Published on : Friday, February 3, 2017
WHEN Google switched its algorithm to semantic search in 2013 it began to clear away dodgy SEO practices and leveled the playing field for small operators and destinations. It made it easier for small businesses to create an honest strategy to rank well online in Google and the search engines.
A few years on, the main outcome is that page one of a Google search will be different for every user, every location and every desktop or mobile device.
Today, tourism businesses and destinations therefore have the opportunity to rank well for their ideal customer in Google’s organic search results – as long as they commit to building online trust, reputation and authority over time.
Relevance and trust are the new currencies in town. They have given travel businesses and destinations opportunities that we are unlikely to see again. It’s like being at the beginning of time once more, a time when tourism businesses can not only survive online, but thrive.
However, there’s no quick fix. If you want to be on the first page of your ideal customer’s Google search – as MyTravelResearch.com has done for the terms “travel research” in certain regions – you have to be consistent in your online marketing. This means consistency in branding and content marketing. Post relevant, good quality content and post often.
To get results you have to be clear about who your customers are and have a well-defined brand that guides your visual choice and gives you a consistent tone of voice and messaging.
The Five Steps
Clear branding and customer targeting are the baselines. In addition, there are five steps you have to also take:
1) Make sure you’re on Google My Business (it’s free).
2) Ensure your site is mobile friendly (you can check here for free – and Google gives you tips how to make your site mobile compatible).
3) Realise that content is king. Create content that is useful, relevant and meaningful. Ensure quality over quantity
4) Make sure your web site and your social media platforms are soundly branded in terms of content, language and image choice.
5) Ramp up the number of images and videos you have on your site