SEO For Riad Guesthouses
Guesthouses in Morocco do not have it easy. Just when Morocco was preparing for a tourist boom, the financial crisis resulted in a stunning 30% drop in hotel reservations world wide. Now a Moroccan guesthouse is not a typical corporate hotel. Consequently this type of lodging does not have a big potential on the Global Distribution Systems. It often only has between 3 to 9 rooms, so also managing the rooms on the Internet Distribution Systems is a bit problematic. And it definitely does not work through tour operators.
Travel agents world wide literally receive stacks and stacks of brochures as well as marketing emails, so that marketing strategy often results in a very low return on investment. That leaves the direct guesthouse web site as the most important marketing tool. And that means: optimization for the search engines as well as for the online visitor. However, right because of the fact that hopes were so high for Morocco, the number of new riad guesthouses has increased very much over the past years. Creating even more competition for existing riads.
Little wonder then that most probably there is no region or market on earth that is so interested in search engine optimization, as guesthouses in Morocco are.
Whenever I visit Morocco, I see riad owners frantically adding key words.
Often with little results.
Of course everyone wants to target a key word such as riad Marrakech. However, if you know that Google returns almost half a million page when using this key word, you will realize just how many thought and work and time will go into the optimization for this search term. Just adding it will not help at all. You will still be at the bottom of the pile.
At the same time it makes you loose an opportunity to target an other, perhaps better performing search term.
To target riad reservations is already a more realistic goal. There, your competition has been reduced to 60.000 results, and with some work and time, it is realistic to think your website might rank high.
Empathy for the online visitor is also a great asset. Of course you would want to target a key word such as riad medina. Because you are located in a medina, right?
Yes, but… just how many people outside the Arabic or french speaking world know this word? Souk is a word that is known the world over.
Far better it is to make a web page very and utterly relevant for one single key word, than to try to target 10 key words on every page. Because all what the search engines will see is that, in the end, the page is not relevant for any key word. The page just seems to be about a dozen things at the same time… and there fore not highly relevant for a single one of them.
Optimization for the search engines is 99% inspiration, and 1% work. Far better it is to spend one month in thought and reflection before starting, than forever and endlessly trying to run after one technique after the other, without any of them resulting in more visitors.
A good guesthouse is a piece of Art. It is built on history as well as the dreams of the new owner. It is worth the while to be found online.
And so you could see your online strategy. As a piece of art, built on thought and craftsmanship.
Hotel SEO Specialist