The Magic of SEO and Keywords for Your Horse Business
Here's what you need to know about getting your horse business to the top of the search lists. Also the easiest & cheapest way to get that done!
With 3.5 Billion searches per day - Who gets the top spots?
Well the answer is simple right? Whoever Google decides is “most relevant”. The criteria for that is a huge algorithm, changing daily as Google continues to learn from our billions of searches.
But why does 95% of content on the web never get noticed?
Google looks at everything on your page, what order things fall in, the titles on pictures, the links that you have to other sites, how long people stay on your site, where they go when they leave your site and thousands of other metrics. They compare all this information to other websites that use similar “key words and phrases” and attract similar customers and somehow they come up with a ranking order they think is most relevant to what a particular customer is looking for. It’s even true that two different customers in the same area may get a different search results list, based upon their past search history! WOW! Honestly this stuff is more complicated than most normal humans want to take the time to understand. Let's talk about the basics first.
You may have heard the term “SEO”
Or search engine optimization. This is the term used to describe "how to get noticed by Google" and other search engines. In other words, there is a specific method for helping the various search engines like google, firefox, safari and others to understand the content of your website. There are lots of different metrics which need to be monitored if you are going to get top placement with your website. There are tons of great articles on SEO for beginners. Here’s a few of my favorites if you want to delve into the nitty gritty and try managing your web strategy all by yourself.
How does this SEO impact your business?
Well everyone knows that the guy at the top of the list gets the most attention and calls. So you’ve got your website and facebook page out there. That’s great but here’s the rub - that may not necessarily get you anywhere near the top of the list when people are searching in your area because the way you describe your business isn't necessarily the words that potential customers use for searching on the internet. SEO - the practice of analyzing what words people are using to search for your services vs. what your web business is saying you offer - has become big business and billions of websites compete for top slots in google.
General Tips on Horse Market SEO
1. Speak their search language - Not yours
Most websites are created to talk about what the business does - not what words the customers are using to look for them. Doing the research to understand what words people are using to find the services is critical to the success of your website and business. You can have a fantastic website that describes your business and services perfectly and never get a call. Why? Because your customers were using totally different language to search. Here’s a couple of examples:
If you are a: Horse Stable with boarding, lessons & Training etc
Your Website Probably is saying these things: "low drama, quality care, pasture access, covered arena, owner/trainer on site, Western riding lessons"
But your buyers are searching for these things: "how much is horseback riding - where can i go horseback riding - how many calories do i use when horseback riding - is horseback riding dangerous?"
If you are a: Barefoot trimmer:
Your website is probably saying : "barefoot trimming, years of experience, certifications"
Your buyers are searching for: "farrier near me - horseshoer near me - How to fix a loose horse shoe? - Can I stop putting horseshoes on my horse?"
If you are a 501c3 Horse Rescue:
Your website may say you are a "horse rescue, specializing in horse adoptions, quality care and rehabilitation"
Your buyers are searching with terms like : "where to report horse abuse - can horses live on grass alone - are rescue horses free - where can i get a free horse?"
The trick here is to figure out what search phrases people are using when they are looking for the services you offer. Then implement them into your website correctly so that google can match you up with buyers. It's a tricky business with hundreds of rules and requirements.
2. Use SEO Key Words to Create a Horse Business SEO Funnel
The point here is that you’ll miss the inquiries unless you are front and center for the larger search terms using a good SEO strategy. Once the customer gets to your site they can then determine more about your exact services. Think of it as a funnel, we have to start with the larger audience of people searching, then bring them along through a qualification process to get the interested people to your door. If we never load them in the funnel, we don't get the chance to qualify them and you miss out on a possible opportunity. They just don’t know you’re out there!
95,000 searches every month for “horseback riding”
But are they looking for weekly lessons or just an hour in a group trail ride. Are they wanting western saddle or english, more concerned with reining or equitation. You may define your services very well on your site, but to them it’s all just “horseback riding”and that’s what they are searching for. Ultimately you may determine they want to take dressage lessons, but only 210 people knew to start by searching for that term! So if you are only talking about dressage lessons and not using the term "horseback riding" you might never talk to this individual.
