Whether you manage a large museum or a small heritage site, getting fresh enquiries through your website is a must. In this SEO guide for tourist attraction managers, we’ll look at what SEO is and why it’s so important for attraction providers.
What’s more, you’ll pick up some valuable tips on improving your search engine ranking and get those all-important visitors.
What is SEO?
SEO, or Search Engine Optimisation, is the process of improving website visibility, ideally on the most relevant and high-volume keywords in your field.
This means that whenever tourists search for a place to visit, your attraction site is more likely to be clicked on by a prospective visitor, thus meaning you end up busier than ever!
Why is SEO important for your tourist attraction?
Depending how saturated the market is in your area, a search for “places to visit in…” could return tens or hundreds of results.
And that’s what makes SEO so important for your tourism business – it gives you the opportunity to get ahead of the competition and maximise bookings from prospective visitors.
Search engines like Google use a number of factors each prospective visitor search for a place to visit. The better your attraction ranks on those factors, the higher up the rankings you’ll find yourself.
According to research from Backlinko, the #1 result on Google has an average CTR (click-through-rate) of 31.7%, which is 10x as likely as if the site is ranked #10 (bottom of page 1).
What’s more, if your attraction doesn’t make it to page one at all, you could be lucky to get a click as only 11.9% of users click through to the second page.
SEO will help you move up the rankings and make sure your tourist attraction is able to compete for those vital clicks.
Local SEO for Tourist Attractions
Another very important thing to consider for attraction managers is local SEO. Local SEO is the process of optimising a site to appear for searches related to the local area – which is especially relevant for tourist attractions.
For example, important keywords could be:
- ‘Tourist attractions in Cornwall’
- ‘Things to do in Falmouth’
- ‘Museums in Cornwall’
- ‘Places to visit by the sea Cornwall’
- ‘Indoor attractions in Cornwall’
- ‘Heritage sites in Cornish village’
You will need to think of how you can create pages or content targeting these terms and thus appearing for these local searches.
Another vital aspect of local SEO is appearing on Google Maps using a Google My Business profile.
Regularly updating your Google My Business profile, adding great imagery and getting reviews from visitors is a big part of appearing for local searches – highly recommended for any attraction manager!
Google Maps is often the first-thing people see when searching for something to do in the local area, so appearing prominently can make a massive difference!
Top Tips for Tourist Attraction SEO
We’ve put together these top five SEO tips for tourist attractions so you can start making changes and climbing the rankings today.
1. Target your keywords
It’s vital to have a clear understanding of the keywords and phrases that your potential visitors will use to find your attraction online. Search engines like Google rank your website according to the keywords they find.
It’s important to think about keywords potential tourists may search when looking for somewhere to visit.
Here are some SEO keyword ideas for tourist attractions to think about and include on your site when optimising your website:
- Family-friendly/fun for kids
- Affordable/free entry
- Nearby parking
- Includes a Café/Restaurant
These keywords will likely also be the USPs of your site, so you may be shouting about them already, but – if not – include the keywords in the on-page content and meta title/descriptions (more about that later on!) where possible.
2. Add Keywords to your Site Meta Info and Page Content
There’s no doubt SEO can seem extremely complicated, especially when you have a million other things to consider. Your keyword research will have revealed just how many different search terms you need to be aware of.
However great the challenge, the best advice is: start small and focus on some key target terms first.
One of the best places to start optimising these is with the meta descriptions and page titles on your site.
Ensuring that each page title and meta description is unique and includes target keyword/s gives potential guests a brief idea of what to expect and helps to optimise that page for that term.
To edit your meta info and page titles, you’ll need to be able to access your website’s content management system (CMS).
Otherwise, you can edit the information manually in HTML. Google Webmasters support has useful tips and tricks for editing page titles, meta descriptions and more for ultimate site visibility.
3. Make sure Technical SEO is on Point
However, improving your site ranking is just one part of the SEO jigsaw. In order to ensure your site ranks as high as possible, you need to make sure your technical SEO is on point.
Technical SEO involves optimising the infrastructure of your website so it’s fast, easy to navigate and user-friendly.
