The hotel industry is intensely competitive, and it is not easy to get websites ranked high for Motel/Hotel related phrases. An SEO case study for 162 Kings of Riccarton Motel.

162 Kings of Riccarton Christchurch Motels - an upmarket Christchurch Motel with a range of room types from 1 and 2 bedroom units, to luxury studio rooms.

The Christchurch Motels website is hosted with AA and has a simple AA based content management system that allows text of the page to be edited within a predefined template that AA is able to tweak.


There were few SEO issues with the AA hosted setup. The main things were the following:

  • Search phrase selection
  • adding those phrases to the homepage
  • linking back to the rather than the /index.html page for the home page
  • adding Google webmaster tools and the clients own analytics account number rather than the developer account number
  • and an inbound linking strategy ##Search Phrase Analysis It is never easy to know what search phrases to target for Motels/Hotels. The most highly trafficked and competitive phrases are hotel related. But I have found that even if you get a an individual hotel/motel’s website top ten ie “Christchurch Hotels”, they don’t necessarily even get the click throughs, let alone the bookings.

People are looking for brand names, and hotel consolidator websites in the top ten for hotel related phrases.

So we have targeted the lesser trafficked, but still competitive Christchurch Motel and Christchurch Accommodation phrases.

The main business through the motel is from New Zealanders, so we decided motel phrases on was a reasonable target. Ranking on, or requires a totally different strategy, and substantially more effort with linking.

A missing ‘nice to have’

Google analytics is able to be setup to track a websites sales, or in this case, motel bookings. You are able to see what sales resulted from adwords, or organic listings on Google, or from other directory websites. Such information in my opinion is essential, as with a large investment in SEO and adwords, you really need to know the ROI.

However, the booking engine is via AA Travel, and they have not yet setup their systems to enable ecommerce tracking back to their clients Google analytics.

Yes, AA have got stats from within their package, but Google analytics records far more data, and its all the tracking in one place.

I have talked to their developers, but it of course requires some reprogramming of their systems, … and inertia takes its toll. We shall see how responsive they can be to my best practice recommendations…

Ranking changes

Slowly and surely is the name of the game with competitive phrases. Google does not tend to let you in fast, even if you have done the onpage/linking work properly. But we are noticing a steady increase in the rankings even over the last several weeks.

For really non competitive phrases, ie “Riccarton luxury accommodation Christchurch New Zealand” they rank well. But for the competitive phrases, they need time as well as other websites linking to them.

All the best 162 Kings.