October 19, 2023

All You Need to Know About Boat and Yacht Charter SEO

Search engine optimization, in simple terms, means fine-tuning your website to meet Google's criteria. Once met, your boat or yacht charter website can have a better position in organic search results. This will make it easier for potential clients to find your business using search engines and make a reservation.

Serphead has put together this guide to help you get started and grasp the nuances of SEO for the boat and yacht charter business. We’ll go over the basics of how search engines work, what types of content to publish, how to reach your target audience, and briefly cover online marketing. Grab a seat and let's get started!

Why SEO is a game changer for yacht charters

A website that complies with search engine standards is more likely to outperform competitors who overlook it. That's a fact regardless of niche or industry.

And in an industry as competitive as boat rentals and yacht charters, a strong online footprint is even more vital. Top-ranked websites in search engines will undoubtedly attract more potential customers which translates into increased reservations.

Being among the top search results not only boosts visibility but also enhances brand recognition. A website that is a staple in the top 3 Google results will foster familiarity with its audience over time. Brand recognition will eventually turn into trust and sales since potential clients are more likely to pick a recognized brand.

Moreover, strong SEO practices can reduce your dependency on paid advertising like YouTube and Facebook Ads, thus saving on marketing costs. All in all, SEO will complement your traditional yacht charter marketing efforts.

How to get started with boat and yacht charter SEO

If SEO seems overwhelming, don't fret! By following this game plan, boat and yacht charter owners and managers without a tech background can successfully optimize their sites.

Describe your value proposition

A value proposition succinctly conveys why customers should choose your company over others, and showcases the advantages of your services from the get-go. Regrettably, many companies either obscure their value proposition with cliched slogans or completely fail to emphasize it on their website and marketing endeavors.

A great example of a unique value proposition comes from Y.co. They reiterate the value proposition in the copy about their wide selection of luxury yachts and the amazing experiences that their clientele will relish.

Y.co knows how competitive the yacht charter market is, so rather than focusing on specific vessels or their amenities – virtually none of which are unique – they instead opt to focus on the experience of sailing in a luxury yacht.

yacht charter value proposition

Of course, Y.co doesn’t just rely on emotional triggers to sell its value proposition. Without explicitly saying so, they expertly highlight everything they offer and point out how their service is unrivaled.

This yacht charter business understands that focusing on luxury vessels wouldn’t be enough to distinguish itself in such a competitive market. By emphasizing the unforgettable experience of cruising in one of their yachts, however, Y.co's value proposition makes them stand out from the rest.

Identify keywords

Keywords bridge the gap between what a user searches for and the content on your site. Without keywords sprinkled in your content, your page will never appear in search engine results.

Tools like Moz, SEMrush, and Ahrefs can pinpoint both primary and long-tail keywords used by people when looking for a yacht charter company. They are not only helpful for organic search but also for pay-per-click ads since you'll also get an estimate of the cost per click.

keyword research for organic search and paid ads

At the start of your campaign, avoid targeting generic or broad keywords like "yacht charter" or "boat rentals" as you'll be competing with industry giants. Go for the ones with manageable competition and good search volume (searches/month) since they will be fairly easy to rank for and will bring you decent results.

Here are some keyword variants you may use:

Once you've identified your target keywords, group them by relevancy and designate them on each page. For instance, assign "luxury yacht charter" and its variants exclusively on the homepage while "yacht charter price" and its variants are assigned on your pricing page.

Write engaging content

Consistently creating pertinent content attracts not just search engine bots but human users as well and it can build your credibility and ultimately raise your website's chances of ranking higher.

Don't know what to include in your page copies? Describe your value proposition as we've discussed earlier. It will be the blueprint for what content you should write about and how to phrase it convincingly.

It would also help to act like you're the customer and think of the information you may want to know before booking a charter. You may give them information such as:

Don't forget to mesh your keywords together with your unique value propositions to produce page copies that will win your customer. Strategically place your main keywords in page titles, meta descriptions, and headings for maximum effect.

If you have trouble writing optimized content, use Surfer SEO Content Editor to assist you in writing compelling and optimized page copies.

Localize your content

By tailoring your website content to international languages and cultural nuances, you can expand market reach and appeal to a wider audience. A tailored experience not only enhances user engagement but also fosters trust by showing cultural awareness and sensitivity.

There are two ways to localize your website content. If you're fluent in a given language, you can translate them yourself but be mindful of the translation of keywords. Use the keyword tools we've listed earlier to check if they have a decent volume or if you need to use other variants. For instance, the word "hire" is more commonly used in Australia than "charter" so you may want to use "boat hire" in your localized AU page copies.

keyword variations depending on loc

The other option is to use translation services from professional linguists, such as Crowdin. You may hire professional translation agencies integrated with Crowdin by going to Store > Vendors and then selecting the linguist that meets your requirements.

We strongly advise against using Google Translate or other machine-learning translators as their output can be inaccurate. Direct translations from AI sometimes miss nuances that can lead to potential misinterpretations.

Perform an extensive website audit

Think of this as a wellness check for your site. It helps pinpoint areas of improvement, user experience, and overall performance. This is one of the most challenging parts as you'll be looking at how your website was built, how fast it loads, if search engine bots can index your pages, and what types of websites link to you.

We recommend that you sit with your web developer and go over each page element listed in this website audit template. This separate guide includes details of some of the page issues you may encounter, making it easier for your team to fix each issue you may find.

Make your website mobile-friendly

Today, it's evident that mobile use dominates online interactions. Research indicates that in 2023, over half of all internet activity came from mobile devices. If your web pages don't display properly on mobile, you're overlooking a vast user base.

Similar to the in-depth website audit, optimizing your website for mobile devices can be laborious. Collaborate with your website developer again and follow our specific guide on SEO landing page optimization.

