I almost waited and posted this one on Monday, but I could picture in my mind’s eye thousands of resort marketers on the edge of their seats this morning waiting with bated breath for the next installment of the SEO trilogy. So, not wanting to disappoint, I am posting this today. Please, hold the applause.
Behind the sarcasm, SEO really isn’t that exciting. That is, until it works. Now, in the last SEO for ski resorts post I talked about choosing the right keywords to chase. Now it is time to make your site look snazzy to Google’s all-powerful algorithm.
As far as on-site changes go, the first thing to do is pick the page you want to rank well. This likely will be your main page, but in a large number of instances, it’s not. Before you go any further though, do a Google search for the keyword string you want to rank for, and see if any of your pages show up down the list somewhere, maybe #30ish. If it’s higher than that, or if it doesn’t show up at all, you can start with a new page. If it does show up, use that one. It’s usually easier to get a page to rank higher than it is to get a page to rank high coming out of nowhere.
For on page changes, what you want to do is first is let Google know that this page really is indeed about the thing you want it to rank for. Try the follow:
- Title tag (shows up in the top bar of your browser) use your keyword string first and then your resort name and description. So, if I’m Winter Park and I want to rank for “colorado ski vacations” try a title like “Colorado Ski Vactions – Winter Park Resort, CO”
- Stick that keyword string in a prominent header (h1 or h2 in HTML speak) text string. This will be the biggest, boldest text on the page right toward the top.
- Use it occasionally but not always word for word throughout the body text. Don’t force it though, this part doesn’t hold much power over your eventual rankings.
- If you are creating a new page, create a page using those words as the name. For example “winterparkresort.com/colorado-ski-vacations”.
That will about do it for that page, but remember, this is one page of many that is on your resort website. What next? Internal linking.
Google loves links that point to your site. In Google’s eye, a link is like your webpage saying, “this link is so important that I would like my visitors going there rather than be here”. We’ll talk more about off-site links next, but make the most of your websites host of pages by adding a link to the universal header or footer of your site. Not anywhere where it doesn’t fit and gets in the way, but when you do make sure the anchor text of the link is that same keyword string. So the link would read “colorado ski vacations” for our example and point to “http://winterpark.com/colorado-ski-vacations”. Make sense?
As you continue to link to this page from your own site, on pages like new blog posts about vacation deals, press releases, vacation related pages, etc., start to use slightly different wording from time to time. Google loves links but really love link variety so it doesn’t look like a forced SEO effort. Make sense?
So, to recap. Make sure Google knows that the page you want to rank for “colorado ski vacations” really is about “colorado ski vacations” using the TITLE, H1/h2 tags, and body text and then let Google know this page is important when it comes to your overall site by adding “colorado ski vacation” links to the footer of your site so it shows up on each page.
Those are just some basic changes but they’ll yield some nifty results. And, in case I hadn’t typed this enough yet, let me type “colorado ski vacations” one more time just for good measure ,) Up next, links: how, where, why…
Published November 19th, 2010 by Gregg Blanchard.