How will it affect my search rankings?
Search Engine Optimization is when you add elements to your site so search engines (like Google) can find and rank you.
Note: This post will only cover elements that will help with discovery. It’s important that you don’t skip this step. You can’t judge something unless you see it.
It’s an intimidating topic. But understanding the basics can have a huge effect on your site traffic, and ultimately your bottom line.
To master the basics you just need to figure out what your customers are searching for, create relevant content for that search, and set your site up so Google can understand it.
So what does this have to do with naming your tour? I’m glad you asked.
85% of travelers use smartphones to book travel activities online. If you want modern travelers to find and book your tour you have to be online. Even more importantly, they have to be able to find you online.
Here’s an example to help explain. I searched Google for Brewery Tours in Portland. What do you think the top three organic results were?
Portland Beer Tours (by Travel Portland), Portland Brewery Tours (by Brewvana), and The Top 5 Portland Beer Tasting and Tours (by TripAdvisor).
What do you think the top booked tours will be?
Either one of the top tours listed on Travel Portland or TripAdvisor, or Brewvana’s tour— which happens to appear on both.
People trust Google. 75% of clicks go to the first 5 results. So if your website isn’t on the first page of Google for relevant searches your site is basically invisible.
The best way to get on the first page is to explicitly tell Google you are the best result for a search.
You might think Google knows everything, but the truth is Google only knows what it’s told about a website. If you don’t properly explain your site to Google, it can’t help customers find you.
Let’s take a look at how Google reads your website.
Google defines keywords as words or phrases that describe your product or service. They’re how search engines match websites with terms people are looking for.
When looking for keywords, you want to pick terms that will attract the right audience to your site. The best way to do this is to get specific. Brewvana is a brewery company but not everyone knows that. So if they named their tour Brewvana Walking Tour, it could be missed that this is a brewery walking tour. Which is why Brewvana Brewery Walking Tour would be a better name.
It’s also a good idea to use your location as a keyword. That way you capture audiences looking for tours in your city. Remember you want to attract people who are interested in a tour where you are located.
Something to be aware of is that Google indexes related keywords. This means it understands when words are related. For example, Google knows Beer and Brewery are related, which is why Portland beer tours ranked number two in our search.
Google searches for keywords on your site based on your link structure.
A site URL typically looks like this www.NameOfYourSite/Category/Page
If the specifics of the search are shown in either the category or the page name, you will have a higher chance of Google finding your site and showing it to the browser.
Let’s take a look at Brewvana’s URL that appears on the first page of our earlier search: http://brewvana.com/portland-brewery-tours/
If you click on the link you will find they’ve listed Portland Brewery Tours as a category. Then they offer walking and biking tours to further refine the results. If you wanted to go on a walking tour one of their options is http://brewvana.com/portland-brewery-tours/pearl-district-walking-tour/
If you were to later go back to find the tour page, you might search for something like walking brewery tours Portland. Then you could click the direct link instead of having to navigate through Brewvana’s website again. The direct link is available because the page is set up as an indexable inventory page.
Indexable Inventory Pages
Indexable inventory pages are an important piece of SEO. Unfortunately, you aren’t able to create indexable pages for your items with a lot of booking systems. Instead, you might set up a broad category page with a name as Tours and embed a booking plugin that contains the name of each tour. This makes it nearly impossible for Google to find the specific keywords related to your tour.
Not only do you run the risk of visitors never finding your website, but also that returning visitors will choose to book a competitor’s tour because it was easier. Indexable inventory pages also allow you to fill those pages up with related keywords which will help your rankings.
Luckily, Checkfront’s Site Builder automatically transforms your inventory into indexable search and mobile friendly web pages so your visitors can easily find and book your tours.
So what should you name your tour? Don’t pick a creative name such as What Ales You Walking Tour. Simplicity can help your online presence. Make sure to include keywords for the type of tour you offer, your location, and any subcategory or distinct feature! Try using this template.
Category: Location & Keyword for Tour Name: Distinguishing feature
Category: Portland Brewery Tour Name: Pearl District Walking Tour