Social Media and Search Engine Rankings
Search engines are constantly evolving. Arguably, never more so than in the last 12-18 months.
Generally search engines change their algorithms to prevent spammy and irrelevant sites. This is to provide those that are search engine users the ability to find better quality and more relevant sites.
The search engines’ algorithm updates have also made social media activity an important factor in their ranking formulas. Social media is an important element of ranking, because it provides added credibility.
Social media account creation
I suggest having at least a Facebook and Google Plus account. If you can do some videos of your hotel then it will be very beneficial to have a Youtube account as well. Remember to complete as much information as you can when setting-up your accounts. This will add to your credibility.
Once you have set-up those social media accounts, you will need to start adding some content such as videos, photos and information. Remember, there are many social media sites. It is probably a good idea to only create as many social media accounts as you can realistically manage – obviously this is a decision for you to make as it depends on how many resources you have available.
Integration with your website
The next part is very important. You will need to integrate these social media accounts with your website. For Google Plus, place a G+ button on you website. The same with Facebook, you can have the “Like Us” button on your site. That allows people to “Like” your social media accounts from your website or from your social media pages.
Integration of these buttons is something your web designer can do for you. It shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes for the web designer to complete it.
Youtube integration is a little different. With Youtube, you need to ‘embed’ the videos that you have uploaded to your Youtube account. This allows the videos to be played by visitors on your site.
You may want to also create a Twitter account which your web designer can integrate into your website. This will show the latest ‘tweets’ that you have posted on your Twitter account on your website.
Sharing is caring
I recommend having a blog. This will allow you to generate more traffic through search engines because search engines love quality, fresh content. It shows that your site is reputable because it is being updated. But remember to provide useful content.
You can also have a ‘share bar’ which is a plugin that can be installed on your website below each blog article that will allow users to ‘share’ the news or information contained on your blog on your social media pages. This is known as social sharing.
When writing blog articles, make sure the information is useful, because it will be more likely to be shared by others. The more times a blog is shared across social media, the more people will see it. The major search engines also use this as an indicator of article’s quality and will then give it a higher ranking – so you will get more visitors.
A good idea is to have blog about local news and events, as well as information on staff, building improvements, tourist information, etc. – any information that is relevant to your hotel or local area.
Once you write your blog, you can share it through your own social media accounts. This means that the content from your website can also be the content on your social media accounts. This is a better way than to spend too much time positing separate information on separate social media accounts. This will get the ball rolling and mean that there will be more chance for other ‘friends’ and ‘likers’ to further share and like your valuable information with others – which is what you want.
Do not get too hung up on chasing the big keywords such as: Singapore Hotels. This will take a lot of time and the odds are stacked against you – because the large OTA sites have massive credibility in search engine rankings.
Instead, focus on writing quality content that is useful to readers – then share that information and build relationships. This way, you will be more likely to appear in the organic (non-paid) search results for a variety of “long tail keywords’ which are, for example; Singapore 4 Star Family Hotel or Singapore Budget Central 3 Star Hotel. The long tale keywords are not as good as having Singapore Hotels, but ranking for a number of more less competitive keywords and key phrases certainly means added traffic.
a) Create a Facebook and Google Plus Page.
b) Create a Youtube account if you have some videos to upload
c) Start a Blog on your website with share buttons
d) Write quality, relevant content on your blog
e) Share that content through your social media accounts
f) Don’t focus on getting rankings for the top search key phrases – just focus on delivering quality, useful content to your readers