SEO Dos and Don’ts
Tips to optimize your site for maximum exposure and revenue opportunity.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is important for increasing your site’s visibility on search engines such as Google and Bing, but some bad practices may be hurting your resort’s likelihood of getting seen online. Websites should focus on relevant keywords, simple URL paths and content pertinent to the resort and its location so that the resort’s site will surface to the top in search results. “By leveraging SEO best practices, you can earn a top page rank and pave the way for revenue opportunity,” Faith Aronow, director of digital marketing at RCI, says. Read on for Aronow’s list of SEO dos and don’ts.
Do: Invest in expertise
“For smaller resorts with a limited budget, it is wise to consult an SEO expert to create a content strategy while the site is being built,” Aronow says. That can be in the form of a consultancy firm or a single SEO expert. From there, an annual SEO checkup with recommendations and year-over-year rank comparisons can suffice. However, it might be worth investing in and retaining SEO expertise monthly to measure progress and provide updates to algorithms and recommendations.
Don’t: Wait until later to set up SEO
“The best way to set up your site for success is to build it with SEO best practices from the start,” Aronow says. This includes using relevant meta-tags and proper URL structure and making sure all your links are secure (HTTPS). Relevant content is also paramount. “Understanding what makes your website users engage and what is most valuable to them is key to unlocking a high page rank,” Aronow says. Provide content with search terms that a prospective traveler would type into Google before visiting that area (for example, What to do in Cincinnati or Best restaurants in Cincinnati). Leverage your current photos and videos by using relevant keywords or words in the file name, description and alt text.
Do: Clean up your home page
Minimize your home page’s load time. If a page takes more than five seconds to load, your visitors will abandon your site and your bounce rate will increase. A high bounce rate indicates an irrelevant or broken link, which will hinder your SEO ranking. By making your website responsive, your site can be seen on mobile and tablet devices, which in turn increases your rank on a Google search. “SEO is the highway that delivers customers to your front door,” Aronow says. “Without an optimized site, future prospects will not find you.”
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