In our last blog, we looked at what search engine optimisation (SEO) is and explored some of the factors that you need to consider in order to help Google and other search engines to find your website for the right keywords. In this article, we’re going to delve in a bit deeper and take a look at how SEO works as well as offering some SEO tips for property managers to get your website ranking better. As we highlighted last time, to be successful with search engine optimisation you need to get the basics right, be consistent in your approach and follow Google’s best practice guidelines.
There are a lot of factors that can play a part in how successful your SEO efforts are and we won’t be covering them all here. However, we will take a look at some of the most important things to get right. So let’s take a more detailed look at how SEO works and how you can use it to reach more people looking to book accommodation in your area.
As we highlighted in the last blog, 91% of all content gets no traffic from Google. So how do you avoid disappearing from Google’s radar altogether or appearing so far down the search results that no-one ever finds you? Well, the very first step is understanding your target audience. This is what we mean when we talk about ‘getting the basics’ right. Fundamentally, SEO works on the same key principle as marketing. You need to put yourself in your customer’s shoes. This means thinking about how your target audience is searching for your products, services or content. You can then start the first and possibly most important step in the SEO process: keyword research.
Keyword research is one of the most important factors in how SEO works and is the process of analysing search terms that people enter into search engines to find out:
So, for example, if you are a bed and breakfast owner in Mooloolaba, you need to start thinking about not just the obvious terms like ‘bed and breakfast mooloolaba’ but other terms that people might use when planning their trip and looking for accommodation in the area. A key point in understanding how SEO works is considering that what you want to rank well for may be different from what your audience actually wants. The trick is understanding this in the first place so that you can craft your website content to answer the needs of your target audience.
Once you get into keyword research you might be surprised about how many different variations of search terms there are and how much they differ in popularity. Just guessing at these terms really isn’t enough. For example, take the term ‘bed and breakfast sunshine coast’. At the time of writing this that term has 320 searches a month. However, say you had used the phrase ‘b&b sunshine coast’ that term has 260 searches a month. And if you had opted for ‘bed & breakfast sunshine coast’ that term has just 10 searches a month.
Doing thorough keyword research really is a critical factor in how SEO works and how effective your website will be in attracting enough of the right traffic.
On-page SEO factors are another critical element of how SEO works. As the name suggests these elements are the things that happen on your website, that you have control of. By following Google’s best practice guidelines, you can most certainly influence your website’s ranking ability by adjusting these elements. There are a couple of important things to remember. Firstly, Google now prioritises relevancy and user-intent when deciding which pages to rank. This means it’s important that your web page answers the user-intention of the search term you have chosen to optimise it for. Another important thing to remember is that every page of your website should have unique content and be optimised differently to reflect what the page is about.
You should be looking to use your pages keywords in all these on-page elements. Some of the on-page elements that have a direct bearing on your search ranking are:
When looking at how SEO works it’s important to also consider off-page SEO factors. These are the factors that you may not be able to directly influence so easily but can still play a part in your ranking. They include helping search engines determine your website’s trustworthiness, relevance, popularity and authority. Among the off-page elements that can affect your website ranking are:
There are a number of other off-page factors that play a part in how SEO works that you can certainly influence. These include: having a well-optimised Google My Business page, NAP citations (Name, Address, Phone), Business reviews, content marketing and social signals and we will cover these in our next blog.
It might seem like search engine optimisation is a minefield. However, as we highlighted at the beginning, if you get the basics right, do it consistently and follow Google’s best practice guidelines your website has a very good chance of ranking for some valuable terms that will drive high-quality visitors to your website and increase the opportunity for direct bookings.
HiRUM work with a number of local, trusted partners who are able to offer sound advice and support in the area of search engine optimisation. If this is an area you would like to know more about, feel free to reach out to our marketing team.
In the meantime, it’s worth remembering that the very first step in effective SEO is having a well-designed, mobile-friendly website. If you would like to discuss developing your website, complete the form below and one of our friendly staff will contact you shortly. HiRUM’s website design team have developed a superb reputation for building beautiful, high-converting, mobile responsive websites for clients in the hospitality industry. As well as our market-leading booking engine, we can help you manage many aspects of your property or hotel marketing, from your social media presence to your Google listings.
HiRUM had support in developing the content of this article from Brisbane Small Business Marketing.