As the owner of a website in the leisure industry, you may be wanting to increase your online visibility, but you’ve found yourself wandering the depths of the internet and wondering where to start. Fortunately, we are here to help guide you on your journey to success by understanding the basics of a successful SEO campaign.
Firstly, create a strategy plan
First of all, it is important to keep in mind that with all SEO campaigns, timing is key. It can take Google’a algorithms some time to acknowledge changes that are made to websites, meaning that it can take a few months for your hard work to begin showing in your performance results. This can be especially tricky when considering seasonal promotions and offers. Therefore we recommend creating a full year plan of what you will be looking to promote and when.
For example, a hotel that is looking to increase customers for Valentine’s Day, may want to begin this campaign as early as November, ready for promotion on social media in late January & early February.
|January & February||Valentine’s Packages & Gym Memberships|
|March, April & May||Spa & Golf breaks & weddings|
|June, July & August||Summer Holiday Breaks, Child Activities|
|September, October, November||Dining & Corporate events|
|December||Christmas & New year Celebrations|
Thoroughly research your keywords
When beginning your campaign, determining your keywords is vital. First of all consider what your customers are looking for. There are many free tools available online such as Google’s Keyword planner that will allow you to identify not only terms that users are searching for, but also keywords that your competitors are ranking for.
Using Valentine’s Day packages as an example, we would begin by typing the keyword ‘Valentine’s day breaks’ into the keyword planner and looking for as many unique terms as possible. Pay close attention to the search volumes also, as these will indicate popularity and competitiveness. If you are looking to target a specific location, be sure to add this by using the filter options in the left hand menu. Here are a selection of terms that we identified as a starting point.
Valentine’s Day breaks
Valentine’s Weekend Breaks
Valentine’s Midweek Breaks
Cheap Valentine’s Breaks
Luxury Valentine’s BReak
To expand on this further, searching for these terms in a search engine will identify your organic competitors. These domains can be entered in the keyword planner in order to find keywords they may rank for.
Think of the objective of your campaign
Once you have your keyword list in place, you want to think about how you are going to measure your success. Where does your website currently rank for these terms? How do your pages perform? How many booking and enquiries are you currently receiving? Google Analytics will be able to help you answer all of these questions, especially thanks to their new Intelligence Feature!
We recommend comparing website growth to the previous year if possible, to identify current growth and create new goals for next year. For example, if you found that bookings around Valentine’s Day increased 5% from 2016 to 2017, you should aim to achieve an additional 5% growth for 2018. You may also want to pay close attention to which pages performed the best, and which are most in need of attention.
The basic SEO campaign strategy for Leisure businesses
1. Create a Landing Page
Begin by identifying a page on the website that is dedicated to the specific holiday, with a structured URL that contains the targeted keyword. For example, the website may have the page /hotel-breaks, however by creating the page /hotel-breaks/easter Google will identify this is a more accurate landing page for users.
A Word of caution, creating too many pages on the website with content of little or no value are considered to be doorway pages. Here is a handy Google guide on doorway pages to help point you in the right direction.
2. Implement optimisation
Ensure the Page Title, Meta Description & H1 include the targeted keyword and are fully optimised – for example the H1 should read “Christmas Hotel Breaks”. This information is not only a primary ranking factor for search engines, but is also viewed by users in organic listings. These must inform the user of the contents of the page, and you should also include any offers or unique selling points and a call to action where appropriate.
3. Create your content
All pages on the website must contain content that is informative, engaging and unique. It must include the targeted keyword and contain links out to other pages on the website where necessary. Image alt text must be labelled correctly and call to actions should be placed above the fold. Ideally, these pages should contain around 250 words of content, however this can vary due to purpose of the page. Just remember, Google’s Panda algorithm will penalise sites that have thin or duplicate content. You can also create blog posts to target keywords and discuss other topics related to the event/holiday in question and your business. For example, “10 Christmas Events in *location name* You Can’t Afford to Miss”.
A second word of caution, be sure to include the keyword only where relevant and if it makes sense to do so. The keyword can be rearranged as required and does not have to match exactly.
For example, avoid:
‘we do weekend breaks, midweek breaks, romantic breaks, luxury breaks’
In favour of;
‘we have luxurious and romantic breaks available for both the weekend and the middle of the week’.
4. Add internal links
Finally, you should include the holiday or event in question on other pages of the website for the purposes of creating internal links back to the targeted page. Gaining external back links from websites in the travel industry will also be extremely beneficial.
A final word of caution, when building links always remember quality over quantity. Links should be both relevant and from high quality websites where ever possible. Too many low quality backlinks can harm SEO performance.
5. Advance, expand and repeat!
Once all of these changes have been implemented and are present on the page, you may want to look into more advanced optimisation changes to be implemented, or you may want to create interesting blog articles such as ‘The Top 10 Most Romantic Locations In The UK’ or ‘The Best Christmas Events’.
You could also expand this further to identify more long tail keywords that have higher conversion rates. For this, all you need to do is choose a new keyword as your starting point and repeat steps 1 – 4!
If you have any questions about creating and SEO campaign for your leisure website, get in touch with our sales team today to discuss what we can do for you.