What Is Hotel SEO?

You hear it spoken in whispers between revenue managers and digital marketing agencies,... is hotel SEO dead? Since the invention of digital marketing the hotel industry has been struggling to keep up with the changes that Google (in large part) has been throwing at it, compounded by the fact that large Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) such as Expedia, Hotels.com and Travelocity, continue to scoop up potential guests with their multi-billion dollar online hotel marketing budgets, while independent hotels with single-property websites and even chain hotel websites are left laboring over their own search engine optimization dilemmas.

It’s true that SEO for hotel websites has changed dramatically in the past year alone, and key indicators seem to forecast that the hotel SEO landscape is nowhere near settling down any time soon. But those that have thrown in the towel on hotel SEO haven’t seen the huge opportunities left behind in the wake of major Google algorithmic changes, seismic shifts in online authority between brand hotels sites and OTAs, and smaller, more elusive conquests to be had in the arena of technical SEO, influencer marketing SEO, and many other low hanging fruit that tend to get overlooked, even by pro SEOs, especially ones that don’t specialize in hotels and the specific needs, goals and methods of discovery that hotels are uniquely positioned to gain over other competitive websites in the travel industry as a whole.

And now, since Google has re-introduced Google Hotels, the hotel SEO game has never been more critical than ever. So what’s the difference between a weak SEO strategy and a strong one? It boils down to the use of a multi-pronged approach to discoverability and content marketing on behalf of a hotel,... mainly, an SEO approach that’s customized to all of the ways a hotel can be found by search engines, that a typical website (or even an OTA) can’t be. This suite of tactics and SEO services for hotels is the real ‘secret sauce’ behind some of the great SEO travel strategists work on hotel websites and earned media plans today. So let’s talk about those services!


Travel Influencer Booking Cycle for Hotel | Influencer Fraud | TravelCrush


Do You Know your Influencers?

Are you familiar with types of travel influencers? Learn more about them and discover their strengths and weaknesses so you can decide which one is the right fit for your hotel, resort or travel group!



SEO Services For Hotels

Though no single hotel SEO agency will reveal all of its tactics, there are a number of SEO services that should always be present in the ‘batbelt’ of any competent SEO practitioner for hotels. You typical hotel SEO specialist will employ the following:

  • Onpage Optimization
  • SEO optimized thematic clusters within the larger hotel website
  • Local Listings and Citations Management for the hotel
  • GMB (Google My Business) Review and Q&A Management
  • JSON / LD Schema Implementation for Local Business & Review/Rating Stars
  • Strategic interlinking between pages from footers, content, and navigation
  • Link Outreach to conventional hotel partners, bloggers, and SEO influencers
  • PR Company Linking Guidelines for SEO Optimized Press Releases
  • SEO Travel Influencer Marketing
  • SEO Blogging For Hotel Blog
  • Crawl budgeting and Log Analysis (in a larger site environment)

These SEO strategies are the cornerstone for any hotel looking to maximize discoverability, and (as always) the secret to success is often in HOW these different services are executed, and (in a lot of cases) how certain groups of data are presented to search engines.

This is vastly different from days gone by where an SEO specialist would simply add optimize Meta Titles, Meta Descriptions, Image (by filename), Image Alt Tags, ADA Information, Header tags, Body Copy, and then test via continually refreshing the Metas (and sometimes the content) to see which sets of structured data a search engine found most favorable over time. Some companies still do this, and some even claim that they can do SEO split testing with these limited ‘hives’ of structured data, but the reality is that today’s earned media potential for a hotel is vastly more complex than this approach.

How Travel Influencer Fraud Developed | The Rise Of Instagram Influencers | TravelCrush



Our Travel Influencer Screening & SEO Services
  • Travel Influencer Screening
  • Hotel SEO Services
  • SEO Natural Linking Guidelines
  • SEO PR Services
  • SEO Copywriting for Travel
  • Travel Influencer Outreach


Hotel SEO Strategies: The Past Versus The Present

In order to understand the evolution of hotel SEO strategies, it’s key to first understand these past tactics and then compare them to how things SHOULD be executed today.

