Not all businesses operate during the entire year, some of them are seasonal and require certain conditions usually brought by the change of weather. This is mostly the case with winter and summer vacation related jobs, for example, yachting. These seasonal businesses are especially present in Europe where tourist seaside season starts somewhere in May and ends in October. Since it is standing still the rest of the year, they only have about six months to make a profit.
Yachting businesses flourish in summer as the entire middle, eastern and northern Europe flocks to the beaches of the Mediterranean eager to rest. This is also an opportunity for prestigious hotels, villas, and other hospitality businesses like the finest seafood restaurants and yacht charter owners.
However, the yacht charter business is getting more competitive year by year. As the number of tourists increases and more and more visitors arrive from the Americas and especially Asia, the demand is growing but the competition is increasing as well.
As a yacht charter business owner there are two strategies that you can choose when positioning your business on the market in such a short period of time as a few summer months – organic and paid approach. If you are not sure how these two approaches differ, make sure you read this quick guide to organic and paid SEO.
Organic SEO Strategy For Yacht Business
If you want your business to be positioned on the market long before the competition has even set the sails and started thinking about marketing, you should begin your campaign at least three to six months ahead of the season. Meaning, if you are expecting first bookings in May 2019, your marketing efforts should probably have started in November 2018 or February 2019 the latest.
When you hire an SEO expert or an agency, the first thing they will do is check your website for double or outdated content, malware, broken pages, missing sitemaps, low page speed and other technical stuff that may cause your website to run slowly and drive away audience looking for your service. Maybe you even need a new website that will improve user experience and have simple and intuitive navigation.
Since it takes some time for search engines to index and to position your website and its every individual page, you should put an extra effort to create high-quality compelling content. Research the possible topics about the model(s) of your yacht(s) to explain to new customers what they can expect when they book a cruise. Next, research and write some service pages about the possible destinations that they can visit and experience. Most importantly, research all the relevant keywords for your type of yacht business and make sure they are implemented across webpages. If you put enough effort into creating evergreen up-to-date content for your potential customers, your pages will remain relevant for months maybe even years to come.
Next, make sure you have submitted your business in all the relevant directories so that your customers can easily find you and be sure that you are a credible business, no matter how small or newly established. This especially goes for Google My Business which is usually the first point of contact for most people searching for companies.
Finally, don’t be afraid to ask your customers to leave a review of your business and confirm the quality and reliability of your service.
With enough time to allocate your budget wisely, you can invest in different widgets on your website like booking form or chat service aka customer support. If you build your website around your customers’ needs, you will increase the time they spend on your website.
By working continuously on your brand, image, and content, you will achieve long-term results that will keep you at top positions for months to come. As the old saying goes – slow and steady wins the race.
Paid SEO Strategy For Yach Business
A paid SEO campaign can be done anytime, even in the middle of the season, for example, July or August. It can be a last-minute urgent solution when your business hits a rough patch but it is never recommended as the only digital marketing strategy.
Paid SEO campaigns do give instant results and paid ads will always attract customers quickly. However, once the paid advertising is over your business will plummet back to the old ranking or even lower, if search engines decide so. Mostly because you will have no other relevance other than paid ads, no interesting content to which a customer can return to and no reviews.
Not to mention the costs – as you jump into the advertising mid-season, the competition will already have raised the prices of all your relevant keywords and you will find yourself spending a lot of money with a questionable ROI. If you start your paid campaign at the beginning of the season, you will most likely spend all of your budgets solely on advertising and maybe even run out of money to spend on such promotional activities.
Also, there may be an additional challenge of slight mistrust certain people have for paid ads. Not to say they are not effective, after all, PPC has been around for decades, just that organic results are usually far more trustworthy in consumers’ opinion.
Which SEO Strategy Is Better?
As SEO experts we can only say – both organic and paid.
Start organically at least three months in advance by building your brand and your content, acquiring links and reviews and see whether the results are at the satisfying level. If you find yourself with fewer bookings than you expected then, by all means, try investing in paid advertising just to boost all that organic effort you already put in. There might not even be a need for any paid advertising if you do everything by the book and give your maximum.
When you invest in SEO with long-term results in mind, you are no more at the mercy of paid advertising market and its prices, but you have the liberty to promote your business according to your own budget. You can spend your money at your own pace and not follow the set prices for ads blindly just to get any results, let alone good ROI.
Not to mention that websites that are organically highly positioned are more likely to have higher click-through rates (CTRs) and better conversions, simply because organic value signals credibility.
BUT…there is always a “but”! Google really loves its ads and is giving them more and more space on the SERPs, squeezing out the organic results day by day. Paying for your place among the greats aka investing in PPC, sometimes can be the only option if you want to be visible at all. This, of course, depends on the industry and the niche. The more competitive the industry – the less space for organically grown websites.