97% of people learn more about a local company online than anywhere else. In addition, 92% of consumers pick a local business from the first page of search results (Source: SEO Tribunal). If your guiding company isn’t showing up in search results, your potential customers are going to your competitor instead. One way to increase your visibility online is through search engine optimization (SEO).
Organic SEO differs from paid search in that you optimize your website and the contents of it to show up in search results for free. With paid search, you pay for ads using targeted keywords to appear at the top of search results.
There are three crucial pieces of search engine optimization to remember when trying to get your site to rank on search results: technical SEO, off-page SEO, and on-page SEO.
Most of the time, website owners prioritize off-page and on-page SEO and neglect technical SEO. To increase your chances of appearing higher in search results, you need to put equal focus on all three.
Technical SEO is all the aspects outside of content optimization and link building that make it easy for search engines to crawl your website.
First, you want to reduce any site errors like broken links or 404 errors and delete any duplicate content. Depending on how many pages your website has, this could be really fast or take a while, but it’s important to fix any errors before submitting your site to Google.
Second, submit an XML sitemap to Google. If your site uses WordPress, Wix, or Blogger, you’ll probably have an XML sitemap automatically available.
Next, check here to make sure Google indexed your site. If you don’t already have a Google Search Console profile connected to your site, you’ll have to create one as well.
Google now crawls and indexes sites that are mobile-friendly first, which means, if your site isn’t responsive, you’re unlikely to appear in search results.
Off-page SEO is actions taken outside of your website that increase your authority, popularity, trustworthiness, and relevance. These actions include already-trustworthy websites linking to your site, brand mentions, and content sharing by readers.
You need to create high-quality content for people to share it. Create infographics, blogs, tutorials, how-to guides, reports, videos, white papers, etc. Then share your content on social media (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest), in industry groups and forums, and through your email newsletter.
People who see your posts will visit your site and if it’s something that resonates with them, they’ll likely share it on their own platforms. This has a cascading effect and hopefully, generates more website traffic to your page.
A reputable website is one that already has lots of traffic, high numbers of backlinks, shareable content, and is a trustworthy source of information. Examples include: youtube.com, apple.com, google.com, linkedin.com, and wikipedia.org.
For your website to become reputable, you need trustworthy sites to link to you. You may not get a link from Wikipedia, but if you can, find sites that rank higher than you in Google search results.
First, find websites (within your niche) you think will link to your content who rank higher than you do in search results. Not only does this take a considerable amount of time in researching and contacting the websites, but your content needs to benefit them too.
The more backlinks, mentions, and shares of your brand, website, and content, the higher you’ll rank in search results.
On-page SEO is the content on your website you can optimize in order to generate more traffic to your site. This includes title tags, URLs, meta descriptions, headings, and body copy.
In order to have effective on-page SEO, you’ll need to research keywords you want to show up for in search results. Think about how your customers find you, how they talk about you, and what their interests are.
To find more keywords, start pasting the ones you thought of in Google. You should see a list of related keywords at the bottom of the page. You can also use Google’s Keyword Planner to generate more keywords. Note: You’ll need to have a Google Ads account but you don’t need to create an ad to use the tool.
Once you have a list of keywords your customers use and what you found through Google, place them naturally within your content on your website. Essentially, when Google crawls your website, you want it to understand what your site is about. You help it understand through the use of keywords and phrases.
Make sure not to keyword stuff because Google will penalize you.
Finally, a component easily dismissed is the use of iFrames on websites. An iFrame is a booking pop-up installed on a website and it ends up negatively affecting your SEO results. If you use an iFrame for bookings, seriously consider nixing that and going with a more simple online booking platform.
Start with what we mentioned above and you’ll already be putting more effort into your SEO strategy than many of your competitors. Remember, search engine optimization takes months before seeing results so have patience and keep working at it.
About the Author:
Jessica is the Digital Marketing Specialist for Origin. Origin is innovative online booking software designed specifically to help tour guides and outfitters keep trip reservations and staff availability up-to-date, prevent overbookings, and even help you assign guides to newly booked trips with automated text messages to confirm availability. Interested in learning more? Schedule a call with us or visit our website: www.exploreorigin.com