Branded versus Unbranded Search

Then, it was a forgone conclusion that you would always rank for someone searching your hotel brand online with your main website. Now with OTA’s dotting the landscape of the internet, it’s more vital than ever rank as much for your brand as possible. This means controlling your brand’s owned media, business listings, and mentions across a large online space, and as close to real time as possible, so that search engines know with 100% that your main websites should be the start of authority for your brand.

Local Listings & Directory Discoverability

Back in the day there were a handful of web directories out there where you could post the name of your hotel, and maybe your phone number. Now there are over 100 high authority directories, services, and micro-listing platforms all vying to create discoverability for your hotel’s brand and main website.

SERPs Position versus SERPs Feature Triggering

It used to be that the only thing you had to worry about with your hotel ranking on the Google Search Engine Results Pages was whether you made it to page #1, and how high up you were in your SERPs position (ideally #1, though typically positions 1-5 were always dominated by TripAdvisor + various OTA websites). Now, it’s entire possible for your main website to be ‘buried’ way back at SERPs position 20-something, but your hotel to show up in the Google’s new hotel SERPs feature (formerly known as Local Pack). This disparity has many old-school SEOs scratching their heads and wonder how this relationship between a hotel’s most rankable website pages, their GMB profile, their local citations, backlink footprint, and their JSON LD structured data all work together to cause Google to trigger this coveted SERPs feature. The truth is that only Google knows the weighting of its algorithm that may cause this trigger to occur, but a few, highly specialized (ahemm,... clearing our throat on this one) SEOs have reverse engineered some of the fundamental aspects of this relationship, and sufficed to say, it IS as complex as it would seem.

Interlinking Versus Backlinking

In the past, interlinks took a fairly prominent backseat to backlinks, in terms of what would make hotel’s website rank for a particular keyword. But now, with the continual barrage of Google updates, the negative consequences from acquiring too many unbranded or ‘money’ anchor text backlinks, and Google’s obsession with relevant content linking to OTHER topically relevant or similar content within a website have made interlinks within a hotel’s website the new form of backlinks. In particular, creating supportive lifestyle travel marketing content from a blog and updating this content on a regular basis while injecting these hyper-relevant interlinks to your main site pages, is a highly effective strategy when it comes to ranking your hotel’s main page or homepage.

Bottom line, hotel SEO has undergone a revolution of sorts, and continues to evolve into something that both creates areas of opportunity for hotels who are intent on dominating and owning as much of their natural search traffic as possible, and potential pitfalls for hotels who aren’t actively part of this critical tactic.

