The name game

Per Shakespeare, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” But today many of us must ask, would it rank well if Googled?!

Trending more so than ever is the exercise of the name game. A name is no longer just a name! Have you ever thought about the importance or significance of your property’s name? Or have you ever been left baffled by the choice someone made in selecting a name?

With hotel construction in full swing again, the name you select today is not only your identity, but is perhaps the single most powerful asset to your search engine ranking. It will also be one of the least flexible elements in your overall marketing campaign.

The first thing to understand about choosing a name in is how it will relate to your SEO (search engine optimization). The basis of SEO is pairing the code and content of your site with the keywords users search for in Google. It’s also referred to as building relevancy.

One way to build your “relevancy” is to use a keyword or phrase in your actual name — for example, Wyndham Suites Downtown NYC Hotel. The phrase repeated throughout your meta-tags and throughout the copy on your site will assist in building keyword relevancy.

Branding the hotel with a unique name plus a brand name, especially in saturated markets, is wise. A good example of this is “The Wit – Downtown Chicago Hotel,” which is a Doubletree. The unique element of its name allows The Wit to market itself as a boutique property while as an online strategy, since it is a branded hotel, it will rank better in search engines. In addition, the “Downtown Chicago” portion of the name adds additional opportunities for city-specific search rankings.

There is also the direct name-game approach where owners opt for a straightforward strategy by using a to-the-point name based on the “pulse” of their property.

The Whitepod Hotel Switzerland is as straightforward as a name can get. Selecting a name under the premise of “it is what it is” is key for this eco-luxury alpine escape in Switzerland.

Whitepod Hotel Switzerland
Whitepod Hotel Switzerland

The Caves resort in Jamaica capitalized on the same theory for its luxurious oceanfront property by using the same approach for its property name.

The Caves resort in Jamaica
The Caves resort in Jamaica

The Hotel de Glace in Quebec, Canada, is a magical hotel sculpted from ice that also opted to incorporate its main attraction as its name.

Hotel de Glace
Hotel de Glace

Choosing the right name is never an easy task, especially in hospitality, but one thing is certain: The right name can give a hotel the competitive edge. So when it comes to the name, I guess it’s fair to state not every rose “would smell as sweet.”

What are some of the most creative and noteworthy hotel names you’ve encountered?  And on a lighter note, are there any that have left you scratching your head? That’s what happens to me whenever I drive past the Las Vegas-based “Terrible Hotel & Casino.”

Join me in the name game!