December 23, 2013

The Tourists are Coming: Can They Find Your Business on Google?

Right now, snowbirds are heading to sunny destinations all over the world to escape the cold and catch up on rest, relaxation and entertainment. Peak tourist season is in full swing—and this year promises to be an especially lucrative one.

In fact, the Florida Tourism bureau, for example, has already announced a third quarter record of 22.9 million visitors during that stretch—and the state is also set to receive an overall record amount of tourists this year as 72.6 million people will have visited by year’s end. This represents a 3.4 percent increase from 2012. For businesses located throughout the Sunshine State and other warm-weathered destinations, this could be a fantastic opportunity to cash in as tourists pump money into local restaurants, hotels, stores and attractions.

So, how can you ensure that consumers are aware of your business? What you need is a comprehensive content marketing plan that fills your blog and website with valuable information that consumers can find and use.

Oftentimes, Google is the go-to source for answers as 93 percent of all online experiences start on a search engine.  Imagine, for instance, that a family of five wants to experience an airboat ride through the gator-filled Everglades. In order to find the most attractive looking airboat experience, the family will search Google by entering the phrase “airboat ride” into the search engine. The search engine will then display all of the companies on Alligator Alley that offer water safaris.

This is where having a content marketing strategy is absolutely crucial. The better your content is, the higher your business will rank in search engine rankings and the more likely you will be to compete with other businesses in your industry for the attention of tourists. That’s because users tend to stay near the top of the page when searching and will often bypass lower-ranking websites. In fact,  a recent study conducted by online advertising firm Chitika shows that top listings on Google receives 33 percent of search traffic. After that, it’s a steep decline in terms of user hits as the second position gets just 18 percent. By the time a business gets to the lowly sixth spot, it stands the chance of grabbing only about five percent of traffic.

 While your company could realistically offer a better package than your competitors at a more affordable rate, if tourists can’t find your business then how will you compete? In order to achieve the best ranking possible, content that provides relevant answers to user questions needs to be posted at regular intervals on blogs. Google’s new Hummingbird search algorithm sorts through web pages in order to answer queries as closely as possible, so content that provides helpful answers to user questions will stand out and rise to the top. Think of the services that you provide and how you can mirror your content to be easily found by consumers.

Other tips for remaining near the top of a Google search include linking to trusted websites that also offer relevant content, avoiding keyword stuffing at all costs and sharing valuable reviews. Include video, pictures and audio to create a complete website that acts as a wealth of information instead of a dead zone. 

Edited by Brooke Neuman

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