Generally speaking, inbound marketing is a methodology designed around the idea of optimizing your content so that search engines reward your site by putting you in the top of search results.
Though SEO is one of the best ways to increase the reach of your destination’s website so that you attract more guests, in practice it is something that usually takes a bit of time to get started. Isn’t there anything that you can do now to optimize your site and get some fast returns?
Free Guide: Inbound Marketing for Tourism
Everything You Need to Know to Increase Traffic, Capture Leads, and Gain More Customers and Bookings Through Your Tourism Destination’s Website
You bet! Following through on the SEO quick-wins below will help your destination’s website begin performing better in search right away—and that’s something everyone can get behind.
1. Add your business to the top online directories.
Online directories like the Yellow Pages, Yelp, and your local chamber of commerce are a great place for you to start improving your destination’s SEO.
By listing your company on those pages, you accomplish two things: First, you increase the number of links back to your website. This helps Google’s “crawlers” find your content, increasing the likelihood that it will be indexed in search engines. And the second is that it gives your business a number of citations (which are mentions of your business, but without a link), which similarly helps with your off-page SEO.
If your business is location-specific (like most destinations tend to be!) you should also create a Google My Business listing. This is a free service offered by Google that helps business owners manage their online presence through Google Search. Once your listing is set up, whenever someone searches for your business on Google, a box will appear next to the search results listing your physical address, photos, details, reviews, a map, and more.
In addition to helping your destination seem more like an “official” business, it will allow searchers to very quickly find the information important to them, hopefully increasing your chances of booking them as a guest.
2. Write an FAQ for your website.
If you find that you are constantly being asked the same questions by your guests or visitors, you should consider creating an FAQ for your website.
Why? For a couple of reasons. First, creating an FAQ will help you appear in the search results for any potential guest who is asking questions about your business (and really, wouldn’t you rather them be getting information about your destination from you instead of Yelp of some other website?).
Second, doing this will potentially save you a lot of time. If guests can easily find answers to their questions on your website, they won’t be calling or emailing you, which means you won’t be spending time answering their calls or emails. You can better spend your time taking care of your guests and ensuring that they’re having a great experience so that they recommend you to others and come back.
And third, the more time that a potential guest spends on your website, the more likely they are to ultimately book a room or become a guest. By linking to relevant pages and maybe even making use of well-placed images and CTAs, you can guide the searcher along on their journey to becoming a guest of your destination.
What kind of FAQs might you want to address? Really, anything that you are commonly asked. These could include:
- Are pets allowed on the premises?
- What is the parking situation?
- Are meals included with our stay, or are there restaurants within walking distance?
3. Start a blog.
Blogging is an essential component of any inbound marketing strategy, and for good reason: It helps your destination’s website rank for valuable keywords that your potential guests are searching for; it helps establish an online presence for your destination; and it helps your guests prepare for their stay (or vacation, trip, etc.), which enhances their end experience and keeps them happy.
What kinds of blog posts make sense for your destination’s website? This will depend a lot on your particular destination, the industry you are in, and what your guests are generally looking for. Some themes that tend to work include:
- Sharing ideas for activities in the area
- Top restaurants close by
- Day Trip ideas
- Sharing experiences from former guests
- Making heavy use of photos so the searcher can see the premises.
If you want some specific ideas on blog topics you could write, check out our post on 50 blog title ideas for the tourism industry (just make sure you adjust them to your needs!).
4. See what your website already looks like in search results, and make adjustments based on what you see.
The best way to know where you should improve your destination’s SEO is to conduct a quick SEO audit on your own.
That sounds scary, but there are two ways that you can do this. The first is to try out the HubSpot Website Grader, which evaluates your site based on a number of factors including speed, performance, and SEO.
The other is to actually see what your website looks like in search engines. To do this, simply go to Google, and in the search bar type in site:[WEBSITE.com].
This will pull up every single page from your website that has been indexed on Google, and shows you how that information would appear to a searcher. This will give you a number of insights that can improve your SEO.
First, if you notice that a lot of your content isn’t indexed, it could mean that Google is having a hard time finding it (and if Google can’t find it, then potential guests can’t find it). You can improve the odds of your content being found by making sure that it links to other relevant pages, and that other pages link back to it.
And second, this will allow you to see the title tags, URL, and meta description for each page. The title tags are exactly what they sound like: The title that displays in your search result. And the meta description is the little blurb that appears below it.
Title tags, your URL, and meta descriptions should accurately describe the content on the page, and should include the keywords that you want your content to rank for. If you find that your content doesn’t have title tags or meta descriptions, or that these are poorly optimized, simply adjusting them can have a huge positive impact on your SEO performance.
Keeping the Goal in Sight
Making sure that your destination’s website is optimized for search engines is an important way for you to increase your bottom line by attracting more visitors and guests. By making it easier for search engines to find and display your content, you are increasing the likelihood that potential guests will stumble across it, and that’s never a bad thing!