This article discusses an SEO Strategy that Sandals Resort International implemented in 2019. This strategy has been highly successful and can be used by online stores to increase sales.
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Table of Contents
- The Online Store Without an SEO Strategy
- The Travel Virgin’s Research
- Sandals Resorts International
- An Examination of Sandals SEO Strategy
- Sandals SEO Strategy: Lessons Learned for Online Stores
- Using Sandals SEO Strategy for Your Online Store-Increase Sales and Brand Awareness
- Steps to Create a Successful SEO Strategy
The Online Store Without an SEO Strategy
Recently an influencer who owns an online beauty store, stated in an interview that she spends $5000 dollars per post on a gossip Instagram page. In checking the organic traffic to the influencer’s website, it was a surprise that the influencer had less than 2000 organic visitors monthly.
This influencer has been acknowledged in a number of media outlets as having a successful income generating online beauty store. 2000 organic visitors is definitely not enough to make a significant contribution to the sales numbers quoted in the media. In light of this, an examination was done of a number of other successful online stores that had heavy marketing online through paid advertisement. The results were the same, a very low number of organic visitors. This indicated an absence of an SEO Strategy and that sales was largely dependent on paid marketing. All stores examined did not have a physical store.
This research effort into the SEO Strategy of successful online stores without a physical store was extended. In addition, a strategy was identified that is transferable and was deemed to have the possibility of sales. The results of our small scale research is presented in this article titled “A Case for Online Stores To Use Sandals SEO Strategy to increase Sales“.
This article will give you details on a great SEO strategy to increase sales for your online business. There are a few terms to define first, for those who may just be exploring SEO or are thinking about creating an online store. These terms are:
- Organic Visitors or Organic Traffic
- Long Tail Keyword
Search Engine Optimization (SEO refers to various methods or strategies used to ensure that the content on your website appears at the top of search results. Example, a website may use a SEO strategy that results in their website appearing on the first page of Google search results for the word “Alligator Hat”. In such cases, the SEO strategy of the website is successful, as the goal of ranking higher in search results is achieved.
Organic Visitors or Organic Traffic
This is when a visitor lands on a website by clicking a link that appears in the search results from a search engine. Example, you go on Google and search for “Best Coffeeshops in Amsterdam” and in the search results, you see a list of articles from different websites related to your search terms, when you click on any of the links, and go to a website, it is registered as organic traffic for that website. It is organic because it is not paid for, in other words, visitors did not reach the website through clicking a paid advertisement on Google.
This method is used by stores where they sell products but the order for the product is fulfilled and shipped by a third party supplier. Example, I open an online store on Shopify, all the products in the store are physically housed by suppliers all over the world. When an order is made on my website, the supplier ships the product directly to the purchaser. There is no overhead cost to buy the product upfront or to rent a physical shop to store the products.
Long Tail Keyword
Long tail keywords are long sentences or phrases that are used in searches online. Many websites target long tail keywords in their SEO strategy. This gives them a greater opportunity for a higher ranking in search results in Google. Example, a website desires to write on “Amsterdam”, however when we do our research we see that there are millions of websites that have written on “Amsterdam” and have used it as a short tail keyword, thus it would be competitive to use it as a keyword.
Most likely if you use it as a keyword, your article will appear on page 20 of Google search results. Instead, it is better to focus on a longer phrase keyword related to Amsterdam, that is less competitive and increases your chances to rank on the first page of Google. This long tail keyword could be “Is Amsterdam in Holland or the Netherlands“. Once you start ranking for many Amsterdam related long tail keywords, then you can compete for the shorter tail keywords.
The Travel Virgin’s Research
The Travel Virgin is always searching to find topics that will engage readers. Apart of this process, involves researching on the monthly search amount for a particular topic on the internet. If the focus keywords for a topic has a medium to low competitiveness, then the Travel Virgin will make consideration for our blog.
The Travel Virgin loves Jamaica and considers it a great travel destination. In light of this, we wanted to write on the best Jamaicans Food To Try. To our surprise, one of the leading articles online with Jamaicans Food to Try was from a Sandals International Resort blog. The Travel Virgin then decided to do more research as we wanted to find out more about hotels and their blog pages.
