In our last blog, we talked about what SEO is and what camps can do to improve their on-site SEO. It’s best to start there because this blog builds on it and discusses offsite SEO.
As a refresher, SEO (search engine optimization) helps your website gets find on Google. There are three parts of SEO:
- On-Site SEO
- Offsite SEO
- Site Code and Structure
On-site SEO, as we discussed last time, deals with the content and things actually on your page.
Offsite SEO, today’s topic, refers to your online presence outside of your website. This includes a variety of things, including link building, social media, online directories, and more.
Think of links as virtual referrals. The more trustworthy people who link to you, the more highly Google thinks of you.
You want legitimate websites to link to you whenever possible. If there’s a local news article about your camp or a local business that mentions you, ask them to add your website link in. It helps give you credibility with search engines, which helps you rank higher.
One thing to note is that search engines don’t react well to spammy people linking to you or to symbiotic links. When SEO really kicked off, people often paid to be listed on websites or made deals saying “hey, link to me, and I’ll link back to you!” Search engines got wise to this, so now those things do more harm than good.
By now, you’ve probably figured out how important social media is for your camp. It helps people find and interact with you. Additionally, it helps your SEO by providing links to your website and cementing your online presence.
However, simply having social media doesn’t actually help you. You need to use your social media and have people interact with you for it to help you. Post relevant content that you know people will like, share, and comment on, and you’ll be good to go!
As far as which social media you should use, it doesn’t really matter as long as you’re not overreaching. If you know you can only handle running one social media platform, only use one!
We’ll talk more about social media for camps in a coming blog, so stay tuned for more!
Only directories are a great source of backlinks, and they help tell Google that your camp is a legitimate business with a good website.
Find directories (such as Camp Page, ACA, or My Summer Camp) and get your camp listed! Don’t pay a fortune to do so, but if the service is free or reasonably-priced, it’s a good way to get your name and link out there.
Google My Business, Bing Places for Business, Yahoo Local Business
If you’ve ever Googled a business, you may have noticed that an extra entry off to the right side that has more information. You can get that for your camp on Google, Bing, and Yahoo. For reference, here’s what it looks like on Google:
You can add your business name, address, phone, pictures, hours, and more.
To get these things, you need to tell search engines your business you exist. It’s not difficult, and it doesn’t take a lot of time. It’s fairly easy to do on Google, Bing, and Yahoo. Typically, they’ll send you a postcard with a code on it, and when the postcard arrives you enter in the code. Yahoo is slightly more complicated, so the link above goes to an article that breaks it down into easy steps.
After your business is set up, you can begin getting reviews. Reviews help tremendously with SEO, so make sure to have a place on your website that asks people to review your camp or to post on social media sporadically asking for reviews. As we discussed in the last blog, Google sees the most users, so if you’re only going to ask for reviews on one search engine (which I recommend you do), ask for reviews on Google. Yelp is also a great place for reviews.