Welcome to Part 3 of our 6-part series on SEO for escape rooms that covers Authoritative Content.
Our SEO Series for Escape Rooms includes:
- Part 1: Crawlable Pages
- Part 2: Keywords
- Part 3: Authoritative Content
- Part 4: Structured Data & Rich Snippets
- Part 5: Page Speed & Security
- Part 6: Local SEO (coming soon)
Table of Contents
Creating quality content involves understanding your target audience, having authoritative people create/share your content, and crafting useful content in an attractive way.
Understand Your Target Audience
First and foremost, you need to be knowledgeable and passionate about escape rooms. You should understand how escape rooms work, both from the owner’s side and the player’s side. That way, you can clearly explain the concept of escape games to your customers – many of whom have never heard of an escape room.
You need to understand what players are looking for (fun birthday party, romantic date night, corporate team building event, etc.) and be able to explain how an escape game is the perfect fit.
You also need to be aware of common concerns players have when choosing an escape room. For example, many players wonder if the game will be too scary, if it will be too difficult, or if it is suitable for children.
You should also do some research on player preferences. For example, what prices are players comfortable paying for an escape game? Are private or public games more popular in your area? What time of the day/week do most people play escape games?
Once you understand your audience, you can provide information on your website that appeals to them.
Your website content should be written by credible, authoritative people. This is important because it makes your site more trustworthy in the eyes of searchers, and search engines. In addition, credible content worthy of amplification is more likely to be shared on social media, and used for link building,
As mentioned above, YOU should become an authority on escape rooms. You should be active on social media – focus on quality/useful posts and comments, not just ads for your escape room. If you have time, you should consider starting a blog on your escape room website. Regularly publishing articles with useful content will help with SEO and get you/your escape room known in the industry.
Next, you need to reach out to influencers in the escape room industry. These may include bloggers, escape game reviewers, online magazines, local newspapers, and/or other respected persons in the escape game arena.
When you align yourself with an influencer you get access to their followers, and their follower’s network. Influencers help drive traffic to your website, increase your following on social media and can easily increase bookings through a review, recommendation or story of their experience. As such, influencer marketing is a great place to invest some of your efforts. Fortunately, the escape room ecosystem is still quite small, so now is a great time to reach out to bloggers to see if they would be willing to contribute content to your website.
To catch the attention of influencers and inspire them to share your content, you should be active in all of the social media forums for the escape room industry. Take the time to reach out to the right bloggers – ones with a large readership/social media following, that publish regularly, and whose followers match your target customer demographic. It may seem impossible to persuade a blogger to promote your escape room. But keep in mind, they are often looking for content too, and may be open to collaboration.
If industry influencers cannot create content for you, at least ask if they would be willing to share your useful content. Having influential sites linking to your site makes your content become more credible.
Keep in mind, there are some legal requirements when it comes to sponsored and paid-for content on blogs and social media. So, ensure you research the do’s and don’ts before getting started. For example, blog posts often need to include a line or hashtag marking it as sponsored content if there has been an exchange of money or goods between you and the blogger. These kinds of disclosures are essential for transparency, and ensures that bloggers keep their readers’ trust.
Craft Quality Content
Whether you are providing information on your website, posting/commenting on social media, or writing an entire blog article – make sure you are providing unique, useful content.
Start with a well-written, organized website. As discussed in part two of our SEO series, search engines can spot blatant keyword-stuffing, and prefer to see coherent sentences. Structure the information players need in easy to understand ways. For example, you may want to organize common player questions/concerns into a handy FAQ page. Similarly, you may want to address difficulty concerns by incorporating difficulty ratings/escape rates into your room descriptions. Additionally, consider adding pages for each of the additional services you have, i.e. corporate team building.
Frequently updating your website content is important. Don’t be afraid to keep tweaking your room descriptions, adding new FAQs, etc… A good habit to get into is every time a customer asks you a question that isn’t on your FAQ page, add it to your website.
If you choose to publish a blog, make sure your articles are frequent and interesting. If possible, try to take a unique approach to the escape room industry. For example, my wife Laura Kendall uses her experience as an attorney to write helpful articles about how different laws affect escape rooms.
If you are creating new content on a regular basis, it’s inevitable that you’ll eventually run into a case of writer’s block. To generate new content ideas try using some of the handy tips below:
- Brainstorm: Start with one or two main ideas and circle them, then draw branches connecting those ideas to related sub-ideas, which you will generate via free association. Then, you’ll branch out from those sub-ideas, and continue the process, following whatever interests you the most until you find a specific, relevant topic you can turn into a full-length post.
- Check Out The Competition: See if your competitor’s blogs have topics you could cover more in-depth? Perhaps you could add something new, or take a new approach to a topic.
- Review Your Old Posts: Obviously, you can’t simply re-post an old article, but there are many ways you can create new content from your previous material. For example, you could update an old post. If you’ve written something like “Escape room trends that will dominate 2018,” consider writing a new version of that post for 2019 (when the time comes). Similarly, you could add a new perspective to an old post. For example, if you wrote an article targeting escape room enthusiasts, try applying it to another target such as HR departments, or tourists.
- Follow News/Trends: Perhaps you can create an opinion piece about a current event relevant to your customers? Sometimes escape rooms themselves are in the news, so you may be able to expand on a topic in the news.
I must reiterate that you need to focus on QUALITY, NOT QUANTITY. Google’s customer is the searcher, and it will do everything in its power to ensure a quality user experience. Writing thousands of posts will not guarantee higher rankings in search engines. In fact, poorly-written, uninteresting and/or useless content will negatively affect you in the long run. If people are not consuming your content or bouncing right away, over time Google will realize it. If searchers are frustrated with your results compared to others, Google will simply rank those other sites higher.
Authoritative content is an essential part of SEO so start improving your content and reaching out to influencers now! Also be sure to check out our next SEO article discussing Rich Snippets and Structured Data.
Click to see our Escape Room SEO Overview!
Brad Kendall is the Co-founder and Chief Technical Officer at EscapeAssist. Brad became obsessed with escape rooms in 2015, but was frustrated with the lack of user-friendly websites and booking systems. In 2016 he set out to build a better solution for escape rooms by designing the EscapeAssist All-In-One Software.
Brad has over 10 years of technical experience, and has worked with and/or founded tech companies in California, New York, Canada, and London. He has acted in both technical and non-technical roles to implement successful tech projects for various fortune 500 companies.