SEO has come a long way. Following the Hummingbird algorithm update of 2013, Google has been placing less value on keyword matching, focusing instead on context, uniqueness and quality in an attempt to serve up the most relevant results for its users.
1) Forget About Meta Keywords
In 2009, Google pulled the plug on using meta tags as a ranking factor. This decision came after many webmasters were found to be stuffing these tags with as many relevant keywords as possible, in an attempt to climb the rankings.
Since meta keywords became so associated with shady SEO practices, Yahoo and Bing have also decided to disregard them. In fact, Bing has even declared that meta keywords could be read as a spam signal, and has taken action to penalise websites that use the tags, but do not include the same keywords within the body of their site copy.
The simple solution for you? Stop using meta keywords!
2) Don't Forget Your Meta Description
Meta descriptions are the small snippets of text that display in the search results to preview the contents of a website or explain what that website is about. They are not a ranking factor, but as the first touch point with your brand for much of your online audience, they are very much a conversion factor, and an integral but often overlooked component of any search strategy.
You have around 155 characters (or 512 pixels by 100 pixels) to use to persuade search engine users to click on your listing in the results pages.
Take time to create engaging meta descriptions for all your resort’s website’s most important pages, and particularly for any pages that are likely to be shared on social media. Keep in mind that words that match up with users’ search queries will be bolded (using more pixels) which will cause your description to be longer. For this reason, although 155 characters is the maximum length, it’s best to keep within 115-145 characters. It’s also a good idea to include some kind of call to action or value proposition within the description – language such as ‘discover’ or ‘find’ can be considered calls to action in this instance.
3) Use Schema Markup
Next time you conduct a Google search, take a closer look at the results. You’ll probably notice that some of the results contain more information than simply a title, description and URL; they might contain star ratings, addresses, images, prices and anything else that’s relevant to the website. These results contain this extra info because the webmasters in question have deliberately marked up the html of their sites to communicate specific information to crawlers.
Pages with schema markup not only rank higher, research has shown that they benefit from up to 25% higher click-through rate, too. It follows that you should use rich snippets wherever possible to tell search engines more directly who you are and make your listings stand out from the crowd and get clicked on more by your guests.
Once you’ve started using these tactics for your resort’s website you can build upon them. Search engine optimisation is an ongoing process, and requires constant attention and maintenance. However, implementing and embracing the steps above is great place to start your 2015 SEO strategy.
Have anything to add? Let us know in the comments below!
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