Connecting the Digital World to the Outdoor Industry

When You Plan a Trip You Create a Checklist. Where's Your SEO Checklist?

When I am getting ready to undertake my next raft trip, camping adventure, bike excursion or any type of trip, I still make a checklist. I create a checklist of the key items I need to make sure I pack, get done prior to leaving or need to acquire to assist in having a successful trip. Over the years, with changes in equipment and technology and whether I am traveling alone or with my daughter, my trip checklist have changed. 

Whether you are an executive, a manager or line staff in an outdoor recreational company, you need a list of what needs to be done for your company's SEO strategy. You want your customers to be able to find your products through Google searches. You don't want to add the uncertainty to whether or not one your most important foundations for digital success is being executed on day-in and day-out. Your checklist can help stabilize and ground you while providing a road map from which to check down on your SEO optimization goals. With today's constant changes in technologies regarding SEO tools and strategies, your SEO checklist needs to keep changing.

Although SEO cannot stand alone as your only means of marketing, it is the foundation of any digital marketing campaign and a key element in your system. The keyword strategy that will be created helps marketers find everything from the blog content to the social posts that help promote them. The pages that we determine will drive the most traffic will give marketers ideas on what topics and pages they should be focusing their efforts on.

Any way you look at, there is no doubt that you need to have a checklist of the components of your search engine optimization strategies from which you can check for execution and results on a weekly basis no matter where you might be traveling. implemented. Let's start with a question: Are you regularly checking out how your website is performing?

Read the Guide to Search Optimization  for Outdoor Industry Companies 

Tools to Check Out How Your Website is Currently Performing

Google is constantly updating its algorithm.  As a great content creator, you want the algorithm to be spot on in delivering the most relevant search results. These changes can leave the most seasoned marketer feeling equal parts confused and concerned. 

That said, there are a number of tools out there -- some free, some paid -- that help you to look at your own site the way that Google sees it. Here's a list of tools you can use on a regular basis to keep track of how your SEO is doing in general. 

Pillar Page Strategy

Because of the way Google’s algorithm works these days, if you optimize content for a specific topic, you will begin to rank for particular keywords within that topic. In order to implement this new strategy, it is really important that we first pick out the most important pages that are going to drive the most traffic. We choose these pages, or pillar content, based off of certain data that can be pulled from Google Analytics, as well as what pages we want to drive a good amount of traffic.

Once you have your pillar pages and have chosen some topics that represent each page, you can begin researching keywords that will be used to optimize those pages. This will also give marketers some terminology they should be using during promotions. If you would like to learn more about topic clusters, take a look at this short video

Long-tail Keyword Strategy

We have gone from just using keywords to conversational keywords to long-tail keywords. So, as searchers move back to using more conversational keywords, using longer tail keywords will become more productive. The difficult part of this approach is finding the right phrases to use. To get traffic from long-tail keywords, you will need to experiment with a large number of variations of different keyword combinations.

In order to support the above strategy, it is important to come up with strong long-tail keywords that will be used as blog titles. They must be within the topics and bound to drive traffic. In order to see if the keywords will drive traffic, make sure you are using the correct tools to determine monthly average searches.  

Because long-tail keywords are much easier to rank for, you sometimes have a better chance of getting traffic to your blog posts faster than your pillar pages. By linking to those pillar pages within the blog posts, it gives people a chance to click through to that page, as well as gives that page more authority to rise in rank.

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Mobile Responsiveness

Is your website mobile-friendly? Every year, people spend more and more time using their phone or tablet to find information, but many websites are not designed for different screen sizes and load times. Google’s algorithm now takes mobile responsiveness into account because the user experience is paramount to them. It is important to make sure that the entire content of a website fits into a tablet or smartphone of any size. However, it needs to be legible, easy to navigate, have a fast load speed, and much more.

There is also a new type of HTML code that can be used to optimize your mobile responsiveness even further, called Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). AMP allows your website content to load faster and before any of the image, video, or other interactive elements on the site, which is proven to decrease bounce rate. Additionally, depending on the popularity of your article, your organic search listing could be interactive with a featured image, which increases click-through rate.

Schema

Schema is a code that goes on your site that can help search engines return more informative results for the users. It can make your search results look more interactive and give users information without them having to click through to the site. Below is an example of a business that is using Schema:

Schema Markup for SEO

Red Rocks is using Schema to display their schedule for users to easily see upcoming shows. For users, this is exceptionally useful and Google notices this and holds higher priority over some competitors. There is data markup for the following:

  • Articles
  • Local Businesses
  • Restaurants
  • TV Episode and Ratings
  • Book Reviews
  • Movies
  • Software Applications
  • Events
  • Products

As you can see, SEO has changed a lot over time. Now, it is imperative to have a solid pillar strategy as the foundation to work off of. By having a more focused strategy, you are bound to drive better results, rather than spinning your wheels not knowing exactly which pages to focus on and when. Pick the most important pages and stick with them. Make sure your "SEO checklist" includes 

  1. PIllar page strategy,
  2. Long tailed keyword strategy,
  3. Mobile optimization strategy; and
  4. Schema strategy.

In addition to a solid strategy, make sure you are implementing that strategy through blogging and adding elements to your website that will help your website rank higher.

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Topics: Search