In the last of our series of blogs on search engine optimisation, we’re going to take a look at how to improve your Google search position in the organic (not paid) rankings. If you’re new to the whole topic of SEO, check out our guide for property managers: What Is Search Engine Optimisation? We also talked, in our last blog post, about how SEO works and we discussed some tips and best practice guidelines to help Google find your website for the right keywords. Now that you know what SEO is and the best practice approach to implementing it, we’re going to take a look at what steps you can take to help improve the SEO ranking for your website.
One of the most important things to remember about Google and other search engines is that their purpose is to deliver the most relevant content based on a users search query. Regularly creating valuable, quality content on your website is still one of the best ways to improve SEO ranking. And the easiest way to create content that search engines can find is by adding a blog to your website.
According to the American Digital Agency, Blue Corona, adding a blog to your website can improve SEO ranking chances in search engines by 434%! A blog is also the perfect place to collate your content and provides additional great opportunities to create and rank for more specific topics and keywords. However, the ‘focus’ words with regards to content are value and quality. Put yourself in the shoes of your target audience and think about what is going to be useful and valuable to them. The factors that Google uses to help determine which websites it should prioritise are expertise, authority and trustworthiness (E-A-T). A regular blog with great-quality content written with your target audience in mind can certainly help in this regard.
Of course, if you’re going to go to the trouble of actually creating content for your target audience, you also need to promote it as widely as possible. This is where content marketing comes in. As well as optimising your blog posts to be found in Google searches, you can and should be using them as widely as possible to demonstrate your expertise in your industry. Content marketing is a strategy you implement to regularly create content to engage your target audience and potentially improve SEO ranking potential.
Content marketing covers everything from blogs, vlogs (video blogs), videos, infographics, eBooks, whitepapers, audio guides, tutorials and of course, social media posts. One of the key things to remember about content marketing is that you should be giving your audience something valuable. It should not be simply about blatant self-promotion. Remember it’s about E-A-T! So how do you build your expertise, authority and trustworthiness with Google?
In our last blog on how SEO works, we touched on ‘off-page SEO factors’ that can improve SEO ranking. These are the things that can influence how search engines determine your website’s trustworthiness, relevance, popularity and authority.
One of the ways that Google determines your E-A-T is social signals. Developing a social media presence is really important for any business but definitely for those in the travel industry. When people share or like your content on social networks, that’s a sign that it’s useful and valuable. The more high-quality content you publish, the more likely you are to have people share that content with others. And the higher-quality that content is, the more likely you are to have people linking to it. These are called backlinks. All of these things give search engines greater confidence that your website is trustworthy, relevant and carries authority and will potentially improve the SEO ranking of your website.
Another factor that is really important in off-page SEO, particularly for businesses wanting to rank in local markets is a well-optimised Google My Business profile.
Google My Business (GMB) is a free listings tool that lets you manage how your business appears on Google search and maps. If you haven’t already done this, it’s vital that you create or claim and verify your GMB listing and populate it with as much information as possible. This includes ensuring your business Name, Address and Phone number (NAP) are exactly the same as those listed on your website and any other external listings such as directories and your social channels. The more places that Google discovers your NAP details, the greater trust they will have in your business but it’s crucial that the details are listed exactly the same in all locations.
The value of your GMB listing to improve local SEO ranking cannot be overstated. Why? Because searching for a business or service in a specific location triggers what is known as a local pack listing. In Local Packs Google shows GMB listings, not websites so, without it, you will not have the chance to feature in local organic search results or Google maps.
A GMB listing also gives you the opportunity to gather Google reviews for your business. This is another valuable ‘off-page’ SEO signal that will potentially help with your website ranking efforts.
Nothing highlights your expertise, authority and trust more to Google and other search engines than reviews of your business by customers. Not only are they effective (providing they are positive) in persuading potential travellers to book your accommodation but they highlight to Google which local businesses have a great reputation, increasing your perceived trust and relevancy. The benefits of online reviews go beyond simply making you look good to potential bookers, they are also proven to improve your SEO ranking potential.
Search engine optimisation is not a ‘set and forget’ tactic. It takes time, effort and consistent attention to not only rank well but to stay in the top positions once you achieve them, especially in highly competitive markets. We have covered the basics of how to improve SEO ranking in our 3-part blog series. If you ensure that you at least have the basics right, then you have laid the foundations to build a successful SEO strategy.
It may seem like there’s a lot to consider when it comes to search engine optimisation and getting your website to rank well in Google. However, there is plenty of support available to help you navigate the SEO labyrinth! 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.