Category Archives: SEO

Marketing Online for Tourist Sites

Pretty much every company has a website these days from the retailing giants and ebay through to the smallest of home based companies, all chasing after those customers who search the web for their latest purchase as opposed to trekking down to the local shops instead.

The tourist industry is a prime example of this with the vast majority of customers searching and buying holidays, day trips and weekend breaks on the internet, and even more researching them this way on the various review and information sites. So it’s essential for every company in the sector to have a strong web presence, ideally in both the search engines and on social media sites like Facebook, Linkedin and Myspace (I’m not going to go into Twitter here as I personally have yet to see or be convinced of any real benefit from it so far, although I am very much open to suggestions on how to better use it), that being said it’s a good idea to check with one of the known experts like Eco SEO or perhaps someone from one of the big SEO forums like SEO Chat or UK Business Forums before you take my word for it. .

Many of the tourist related websites are absolutely huge, integrating feeds from other sources such as flight information and aggregating data from other places to be displayed relative to what you are searching for on that site.  Many of them also send out monthly, weekly or even daily emails with information on last minute deals and special offers, so subscribing to them can prove to be beneficial if you are looking for a cheap holiday or a bit of a bargain.

There are also many more websites providing information about services you may need when on holiday, these include hotels, guest houses and B&B’s, whilst these are often small sites, they often have information and links to other local companies and attractions, this is a great way for those smaller companies to gain some exposure, as this interlinking between sites not only passes the site visitors around a network of useful and locally owned sites, but also this tells Google that your sites are related, they can also see this by the theme of the pages and even the addresses and telephone numbers on there confirms that there is a direct correlation between pages.

However, getting targeted visitors to your website may not be this easy, when I say targeted, I mean the type of visitors who actually want what you are offering, for example if your website appears for the term “cheap guest house in Wiltshire” but you are aiming for the luxury end of the market, you will not get the right type of visitors. this is where a good seo company can prove to be worth their weight in website visitors! They will make sure that you are focussing your pages on the right words for the market you wish to attract, so finding one who specialise in tourism seo will be even better as their experience will be invaluable having already worked with other travel and tourism related businesses.

Finding a Local SEO Company

I recently had a bit of an adventure when trying to find a local SEO. All I wanted was ideally a company based around Swindon in Wiltshire, with a good track record and someone helpful at the end of the phone, it actually proved to be quite a difficult task. I would just like to add that it wasn’t for this website as you have probably realised due to it’s current search engine ranks, so how did I find a good seo company who I am happy to work with?

First things first, I went on to good old Google and did a search for “seo companies in wiltshire”, it suggested a couple of companies who looked good but also several directories and review type websites, but then it dawned on me I was searching for the word “companies”, none of the businesses I was looking for would probably use that keyword as they are a company, singular not plural, although perhaps they should! So I changed my search accordingly and used the singular of the search term, right enough, some of the same ones came up again (a good sign I was thinking) along with a few new ones.

Next I started to contact some of them, it soon became apparent that many were not actually that local to me, in fact whilst most were genuine local seo companies there were a few which were not from the UK at all, they had applied optimisation techniques to certain pages to make them appear in the listings for other areas, quite clever but I wanted someone truly local, so started to check their contact pages.

I also started checking what type of services were on offer, was it just basic seo, or did they mention keyword research and the importance of on and off page factors, such as links, title tags and alt tags? I also had a quick look at their blogs to make sure they were kept up to date.  I wasn’t looking for someone who updated it every day, but at least once a month was a good sign. On some the grammar was awful, which made me click back and look at another, on some the posting was so basic that it seemed too simple for a professional company, I was looking for one which had elements of the process discussed which I hadn’t considered or at least couldn’t do myself  (apologies if this is starting to sound like the Goldilocks story), so in the end I narrowed it down to a couple.

Both of them were appearing in what I now understand to be Google local listings aka Google places, but also organically on the natural results.  Note I did not even pay any attention to the paid listings at the top and side of the page, these are pay per click, so anyone can appear there, regardless if they are in the UK, let alone in Wiltshire.

Eventually I settled on a company and they have already come up with some sound advice and seem to be creeping my site up the search engine ranks, not as fast as I would like, but then again I’m rather impatient (what do you mean, I’m not number 1 after a month! lol) but joking aside, they do seem to be doing a great job already, I will post again here about it and let you know who they are as time progresses.

Optimising for Local Search

There are a number of ways you can optimise a website for local search, particularly now the Google Local Listings have become so prominent on the first page of results.

The traditional way of approaching SEO on a local level, is to follow standard procedures, but making sure anyone who links to your website uses the town name. You can also add your company to regional directories, so If you are based in Wiltshire, you find any directories focused on the Wiltshire area or specifically to any towns in the county, such as Swindon, Calne, Devizes and Marlborough and make sure you are listed in those. There are also certain aspects on the pages which can help, such as using a place name in the title tag, and having your company address on the pages.

The other option these days is to have a Google local listing, these are very easy to add, although you may need to optimise it a little. In essence following the rules and guidelines set out is the best approach, as breaking any of these could mean that your listing does not appear as high as it could do otherwise. These listings can be a very good way to jump straight in on the first page of Googles search results, without having to spend a lot of money with SEO Companies or a PPC expert.