Wednesday, 23 October 2013
Google's Secure Search changes and what they mean to your hostel marketing
If you have and SEO strategy in place, you probably need to now rethink it. As Google has moved to secure search (using HTTPS), the ability to use and predict keywords trends in your online marketing has just been made a little more complicated.
The move to secure search means in simple terms, that you won't be able to track users by the keywords they've inputted into their search, as Google will no be passing their keyword search data to websites anymore. This is a big upheaval to SEO and anyone with an online strategy - you may have customers finding you through Bing or duckduckgo, but Google is the platform for around 65% of searches.
How does this affect your marketing?
Up until now, knowing what your customer is searching for, such as"best party hostel Barcelona" means not just knowing what your potential customers are looking for, but also what words and phrases are key to search. You then use these magic words in all your online marketing across all channels - your website, your blog, your social media, in the hope that repeating it will get you to the front page of Google when this is searched for so that your potential customer has a good chance of finding you. In short - you're speaking their language. The problem now, is you won't know what language that is.
The time spent tracking and adjusting various phrases and keywords is not not really necessary anymore when using Google analytics. You will still find keywords from other search sites while they're sharing this data, but you will need to change your strategy as times change. You are still attracting relatively the same people and have the same product offerings, but the patterns and trends in the customer will be more of a mystery than a means to attract them.
So what now?
It's not all bad news. It makes predicting changes in trends difficult, and if you're creating an SEO strategy without a professional you may experience some trial and error, but there are benefits too. Now the challenge is placed on creating content that is really relevant. Actually really relevant. You can no longer rely just on phrases that have buzz words, but your content has to be what someone is actually looking for. Writing great content such as city guides, top tourist attractions, bars, beaches and things to see will always be a safe strategy for getting traffic to your website, but they might not always be looking for a place to stay. The changes now force you to embrace a strategy that makes your key business your key content, and will rank it as such. Make sure you always have content for your primary purpose as a place to stay, as this should be the focus of customer's searches.
If you have a simplistic strategy in place that focusses on getting to the first page of Google and focussing on search terms, then this will mean some changes for you. Everyone in marketing shouts about content being king, and now this is more true than ever. Make your content relevant to your service and you will attract customers when it is relevant to their searches. Focus on drawing customers with content of real value and you should attract the right prospects for your business.
If you need some expert help - call a doctor!
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