Sandals Resorts International
The Travel Virgin has stayed and booked reservation at several hotels from their website, this was before I found out that Agoda and Booking gave better rates. Anyhow, I am use to a few generic content on hotel websites and using it for the sole purpose of reservation. It was quite surprising to find out that Sandals Resorts International and their Beaches Hotel website had a blog that was publishing articles which ranking high for certain keywords.
The Travel Virgin will present statistics for examination, just to show how effective a blog is in increasing website traffic thus creating Brand Awareness and also increasing sales. Additionally, in examining the blog comments on the Sandals website, we realized that visitors were engaged and some even commented on their intent to visit after reading the blog.
An Examination of Sandals SEO Strategy
In examining Sandals monthly search figures, lets just look at a snapshot of some online searches that leads to their website. Below are search results for the keyword Negril, Jamaica.
Negril, Jamaica is a popular tourist destination in Jamaica. It has numerous hotels in this location which includes Sandals and Beaches (The Family Hotel under Sandals Intrnational). The keyword “Negril Jamaica” was searched for 18,100 times in a particular month last year. Out of the 18,100 searches, 5502 clicked the Sandals’ Beaches Hotel link. This link leads to the article “38 Exciting Things To Do In Negril, Jamaica”. 5502 people who have an interest in Negril Jamaica, are reading about it on the Sandals website. If th website visitor was planning a trip to Negril and never decided on a hotel, they would be encouraged to stay at Sandals’ Beaches Hotel.
Creating blog topics that relates to tourist experiences is seen on Sandals’ Beaches Lifestyle Blog. Articles such as “30+ Things to Consider Planning a Beach Wedding” received 25,336 visitors total for keywords related to “how to plan a beach wedding”. Guess who provides weddings for free in your vacation package? Sandals Resorts.
Sandals is a great example of a business that has scaled their website from the usual hotel reservation purpose to including a Blog SEO strategy to increase brand awareness and reservations”.Lori Lewis, The Travel Virgin
Sandals SEO Strategy: Lessons Learned for Online Stores
Sandals created their Beaches blog in 2019. Based on the monthly visitor figures to various blog articles, they are receiving thousands of organic visitors for their blog. If Sandals website was a regular hotel reservation website, then they would not have received the thousand of visitors that they are now receiving through their Blog SEO strategy.
The transfer-ability of the Blog SEO Strategy is useful to any website that sells products. The beauty store online which was mentioned in our introductory paragraph, sells several balms and lotions. These products they have shown its effectiveness through pictures on various skin conditions such as eczema. Imagine if they had a blog that spoke about various skin conditions, essentially thy would get organic visitors that may have a specific need for their products. I have paid influencers in the past for advertisement, the results have been minimal. Yes, these online storea may be successful in their marketing strategy, however every business wants to grow. Additionally, knowing that every time sales are down, you have to inject a large capital in advertisement to increase sales, is more motivation to use Blog SEO Strategy to reach clients that are niche to your brand.
“Whatever is being sold online through a website, can be marketed through Blog SEO Strategy. The results is an increase in the sale of products the building of brand awareness”.Lori Lewis, The Travel Virgin
Using Sandals SEO Strategy for Your Online Store–Increase Sales and Brand Awareness
When I tell website owners who are struggling with sales, that they need to create a blog, the response usually is “I am not really a writer”. My response is always, there are affordable content writers online. If you visit Fiverr, there are hundreds of content writers that are highly rated that can can write an article for as low as $5 or $10.
“Marketing your online store using paid marketing is like a rat on a treadmill that won’t stop. It can leave your pockets exhausted. Comparatively, focusing on Blog SEO, will require some amount of investment. However, in time, you can sit back on a beach whilst your Blog SEO works to increase your sales”Lori Lewis, The Travel Virgin
Steps to Create a Successful SEO Strategy
Below are steps to create a successful Blog SEO Strategy
- Create Blog on Website
- Use Keyword Research Platform such as Moz or Afhers
- Engage a Content Writer
- Write content surrounding long tail keyword
- Develop a schedule of blog release, whether weekly or bi-weekly
- Audit organic visitor traffic after six month
The popular phrase regarding establishing your online presence is that “Content is King”. This is the best direction that an online store should take. The Travel Virgin recommends that you read our supporting article “How to Rank at the Top of Google’s Search Results 2021-A Detailed Guide” If you need help auditing your website and creating SEO plan with a list of suggested content to write on, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.