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SEO for Ski Resorts – Part 1: Debunking the Myths

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A little over a week ago I posted a link to a short SEO survey for ski resorts. There have been a handful of submissions and a few clear trends have shown up throughout. In fact, three common myths about SEO have become clear which is what I’ll hopefully be able to address and debunk.

Now, before I get started, these posts will not apply to every size of resort. Some resorts are doing an awesome job with SEO and would teach me more than a thing or two about breaking into competitive rankings. However, nearly all of the resorts that completed the survey mentioned three issues that stood in the way of their resort using SEO.

  • Cost: we can’t afford to hire someone to tackle SEO either on our team or a consultant/freelance SEO
  • Time: trying to do it on our own would take way too much time, we’d have to hire someone (back to cost)
  • Education: its a quickly changing skill that is hard to keep up with and stay on top of

To date, as an SEO expert at serpninja, I’ve helped a handful of different websites get top 5 Google rankings for more than 50 individual keyword strings. I am yet to spend a single cent on my efforts or spend more than 3-4 hours a week on any one project. I don’t say that to boast, simply to show you it is possible. For most folks, SEO will have a simple formula and will yield predictable results.

What I hope to do over the next little bit is create a simple blueprint for a resort to follow that takes less than 2 hours a week to deploy but will get you a top 5 Google ranking within 2-3 months. Once a week I’ll give you something to do that you can work on right then and be done within an hour or so.

Step 1: Pick Your Battles
One of the first keys to SEO is to choose the right keywords based on the time you have to spend. If you are planning 1-2 hours a week like us, trying to rank for “ski resort” is going to be tricky. Why? Lots of competition. Including Wikipedia. A more appropriate search term might be “vermont ski vacations”.

Use this tool to estimate the monthly search volume of various keyword strings:

As you evaluate these searches, remember this, of the top 10 search rankings:

  • The #1 result is clicked 23.0% of the time
  • The #2 result is clicked 6.5% of the time
  • The #3 result is clicked 4.6% of the time
  • The #4 result is clicked 3.3% of the time
  • The #5 result is clicked 2.7% of the time
  • The #6-#10 results is each clicked 1.5%-2.2% of the time

When you crunch the numbers you may think: “Ok, there are 2,400 estimated monthly searches, if I get a #3 result, I’m only getting about 110 extra visitors a month.  Remember though, that’s 110 FREE visitors a month that are looking for something you resort is ready to give them.   Not too bad for a couple hours of work a week. And who says you can only rank one page?

Optimize 5 pages and you can do the math, it adds up quickly which is why SEO remains a key, web marketing strategy for so many businesses.

Up next, on-site changes. We’ll talk about what to do and NOT to do with the layout, code, and text on your site in order to make it Google’s next BFF.

Thoughts? Ideas? Feedback? Comments are old-school, click here to grab a slot on Gregg's calendar and let's chat.

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