What is search engine optimisation, or SEO?

Search engine optimisation is the process of making your website more visible online by presenting your data in the best possible way.

In the late ’90s, the Google search engine revolutionised web browsing by developing a ranking system that checked how many links to your website were posted online. Since then the ranking algorithm has been constantly developed to make sure that search results show the very best web pages for the search term entered. Today there are a huge number of factors taken into account. Good SEO is based on data analytics of your, and your competitors’ websites to make sure that everything possible is done to adjust to the ever-moving target of the Google algorithm.

How does SEO work?

Before they can rank your page, the search engine bots crawl from link to link to gather the data. If your website has broken links or dead ends, they may not be able to find your information. Technical issues behind the scenes such as a poor data structure and low-quality code can affect the indexability of websites which on the surface, may seem to look great.

Once your data is clean and compliant, search engines also analyse how people interact with your site. The user experience or ‘UX’ is also part of receiving a good ranking, and speed is king. Can users find the information that they need, and do the pages load before you lose their attention?

Credibility is a huge factor when ranking your site and to stay relevant, search engines keep an eye on how up to date you are. As a small business owner, you may not have the resources to employ content creators, but regular updates and share-worthy posts on social media that link to your website will certainly help to convince your audience, and the robots, that you’re an authority in what you do.

There is no substitute for good content. This doesn’t necessarily need to mean creating daily blogs with a huge amount of unique text and images (although that helps). It could simply mean optimising the keywords, titles, URL’s and descriptions to make your website easy is easy for a robot to understand, and pass on to a human. You need to become trusted to answer the queries that they receive, and this needs to be verified by how the users interact with it. There are no tricks, if you don’t bring value then you will go down the ranks.

How is SEO important for Leisure Businesses?

On the surface, most leisure businesses are niched enough to look pretty good. If you search for an activity at a location where there are only a couple of competitors, your venue should certainly be listed with minimal effort. But why stop there? Building upon this will help those with a lot of competition in your area to get your business higher on the list of results. It also helps you to attract new customers who weren’t being so specific. By targeting ‘Things to do’, ‘Kids Birthday Parties’, ‘Corporate Events’ and ‘Private Hire’ in your region you will gain incremental sales. You can fine-tune this to build off-peak trade and underutilised resources such as a meeting room. All of this will make a meaningful contribution to your bottom line.

The importance of Online Booking in conjunction with SEO

In a world full of competition for people’s attention, we have a limited time frame to make an impact. An unclear proposition, slow to load website or unanswered phone call could be all it takes to lose the opportunity. It’s absolutely essential to offer a ‘Book Now’ call to action with an easy route to customers paying money into your account and eradicate the lost earnings from ‘no shows’.

There are many ways to achieve this. The difference with our online booking system is that it was developed to manage leisure. We can stagger onboarding times to relieve reception bottlenecks, add in cleaning time for your COVID 19 protocols, add social distancing buffers for bowing centres and build in dwell time between activities. With pre-programmed options for each booking time, we can also influence customers to do more of what you want, when you want. All of this combines to increase your potential resource yield and customer spend per head.

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