First came the dinosaurs, then the age of man, finally the age of the internet. This is the third age, also known as ‘the age of the blog’.
Blogs are wonderful things. They allow for businesses to express themselves without hesitation, write about important issues, and boost following amongst customers and potential customers alike. Blogs share ideas across the internet in a way far more suited to thought sharing.
In a way there is next to no excuse to not have a blog nowadays. Everyone and their cat has a reason to, however still numerous companies insist that it is not a rightful use of money or time. This is a false assumption, as blogs can benefit a company enormously.
Recently CAB Studios forged a research team, comprising of people all around the company, to analyse the websites of one hundred of the UK’s best attractions. The results were fascinating, with all kinds of statistics being drawn up. Luckily for the leisure industry exactly half of those tested had blogs. This is an awesome statistic.
That being said, and I am not usually a glass half empty kind of guy, it also means that 50% did not. Why this is the case is beyond logic, and it can only be assumed that said organisations do not see the benefits of using a blog.
Blogs should be used in the tourist or leisure industry for two primary reasons, both of which can have measurable returns on investment. The first is for the same reason Social Media is important for the leisure industry. More can be read about this in my colleague’s post on Social Media in the leisure industry, however, in short, it increases customer awareness and interaction.
The other reason - and what I would like to focus this article on - is the SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) benefits of having a blog.
Blogs have swiftly become one of the staples of SEO. It is an incredibly useful tool for optimising a wider selection of keywords and are a source of fresh content. They increase the overall readability for a site by engaging and inspiring users, coaxing in viewers with click bait, and overall they are nifty tools for having a fully optimised site. Using blogs for SEO is not a specific tool for the tourist or leisure industry but rather one which can be used no matter the organisation.
One primary way blogs can help SEO is with the creation of pages targeting certain keywords that would not normally be optimised within the page of the site. One example, within the leisure industry, is for a castle. The castle may hold all kinds of events throughout the year, however let’s say they want to draw attention to a jousting event in October. They have recognised a need for a page that is optimised for jousting in October, and so creating a post optimised for that keyword could result in a higher rate of conversions.
Another way is to create linkbait. Linkbait*, or click bait as it is known in some circles, is the art of bringing someone to your website through incredibly sharable content. It is a form of Content Marketing that allows for potential clients or customers to find your website through the social sharing of pages on the site. Numerous websites are great at producing linkbait, including Buzzfeed and The Art of Manliness.
Finally, a third way that SEO can benefit from a blog is by helping the site (as a whole) gain authority. Site authority consists of numerous things, including Pagerank, number of visits, etc. One major aspect is relevant content, playing a huge part in Google Panda. A blog shows Google that you know what you are talking about, allowing you to expand, use proof terms (terms similar to those that you are optimising for), and gain authority.
There you have it, three ways in which a blog can help SEO within the leisure industry. For more information make sure you subscribe to Underhood and read our other posts surrounding our research.
So what is the next step?
The simple solution is, if you are a leisure company (or any company for that matter) and you do not have a blog, to get a blog. For SEO purposes it makes sense for this to be attached to the main part of the site, rather than hosted on a different platform, in order to get the most use out of it.
Once the blog is up the next step is to keep it fresh with content.
There are several types of content that can be uploaded depending on the company and company persona. These include blog posts, articles, infographics, videos, images, galleries, and, well, the list goes on and on.
*NB: Linkbait and click bait are two ways of approaching the same piece of content. Linkbait suggests that it is content that generates external links. Click bait suggests that it generates a lot of clicks. Practically speaking they are the same, as both are usually highly sharable.