backlinking campaigns consist of creating internal links in websites to different pages on that site, a process called internal linking. Many digital marketing agencies specialize in executing link-building campaigns.

According to Digital Authority Partners, these campaigns also incorporate outbound and inbound links to specific web pages. To accomplish this, digital marketers guest post or syndicate content to a different publication that links back to the web page they are trying to rank on search engines. California hotels that aim to build effective SEO campaigns should consider the multifaceted process known as link building. 

To sum up, we’ve reviewed a few aspects of a successful local SEO campaign for California hotels. It’s essential to execute these strategies in alignment with other digital marketing efforts. 

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