When I started mountain biking one of the biggest challenges I had was choosing which of the various trail mapping apps I wanted to use to supplement my old school printed trail map and topographic maps. It was pretty attractive to think about pulling out my phone in those areas where I could get a signal to get all this great, instantaneous information. However, too often, the app makers didn't specify what area their app covers or they didn't list trails that I knew about.
Don't be like these map-app makers! If you want to be found by your potential customers so you can attract and convert them into customers, you need to make it easy to be found online. In our age of the consumer, when 96% of Americans shop online you better make sure you have SEO for outdoor brands that really works to be in the game. To be found, you need a top line SEO strategy for outdoor companies that you or your agency is executing day-in and day-out!
What is SEO Exactly, and Why Do You Need It?
Image courtsey of Followmyride
Outdoor company SEO strategy is the process of helping your website rise in rank on Google and other search engines for a targeted set of keywords valuable to your business. When executed properly, your site appears towards the top of search engine results, extending the exposure of your business to your ideal audience.
It's essential to understand that SEO was never intended to be a stand-alone solution to your digital marketing needs. If you’re going to lead the investment into SEO strategy and execution you have to understand its role and be prepared to invest for the long term. There are simply no shortcuts to search engine success.
If You Want to Compete for Searches, You Have to Play Where the Searches Happen
Google rules the world because they have the largest audience of people looking for help. If you want to acquire new customers in the digital universe you have to get to the top of their mountain.
There are 5.9 million searches on Google every day -Rick Bates via Main Broadcast Coalition
Search engines are the primary way people find what they’re looking for so if you want to compete for their attention you have to play the game. Organic search results are listings on search engine results pages that appear because of their relevance to the searchterms, as opposed to their being advertisements. In contrast, non-organic search results may include pay per click advertising. Organic search traffic should represent a healthy portion of your monthly traffic growth if you’re going to maximize your return on investment.
Best practices for SEO in the Outdoor Industry will help you maximize the impact of your other digital marketing efforts, improving their likelihood of being found. If you want to increase your reach across the entire digital landscape search engine optimization cannot be ignored.
Why Optimizing for Search is a Continual Process
Moz, one of the experts in the SEO world, reports that Google makes over 500 tweaks to its algorithm every year--that's more than one per day. Keeping up with the changes and modifying your SEO strategy is critically important and an endless challenge to everyone attempting to compete for online traffic.
Search engines want to see how credible your website is, and when your website has a high authority and relevance your search engine ranking should increase. You can increase your website's authority through continual optimization. This refers to the process of optimizing your website pages for search engines so you can get more traffic. When you optimize your website you are making sure Google can understand what keywords you’re targeting, which services and products you sell, and where you sell them.
Simply optimizing your website for certain keywords doesn’t magically shoot you to the top of your desired search results. Yes, the search engine can find your content when they want to, but you still have to demonstrate that your content is worthwhile, and you do that through demonstrating authority on a topic. Google is trying to make sure that you have the best content for their users.
To improve your website’s authority, your company should put out valuable and informative content that readers will be compelled to share and in doing so will link back to your site. Having your website appear on other websites will prove to the search engine that your site is better than all others on the same topic.
“High-quality SEO is like artistic graffiti while poor quality SEO is more like vandalism. Sure there may be some similarities between the actions taken, but the intent and the execution are very different.” – Adrian Doggrell
SEO does not work like a light switch. You cannot simply turn on an SEO campaign and expect to see all the desired results right away. It is a process that takes time and effort to see the full effect. SEO is a marathon and not a sprint - you have to pace yourself for the long run and commit to slow and steady progress.
Content is Key to Search Engine Success
If you want to reach the top of search engine result pages (SERP) you need to inject your search strategy into your content strategy. In 2014, over half of marketers said that content creation was the most effective strategy for SEO. In 2015, the same survey reported that 72% of marketers worldwide said that relevant content creation was the most effective SEO tactic.
To be successful you should aggressively develop new content for your website and blog that educates your prospects and clients while clearly indicating to search engines what’s contained within.
Why You Need to Stay the Course
SEO isn’t a unicorn in a fairytale, it is an immensely valuable tool that when used correctly, can act as a huge catalyst for improving your search engine rankings, drawing increased site traffic, and driving lead generation. Remember that quality is more important than quantity, and good things come to those who stay the course.
Once you understand how all the facets of SEO optimization can work together, the concept behind it starts to make sense and it becomes much easier to put the pieces together. Every part of your SEO campaign will work together, from the on-page optimization of content, tags, and photos, to off-page social media and email inbound links. Focus your efforts around your most specific and relevant keywords and you’ll start to see results.
The need for quality SEO strategy has never been higher, so take it seriously, and it will provide serious results. If you need help, this is the stuff we do.