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First page? Second page? Even further back?
Where your business ranks in search engine results matters a lot! The closer you are to the top of the first page, the more likely your potential customers are to click.
A study conducted by Moz shows the click-through rate of website results based on specific intent.
As you can see from the graph, if a person performs a search based on a specific location, approximately 35% of people will click on the first search result. From there, the numbers drop significantly. If your business happens to be on the second page of the search engine results then the click-through rate to your site is only going to be a dismal 5%.
No business wants that, especially an escape room. Most escape rooms don’t get a lot of walk-in traffic!
Now that we have determined why SEO is so important, what can you do?
How To Get Google To Like Your Website
Before diving into specific factors to improve SEO, you should understand how search engines work:
First, search engines use crawlers to explore websites and build an index. Next, they provide searchers with a ranked list of what they have determined to be the most relevant websites. Crawlers use pathways called links to reach the billions of interconnected documents on the web. Once the engines find pages, they decipher the code from them and store selected pieces in massive databases, to be recalled later when needed for a search query.
During an online search, the search engine goes through its huge database of web pages and does 2 things:
- Returns specific results that are relevant or useful to the searcher’s query.
- Ranks those results according to the popularity of the websites providing the information.
Search engine optimization helps your website with both relevance and popularity. You can improve your relevance/popularity by exploring the topics discussed below. You can also take advantage of the Google Search Console. An important thing to keep in the back of your mind is that search engines are all about user experience. Everything they do is to give their users the information they are looking for. As such, you need to optimize your website for search engines and consumers!
Our in-depth series will help you see how you stack up when it comes to some important search engine ranking factors for escape rooms. We will be providing you with detailed articles on each of these topics, but here is a brief overview so you know what’s in store for you!
You want Google’s crawlers to be able to come to your page and understand the content that’s on there. It should be in a text readable format, with images, videos, or embeds structured with ALT tags so that the crawlers are able to put them into their web index. Another tool to make it easier for Google to understand your page is to publish compelling title tags and meta descriptions. The snippet (how your website is displayed in a search result) is crucial to your SEO efforts. The snippet is your opportunity to say, “Come click me instead of those other escape rooms.”
You need to use words and phrases that searchers are actually using to find your escape room. Focus on a primary keyword, and a set of related secondary keywords that share the searcher’s intent. The most obvious one is “Escape Room **Your City.**” Keep in mind, you should not just list/stack keywords all over the place. You must employ keywords intelligently, so they are woven smoothly and logically into your website content.
It is important to have the most authoritative person create content that will serve the searcher’s goal. Ideally, you should find a credible, worthy of amplification person or persons to create the content. If you have the time, consider starting a blog with useful content. Perhaps reach out to local bloggers, online magazines, or other respected persons in the escape game industry.
Enhance your content using a bit of code. Fortunately for non-programmers, Google provides an easy to use tool for this (Data Highlighter). Structured data is coded directly into your webpage in a format that is super easy for Google to understand. Once Google can understand your data better, they can then easily and confidently display it much richer and informative ways.
Search engines want to make sure their clients have a good user experience, so they look for fast, secure websites. Ideally, your website should load in under 5 seconds. In addition, your website should look good and function well on any screen size or device. Website security is critically important, so you should consider using an HTTPS encrypted website.
Local SEO (coming soon)
Escape room businesses need to optimize their presence in the local area. You need to optimize your local listings with consistent NAP citations, sign up for escape room industry directories, use location relevant keywords, and build up reviews.
Hopefully, this roadmap helps you get the most out of our SEO series.
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.