Despite reports that search engine optimisation (SEO) is becoming less important, it still plays a vital role in marketing today. Sectors such as tourism, where local searches can bring huge rewards, certainly need to focus on how and where they appear in the rankings.

Social media is important for marketing purposes but it can often lead businesses to put all their eggs in one marketing basket. A combination of strong SEO and social media engagement makes a much better toolset that should get you noticed, even when there’s plenty of competition.

Here a few facts you might like to consider:

  • First of all, the majority of people who are planning a trip away will go to a search engine like Google to get the information they need.
  • Secondly, if you haven’t optimised your website and its content, you’re basically building a place in the middle of a desert and hoping that people are going to find you.

Here’s why.

SEO covers a range of different techniques that make it more likely that your website will appear at the top of certain searches. Page 1 ranking is vital. That’s because when people put in a search term, they usually view the first page and then search for something else rather than scroll through other pages. To complicate matters, the first few items on the search list are usually paid ads, which get the attention before you notice the organic search results.

Important for tourist locations, from museums and fun fairs to bars and restaurants, when the search is place orientated, Google+ local listings will appear before the organic search. If you have spent time working on your SEO, one of your key aims will be to appear in that local listing if you can.

The important thing to remember is that the click through rate for listings on the first page of a search are much higher than anywhere else. For those who want users to visit their site regularly, this is the big selling point for good, strong SEO.

How Search Engines Work

Essentially, a bot called a web crawler will look at your website and build a profile of it based on a wide range of parameters including keyword content, who you link to and who links to you, where you are located, the structure of your site and so on. It will then build an index of your site which is used to calculate the relevance to any particular search.

There are certain SEO measures that can make a big difference to your ranking:

  • The first is great content that exactly meets the needs of those searching online. That’s why marketers will often suggest developing a blog to provide more value to potential visitors.
  • The architecture of your site is also important. Is it easy to navigate, for example, and does it download quickly (something that can be affected if you have images which are too large on site)?
  • Social authority is also an increasingly big part of SEO. How often are your posts shared? How recent is your content? The simple act of including social media sharing tools on your site can make you much more visible.
  • Is your site fit for mobile? More and more of us nowadays search the web on a smartphone or tablet. Most websites should now be optimised for mobile devices as a minimum.

All these factors can affect where you end up on search engine rankings. It’s something that all businesses in the tourist industry need to be focused on and can have a huge impact when you get it right. If you’re not turning up on the first page and local searches for Google, it might just be time to review your SEO and improve your visibility.