In today’s day and age, consumers have instant access to information. This immediacy requires your content to be accessible within a couple clicks for you to get what is known as website traffic. Before you even worry about getting a website visitor to make a purchase via your website, the first step is making sure they can find you and your business online. Search Engine Optimization, referred to as SEO, is the very powerful and cost-effective means of increasing your online visibility. In this post, we will highlight 3 of the most effective means of increasing a website’s visibility.
Keywords are words that your customers use to find companies in your industry. It is important to remember that you cannot possibly rank high with every keyword, and therefore it’s important to pick a few that are likely to entice a sale. As a rule thumb, remember to use specific keywords as opposed to broad keywords. Having “travel” as a key word for a local operation in Whistler, British Columbia for example, isn’t an effective approach because of its lack of relevancy. Steer away from engaging in bidding wars against big sites that have more capital to allocate towards adwords to capture the top key-words and focus on the secondary ones.
Start by doing some research and building a list of the top keywords for your business (FYI each of your offerings will likely have different keywords associated with it). Pursuing keywords that are low hanging fruit will most likely give you the biggest bang for your buck. There is no point in trying to capture key words that everyone is fighting over (especially when the bid is high). Try and think like your customer - just because you refer to something with a certain word/phrase doesn’t mean your customers will use the same search query. To help identify ideal keywords, try tools such as the Google AdWords Tool, Keywordtool.IO, and Keyword Discovery.
Search Friendly URLs
Search friendly URLs are very important as they help Google properly index your pages. Make sure your different URLs explain what a page is showcasing (e.g. use www.website.com/1daytour/vancouver as opposed to www.website.com/8283289). Proper URLs help search engines identify what a relative page is about. At the same time, ensure that you don’t have duplicated content on your website.
Every page should have a purpose, along with unique content. If you offer referring to similar concepts for a tour with minor variations around the subject (e.g. 2-day vs. 3-day kayaking tours with overlapping itineraries) – keep that information on one page. If you have several different pages for each variation, search engines most likely will not index all of them. Since they will likely choose one, you may as well make that one page have everything you want your customers to see. If you need to have different pages then make sure you change up the content/descriptions for the new page.
Backlinks will likely be the biggest factor in your search engine rankings. Backlinks are internal and external links within your website that make references to outside content in the form of hyperlinks (e.g. an article on your company, a review site, social media, etc.) and acts as a recommendation for your business. The larger the presence of the corresponding website, the greater the value of the link. For example, a backlink from the New York Times would hold greater value than a backlink from your personal blog.