Search Engine Optimisation

Search Phase

The first stage of any customer journey is searching. Searching for a holiday, a location, a park, or an experience. We all do it in our everyday lives – we search for train times, discount vouchers perhaps a pair of shoes, and your customers do exactly the same. They may search on Google (that’s why you may spend money on PPC and SEO), see you on social media (that’s why you may spend money on Facebook ads or Instagram pages) – but it starts with a search.

It goes without saying that you need to ensure that you park and business is front and centre of any search that a customer may complete. This used to be making sure you were on the first page of Google for any search, now of course with the sheer volume of platforms that people use (social media and voice as two examples) – it’s now more complex than that.

One example is the increase of the use of voice technologies and specifically voice search by customers – be this using Alexa, Siri or Google Home Mini etc. These voice-activated devices are not only changing the way customers search for you, but also changes the way you interact with them.

Key digital tactics to use during Search

  • Organic SEO,
  • Paid search (PPC, Google Adwords) / targeted social media advertising
  • Content Marketing
  • Social Media
  • Travel Reviews and;
  • Influencer Marketing.

Organic SEO & PPC

As with a lot of the travel sector, search advertising is extremely fierce, and organic search results from holiday parks for non-branded searches are often minimal. Unless you have invested heavily in organic search, many of Google’s first page results for generic holiday park searches (e.g. Devon Holiday Park”) are owned by the likes of TripAdvisor, Hoseasons and

It does feel like Google is forcing website owners to invest in sponsored ads if they want to have any kind of visibility, especially on mobile devices. However, there is one golden opportunity that businesses tend to overlook – Google Business listing.

Google My Business for Highlands End Holiday Park

One cannot stress the importance of your Google Business listings – we have seen a huge shift in recent years where a holiday park’s Google Business listing can provide over half of their organic traffic to their website. So it’s vital that you take ownership of your business listing on Google, Bing and all other search engines and that use this channel as part of your organic search strategy.

Another lesser-known SEO opportunity is the Featured Snippet. These are displayed prominently within a box at the top of a Google result page and generally try to answer a user’s search query. These snippets within the SEO industry are known as “position 0” as they don’t actually get counted towards the normal search results – but are highly desirable as they can produce lots of organic traffic.

There is no real way to game the system for these; Google rewards those pages with featured snippets if they are the most useful to searchers. If one of your pages already achieves the number one spot for a search page – then it’s likely it could become a featured snippet in the future.

Things to do in Dorset for teenagers

A featured snippet displayed when searching for “things to do in Poole” – displaying Ulwell Cottage Park results

Voice Search

When it comes to an SEO strategy, it is important to look at the big picture. What do the latest Google changes say about where they think search is heading. For the last couple of years it has all been about the shift to smartphone use and mobile optimisation. So where might search go from here? We are hearing lots of noise about voice search and other technology advances, which suggests we are heading for more changes and highly personalised search landscape.

Amazon Alexa in a lodge at Highlands End Holiday Park

Although it is fairly unlikely that someone is going to book a holiday online solely using a smart speaker, your potential guests will be using these devices in the early stages of looking for their next break. Voice searches tend to be spoken in full, natural sentences, which is something you might want to consider working up your search and content strategies.


David Lakins

Dave Lakins is no stranger to the holiday park industry... Read More

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