By Chris Pitt, head of marketing at Vertical Leap
Every travel marketer gets and does ‘content’ and SEO is now perceived as just being about content marketing.
The importance of technical SEO seems to have been forgotten, as has the nature of search. Search is about being found, wherever you should be found. It is not just about Google.
“Content is king!” That’s a phrase we have all heard. It’s true, content is absolutely key to the success to a good SEO strategy.
How can your hotel website or specialist weekend breaks to European cities have visibility in search without having content?
However, how can your content be seen if you’re website can’t be used – either by browsers or by search engines?
Technical SEO was once the primary focus of any search engine optimisation campaign, but since the advent of Google’s algorithm updates the focus has shifted to a very content centric one.
Don’t get me wrong, I agree this is the right shift in focus. What I don’t agree with, is forgetting about the foundations of that content. The technical SEO.
Technical SEO doesn’t change like content guidelines do
Not a great deal has changed in terms of technical SEO, not as much as the content related stuff anyway, perhaps that’s a reason why.
When we talk technical SEO we still say things like title tags, heading tags, broken links and internal links.
Sure, there have been new technical elements added to our tactical arsenal over the years but it’s still the same phrases, the same rules, the same things to look for.
Technical SEO doesn’t get talked about so much anymore, perhaps that’s why it gets missed. I’ve looked at hundreds of travel websites over the years; some really great and some really bad.
But when I say that, I mean that from a content perspective. From a technical perspective, in large, they’re all bad.
One glance at Google Search Console’s “HTML Suggestions” always guarantees a good demonstration of poor technical maintenance at the most basic levels.
In many cases, especially for larger sites, these basic issues stack up, forming one big problem that’s suddenly too daunting a task to be taken on.
Especially when you consider just how much content could be produced in the hours spent uncurling duplicate title tags.
Technical SEO takes a lot of analysis
It does. Downloading spread sheets, trawling through data. If you have that ‘elastic ball’ issue of problem after problem then the hours quickly rack up in order to resolve it.
There are so many sources of information you need to check to be able to cover every instance – you could be working for days on end to resolve a handful of problems which are inherently simple.
But technical SEO is just that; it’s a foundation and a key component of your web presence that will help shape the success of your content campaigns.
Don’t ignore technical SEO
Wondering why your new web page isn’t performing as well as you thought it might? What about that phrase you were trying to target that didn’t amount to anything? There is a chance that the reasons could be technical.
If users are experiencing problems reading, using or accessing your content then you could have the best material in the world but it would still have zero value regardless of how much you invested in it.
The same goes for search engines. If they can’t find your pages, see your content and index it, there’s no point in having it.
Technical SEO is the foundation to build something big
If a hotel had bad foundations, would you want to use it? Would you want to expand it and grow it into something greater?
No, of course not. You’d want to fix the foundations so you could be confident that what you want to build can stay up and grow. This is true of technical SEO.
Addressing the foundations of SEO at their basic level and getting those things right, will help your web presence be bigger, get bigger and work harder for you and the brand.
So what about that big competitor of yours that’s doing so well? You know for a fact they have a site riddled with ‘technical SEO issues’ yet they’re munching up market share.
Think about it this way; what if they did address those technical problems they have? How much more market share could they be eating up then?
You could use this to your advantage by making sure your site isn’t riddled with technical problems so you can more effectively compete with them.
Find someone to fix your foundations properly
You don’t have the time, you don’t have the knowledge required and you don’t have the internal resources but you know you have a problem. You know it needs fixing, so get it fixed.
Pave the way for greater things by making sure your brand has the strong technical foundations it needs to help you meet those targets and grow the organisation.
The search engine world is rapidly changing and continuously evolving.
The more tactics we acquire, the more strategies we devise the more we have to remind ourselves that the foundations, the bits that glue all these fantastic new things together still needs constant attention, allowing you to build something big and strong.