3. Search engines are not the experts either!
Google isn’t necessarily smart enough to match your specialty training with a search term like “horseback riding” which is what the customers are using to search for you. So we have to help by using the correct “magic words” or SEO terms to identify what we do. (even though in our opinion that is NOT the right word to describe your expertise) Bridge the gap, so to speak, for google and help direct customers to your door.
4. SEO Keywords that are most effective in the horse industry as of 4/27/2019
Use these key words in your headers, your photo labels, the URL for your web pages etc. They will help the search engines understand what sort of customers they should direct to your site. If you feel you are getting the wrong sort of inquiries, then remove the keywords associated with those types of questions and add others. It really is a science of trial and error to some degree. Using the search terms people are actually using (that are not actually specific to what they ultimately want) to help people get to you. At which point they can see from your gohorse page or website, exactly what types of services you offer.
If you offer services such as: trail riding, horseback riding hourly, horseback riding weekly lessons - any sort of riding really - strongest key words and phrases are:
- horseback riding
- horse riding
- riding lessons near me
If you offer your property for weddings or other venues, rent your arenas - most utilized key words and phrases:
- barn wedding venues near me
- barn venues
- rustic wedding venues
If you offer monthly horse boarding, overnight boarding - use key words and phrases containing:
- horse boarding near me
- horse stable/s near me
- horse farm
- equestrian center
- horse hotel
To assess your particular business yourelf you can try any of these FREE key word tools:
- Google Trends
- Keyword Shitter
- AdWord & SEO Keyword Permutation Generator
- Answer the Public
- Google Correlate
- Keywords Everywhere
- Wordtracker Scout
- Google Search Console
- Suggestion Keyword Finder
GoHorse does all the SEO work for you - SEO for horse businesses
Your Services + Checked Boxes in GoHorse = SEO Magic KeyWords
We need a translator to connect the users with your horse business
GoHorse.com is doing just that. As horse businesses register and then painstakingly fill out a questionnaire about their business with bunches of details; this one time registration puts their specific offerings into an SEO database. Every checkbox can then be converted into a custom SEO formula and promoted to search engines so that your business will be found. GoHorse matches your service offerings up with what buyers are trying to find using their own terminology. You don’t have to figure it all out.. HOO RAH!
GoHorse.com creates "funnel" pages for your services
As the expert translator for the horse industry GoHorse is monitoring all the keyword searches for you - and how they change over time - and then setting up marketing “funnel” pages to gather all the potential buyers searching in your area that are qualified, and guide them to your business for you! (There’s not a hitch either. GoHorse offers subscriptions from FREE to $40 a month depending on how many bells and whistles you want.) This is actually something you can't really do on your own and is a benefit to being on a centralized site. Customers would rather go where they can see a large selection of service providers with services and reviews - than have to read through indificual websites. At least for their initial research. Then once they become interested in your business they will more than likely also scan through your website or facebook page as well.
GoHorse - Providing the Details to attract Qualified customers
Because of the volume of information that GoHorse collects about your business, including service offerings, prices and other details, customers can come to your door fully educated. This is a huge step above the random calls you receive from google, facebook or Yelp - as GoHorse is a niche horse market provider only and thus can concentrate on collecting valuable details around the most frequently asked questions for each business type.
But why is more website traffic & inquiries a good thing?
More qualified inquiries = higher demand - which will allow you to keep your costs down and your margins up. We all know empty boarding or lessons spots are costly. If you have a huge waiting list, you can consider raising prices. Good customers will take the price increase because of quality and ones that don’t agree will be replaced with the waiting list clients that put a higher value on your services. The important thing is for you to be able to fill all the openings you'd like to fill, at whatever price you are inclined to charge. Possibly even adding services because it's so easy to pull in inquiries - you aren't having to spend time drumming up customers! Win Win for everyone. New customers are happy, you are happy and less stressed with a marketing expert promoting your business.