1 Jarvee.com Online $29.95 / monthly for up to 10 accounts on 8 social media platforms | Check Pricing Page For Changes High / Total Multi-Account Social Media Automation, Auto-Following/Liking/Posting/Commenting/Messaging
2 Blackhatlinks.com Online Diverse & Competitive | Check Pricing Page For Changes High / Diverse Signals
3 Socialsignifier.com Online $19.99 / monthly for ~ 250 mixed social signals on a single URL | Check Pricing Page For Changes High / Diverse Signals
4 Fuelgram.com Online $5.00 for ~ 500,000 likes | Pricing By Post Volume Behind Firewall High / User Engagement Groups / Likes
5 Followadder.com Desktop $49.99 / 6 months licensing | Check Pricing Page For Changes High / Instagram Automation (Likes/Follows/Unfollows/Comments)
6 Boostupsocial.com Online $225/month for ~ 600 PowerLikes per post | Check Pricing Page For Changes High / User Engagement Groups / Likes
7 Smm-heaven.net Online Wholesaler Varies By Panel And Product / Panel Reseller | Check Pricing Page For Changes High / Bulk Follows, Likes, Views
8 Instajool.com Online $99 / lifetime | Check Pricing Page For Changes High / Instagram Automation (Likes/Follows/Unfollows)
9 Gramcreator.com Desktop $99 / lifetime | Check Pricing Page For Changes Medium / Instagram Mass Account Creation / Phone & Email Verification
10 Igblade.pro Online $29 / month for 25 accounts | Check Pricing Page For Changes Medium / Instagram Account Automation Alerts
11 Followliker.com Desktop $97.99 + $5.99 / monthly for unlimited accounts | Check Pricing Page For Changes Medium / Instagram Account Automation
12 Smm.net Online Varies | Check Pricing Page For Changes Medium / Instagram (Likes/Follows/Comments/Video/Live)
13 Smm-labs.com Online Varies | Pricing Available After Signup Medium / Instagram (Likes/Follows/Comments/Video/Live)
14 Vurku.com Online (Scraper) $9.99 / monthly | Check Pricing Page For Changes Medium / Instagram Content Scraper, Image Hash Changer, Re-poster, Repeatstagrammer
15 Grammultitool.com (GMT) Desktop $10.00 / monthly | Check Pricing Page For Changes Medium / Total Instagram Account Automation
16 Xscrape.net Online (Scraper) $12.50 fpr ~ 10,000 credits | Check Pricing Page For Changes Medium / Instagram Account, Follower and User Email Scraper
17 Tupandas.com Online $200 / monthly for Full Account Management | Check Pricing Page For Changes Medium / VIP & Private Instagram Blackhat Services
18 Igramtool.com Desktop $77.00 / annual | Check Pricing Page For Changes Medium / Instagram Account Creation, Email Verification
19 Smmfollows.com Online Varies By Product or Post | Check Pricing Page For Changes Low / Instagram (Likes/Follows/Comments/Video/Live)
20 Instantsocials.com Online $2.00 - $5.00 for ~ 20-60 Social Signals | Check Pricing Page For Changes Low / Mixed Social Signals
21 Socinator.com Desktop $9.95 / monthly for up to 10 accounts | Check Pricing Page For Changes Low / Instagram Account Automation, Scraping, Extraction, Broadcast, Verification
22 Influencerchefs.com Online $24.99 / monthly for ~ 1000-7500 new followers per month | Check Pricing Page For Changes Low / Instagram Follower Engagement
23 Playsmm.com Online Varies | Pricing Available After Signup Low / Mixed Instagram Services
24 Dripfeedpanel.com Online Varies | Pricing Available After Signup Very Low / Mixed Instagram Services
25 Instantpanel.net Online From $0.20 for ~ 1000 Instagram Followers | Check Pricing Page For Changes Very Low / Mixed Instagram Services
26 Smmpanel.net Online Varies | Check Pricing Page For Changes Very Low / Mixed Instagram Services
27 Thepennypanel.com Online Varies | Check Pricing Page For Changes Very Low / Mixed Instagram Services
28 Socialpanel.org Online Varies | Pricing Available After Signup Very Low / Mixed Instagram Services
29 Centercb.org Online Varies | Pricing Available After Signup Very Low / Mixed Instagram Services
30 Instantsmo.com Online Varies | Check Pricing Page For Changes Very Low / Mixed Instagram Services
31 Socialpanel24.com Online Varies | Check Pricing Page For Changes Very Low / Mixed Instagram Services


SEO Tips For Hotels

Before you go out and retain a digital agency to level up your search ranking game, you need to ask yourself a series of questions, and truly understand the difference between pure SEO and SEO for hotels. As you’re vetting potential agencies (or building your own in house department) some good questions to ask would be:

(maybe put these into an accordion)

  • How many clients do you currently have or allow for SEO/SEM in my metro market?

