Next up in this blog series is how focusing on your SEO and content will help you create the perfect website. We will take you through what SEO and content means and why it is important. We’ll discuss how the two relate to each other. Further, we will delve into how to create great content and ultimately achieve real results with your SEO.
What is SEO and content?
SEO stands for search engine optimisation. In simplest terms, it’s what makes search engines (eg Google, Yahoo etc) identify your website as relevant to appear in the results page when consumers search online. If your SEO is good you’ll appear higher in relevant searches. If your SEO needs improvement it will still appear, but it will be buried under other search results. In order to increase web traffic, your website needs to appear as high as possible in all relevant searches. Focusing your website’s content and SEO on the guest experience and what you provide will lead to better results.
Content refers to pretty much everything on your website. Typically this involves copywriting, blogs and photographs. Each type of content you post on your website plays a vital and varying role in attracting guests. But how does good content help your SEO? It’s your content that engages your web visitors to encourage them to stay on your website. Having dynamic images drives desire to book your property. Intriguing copywriting provides potential guests with the information they need to commit to booking. Regularly posting captivating blogs keeps your content fresh, builds trust and communicates key marketing messages in an engaging way. These are just a few example of how content is important for your website.
How are SEO and content connected?
Where your website appears in search engine results largely depends on your web content. For instance, if you post an image of your property and add key phrases to the alt text (eg holiday rental cottage in Yorkshire) search engines will pick-up on these key phrases and allow your post to appear in relevant searches. This is also true for bodies of text on your website. So, in order to have good SEO you need to have good content. If your content isn’t created with SEO in mind, search engines won’t pick up on it.
How to create great content
Content refers to pretty much everything on your website. However, that doesn’t mean you need to remember lots of different rules for each type of content. Using our guide, you can create great content by asking yourself 3 questions. Content created with this in mind will lead to better SEO and ultimately drive more bookings.
1. What do I want to tell potential guests?
Your website should be a wealth of information for guests. It is important that information is readily available. On the other hand, you don’t want to bombard web visitors. An easy way to get this right is to think about what you need to tell guests. Moreover, where you need to tell guests this. For example, your property may be set on a gorgeous farm in Devon and have a hot tub. All great things that should feature on key parts of your website. However, you might also provide a slow cooker. These are also great, but not as important as other features. Have a think about what people are likely to Google. “Holiday rental with hot tub” is a far more popular search than “holiday rental with slow cooker”. You should still communicate everything your property has, but be conscious of where this features on your website.
The information you need to tell guests should be conveyed in a variety of ways. It’s important to have good and engaging content. However, having beautiful (SEO-friendly) images that emphasise the point will boost your overall SEO.
Top tip: draw a spider diagram and think about what features you have in your property. Try and jot down everything that’s a benefit (that includes the slow cooker.) Once you’re happy that you’ve included everything rank the features in terms of key selling points. The top selling points should be key messaging that exists throughout all of your content. That includes photos, blogs, copywriting and property descriptions etc.
2. What do my potential guests want to know?
A common mistake when creating content for your website is forgetting who you are selling to. It’s tempting to create content that you want to put out, without keeping the purchaser in mind. There is a balance to be struck. Like before, think about what guests need to hear. Further think about what will help them decide to book your property. Lastly, think about what will engage them – what do they want to see?
The key considerations are the facilities you provide that prompted previous guests to book. For instance, you may personally love the Rayburn in the kitchen. However, if this is not a key selling point for guests and they’d rather hear about the hot tub – then that is where your focus should lie. Ultimately this comes down to what your guests typically search for online. Guests will no doubt love the Rayburn too, however it’s less likely a key factor in booking. Instead, it’ll be a bonus feature.
Also, think about what questions people ask you (on the phone or by email) before they commit to book. Then try to make sure that all of the questions are answered on your website. WiFi will probably be a crucial requirement for business travellers or families on holiday with teenage children. Whilst someone bringing a dog will be more interested in good local eateries that are dog-friendly. It’s also likely that these are the phrases they will use when searching online.
Top tip: utilise your past guest reviews to understand what people love about your property. Moreover, if you have contact with guests when they are checking out, this could be a key opportunity to ask them what they enjoyed.
3. Have I thought about SEO?
Once you’ve settled on some stand-out content using the tips above, it’s time to think about SEO.
For photography we suggest choosing really compelling images that intrigue viewers. Further, you should always add alt text to your web images. This helps search engines pick it up as a search result. Many mainstream search engines allow users to filter searches by image (for example, Google Images). The more key phrases you use, the more likely you are to appear in relevant search results.
For written content, use key phrases too. It’s easier with written content where you can include lots of variation of key phrases, and indeed a few alternative key features. Try to think about what people are likely to type into their search engine. These are the sentences you should organically include in your written content.
Use a website builder that allows integrations with SEO improvement tools
There are loads of website builders you can choose. Some are DIY tools and others are used by web developers. Regardless of which route you choose for website creation, it’s important to consider which ‘add-ons’ you can get. For instance, ACT Studios use WordPress to build our clients’ websites – it’s very user-friendly and makes it easy for clients to update their own content and add blogs etc without incurring any additional costs. Further, it features an add-on a tool called Yoast which evaluates your website’s written content and gives you tips to improve it.
Consult a professional
Professionals can help you achieve great content and SEO at any point in the process. When you’re searching for some professional help, these are the key things to consider:
- Make sure they are experts in web design and SEO. If you are choosing to invest in a professional, you need to be sure they can do more than what you could do yourself. Also, find out how they can help you maintain your SEO after your website is launched.
- What industry experience do they have? It’s important for your web developer to really understand your industry. Web design is so much more than a pretty landing page. Your developer should understand what drives your guests in particular, as each industry dramatically varies. Ask to see examples of work from your industry.
- Consult a web design company that has marketing specialists. Earlier we touched on the importance of vibrant content. If you are looking for a professional to write your content, ensure that they are marketing specialists. Find a copywriting expert that can write engaging content in your brand’s tone. This is a skill that can take years to perfect, be sure your web developer can offer this.
What ACT Studios can do to improve your SEO and content
ACT Studios specialise in websites, photography, 3D virtual tours and marketing, for businesses that have property at the heart of their offering. Our team of of ultra-talented photographers, savvy self-caterers and expert marketers has a whopping 139 years combined experience in this industry. We work perfectly in unison and virtually nothing we do is a solo effort. Our combined experience helps us get the best results for our clients.
We are experts in web design, have key industry experience and have a wealth of marketing expertise in our team. That makes us the obvious choice when choosing a web developer or choosing someone to help boost your content and SEO results. Although, don’t take our word for it, see what our clients have to say about our work.