The key to a well-ranking website isn’t making nifty technical adjustments as perhaps once thought, but creating “the best possible experience for your audience with original and high quality content”. This is according to the leader of online search: Google.
Here’s how you can create content for your company that naturally boosts SEO (search engine optimization), without stuffing in keywords or hiring an SEO expert.
1. Be more valuable and useful than other sites
In 2011, the Google Panda algorithm was introduced: a change that aimed to lower the rank of "low-quality sites" or "thin sites", and return higher-quality sites near the top of the search results.
To set your business apart, your website has to be not only useful and informative, but more valuable than similar sites. Above all, prioritize content that’s created primarily to give good user experience, not just to rank well in search engines.
Distinguish your company by writing blog posts that are more valuable to your reader than similar articles on the web. Consider providing a fresh perspective on content that’s been covered numerous times before, and don’t be afraid to write longer content: this tends to rank better than short-form content.
2. Find your niche (and own it)
If you search for “outdoor activity companies” on Google, you’re faced with a daunting 47,200,000 results. Alternatively, “canyoning companies” has 213,000, while “canyoning in Interlaken” has just 85,700.
If your target audience is very specific, your content is likely to be highly relevant to those searching for your offering. This probably isn’t an audience of millions, but this can be an advantage for you. You can clearly define your niche in a way that the big players can’t, become the expert in your area, and write well for a specialised audience.
Remember that online searches are more likely to include keywords related to your city, area, or state than your brand name. Work in language that relates to where your company is based, especially on important pages such as your homepage or about us page.
3. Display information that people are searching for
Google’s RankBrain algorithm, introduced in 2015, uses advanced machine learning to best answer search queries. This makes it more important than ever to answer users’ questions with your content. Clearly display your location, contact information, hours of operation, and pricing on your website. Ideally, provide customers with the option to book online to increase chances of a quick conversion.
You can also aim to answer frequently asked questions on your website. Write a blog post for these and you will not only have something to direct customers to, you will also attract new visitors to your website. Local businesses you mention might even link to your article in their own marketing.
4. Make people want to stay on your site, fix what’s making them leave
When people spend time on your website and make repeated visits, Google gets the hint that your site has useful and quality content that’s worth pushing up in searches. Improve your chances of this by creating high-quality unique content and having good web design.
You should also avoid–or repair–anything that’s making visitors not trust your website or leave. Double check for broken links or incorrect information, resolve grammar and spelling mistakes, and delete any spam in your blog comments.
5. Engage in the right way
Ultimately, you want to nurture memorable experiences on your website that result in bookings and recommendations. Engage people in the right way with images of your activities, your surroundings, or your team. Other ways to be engaging include regular business updates, a comment box on your blog posts, and social media widgets.
Avoid engaging people negatively with spelling mistakes, bad web design, or excessive ads on your website.
To summarise, focus on creating the most useful, relevant and engaging content within your niche. By combining a technically-sound website with quality content that goes beyond expectations, you’ll reap SEO benefits and drive organic traffic to your website.
If you want to get even more results from SEO, here's a free handbook to get you started:
Written by Lucy Fuggle
Lucy is Head of Content Marketing at TrekkSoft. She tries to read a book a week, travel solo every month, and share ideas on lucyfuggle.com. You can usually find her in Switzerland's Berner Oberland.