Have you ever wondered how SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) can boost visitors to your museum website? SEO can help your website rank higher up in search engines (such as Google) where it is more likely to gain online visitors and you can then convert these views into paying customers. But where do you start with SEO – especially if you have never utilised it before?
We spoke to Harry O’Connor, CEO of AIM Associate Suppliers and website developers, Heritage Creative, to get some easy top tips that you can implement immediately to see results. In the following tips, Harry will be discussing general approaches (rather than the technical implementation of SEO) so if you spend 5 minutes reading the list below it should dramatically improve your museum’s SEO ranking.
None of the tips listed below require the help of your web designer and can be done very easily with your in-house Content Management System such as WordPress. Good luck!
Content Is King
The simplest way of getting more visitors to your site is by adding lots of fresh and relevant content. Search engines such as Google love content that relates to the site is sits on and use the quality, quantity and frequency of updates to a website as part of their ranking algorithms. Many organisations and companies have a news or blog section on their website solely for this reason, and if you don’t have one yourself you are missing out. Even worse, there are many organisations out there that have blogging and news facilities but do not use them, often citing lack of time. 30 minutes to an hour a week writing a blog or news post for your museum will do wonders for your website.
Write often, but focus on quality As tempting as it is to just “get something out there”, focus on top quality content that will be of interest to your viewers. This kind of content is far more likely to be shared and linked to by others which counts as a vote of confidence by search engines. Write for your users and give them something in return for their time, be it knowledge, advice or a little light-hearted entertainment.
Keep a focus on keywords
The trick to writing content that ranks well is to be mindful of the keywords you are targeting, without mindlessly stuffing them into your content. For example, on this article it might be good to mention “SEO for museum websites”, but how would we do that exactly!? (See what I did there?) The more specific and niche-centric the keywords, the better too, since you are competing with fewer other sites for those keywords. This article may have a chance at ranking very well for museum focused SEO searches, however it is very unlikely to rank nearly as well for more general SEO terms.
Don’t try to trick Google!
Long gone are the days when Google could be duped with tricks like stuffing loads of keywords onto a page of white text on a white background. These so called “Black-hat” SEO techniques will likely result in your website being penalised in terms of ranking. Instead, write genuine content for your audience, it’s better for them as well!
Make your content easy to share
The ultimate goal with SEO oriented content is to encourage traffic, and therefore you want to write about things people want to read and share in the first place. Add to this, you want to make it easy to do as well. Sharing widgets can be very useful in this regard and can be added very simply. Whatsmore, there is nothing wrong with actually asking your visitor to share the page if they find it useful. Get these things right and people will appreciate and link to your content from their own websites and social media which greatly increases the authority of your website in the eyes of search engines as well as driving more traffic your way. Win-win! Propagate the act of sharing content, by doing it yourself. If you found this article interesting, why not link to it from your own website or social media pages?
If you found these tips useful, you may be interested in a free digital book Harry is writing called “How to set up, run and maintain a highly effective website – The complete, no-nonsense guide for Heritage Sector organisations”. This book is especially written to help Heritage Sector organisations and museums with the challenges involved in running a website. The book covers every aspect involved in running a site from SEO, usability, design to tenders and contracts and the dreaded GDPR. To be notified when it is released, simply visit the siteand add your email.