How SEO Can Increase Online Booking

SEO is a key component to a website’s success in the current competitive online market, especially among small to medium sized business owners. You’ve probably at least heard the term mentioned, either in casual conversation or around the web on various business related sites. SEO, or Search Engine Optimization,  is the process by which you can improve your company’s placement in search engine results. While it’s not always possible to immediately appear  on the first page of a search engine’s results, you can aim to rank your site higher when a specific search query is entered that relates to your product or service. How is this accomplished? Through a variety of factors, the two simplest and most commonly known techniques are Keyword Ranking and Link Building.

This is what people usually refer to when they’re talking about SEO. SEO can often be confused with PPC or Pay Per Click advertising. PPC ads are the sponsored links at the top of every search you perform. Which is handy in its own way, but today we’re talking about Organic search results. In other words, the naturally occurring results for a given query that your site ranks for as a direct result of its content.

Keyword Ranking is a very delicate and subtle sort of process. It works by choosing keywords or keyword phrases that you think a potential customer might use to find a product or service that matches your company’s description. The trick is to use the right keywords so that your page will appear in that user’s search results. Not only that, but you want to target the correct keywords that will lead the people who are actually looking to purchase your company’s services in your site’s direction. Otherwise your site will get an increase in traffic but no additions to the number of online bookings.

This complex objective is accomplished in a variety of ways.  Because of the fast paced nature of the information age, the SEO process is constantly shifting and evolving. Search engine programmers are in a never ending pursuit to improve the way you gather information, and that means new search algorithms with new criteria on high rankings. However, some general guidelines have consistently held true.

Step 1: Provide quality content that isn’t over saturated with keywords.

The idea behind a search engine is to give people the results that they want, so have your page be something interesting that a customer might want to read. You want relevant, current, and consistent information about your company’s primary services, functions, locations, and so on.  Add the keywords in to give search engines a clue, but remember to always keep the reader in the forefront of your mind when constructing any kind of content.

Step 2: Continue offering new content.

Content is the media that your site offers, and it’s what keeps your online presence afloat. In order to consistently keep a high search engine rank, you need to be putting out new material for your subscribers on a frequent basis.

This is an important part of the process known as “Inbound Marketing.” Inbound marketing is the most prevalent and powerful method of bringing traffic into a website, it’s a multidimensional process that includes, email campaigns, newsletters, podcasts, video, and blogging. Blogging in particular is a very effective way of putting out fresh content at regular intervals.

Step 3: Remember, too many keywords will make your page rank lower.

Continually reading the same phrase in every other sentence of a blog post is going to get annoying pretty quickly. In this respect, the bots sent out to compile search results are very intuitive at discerning good content. The trick is to put a few keywords in strategic spots without letting the phrase become unnaturally redundant.

Step 4: Build links

The other technique many search engine optimizers put work into, Link Building, is like a measure of your site’s popularity. It shows how many other well ranked sites are linking to your page and vice versa. To clarify, links are gateways to other sites, usually embedded in a website’s text. Like so: Click here.

It’s almost like a lot of roads are intersecting at a happening spot in a big city. You want your page to be that happening spot, a content mecha, if you will. One that a great deal of other well-known content providers have created direct paths toward in order to direct additional traffic to your site.

There are a number of ways to build useful links. Without getting too technical, there are a three major link building strategies employed by most SEO professionals.

Natural Links – These are links that are given freely, usually once your site is already popular. It’s kind of like how celebrities get a lot of their meals comped or are allowed free entry into clubs, etc. They get the perks of already being famous. Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do to get these sorts of links except be a superb source of information and service, which is something you should endeavor to do through the various inbound marketing techniques listed above.

Outreach Links – This is more about putting in the legwork. To get outreach links, an SEO expert will usually make contact with various blog sites, niche authorities, and directories to ask if they will link back to your site. This can also include paying to have your site listed in a community directory. Not all directories are created equal though. If a directory doesn’t filter its submissions, then search engines aren’t likely to give the sites listed any weight. Aim for industry niche directories, and keep clear of the more general ones.

Self-Created Links – The last strategy has recently come under fire as a major spam source. It means listing a link in any of a number of outlets where it might not always be appropriate. This includes blog comments, forum signatures, guest books or user profiles on social media sites. This kind of link can actually lower your site’s ranking if you pursue an overly aggressive strategy.

Step 5: Reap what you sow

So how does all this technical stuff affect your online booking? By bringing traffic to your site, of course. An effective SEO strategy is the number one way to increase organic traffic to your site. Liken your SEO efforts to sowing seed. Building links, guest blog posts from reputable bloggers, and effective keywords are like the seeds that you throw into your field. When they land on fertile ground, or in this case a receptive audience, you’ll reap major benefits at harvest time. Not only that, but given enough time the new “plants” you grew will eventually spread seed of their own. It’s a system that grows out of itself, hence the term: organic.

Step 6: Keep informed

Search engine optimization is very much in flux. The major search engines are cracking down on spam sites, increasing the weight of social media popularity, and altering their algorithms to stifle monopolies on the #1 ranking in search results. With this in mind, it’s important to keep up to date on the latest SEO trends, by following SEO experts, and keeping up with the industry blogs.

You’ve gotta start somewhere, and an effective strategy for SEO can do wonders for your exposure. It will powerfully improve the rate at which your visitors see your online booking section. From there it will inevitably increase the amount of online booking requests that you receive, along with the most important factor: the bottom line profits you’re making off of your website.

Learn more about how you can put Vonigo to work in your business.