You just spent a week writing, editing, choosing pictures, bugging people to proofread. You may have just written the BEST blog post or news article ever. Are there awards for blog posts? Should you start writing an acceptance speech?
You click “Publish.”
You share it through social and your newsletter. And… crickets. Sigh. Where are all the clicks and comments and likes? Has anyone even read it? Before you decide never to write another article or paragraph for your website, let’s see if poor SEO might be the culprit.
The Bad News
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is tricky—and it’s always changing. Search engines (think Google) are constantly updating their algorithms to make life easier for people to get to the information they want.
The Good News
There are a few simple things you can do to help get that post (and your whole website) ranking higher in search engine results so more people see it. Keep in mind that most changes won’t be recognized by search engines for an average of 1–3 days.
Quick Things You Can Do
1. Add Alt Tags to Your Images
You know that great pic you took of people enjoying themselves in your airport lounge? Yeah, the one named IMG-958425? Rename it and add an “alt tag.” An alt tag is an HTML attribute applied to image tags to provide a text alternative for search engines. Translation? It’s information search engines use to decide whether your page is relevant to the user’s search. Including words that are also in your post/article title is very helpful. So, if your title is “Things to do in XYZ Airport” give the image an alt tag like “XYZ lounge.” If your title is “Best food in City Name,” an alt tag that would be useful would be “City Name Restaurant.”
This information is also useful for ADA compliance to ensure people with visual impairments are able to navigate your website. If you are interested in learning more, Yoast SEO (a free WordPress plugin) has a great article about alt tags that goes into more detail.
2. Link to External Pages—Outside Sources
Search engines boost pages that help traffic move around the net naturally. Think of a recent “internet rabbit hole” that you have gotten into. You start out searching “how to make the perfect omelette” and before you know it you’re learning about R-factors. As much as this drives us nuts as readers, it’s good for your post and your site. If your post is about “Best food in City Name,” links to restaurants in that city is a great way to boost your rankings!
3. Links to Internal Pages—Inside Sources
This one should be easy, but there are a few caveats. Search engines reward sites where people click a lot and stay on the site (think Amazon). A line at the end of the post saying something like ”More info on our pet therapy program here” OR “Contact us for more info” with a link to your contact us page. In this instance, you want the full text to be linked—not just the word “here.” Also, images are helpful. For ADA extra credit, a full description of the link is helpful.
One of the best ways to do this is to include strategically-placed, stylised rows or sections on your website that invite visitors to explore more content.
4. Install an SEO Plugin on Your Website
A couple we like are Yoast SEO and a new favorite Rank Math. If your website is built using WordPress, there are a gazillion SEO plugins available—your web developer should be able to help you find the right one for your site.
5. Verify with Google Search Console
This is probably the most important thing you can do to boost the SEO of your entire site. Verifying your site with Google Seach Console is a pain, but it’s worth it. It takes a few steps, a couple two-factor verification codes, access to DNS info, and sometimes DAYS to get verification… but it helps Google ensure you are the rightful owner of your site. If you have an IT department, they should be able to do this for you—or contact us!
6. 600+ words
That is the going minimum for a well-ranked page. As much as we LOVE short and sweet in marketing, a good informational article still ranks well. Search engines want to make sure you have enough “meat” to send users to your page.
7. Titles Containing Numbers and/or Powerwords
You know your audience. Overusing “listicles” and “powerwords” could turn your audience off, but they rank well, so use this tip while keeping your brand and overall message in mind.
“X Great Things About Blank City” title posts do well (hello Buzzfeed!). The use of numbers in general is great. Search engines like numbers for the same reasons we do—they help us make choices.
Powerwords are words that express a stong emotion. Good and bad, best and worst, weak and strong, easy and hard, etc. If it doesn’t make sense with your article, don’t use it. But if it does and you can pop a “power” word in, DO IT!
We are so excited to help everyone doing airport marketing achieve success! If you ever feel overwhelmed or a project seems daunting, let us know. Our clients consistently tell us that we help them feel relieved, impressed and proud—and we’d love to do the same for you.