Search Engine Watch has published the results of new research by SEO provider HigherVisibility aiming to assess for 10 industry verticals the value of domain URLs containing relevant search terms (keywords).
Across industries, on average URLs of 63% of top search returns contained keywords.
Within industries, the average share of top-ranking URLs containing keywords varied from 47% (E-mail Software) to 76% (Debt).
Here are key findings for the hotel industry:
- 62% of top-ranked hotel URLs contained keywords.
- 70% contained "hotel".
- 50% contained "hotel cheap"
- 45% contained "rooms hotel".
- 45% contained "hotel deals".
- 35% contained "hotel discount".
- 25% contained "reservations hotel".
- Region-specific keywords like "york hotel" produce high rankings.
Popular booking sites (OTAs) were found to rank highest on hotel searches with or without keywords in URLs. Top 10 URL results for "hotel" searches were:
Key takeaway here is: for your hotel to have even minimal visibility in organic search, you need to have the word "hotel" and a city- or region-specific keyword in your URLs. And although "hotel cheap" may get your pages ranked higher, that's a terrible unique selling proposition.