The reason you need an answer to this questions is this scenario: If Digital Agency X signs Hotel Chicago One up to do their SEO/SEM and then, 5 months later, they sign Hotel Chicago Two up to do their SEO/SEM, when it comes to trying to rank someone’s website for the phrase ‘hotel in Chicago, IL’ … who is Digital Agency X going to rank better? This exact scenario occurs so often with multiple hotel clients and in multiple cities that have a high concentration of hotels, that here at TravelCrush we’ve dubbed this spurious practice under the moniker of Self-Serving-SERP-Stuffing (or SSSS / S4), meaning you’ve taken on far more clients than you could possible hope to get to the first page of Google’s search engines results pages (SERPs) for key, high-commercial-intent searches such as ‘hotel in {city name}’, etc. Another reason why this scenario inevitably occurs is because a single agency that is willing to take on more than one client in a specific metro area, is always going to be dealing with domain names of varying ages (unless they’re building out two completely NEW hotel websites, from SCRATCH, on BRAND NEW DOMAINS, at EXACTLY THE SAME TIME). When differing domains are inplay, the ugly truth (that almost no agency will tell you) is that the older domain is almost always going to rank better for certain local/metro intent hotel keyword searches, simply due to the authority ascribed to it via Google’s index, and probably the sheer amount of aged backlinks that the older site has againsts it. When you’re talking to an agency that claims to do hotel SEO, make sure you know who they’ve already taken on as a client, because the bottom line is that you’d be trying to outrank and de-throne them, and it may not be in that agency’s best interest. Know before so you don’t become the victim of S4 tactical degradation.

  • What’s your hotel SEO strategy to get my hotel into Google’s Local 4 Pack For Hotels?

Increasingly, there is a concentrated movement amongst hotel SEO professionals to ignore the conventional wisdom of ranking many pages on a hotel’s website for alternate/additional travel/lifestyle keywords that have local relevancy, in an attempt to magically get a hotel’s main brand name to show up in Google’s (relatively) new SERPs Feature, known as the Local 4 Pack For Hotels (shown below).


Although in principle, this is a good idea to try and trigger the appearance of a hotel’s Google My Business (GMB) listing in this dominant Hotel SERPs feature on both desktop and mobile, the most pertinent question to ask is, how?

Achieving the local 4 pack (L4P) isn’t nearly as straightforward as ranking a webpage anymore. Rather, it’s a combination of knowing exactly which search query or combination of queries you want to trigger for, creating very specifically engineering JSON LD Schema Scripts for hotels, highly optimizing EVERYTHING onsite to push a specific page in this direction (including a complex and densely layered interlinking strategy) and also having a unique, varied, and natural-looking backlink footprint against the page you intend to trigger in the L4P. Needless to say, the link building aspect of this ALONE is something you’ll want to vet with an agency, to make sure they’re not engaging in any blackhat link building tactics, with can get your hotel websites penalized by Google in a heartbeat. So before you hire the agency, make you ask how they’re going to get you into L4P the right way, and if they can’t give you specifics, you might want to keep shopping around.

  • Can you perform gainful hotel SEO on my existing hotel website?

This one of the most loaded questions you’ll ever ask a digital marketing agency (or hotel SEO agency) and it’s also the question you might not like the answer to (if the agency is truthful, ethical, and committed to your long-term growth and success). This hard fact is that the rise of mobile devices, and the advent of the mobile first index currently being adopted by Google, combined with the critical relationship between SEO rankings and faster load times add up to a difficult pill for many hoteliers to swallow,... mainly, your website might not be able to rank as well as competitors, simply due to technological or architectural limitations that would require a full, web-infrastructure overhaul, including hosting, network-level optimizations such as content delivery networks for hotels, image compressions and network-level image optimization, and compression/minification standards that all add up to create a better, faster, more crawlable web environment for Google’s web crawlers, and (in turn) your potential online bookers.

  • What’s your attitude towards social media for driving hotel SEO or hotel direct bookings online?

