SEO is one of the buzzwords you’re bound to hear in any discussion about internet marketing, but what is it all about – and how can it benefit your game lodge?
Every business website has one main goal: finding customers. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a strategy that internet marketing professionals use to make sure that your website attracts visitors who are interested in staying at your game lodge, increasing the number of inquiries and your occupancy rate.
Here are some SEO basics that you’ll find useful when you meet with your website developer or internet marketing consultant.
Making sense of SEO – what the jargon really means
Every industry has its jargon, and while “endemic species” and “apex predators” leave some of your first-time guests scratching their heads, you may find yourself confused between onsite SEO, offsite SEO, title tags and anchor text.
The good news is, you don’t need to know what all the SEO jargon means in order to use this effective strategy to increase your website traffic (the number of visitors your website gets each month).
Google rankings and keywords explained
Every time you search for something on Google, a list of websites (or search results) appears. Most people click on one of the websites nearest to the top, and that’s where you want your game lodge website to appear – but how to get it there? That’s where SEO comes in.
The most important things about SEO is choosing the right keywords. These are the words that most people would type into Google if they were looking for a game lodge in your area – and those are the people you want to reach.
Another important SEO element is backlinks. This, very simply, is links coming in from other sites which have more authority than your own. Basically, you want bigger, more popular sites in a related industry, to link back to you – almost like a verbal referral, but online.
There are two strategies to connect with potential customers online using onsite and offsite SEO. Let’s find out how they work.
Onsite SEO – tweaking your website for more visitors
Onsite SEO has to do with the design of your website – both the part you can see by visiting your home page and the scary computer code that only Google and other search engines pay attention to. Basically, it makes sure that the right keywords appear on your website – but not too often.
Google actually punishes websites that contain too many of the same keyword – this is called keyword stuffing. Any SEO strategist who tries to overfill your site with keywords is probably not doing you any favours.
The best onsite SEO strategy is to produce as much quality content as possible, so that website visitors love spending time on your site. The best way to achieve this, besides having a well-written and attractive website, is to start a blog. You’ll be able to publish regular blog posts that contain your keywords in a natural way and boost your Google ranking over time.
There are a host of other on-site elements which you need to look at, like titles, meta descriptions, internal linking and H1/H2 headers, however content is the most important point in this section.
Offsite SEO – building an online reputation
Keywords are an important part of any online strategy, but there’s another vital aspect to attracting customers online – credibility.
The more people say great things about your lodge online (and include a link to your home page that internet users can click on to visit your site), the better your Google rankings will get.
Ideally, these people should be popular in their own right, with plenty of social media followers and popular websites – this will give Google even more confidence in your site.
The best approach for building your reputation online is by using offsite SEO. This strategy includes:
- Sharing your blog posts on social media so that other users share them with their network – this will boost the number of visitors your blog receives
- Building a network of social media followers and blog readers that includes journalists and other prominent people.
- Sending press releases to the media when something special happens at your lodge – this is great for rare animal sightings, outreach programmes,the launch of new facilities, or special offers
Simply put, the more people know about your lodge, the more visitors your website will receive over time. It may take months or even a year, but the financial benefits could be amazing.
If you combine visitors who find your site through a Google search with social media users who see or read something interesting about your lodge and visit your homepage to find out more, you’ll have a lot of potential customers on your hands – and that’s exactly what any business wants.
If you’d like to boost your website’s Google ranking and discover a world of new fans and customers, your first step is to plan your SEO strategy. An experienced SEO or content strategist is a vital partner who will guide you through the ins and outs of this exciting process.