In the best-case scenario, you have maybe 10-20 seconds to capture your web page visitors’ attention. If even that much. There is so much content to choose from and nobody wastes their time on pages that don’t offer the best one. And the best usually means also ticking all the boxes when it comes to SEO tips. The average page visit lasts a little less than a minute. Well, that’s only if you get them to open your web page first.
So, what could help you bring potential customers to your web page? SEO. Tour operators and activity providers should pay attention to this as much as everyone.
SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” It's the process of getting traffic from the free, organic, editorial or natural search results on search engines. Basically, web pages and other content such as videos/images/local listings are shown and ranked based on what the search engine considers most relevant to users. And it doesn’t have anything to do with the paid search ads. It’s all about the content and how you optimize it.
Key Tips for SEO Optimization
1. Create and Use Great Landing Pages
People do not want to dig through your website to find what they are looking for. This means that you should create strong landing pages with powerful headlines and bold call to action. Your page must clearly communicate on the value of your business. Get rid of any unnecessary information. Finally, ensure that you’re using a guiding layout of your landing page. One that makes sense and is easy to navigate for users. Successful SEO makes it more likely for travelers to use your site.Also, keep in mind that search engines rely on clear links to your pages, so make sure that the title of each landing page is clear.
Your homepage content should clarify who you are, what you do, where you’re located, your value proposition. And what visitors should do next - book a tour! Give them enough information, but not too much – you don’t want to confuse them.
2. Keywords – What’s Good and What’s Not
Everything related to SEO starts with an understanding of what a "keyword phrase" is. Anytime someone conducts a search on Google, or another search engine, they enter some text to start their search. In SEO terms, the entered text is called a "keyword" or "keyword phrase."
Determining strategy for keywords should be your first step. Be clear about your goals. Make a list of the potential keywords using results from different tools. Be sure to check the keyword competition. Google offers a variety of free useful tools, such as Google Trends.
Your page URL must contain your key word or keyword phrase. If it is a phrase, words must be separated by hyphens. Use some plugins to remove stop words from the URL/permalinks. It’s always good to minimize the use of the STOP word in the permalink.
Ensure your keywords are placed once in your page title, and once in your meta description. The meta description doesn’t get used by search engines for ranking purposes anymore, but it's still good to place the keywords here for user relevance. Keep your Page Title to under 55 characters and Meta Description to under 150 characters.
It’s good to have your search query represented in your H1 Heading, and other headings (H2, H3, etc.) as appropriate. The first 100 words in the body copy and 2-3 times as variations within the rest of the body copy. Just make sure that your content is relevant to the visitor, and reads sensibly.
Here are all the different types of content which you need to optimize and include your keywords in.
3. Optimization of Different Types of Content
Standard Web Pages - You can make any page on your website available to search engines.
Local Web Pages - You can create web pages that target local searchers, so when someone enters a location specific key phrase - they can find you. Verify and optimize a Google My Business Account with a brand and location page. Google will continue to take steps to show the best local content in search results.
News Articles - You need to ensure that your site is included in Google News for a news article to be indexed. Follow the guidelines on submitting a dedicated news sitemap.
Videos - Google includes YouTube and Vimeo video matches in its search results. Optimize your video filename for relevant keywords. Make the video public and ensure the title includes your relevant keywords. Write detailed, keyword rich video description and use the first 22 words strategically, as these are seen in the query page. Add relevant keyword tags to your video (but avoid stuffing the tags).
Images - In the top menu on Google there is a tab for 'Images'. It enables people to search specifically for those relevant to their search queries/keywords. Optimize Image ALT tag with your keyword. It is always a good idea to save the image name with the keyword and upload them on the server with the same name. Also, attach necessary ALT tag to the image, so Google can understand what the image depicts.
Discussions - There's a tab called ‘Discussions’ in the Google’s top menu. It enables searchers to refine their search to only show relevant discussions online.
4. Content Quality
Your content must be original. Creating compelling and useful content will likely influence your website more than any of the other factors. Users know good content when they see it and will likely want to direct other users to it. This could be through blog posts, social media services, email, forums, or other means. Organic or word-of-mouth buzz is what helps build your site's reputation with both users and Google. And it rarely comes without quality content. Make your content easy to read, friendly and relevant to your audience. Incorporating blogs to your website will help you keep your content conversational and current.
5. User-Friendly Mobile Search
This seems obvious, but still, too often, searchers are forced to view what is supposed to be a desktop screen on their smartphones. Especially given the competitive nature of the travel industry and the vast amount of choices, you can bet that your visitor will forgo your site if it’s not easy to navigate.
6. Building Quality Backlinks
If you've studied SEO for any length of time, you know that there are things you must do to your web pages themselves, called "on-page optimization". And then there are things external to your website, called "off-page optimization." While there are several tactics for the off-page optimization category, the most important is the building of quality backlinks. A backlink occurs whenever an image, a piece of text, or your full website URL is linked "back" to your site from some other.
Link, internally and externally, to as many other sites as possible. Such as like/minded businesses, listing pages. There are various techniques to generate backlinks. Guest post on the other high authority site from the same niche, commenting on the posts related to your site content, forum posting, etc.
7. Social Media Strategy
Market your content on various social networks and media. Try various titles and descriptions that can engage users with your content. Initially, target Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Stumble Upon and Reddit. Google is now giving more importance to social media signals to rank websites. Now is the time to use a social media platform to the fullest.
Some Extra Tips for the End
Just to name a few extra tips we can give you:
- Link to your tour pages. Connect your blog posts and your tours and/or activities. You may even want to integrate your tour directly into the blog post somehow, perhaps describing a restaurant, attraction that might be visited during the tour. Perhaps a short video interview with a guide or yourself?
- Link building with quality sites is still one of the top 5 most important ranking factors. Never pay for links. Connect with people in your area or in your space, organically requesting they add a link to their site about you on their partner page or in a blog post. Network with influencers in your industry.
- Web analytics - measure and monitor your search performance. And make smart SEO decisions based on website traffic and conversion data. Google Analytics could be of help to you.
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