Part 1: Tourism Marketing Agency’s 2016 guide to SEO

Every year, perhaps even every month, new trends or a change to search engine optimisation practice (SEO) is discussed. 

It’s to be expected in the digital world, and indeed in digital marketing. And, it can be difficult for businesses to keep up them.

Here at the Tourism Marketing Agency, we know what is a big deal in SEO (and what’s not a big deal). So much so, we thought it would be helpful to sit Chris down and get him to write down what he thinks are the biggest SEO tips for this year. (The list is big. So big in fact that it has a sequel).

1. Yes, there are changes taking place in search engine optimisation practice…but the basic principles remain.

Keep this in mind and don’t sweat about any changes coming down the line. When changes in practice happen, they do so to make the process and the industry even better, and ultimately give the user a better experience. Plus, there are expert organisations like Senshi Digital who can help you and your website stay ahead of the competition.

2. If you know what you are doing in search engine optimisation, and if you invest the time and are diligent about it, then you are half way there.

But also remember that your website will not progress up the rankings unless you keep on top of it.

3. Content. Content. Content. Content!

Content is so important to search engine optimisation. We often say content is king, and it’s no different when it comes to SEO. As you can see from the points below – there’s so much to say on this subject.

4. Quality content

First of all, when it comes to content, you need to create and share good quality material to help you and your website be found. You cannot escape that fact when it comes to search engine optimisation.

5. Your content must be interesting for your users.

You need interesting content. Otherwise, there’s no point in publishing it. Fact.

6. Be honest about your content

You need to ask yourself whether you would read it and whether you would link to it? If the answer is no, then re-work it.

7. To make sure your audience will be interested in your content, you need to know what your audience is interested in.

The easiest way to do this is to record the questions you are asked by customers and prospective customers.

8. Then, write your content based on these questions. This way it will be relevant and rich content.

So, if your content answers questions that your audience has about your industry, then Google will know that you are a valuable site because you are providing value to your users. And so, your rankings will improve and you’ll be easier to find.

9. Create a blog

This is a must for a business now. It’s a place to house your regular content updates. And you’ll establish yourself as an expert. If it sounds like a task you don’t have time or the expertise for, then hire a freelance writer. It’s worth it.

10. Post your content regularly and consistently

Post quality content very regularly. We’re talking once or twice a week. Consistently post and then consistently review the results and then use them to improve your approach.

11. Be a resource for your prospective clients

If through your content you provide advice and information, and at the same time, you demonstrate you are experts in your industry, then users and prospective clients will engage with you. For example, most internet searches begin with one of the 5 Ws – ‘Who…’, ‘What…’, ‘When…’, ‘Where…’ ‘Why…’ If you answer these questions relevant to your industry, you’ll get backlinks from other high value places and you’ll get better rankings as a result. At the same time, you’ll improve your brand awareness and engagement.

12. If your content is compelling, then you’ll drive traffic to your site.

Google appreciates in-depth content that someone has spent time over. This in-depth content, even on less authority sites, is ranking better than less in-depth content on higher authority sites.

13. Tap into your prospective clients about the subject you are writing about.

Content can come from all sorts of places. Ask clients or prospective clients for comments, tips etc. This can create compelling content and improve its reach and people’s awareness of you.

14. Long form content performs best.

Google loves rich and in-depth content of around 2,000 words and up. This is what we call ‘long form content’. Obviously you need to balance this with an easy to read style that will keep your audience’s interest. But, you really should invest in this kind of content. If you don’t have the time, then hire a freelance writer to do it for you. It’s probably cheaper and easier than you think to do this.

15. Give your content the best chance to perform and for people to engage with you.

To do this, create easy to use ‘how to guides’, or ‘top tips’. Write in the form of a list – just like this TMA’s SEO guide for 2016. People find this approach informative, easy to consume, compelling – and this creates engagement.

16. Shareable content

Make sure your content is easy to share on social media – this makes it easier to be linked to. Good quality in-depth guides, infographics, easy to read and consumable content works well for this. You will be rewarded in rankings.

17. Make sure your quality and compelling content contains relevant keywords.

And don’t rely solely on Google’s keyword planner, instead use resources like keywordini to find more keywords relevant to you.

18. Earn backlinks from trustworthy sites in your industry.

If your content is quality, compelling, interesting, useful and shareable then you will have more chance of earning backlinks for trustworthy sites.

19. Conversion rate optimisation – convince your user to become a customer

Understand or find out what call to action will convert your visitor into a customer – it’s called conversion rate optimisation. This will help you make your content even more useful and interesting to your users.

20. Video marketing will help your ranking

Time poor users prefer video to text. But funnily enough, users then spend more time on pages with film. It also has a 5x higher recall than the written word! But remember to rank your videos with proper keywords.

21. Provide bonus content.

You can help your rankings by providing bonus content to your users or readers. Bonus content could be a video or PDF to explain more about a ‘how to guide’ relevant to your industry. People will spend more time on your site as a result and your rankings will be boosted.

So, to win at SEO, you need to understand the basics, be diligent and invest the time. And, content is absolutely king when it comes to search engine optimisation. If you apply all these points, your SEO process will be strong, your rankings will undoubtedly improve and your digital marketing strategy will be even stronger.

Have a look at part 2 of our SEO guide for more tips and information.

At TMA we’re delivering results driven digital marketing and phenomenal SEO results on a daily basis for our clients. So much so in fact we guarantee our digital marketing services or we give you your money back in full. Even your PPC/Ad spend!

To talk more about our tried and tested approach and what the results could mean for your business, contact us today.

Need more free advice?

Chris and his team will send you a weekly email offering high-value insight and advice about a variety of marketing and business development topics related to the tourism industry. We address specific destinations, tours and activities, and the hotel industry. We also provide important travel industry news and updates.

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