Organic SEO is 5.66 times better than paid advertising
If you have budget for paid search, do your research. Be specific in your keywords (use the keyword tool to help), and look at what your competitors do first. It can be a very effective traffic driver, but can also be a very expensive way to attract people to your site.
Video drives 50 times more traffic than plain text
Using video is a great way to engage your audience and to boost your blog
Organic traffic isn't always direct - referrals are great too
Try to register with relevant search directories - some take a while and some you can pay for (such as Yahoo), but they will immediately improve your ranking.
Get on top of your content by creating it yourself. Start a blog and try to add relevant topics.
Writing a blog is great for your website as it means fresh and original content is added regularly. A site needs to be constantly evolving and updating for Google to think it is still relevant and not stale.
Everyone wants to be #1 on Google natural search, but getting there - and staying there - should be the long game plan. Here's how to build your foundations.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is maximising your website to achieve higher recognition and listing on search engines result pages (SERPS) through unpaid natural search. SEO is ongoing and you will need to update your strategy as algorithms change. Think of your website as an ongoing project, not a finished one. Ever!
Hostel Doctor Tips for the Do’s and Don’ts for SEO marketing:
1. Do write great content
Despite many changes to Google with the latest algorithm (every time!), overall content is still the most important factor for search. Big changes were made to keyword searches which anyone using Google Analytics will be aware of, but the purpose is to value the content of the whole site for relevance, and provide better search results for users. Focus on useful content for your users – tourist information, places to see, places to go, and information on your hostel. Keep your website content high quality and well written and you should earn buyer (and Google) trust. If your bounce rate is high, your content is leading visitors to a page that isn't relevant.
2. Don’t forget your key business
You are selling a great hostel experience (hopefully) but also trying to convert a visitor to your site to book a bed. Yes, you need good content on your location and activities for guests, but your website should be a booking tool and point of information about your hostel primarily. The rest of the information is great, but secondary. Make sure you are marketing yourself as a great place to stay and have an intuitive site that leads to booking. You want people to read about you, book and share positive reviews. Make sure your social pages all link back to you, and any high quality relevant partners.
3. Do use meta descriptions, keywords and tags
This doesn't mean keyword stuffing throughout your site, but using keywords and key phrases will definitely help search engines identify what your site is about and who it is relevant to. Longer phrases are now popular as users search in a more details way- getting to the front page of Google may depend on you using whole search terms. Use a few concise meta descriptions, tags and keyword for your pages, then repeat them in your content. Don’t use too many – this counts for all search engines. If you have Chinese translation pages, Baidu has a website tool that tells you trending keywords so you can include these in your descriptions to maximise exposure, but you must use keywords relevant to your page.
4. Don’t use ‘black hat’ tactics
If you stuff your website with irrelevant keywords, cloak them, and add links to spam sites - Google will punish you. And so will your visitors! Keep your site fresh, relevant and easy to navigate. Using hidden tactics also prevents users from finding the relevant material they are searching for. You can even be removed from searches for this, so keep your content relevant and true – you will attract less visitors; but the right visitors. This goes for Social Media too – don’t buy likes, it won’t increase your bookings.
5. Do Optimise
Add ‘alt’ tags and a title for your images so they load faster, reduce them in file size so they are optimised for the space, and keep your page sizes under 100kb throughout the site – search speed and image loading times have been incorporated into ranking for search results. Make sure you have a ‘contact us’ page and site maps for both users and search engines.
The biggest tip for keeping your hostel healthy is to keep your website user friendly, easy to navigate and alive with fresh and relevant content. Use video, use photos, use high quality writing, keep a blog, and make the most of what you've got!
Looking for our latest SEO Hostel Health Check Tips? Check out our Hostel Doctor blog article here
To find out more about Changes to Google Search with Hummingbird see our Hostel Doctor blog article HERE