As an accommodation owner you’ll be well aware of the vital role your website plays in marketing your business. What you may not realise however, is that appearing in Google’s organic (unpaid) search results doesn’t just happen the moment your website goes live. Sure – you can spend money on paid listings like Google Ads but what if you could appear high up in the free search listings without having the ongoing high charges of cost per click advertising? The process that makes this magic happen is called Search Engine Optimisation, abbreviated to SEO. But what is the link between brand awareness, SEO & profitability?
According to SEO software business ahrefs.com, 91% of all website pages get no traffic from Google.1 The reason for this is the sheer volume of new content that is being created every single day, most of which is not well optimised to be discovered, indexed and ranked by the world’s biggest search engine. So how do you ensure you are among the top 9% of websites that do make it into the organic listings?
Wondering what search engine optimisation really is? SEO is the process of making changes to your website and content to make it more likely to show up higher in the search engine results pages (SERP) when someone searches a term or phrase relevant to your business.
While there are many factors that play a part in how SEO works, the key to being successful with your efforts and improving your SEO ranking is getting the basics right, being consistent in your approach and applying Google’s best practice guidelines.
When we talk about getting the basics right, this includes undertaking detailed keyword research, ensuring the content on your site is developed around the keywords that you are targeting and ensuring that your website is easy to navigate and responsive, meaning it can be easily viewed on any device.
Without doubt your website content is still the single most important factor in positively influencing your search rankings. However, there are technical factors that influence whether Google can easily see and understand your content. These are called ‘on-page’ factors and include elements such as page titles, meta descriptions, heading tags, url structures and image ‘alt’ text. These can all be managed in your website Content Management System (CMS). Now let’s take a look at the benefits of SEO and the link between SEO, branding and online visibility.
If you’re looking for a cost effective method to increase the visibility of your property in search engines and attract more potential guests to book your accommodation directly, you have to invest in SEO. Effective SEO delivers:
Smaller business owners can sometimes feel a little intimidated by the jargon and terminology associated with this area of marketing but it doesn’t have to be this way. Engaging the support of a good SEO consultant can pay dividends in delivering you a longer term advantage in a highly competitive market at a lower cost.
While the benefits of SEO certainly aren’t realised overnight (it can take several months to see significant improvements), the longer term benefits are very hard to ignore. Reduced ad costs, increased brand awareness and more bookings are usually high up the priority list for most accommodation owners. SEO is the solution to long term improvements in brand awareness and profitability for the savvy property manager.
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