SEO and why it matters to you!

Partners and colleagues of the Aruba Tourism Association were invited to a SEO presentation, on Thursday. Don’t feel bad, I also didn’t immediately associate SEO with Search Engine Optimization, though I heard about it, I am aware of it, and I also marvel at the fact that when I ask Uncle Google the craziest question, the all-mighty search engine gets it every time.  Example: I Googled “Uncle Google,” and was directed to the Urban Dictionary which informed the following: Uncle Google is like that scary older relative that your mum warns you about hanging around with, but you do anyway because he knows almost everything; and he can always be relied upon to show you some puppies. Unfortunately he also makes you look at dirty pictures too, whether you want to or not.

Back to the presentation: It was held at the Renaissance Convention center who served delicious pastechi and breakfast pastries and it was attended by the island’s marketing gurus, a small but potent group of people who wanted to learn more about the subject and why it should matter. “We invited anyone directly involved with content writing and websites,” said Sherry Bidgood, Project Manager Digital unit, on the invitation.

Why it matters to you???

Tim Lavelle, Director of SEO and Social Media, at the SEO Agency of the Aruba Tourism Authority held an almost 3 hour presentation on the subject and its best practices. The goal he said, was to teach us how to improve our website’s visibility within Google’s organic search results, which is no small feat. You realize today, that opening your door for business is not enough, well, creating a website and just hanging it out there on the internet, is not enough either. You gotta update and optimize it, by determining how people search for products and services, and then you gotta figure out how well your site currently ranks, and then the job of picking the right target keywords begins and never ends.

These target keywords must be sprinkled all over your website, so that Uncle Google can find then, when prompted by a browser. And by sprinkling I mean in your tags, your content, the headers, the URL, and the links, think about Wikipedia, and what the page looks like, and how Google always finds it, and refers you to that website.

Having done the thinking, you must make sure your website is well constructed and fast, so that pages reveal their content at the click of the mouse, then ask Uncle Google how you are doing, and correct all defects Google analytics found, and do the same for all images, that must be titled and tagged and all videos, that only matter for the first couple of seconds, then do some more thinking about relevant links and identify some more target keywords, and start the process all over, for any digital content.

Did I scare you? Are you sorry you fired your marketing director after launching your website believing the monster will do all the work on its own?

Anyway, at the wake of optimizing the website continuously you may expect to see improved organic keyword rankings, more organic website traffic, and accordingly, more revenue. If you are not doing any of the above, you are wasting your time, and you’d better close shop.

“We all have a role to play in promoting the One happy island,” writes Sherry, “and one of the best ways to generate more demand for Aruba visitation is to apply SEO strategies to our digital content so that our marketing messages can be delivered to a wider audience than ever before.”

Our presenter Tim Lavelle was very knowledgeable, as the ultimate expert on SEO and Social media. I liked when he explained: “I only hire writers at our office, because you can teach a writer search engine optimization, but you cannot teach a search engine optimizer to write… “