Leveraged by nearly all of today’s most successful companies, SEO is a powerful way to increase the online visibility of your brand, along with the quantity and quality of your brand’s website traffic. By employing strategic SEO tactics, outdoor brands can be among the top organic (non-paid) results produced when consumers perform online research using popular search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, Ask.com and others. And this results-page ranking can provide a major boost for a business’s online exposure — according to studies, the first page of the average Google search results accounts for roughly 92% of the web traffic generated by the search, with the No. 1 result receiving about a third of the resulting web traffic.
So how can your outdoor brand leverage SEO to rise to the top of the consideration list when consumers review their search engine results pages (SERPs) and ponder the options available for their imminent purchases? Consider this short breakdown of the most effective SEO tactics from TBA Outdoors Optimization & Analytics Specialist Mark Harrison:
This category of SEO practices is geared toward optimizing individual web pages in order to produce higher web-search rankings and earn more relevant (and potentially more lucrative) web traffic. In a nutshell, it involves ensuring that web pages effectively provide answers to online searchers’ questions.
The three primary types of on-page SEO include:
1. Keyword Research —
This is the practice of identifying the most popular words and phrases people enter into search engines. When these words and phrases are naturally incorporated on your brand’s web pages and in your brand’s content, it makes your web pages more likely to land high on the results pages users see after performing web searches.
Pro tip: Some of the top tools available for informing your keyword research include Ahrefs Keywords Explorer, Google Ads Keyword Planner, Moz Keyword Explorer, Google Trends and Semrush.
2. Content Creation —
Developing fresh, relevant content is one of the keystones of any SEO campaign. While, as mentioned above, incorporating effective keywords in your content can help boost your pages’ rankings on SERPs, it’s important that the keywords be employed in a natural way. Search-engine algorithms have evolved over time to recognize low-value content that employs excessive “keyword stuffing” to boost rankings, and they now reward helpful content that genuinely informs and provides useful answers searchers’ questions.
3. Keyword Optimization —
This tactic involves optimizing website content, page title tags, meta descriptions, header tags and image alt tags to ensure that they are at the proper length for search engines and that they include relevant keywords. This step is generally taken with existing web pages after the content has already been created and posted, and seeks to maximize the effectiveness of the pages’ elements during web searches.
This element involves the actual back-end, technical programming of a website to ensure that its coding, navigation, visual elements and all of its metadata are optimized for search engines. In addition to boosting search rankings by making your website more navigable/understandable for search engines and easier for them to “crawl” (evaluate for helpful content and, consequently, higher search rankings), technical SEO can deliver additional benefits by serving to speed up a website’s performance for users.
These SEO tactics relate to activities carried out away from your brand’s own website, often using external resources and connections to boost your website’s search rankings. These measures typically serve as a way to “vouch” for the quality and value of your website, lending it credibility and relevance while putting it in a position of authority on the topics it covers.
The four primary types of off-page SEO include:
1. Competitor Research and Analysis —
This tactic involves monitoring the trends and strategies being employed by your brand’s competitors, then adapting your own strategy based on the insights gained to build up your own competitive edge.
In just one real-world example, by utilizing competitor research to discover that a competing brand is seeing substantial success by offering a women’s line of outdoor gear, an outdoor brand could offer its own — ideally even superior — women’s line to tap into this market and avoid falling behind. The brand might even see gaps in the competitor’s offerings in the line, then create a brand advantage by filling these gaps with its own offerings.
Pro tip: Some of the top tools available for informing your competitor research/analysis include Semrush, SpyFu and Moz Pro.
2. Link Building —
Geared toward increasing your brand’s exposure and credibility, this tactic involves finding opportunities for inbound links via high-quality directories, link placement on other relevant websites, and various mentions in other places on the internet. Because search-engine algorithms evaluate the number and quality of a website’s inbound links in determining its SERP ranking, this tactic can deliver dual advantages in both the traffic and exposure gained from the links themselves and the resulting boost in search-engine rankings.
3. Guest Blogging —
There are millions of blogs on the internet, and plenty of them out there have a primary focus on the outdoor lifestyle. Further, vast numbers of these blogs are perpetually hungry for content, especially when it is provided for publication free of charge. And by contributing an in-depth guest article on a hot industry topic to one or more of these blogs on outside websites, a brand can benefit its own standing and search rankings in multiple ways.
First, the guest blog can help establish the writer — and the brand behind the writer — as an expert in their field. And additionally, by placing the above-discussed inbound links on credible outside websites, the brand can boost its credibility with search engines — and thereby its SERP rankings.
4. Google My Business Optimization —
My Business is Google’s one-stop shop for managing how your business will perform with the world’s most powerful search engine, as well as how its listing will look on a Google SERP. By leveraging a Google My Business account, your outdoor brand can appear in Google’s business listings, more effectively connect with consumers using Google’s Search and Maps tools, and optimize its listing appearance when it shows up (hopefully top-of-page) in Google search results.
Could your outdoor brand use the help of a group of experienced marketing professionals to effectively boost your SEO tactics and, in turn, your search-engine rankings? At TBA Outdoors, our fully integrated marketing firm boasts a team of seasoned specialists (and outdoors fanatics) who can cover all aspects of marketing — including SEO, brand strategy, creative, social media, e-commerce, analytics, public relations and much more — all in one place. And as certified brand strategists, we can also help you with the big-picture adjustments sometimes needed put your outdoor brand on a course to long-term success.
To get started with professional guidance ranging from a simple website analysis to a comprehensive strategy tailored to boost your outdoor brand’s overall performance and identity, contact us today.