Stuck for time but still want to do what matters with your marketing? Here’s my 30-minute-a-day content SEO plan for those people who are not sure what to focus on. While I do believe in social media to an extent, social is meant to be a supporting mechanism to promote content you produce. It shouldn’t be the base of (most) marketing plans.
If you follow the plan below, you’ll slowly begin to accumulate big effects. I need to warn you of one thing before I begin: at first, this won’t take 30 minutes a day, especially if you’re not the world’s quickest typist.
The focus here is on generating lots of content and one or two new links to your website a week. As a local business, a great goal to aim for is 100 non-junk links to your website. It’s not an easy exercise, but with 100 good quality links, you’ll notice real benefits in terms of Google traffic. Don’t do it all at once – slow and steady wins the race, and with this guide, you’ll get there.
STEP 1: LAY THE FOUNDATION
- Get a Responsive Website
If your website isn’t optimized for mobile, you’re wasting your time. Google won’t like you, and the visitors you eventually bring to your site will often leave in frustration. Check if your website is mobile friendly using this tool. If not, the websites we build are fully responsive. Looking forward to meeting you!
- Google Webmaster Tools
Sign up for Google Webmaster Tools, verify the account and follow any suggestions Google may have for you.
- Social Pages
Sign your business up for Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus pages. In addition, consider if Pinterest and LinkedIn make sense for your business. Get them looking nice.
- Automate Posting to Unused Accounts
Maintaining active accounts manually across all these pages is a waste of time, but it’s worth having these accounts open and posting something. To stop the inactive accounts looking like a business graveyard, automate posting to them using Zapier, IFTTT or WordPress plugins.
- WordPress SEO
WordPress SEO is a very handy plugin which you can use to set things like post titles and descriptions specifically for Google.
- Google My Business
Google My Business is incredibly important. Read my guide to having an effective Google My Business profile.
- Optimize Your Pages
Make sure each title tag on your site is lightly optimized for SEO. Don’t spam your titles, as people won’t click on them when they see you in the Google results, which means your site will go down. (Yes, that’s right – if Google sees that people are skipping over your listing, your site’s ranking will go down.)
- Make a Plan
Brainstorm a bunch of blog post ideas. Spend some time soaking up other blogs. More on this to come if you keep reading.
STEP 2: LIST OF POTENTIAL ACTIVITIES
- Relationship Building
Go to local tourism or business meetups (or create your own), and after you become friendly with someone, why not organise a link-up between the two sites? Link exchanges are fine if you don’t go overboard doing hundreds of them. They’re especially powerful when they come from relevant businesses in your area. A link from a hotel in your city is a powerful signal to Google.
- Leverage Current Relationships
Who are you paying money to right now? Lawyers, accountants, booking software? Email them to offer a testimonial or to be part of a case study. Keep emailing until you have that link. Who are your friends who have businesses? Would there be a conceivable reason that they could link to you on their website or blog?
- Do Some Barnacle SEO
Get listed on all the directories and powerful sites that show up for searches in your area. I’m talking TripAdvisor, Yelp, Facebook, Youtube, Pinterest, the BBB/Chamber of Commerce of your area and more. Link to the most important listings from the home page of your website.
- Get the Links Other Tour Businesses Have
If you Google ‘New York walking tours’, you’ll find a bunch of businesses that Google loves. Do what you can to replicate their footprint, and you may well find yourself floating up in the rankings, too!
You can start by Googling the business name of each competitor. Go real deep into the search results, and you’ll find some gold. Then Google their website address and then their phone number. Lots of new things will show up.
From there, use paid tools such as Ahrefs.com to find all the additional links that businesses in your area have which you haven’t yet discovered. Once you’ve covered similar businesses in your area, move on to similar businesses in big cities and different countries, as you’re bound to find some gems. Also check out what accommodation businesses have been doing.
- Get Directory Links
Directory links tend to have a bad name, and for good reason. In the past, people have submitted themselves to hundreds of irrelevant directories and found themselves penalized. The idea here is to make sure all listings are on good quality, relevant websites.
