Best SEO Tips for Small Businesses on Vancouver Island
An economic snapshot of British Columbia shows the continued rise of hospitality and tourism-based businesses. But this extends beyond just hotels and travel. Restaurants, bars, cafes, and retailers all get a big slice of that pie as well.
And every trip, even just down the road, starts with Google. So how does this affect your strategy for SEO in Victoria, BC? It means you’ll want to start optimizing your small business for organic searches using both local and international SEO strategies.
1. Optimize Your Website for International Visitors
With millions of international tourists arriving on Vancouver Island every year, local businesses need to ensure that their SEO strategy is helping them to be discovered online by travelers from all around the globe. This starts with solid on-page SEO.
- Optimize your domain architecture for international audiences. This primarily applies to tourism and travel sites international visitors will be looking for before they arrive.
- Get your Vancouver Island SEO in tip-top shape. Local SEO is just as important in an international SEO strategy. That means NAP (name, address, and phone number) and location-specific tags on all your images and meta-descriptions.
Action Tip: If you run a travel and tourism website, you run the risk of having index bloat, which will slow your website down and confuse search engines. Use the Google Search Console to make sure your site is properly indexed and fix any errors you come across.
2. Get Creative with Your Keyword Strategy
Keywords are an essential component to any SEO strategy. For small business SEO in Victoria, competing for difficult and competitive keywords can often be a fruitless effort.
Instead of building your keyword strategy around broad industry search terms, consider unique opportunities to connect with your audience. Find your niche, and build your keyword strategy around it.
- It’s much easier to rank for long-tail keywords. Targeting “travel Vancouver Island” is going to be highly competitive, but “guided walking tours of Vancouver Island” might be a much better opportunity with far less competition.
- Don’t just rely on keyword tools. Manual research can give precise insights into what your audience is searching for. When you search for a keyword you’re currently targeting, you can see what “people also search for” as well as other searches that are similar. Putting yourself in their shoes will help you find new chances to reach them.
- Use geo-targeted keywords. This should go without saying, but make sure your strategy for keywords and SEO is focusing on Victoria, BC, or Vancouver Island.
Action Tip: Look at what your competitors are doing. Tools like SEMRush let you find out what keywords other sites are ranking for and even what keywords they’re bidding on in any pay-per-click campaigns. This can be a great way to find gaps and improve your own SEO strategy.
3. Quality Content Wins the Day
Whether you run a small bed and breakfast on Vancouver Island, a local brewery, or a bespoke little shop selling odds and ends, boosting organic web traffic will drive people through your doors. And content is a key part of that process.
Tourists do a lot of research before they visit a new place. Blogs are a great way to educate visitors planning their trips to Vancouver Island and get your small business in front of new customers.
- Update any old, out of date content on your website. Keeping your site fresh and relevant is an important factor in organic rankings.
- Implement a thoughtful, consistent blogging strategy built around comprehensive keyword research.
- Share your content across social media channels. Social media links may not directly affect SEO, but they do increase brand awareness and drive traffic to your website.
- Think seasonal. Find out what the peak seasons are for your industry and utilize season-specific keywords to target visitors looking for things to do when they visit.
Action Tip: A powerful tool to help your Vancouver Island SEO is optimizing your content for featured snippets on Google. Craft content with these in mind. Think numbered lists or helpful overviews to answer specific questions.
4. Network and Earn Inbound Links
All that great content won’t do anything for your SEO if you aren’t earning inbound links. Links from credible and relevant websites let Google know that your site is an authority on the topic, which is key to earning page-one rankings.
- Reach out to bloggers, influencers, or industry publications to forge relationships and hopefully get your content linked.
- Hold events and use press releases to get earned media from local news outlets.
- Partner with other businesses in the industry that aren’t your direct competitors. Building travel packages can be a great opportunity to earn links from other sites that are already winning with their Vancouver Island SEO.
Action Tip: Businesses that are catering to tourists and visitors from around the island or off would benefit from forging connections with local travel blogs or other tourism-focused publications. Is your business featured on VancouverIsland.com? Reach out to see about being included in their many lists of activities and attractions in the area. There are plenty more sites just like that one serving visitors and owning the first page of Google already.
Keep in mind, all of these strategies can help small businesses in Victoria with their SEO, but there are other general best practices for ranking that apply to any business anywhere. If you don’t currently have any SEO strategy, start with the basics and then use these tips to boost your overall strategy.
You may also with to consider a Vancouver Island local SEO consultant, who can work with you to ensure your business ranks strongly both to those on Vancouver Island, and those intending to visit.