Maybe it’s just that time of the year, but lately I’m doing a lot of Search Engine Optimization work – particularly with our outdoor clients. So as several members of our Callis team prepare to head out to the 2014 SHOT Show in Las Vegas this week, it seems like a perfect time to share a few thoughts about SEO site structure for companies involved in outdoor sports.
As we talk to companies, it’s pretty normal that they want to discuss their website, and in particular, they want to discuss their site’s search engine optimization (SEO). Many have a basic knowledge of SEO. For example, they typically know that their site needs to incorporate keywords so that it can be found by search engines. They’re normally also aware of the need to use meta tags within the site’s pages. Meta tags are one element of a site’s technical underpinnings that are necessary before you can expect to see results from the rest of an SEO plan. But, many companies are less comfortable with actually building or implementing an SEO plan.
Here’s some quick tips.
1. Identify and prioritize your SEO keyword targets. Let’s face it. You can’t SEO every word on the site, so you’ll need to prioritize. Take the low hanging fruit first.
2. Use the language of your audience. Don’t get caught up in your terminology. You can often tell an industry insider from a newcomer by the terms they use. But if those insider terms aren’t generally known, they’re not the terms to SEO – at least not first. Again… low hanging fruit.
3. Be sure you’ve got the right target in your sight. A common misstep is to go through your site, page by page, optimizing each one at a time. But what if the site itself isn’t structured properly for SEO? Just as prospects often use different terms than you might use internally, they’re also likely to think differently about your products. For example, a manufacturer will typically think in terms of their product lines. Once again, that’s not unique to outdoor sports. Consumers think in terms of solutions. SEO needs to focus on solutions to consumer problems. This can require a website revision (or even a complete restructure). From there, the content can logically be built out to provide solutions (i.e., your products) to consumer’s needs.
4. Don’t stop. SEO in 2014 is about continually generating great content that addresses consumer problems. The minute you stop generating that quality content, a competitor will begin to gain on you.
So there you have it: four (plus) areas to consider if you’ve decided to give your outdoor sports website SEO some attention in 2014. Of course, it’s not as simple as just getting the technical and structural parts of your website in order and then creating great content. Much more goes into a successful SEO campaign. But until a strong technical foundation and strong content can be developed, nothing else matters much.
Cliff Callis, Tim Noland, Megan Ramey, and Charlyn Callis will all be out at SHOT this week. If you’re looking to talk SEO strategy (or other digital or traditional marketing strategy), this might be a great time to connect with them. Give us a call or drop us an email if you’d like to have a discussion with one of them. We’d love to hear from you!