This is another area where you you’re bound to get a few blank stares from your potential digital agency sales rep/account manager, as typically they’ve been programmed to simply smile at the mention of social media for hotels, and give a big thumbs up, while dispensing platitudes and talking points galore on how their agency uses social media to drive ‘brand awareness’ for your hotel online,... whatever that means.

  • How do you accomplish Local SEO for hotels?

Making a hotel website optimized for search engines to present the best, and most discoverable results to your next guests goes far beyond titles and meta descriptions at this point. One of the ways you build your authority in Google’s ‘eyes’ is to make sure you have control over your brand, and this means having control over your owned media placements, business listings, NAP (Name, Address, and Phone) data, and social media profiles in general. This is then all ‘wrapped up’ with a custom JSON LD snippet of code and fed to Google via the header of the homepage of your website, or via multiple pages if you happen to be presiding over a multi-property or chain hotel website. But keeping track of all these ‘owned media’ instances and business/directory listings is no easy feat. For one thing, it’s easy to have incorrect or ‘rogue’ business listings creep into this landscape, and feed erroneous and (unfortunately) crawlable information to Google, so you need to be working with an agency or partner who can actively suppress rogue listings as fast as they can pop up. A secondary consideration (though just as important) is being able to manage engagement on business listings such as Google My Business (GMB) where responding to reviews and making the most of Google Q&A queries can make the difference between a new booking or someone that keeps looking. As you’re shopping for hotel SEO agencies, make sure to ask if they perform local SEO for hotels, or local citations for hotels, and how often they actively manage these for engagement. Also, it’s worth asking specifically if they engage in GMB listing management for hotels, including Google Q&A management for hotels, using optimized responses to help raise your hotel’s GMB listing rank for certain keywords, because a little know fact is that your hotel’s GMB listing can actually rank for unbranded search terms, and your hotel’s Google My Business listing can show up when a brand new prospect just searched something that had nothing to do with your brand, simply based on how relevant Google thinks your GMB profile is for that search. Making the most of these discoveries can set you apart from your hotel compset, and (in a lot of cases) can actually mean the difference between doing well in your other online marketing channels, such OTA ads placed by Online Travel Agencies ON YOUR Google My Business hotel listing, or YOUR OWN Google HPA Ad placed ON YOUR Google My Business hotel listing. Bottom line, any agency that doesn’t convey a strong local SEO game for hotels, or at least a confident Google My Business hotel listing service, should be avoided.

  • How do you leverage conventional hotel partners to get additional SEO value?

This is one of the trickiest areas you may encounter when shopping for a digital agency, because this particular area of opportunity is sometimes better developed by an SEO PR company that has a specific SEO PR strategy for hotels. For instance, it’s rare to find a digital marketing agency that will reach out to all of your CVB or DMO contacts (to whom a hotel will typically pay an annual fee to be listed on their website or in their online directory) and ask if the webmaster of that CVB site will grant the hotel’s website additional backlinks, with specific anchor texts. But an SEO PR firm that works specifically for hotels would know that typically, these webmasters are totally amenable to doing so, and even the bloggers that write for these sites will sometimes volunteer additional links for free, simply to help the CVB or DMO website ‘power’ their content marketing strategy a bit better.


SEO Keywords For Hotels & SEO Site Structure

It used to be that optimizing for keywords meant everything, but now it requires a holistic approach to rank for not only high volume, high commercial intent keyword phrases, but also to penetrate and find a place in Google’s Hotel SERPs Feature (a.k.a - Hotel Local Pack or Local 4-Pack SERPs feature) in order to appear above competitors in the search engine results.