Technical SEO deals with the underlying structure of your website, including:
- URL structure
- Page loading speeds
- Broken links (404s)
- Image alt tags
- Site localisation
- Much, much more!
Implementing technical SEO is crucial when you’re trying to attract all-important organic traffic generated by search engines. As well as the SEO benefits, creating a highly functional and usable website is also a great way to convert those casual researchers into new visitors.
There are free SEO audit tools out there but the results may be hard to decipher if you’re not an SEO specialist.
Consider a comprehensive SEO audit from an expert as a better indicator of the strengths and weaknesses of your site from a technical SEO perspective.
4. Create Relevant, Useful Content
Content creation is another fantastic strategy when you’re trying to excel at SEO.
Content can cover a wide range of features including blogs, FAQs, help pages, videos and more which all help to improve inform your website visitors.
Although these may be less sales-focused, improving the traffic on your website through content helps send positive signals to search engines about the relevance of your site.
When creating content for your website, think about your broader audience. People searching travel-related topics like Michelin restaurants or places to stay will all need somewhere to visit.
So try adding well-written content around amenities near your attraction that add value for your potential visitors – it could even be based around common questions you get from tourists.
Here are some more blog content ideas for tourist attraction owners:
- Best places to stay in [location]
- Best child-friendly activities in [location]
- How to get to [your tourist attraction]
- Best places to eat near [location]
- The best cultural days out in [location]
Remember, it’s also an opportunity to rank for a different set of keywords (referred to as long-tail keywords) and boost your SEO.
Don’t forget to add a call to action to ‘book now’ with a link to your attraction’s booking page. It could tip the balance for travellers already considering a visit to your area to book to see your site whilst reading one of your blogs!
5. Scale your SEO with link building
If you’ve implemented the first four tips, you could be ready to take your targeting to the next level.
This final tip is of real benefit to tourism site managers who find themselves in a saturated online marketplace.
One of the biggest factors in Google rankings is the number of links from other sites that point to yours.
But it’s not enough to go for quantity – Google and other search engines also look at the quality of your links, so you’ll need to come up with a strategy to attract mentions from authoratative websites.
The best way to build links long term is through a targeted content marketing strategy, which encompasses a number of different facets, which we have outlined below:
- Guest posting on authoritative sites in the tourism industry. Try approaching the site and seeing if you can write an informative post for them in exchange for a link.
- You may also look to approach relevant directories such as list of local places to visit, well-reviewed attractions or local newspapers.
- Another tried and trusted method is through the use of digital PR – basically doing something newsworthy like announcing plans for an expansion, new exhibits or a seasonal event taking place on your site. This has the added bonus of creating a positive reputation in your local community.
- Finally, never underestimate the power of reviews. Encouraging media outlets and blogs to review your tourism site can encourage people to visit as well as gaining that vital backlink to your site!
How About PPC For Tourist Attractions?
Whilst SEO can take months to see results, PPC (Pay-Per-Click) or Google Adwords can deliver instant website traffic.
You can gain plenty of clicks for your tourism site using Google Search ads – their text-based advertising campaign. This is where you choose a number of keywords to bid on, then create ad copy to encourage people to click through to your website.
These are a great option if you want to show ads to people in a certain area only – usually the case for tourist attractions. These can be done quickly and effectively so you could even run an ad on ‘rainy day activities in [location]’, if it’s looking like a wet day!
As well as the cost to Google for the click, you will need to consider the costs of a PPC specialist for the cost of setting up the ads themselves.
Google do now have a ‘smart mode’ which makes it easier for end-users to set up ads themselves, but you can still end up spending money on irrelevant keywords so it is usually more cost-effective to geta professional to set these up for you!
Confused by SEO for Tourist Attractions? Search Hog Can Help
It’s perfectly normal to feel overwhelmed about setting up the SEO for tourist attractions. We hope this guide for tourism sites has helped, but if you are more still unsure of the best way to start ranking your website, an SEO consultant could be the best option for you.
If you would like any help with the SEO for your tourism business, please get in touch with Search Hog today. We can help improve your website visibility online and attract more tourists to visit you!