Local search strategy influences hotel chain's page rank

The hotel industry is ideal for a local SEO campaign, because most consumers' hotel choices are greatly influenced by location.

One hotel operator - Interstate Hotels & Resorts, which runs well-known brands such as Marriott, Hilton and Wyndham - decided to pursue an aggressive local search strategy to "gain a competitive edge online and drive additional bookings, according to HOTELS Magazine.

In 2009, Interstate chose 18 properties to test its local search software, which optimized each location's Google Places account to create customized profile pages featuring hotel descriptions, phone numbers, addresses, maps, logos, photos, videos and links to websites.

SEO experts also added detailed location information about each hotel's surrounding neighborhoods, as well as descriptions about amenities such as restaurants, pools and conference rooms.

The content was then sent to popular search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo, as well as a plethora or online directories like Yellowpages.com. Interstate's hotels topped search engine results listings within 60 days of the launch, and it now features 175 hotels that participate in the program.

Google's Mobile Ads Blog points out that a hotel's SEO strategy should involve mobile as well - as 19 percent of all hotel queries were conducted via smartphone as of May 2011.