That being said, your entire website is still being measured using Google’s E-A-T metric for…   xxx which means it’s still critical (now more than ever) to rank for keywords related not only to your hotel, services, amenities, room types, location, property type, food and beverage, and activities,... but ALSO to rank for other key local travel interests that drive discovery of your hotel via travel lifestyle niches that might pertain to people’s travel habits, local interests after arrival, or destination consideration, based on what they can do nearby. Keyword research alone (without measuring intent) won’t necessarily yield the best outcome when it comes to strategizing what you want to rank for. Instead, there needs to be a bigger focus on testing potentially relevant keywords for commercial viability through paid search campaigns, and then ‘backing into’ ranking the ones that actually DO yield revenue, for natural search, as high as they can be ranked in the SERPs. That being said, most metro travel markets have a very predictable spectrum of (what we would call) high-intent keywords, that can be compiled into a list that looks something like this below:



For that reason, it’s fundamental to create both a CORE WEBSITE SEO strategy that contains the following key content in order to create the needed interlinking (or internal linking) on your site that drives Google’s crawlers to understand first, that your website represents a hotel entity, and secondly, what your website (and hotel) should rank for in terms of destination, amenity, product, specials, activities, attractions and other relevant local information that Google believes is important to travelers.

A sample of such a core pyramid below:









































In addition to the core SEO structure of a well-formed hotel’s brand website, the additional usage of SEO DISCOVERY pages coupled with SEO blogging for your hotel’s local interests and destination bolts on an additional layer of content marketing for new discoverability and new audiences. Adding these two additional areas to the site will expand the structure to look a bit like this:































Interested in visualizing your hotel’s website silo structured for free? Have a look at this slick visualization tool here call seolizer! Just register for a free account and click here…


...to visualize what’s going with your hotel website, and whether or not it’s being crawled by search engines they way it should be.

  • Revenue Management | Revenue managers work tirelessly to adjust the rate strategy of a hotel and optimize the Average Daily Rate (ADR) to a level that is most profitable, based (sometimes) on very short windows of data and forecasted bookings. The prospect of giving away a room night or an entirely comped stay (while a sound marketing decision in some cases) can be a tough pill to swallow from a revenue management standpoint, especially if the influencer can only stay during a specified period of time. It’s situations like this where travel influencer screening services performed by an earned media expert who is familiar with the challenges hotels face, are invaluable.
  • Diluting Direct Channel Marketing | A hotel’s direct channel, or website is the most important digital sales channel, because it has the best chance for a hotel’s online brand to resonate with visitors that are marketed to, and subsequently arrive there (as opposed to the OTA channel where there is virtually NO BRAND and NO MARKETING, since ‘sort by price’ is simply not a marketing strategy - hat tip Seth Goden for this one).
  • As most hotels have an extremely tight direct channel marketing budget (made up of SEO/SEM, PPC/Retargeting, Email Marketing, and Paid Social Media tactics), the addition of another direct channel tactic such as travel influencer marketing is always difficult to make room for in the digital marketing budget pie, so-to-speak. This makes influencer fraud prevention a top priority for hotels or travel brands looking to get into this side of online marketing, to ensure that the influencers they do business with truly deliver value.

  • Social Media Analytics Pollution | Imagine if your social media coordinator at your hotel or resort all of a sudden saw a large influx of brand mentions or tags on the name of your hotel or resort. Putting aside the fact that most hotels outsource their social media operations, and that very few social media travel marketers know what they are doing today, if this scenario developed, how would you measure success? Would you ask your social media person to measure the average engagement on your brand accounts? Or would you simply measure it under the nebulous (but underwhelming) auspices of ‘brand awareness’, simply admitting that hopefully more people  ‘out there’ know about your brand, and maybe, magically, one of them will book your hotel now at some point? The point here is clear - neither you nor your social media person will really know how to translate these activities into measureable room nights for your hotel. It’s precisely for this reason that many hotels have shifted away from travel influencers already, in favor of social advocacy marketing as a new, and more effective version of travel influencer marketing for hotels. Check some of the new and innovating social advocacy campaigns our friends at flip.to are creating below.