Local: Following the above two steps, you’re going to have end up with a few directory links. That being said, you’re bound to have missed some. Google things such as Baltimore Directory, Free Baltimore Directory, Baltimore Tourism Businesses, Delaware Business Directory.
National: Business directory USA, America local citation sources.
Tourism: After running searches for things like Baltimore Tourism Directory, run searches for things like Tour Operator Directory and USA Tour Company Directory.
Blog: There’s an almighty amount of blog directories, and a lot of them are junk. Choose wisely.
Warning: Do this gradually, over time.
Further Reading: Point Blank SEO’s link-building brainstorm list.
Before you start a blog, make sure you’re enthusiastic about it and dedicate real time to it. If you don’t have a set schedule each week for writing, you’re going to have trouble keeping it up. ‘When I find the time’ is just not going to do it!
In general, try to write useful, timeless content that solves people’s problems. Include links to businesses and blogs all over your city, and be sure to tell them about the mention, too. For more on blogging, check out this great guide from Tourism eSchool.
Here are a few ways to get ideas:
- TripAdvisor Forum
The TripAdvisor forum isn’t just a valuable resource in major cities. Check out this forum for Buffalo, NY. It’s packed with great blog ideas.
- Detailed Guides
This guide on Medellin Living.com is a complete look at how to get to the airport and back. Pick out the most popular locations for tourists in your area but also think about the typical logistics problems tourists face – where to get free WIFI, how to get to the airport, how to use public transport.
Create list posts. What are the top coffee spots in your city? The top chocolate shops? Think about the kinds of things people are asking about in the TripAdvisor forum – could you create a list post around that? This kind of content is always popular and timeless.
- Google Webmaster Tools
Google Webmaster Tools has an area where you can see what content your website has been showing up for and your rank. It’s a great idea to study this list for more ideas – you might be surprised by a few of the things that come up!
- Keyword Tools
Try keyword tools such as Ubersuggest and Keywordtool.io. Pop the name of your city and famous areas into it, and see what comes back.
- Steal Ideas from Bloggers Elsewhere
Aside from Medellin Living, check out YTravelBlog, this list from Seattle and Portland and this list of great travel blogs. You’ll get loads of ideas from seeing how people in other cities do it.
Landing pages are one of the most untapped yet powerful tools in the arsenal of the typical tour company.
The idea of a landing page is to highlight a particular unique angle or offering of your product.
For example, check out this school group tour from Hidden Secrets Tours in Melbourne. Perhaps your company accepts school groups – do you have a specific page dedicated to it? What you’ll find is that most pages will deliver the occasional booking, but there’s a great chance that the occasional landing page will float right up to the top of Google and deliver you a whole bunch of business.
Think about every possible group of people that could come with you – bachelor parties, wedding parties, corporate groups. Also consider big events in your city or just annual events on everyone’s calendar like Valentine’s Day or St. Patrick’s.
Another idea which could work is to make a big about each landmark in your city – give a few details about that landmark and then have a list of your tour offerings that visit that particular place.
Landing pages can be built on the fly using special tools. Check out this guide from my bud Richard to learn more.
STEP 3: WEEKLY PLAN
Finish and publish blog post.
Link building. Focus first on relationship based links and go from there. One to two links a week will be perfectly fine.
Send emails to people mentioned in the blog post.
Finish and publish page.
STEP 4: BUILD ON IT
Now that you’ve got a great foundation in place, build on it! The goal of website marketing is to make the absolute most out of every single visitor. Once you’ve had someone visit your site, do you want them to just leave and never think about you again?
- Email list
Offer people a great reason to subscribe to your email list – maybe your top 10 hidden destinations in your area – and from there, you’ll be able to keep in touch with your offers.
Using Adroll or Perfect Audience, set up a retargeting campaign so visitors to your website continue to see ads for your tour products. You can even make it so people see ads specifically tailored to the tours they just looked at!
There you have it! Now you have your 30 minute a day marketing plan for Content & SEO.
It’ll take you a little while to get used to the routine, but once you have it down, you should be able to get things done within that short time frame and enjoy the ongoing benefits that flow from that for your business.
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