In the continued effort to boost direct bookings through our own hostel websites, here are some Search Engine Optimization suggestions from Website Magazine.
“The only way to ensure that your page rankings stay consistently high compared to your competition is by complying with all the requirements of the search engines and not being penalized for flouting any of their rules.
To achieve superior and effective SEO, you need to know what search engines are really looking for.”
SEO involves a lot more than just choosing keywords. According to the article these components are essential:
1. RELEVANCY IS VITAL
“Google pays the maximum attention to providing the most relevant results to a query posed by a searcher.
While the exact way in which they operate is a secret, it is evident that relevancy is crucial, and factors in a number of elements such as the searcher’s location, time of the day, his search history and past behavior”
2. CONTENT QUALITY IS IMPORTANT
“There are very clear indications that Google is preferring content that has substance and length over entries that just seem to have the correct keywords inserted. Content that is perceived to be fresh, original and informative will most definitely drive up your site rankings.”
3. USER EXPERIENCE
“Google looks out for sites and pages that are very easily navigable and searchable with content that is relevant and appropriate internal links.”
4. SITE SPEED
“Google is making a difference to the ranking it gives to sites that do not load fast, and may even be tagging results that employ Accelerated Mobile Page (AMP) hosting.”
5. MULTIPLE DEVICE COMPATIBILITY
“Google has already made it clear that it prefers responsive page design that takes into account the screen size of the device being used.”
6. INTERNAL LINKING
“As long as you take care to insert relevant links and use anchor text that is clear, you can substantially reduce your bounce rates. It is also recommended that anchor text pointing to the same page be varied as else there is a tendency by Google to view identical use as being suspicious. The use of internal links assists the bots employed by the search engine to discover more about your site’s content.”
“The more the quality of your content, the more the chances of you getting inbound links from authority sites, which in turn helps to elevate your site’s status. However, the direct correlation between good ranks and inbound links are estimated to be reducing, and it may be possible that this may not be as critical to SEO as originally thought.”
8. LOCAL SEO
“Increasingly, Google is placing more importance to serving results that include high rankings to local businesses because these are better poised to fulfill the requirements of Web searchers…To take advantage of this preference of Google, make sure that you register in the My Business in Google and provide information that is accurate.”
9. IMAGES THAT ARE PROPERLY TAGGED
“If you forget to include appropriate alt attributes to each image, then it is not possible for Google to interpret the importance of the images; and this fault results in the images being underutilized as far as SEO is concerned.”
“Among the most practical and effective ways of enhancing your site’s rankings is by being present and active on various social media platforms. You should take care in publishing good quality content in blogs, and other situations where reader response is called for. Use the opportunity to publicize your website address.”