  • Negative Sentiment | Believe it or not, there have actually been cases where alleged influencers have threatened to negatively review a hotel, unless the hotel provides them with some kind of discount or comp, based on their posted, earned media about the hotel. This is the worst, and most direct kind of fraud because not only is it extortion (and illegal in some cases), it also greatly damages a hotel’s brand with false negative reviews that are completely baseless in most situations. This, as well as all the other reasons listed above, are compelling reasons for a hotel to partner with an expert in online influencer earned media that understands the needs of hotels and can not only screen out fraudulent or weak travel influencers before ever engaging with them, but also provide a more comprehensive hotel SEO influencer strategy that doesn’t rely on brand awareness or other unmeasurable metrics to deliver traffic and revenue to the hotel’s website over time.


SEO And Travel Influencer Marketing

This brings us to a relatively new, core SEO tactic for hotels when it comes to ranking a hotel website and increasing a hotel’s online earned media footprint. Travel blogging has slowly turned into a much slippier (and less predictable) online marketing game that is now dubbed travel influencer marketing. Along with this new marketing potential, comes considerable risk in the form of travel influencer marketing fraud, which continues to be huge problem for hotels and resorts the world over, as they stake their hopes of addition online mentions and more bookings on the weak promises of Instagrammers with pretty looking pictures, thinly-engaged (or fake) followings), and very little else in the way of guaranteed deliverables for the hotel willing (or foolish enough) to work with them.

The bigger issue with travel influencer marketing these days, however, is that most hotels have no idea how to implement travel influencer marketing SEO strategies that actually work to their benefit in the long run. Oddly enough, gaining SEO benefits from influencers isn’t as challenging as one might think, especially if a hotel is working with a PR team or company to find earned media opportunities and travel partners already. Even if a hotel hasn’t retained a dedicated SEO PR company many of the same principles and services, such as:

  • Developing Natural Linking Guidelines
  • Identifying Travel Influencer With True Owned Media (Their Own Blog)
  • Creating Full Release Agreements For Travel Influencers
  • Creating Value Propositions For Tiers Of Influencer Tied To Comped Room Value
  • Budgeting Comped Room Nights Against A ‘Backlinking / Earned Media Plan’
  • Creating Specific Influencer Earned Media Requirement Outreach Communications (Email)
  • Performing Earned Media Outreach
  • Confirming Travel Influencer Deliverables After A Consumed Stay

When a hotel truly gets a handle on these aspects of their SEO/Earned Media game, they will likely see significant jumps in online rank for their Natural Search Traffic and SERPs positions in the long term, and if done in conjunction with all other hotel SEO services, will crowd competitors out of online discovery, attracting more and more ‘free’ impressions, relevant traffic, and real bookings from potential guests who are now finding the hotel via organic searches that match up with their high intent for upcoming or inspirational travel.


  • FIND YOUR TRUE NORTH | Reduce reliance on influencer deliverables that don’t contribute to your TrueNorth Traffic strategy.

  • START SCREENING | Stop travel influencer fraud and shakedowns by having an influencer screening strategy.

  • TRANSPARENT TALK | Make influencer value propositions transparent, and communicate them professionally but firmly, including which influencers are most valuable to you and why.

  • MAKE IT MEASURABLE | Make goals measurable in terms of links, ranks, traffic, and mentions (in that order).

  • PREP YOUR PR TEAM | Understand you PR company’s approach to identifying, screening and engaging with potential travel influencers before committing roomnights to any marketing campaign trade out or comp.

  • OWNED EQUALS EARNED | Shift focus towards influencers who actually have a blog or main website as their platform, versus social media influencers who only have a spread of social media accounts (and request analytics for their website in order to vet their own market penetration).

  • FIND FEEDERS | Research your top feeder markets for SEO travel influencers who meet all of this criteria, and who blog and post regularly (more than three times per month) within that market.

If you take these keys to success to heart, you’ll find that you’re in a much better place when it comes to travel influencer marketing than your competitors, and the results will pay for themselves over time.