Ensuring your website's elements fit seamlessly on compact screens is essential; anything less might not yield results.

Sign up on online directories

Having a strong presence on Google Maps, Bing Maps, and local directories will make it easy for your potential charter guests to find your company.

Create accounts on Google My Business, Bing Places, Yelp, TripAdvisor, Moz Local, and other online directories relevant to your industry and location to corner potential customers. Make sure that the company details are consistent across all directories so as not to create confusion.

target potential clients near you

This strategy, termed Local SEO, caters exclusively to local enterprises wanting to bolster their online visibility and draw in a proximate audience. This increased online presence can translate to a surge in website visitors and physical storefront traffic, culminating in higher bookings and revenue.

Earn backlinks

A backlink is the blue (and often underlined) text that you see in blogs, news articles, and other online publications. If you think that a backlink serves as a reference to a source of information, you'd be correct but backlinks have a bigger purpose.

Google's algorithm is based on trust and only the most reputable websites appear on the first page of search results. But how does the algorithm which website is trustworthy and which is fake news? This is where backlinks come in.

Think of backlinks as endorsements from other websites. When one domain links to another, Google interprets that site A is vouching for site B. So if more websites vouch for your site, Google will think it's reputable and will display your website on the first page of search results. More backlinks = better rankings, in short.

The process of getting backlinks is called link building or off-page SEO and it's one of the major tactics not just for charter companies but also for other industries.

There are many ways to earn backlinks but publishing standout content is effective and the safest. Excellent content speaks for itself and is often shared on social media platforms and linked to by other relevant websites as well. We've shown you earlier how to write convincing content so this shouldn't be a problem for you.

Another way to secure backlinks is to publish press releases about milestones of your company. Press releases are often picked up by news agencies, Yahoo!, and bloggers. You can easily get a backlink from them by including your website address in the PR. No clue as to the topic of your PR? Major events such as the launching of a new luxury yacht, new destinations, or new services are good candidates. PRNewswire and BusinessNewsWire are excellent choices when it comes to press release distribution as they are connected with thousands of media outlets.

Online directories are another good source of backlinks, this is another reason why we recommend signing up with them. They are usually free so there's no reason not to create directory listings.

free link from travel directories

If it's part of the digital marketing plan, you may also leverage your affiliate program to earn backlinks. Affiliate program participants will do the link-building work for you since they're incentivized to share their affiliate link/URL everywhere. An affiliate link is just a standard link with a tracking ID but it still has SEO value. The key is to include guidelines in your terms and conditions to make participants use the URLs of your other pages (not just the homepage) and forbid them from spamming them in the comment section of YouTube and blogs.

Pro tip: Use keywords, like "private boat charter", as the anchor texts for backlinks instead of bare URLs.

Need assistance with boat and yacht charter SEO?

The insights we've shared will help you build a solid foundation for your organic campaign. Applying these techniques will significantly enhance your brand's online visibility and bring a steady flow of clients.

However, if you still feel that search engine optimization is overwhelming, Serphead is here to help. Our seasoned SEO experts offer bespoke solutions - be it SEO strategy, site audit, content creation, link-building, social media, or other digital marketing services. Our holistic approach has helped charter companies become a successful business online. Contact us now for a free consultation.

Frequently asked questions from owners and operators

How soon can we expect results from SEO?

Search engine optimization is a sustained commitment and the duration to start seeing success can vary depending on the competitiveness of the industry.

Several elements influence the timeline. Firstly, you aren't the sole player enhancing your site; other charter companies are also in the game. The caliber of your content, the strength of your backlinks, and the indexability of your domain can boost its ranking, leading to more visibility and increased organic traffic.

When it comes to local search, results often materialize faster as it zeroes in on a niche audience. You could observe preliminary progress within weeks, with more pronounced growth in the subsequent months. Nonetheless, the exact duration is shaped by multiple factors, such as your industry's competitiveness, brand popularity, the region you're focusing on, and the robustness of your business listings.

Can boat owners and operators do SEO?

Certainly, your team can optimize your website if they're motivated to learn. It's not limited to tech gurus, social media managers, or online marketing specialists. A wise first step would be delving into local SEO practices. Get acquainted with managing online business listings, ensuring its NAP (name, address, and phone number) aligns with other regional directories.

Nonetheless, becoming an SEO expert can be a long journey due to its technical intricacies and subtle details.

How much does SEO cost?

The costs vary from one marketing agency to another, but Serphead offers an all-inclusive package at a rate of $4,000 per month (with a commitment of at least four months). It can be a significant investment for a small business but believe us when we say that it's worth it. Leaving website optimization to seasoned experts is a smarter move than sending your team to workshops.

What's included in an SEO package?

At Serphead, our approach kicks off with a detailed examination of your market which will be the basis of our strategy. The next step of the process is to conduct comprehensive keyword research, a thorough site review, implement on-site improvements, set up structured data, and curate content. Beyond our on-page endeavors, we'll bolster your digital footprint with a potent link-building campaign.

Our integrated digital marketing strategy guarantees that your site doesn't just peak but maintains its success indefinitely.

Note: A typical optimization package doesn't include social media marketing, paid advertising management, email marketing, and other online marketing tactics.

Do links from social media platforms affect rankings?

No, links from social media platforms don't influence your site's position in SERPs. However, social media marketing is still invaluable as it can still bring traffic to your business.

Can links from Google Ads improve rankings?

Links from Google Ads (formerly called Google Adwords) do not affect your site's ranking. But a pay-per-click campaign should be a part of your digital marketing campaign since it brings immediate and targeted traffic to your site.

Sergei Ivanov

Sergei Ivanov

Co-Founder and CEO of Serphead

Sergei has more than a decade of experience blending data-driven insights with SEO strategies to enhance online visibility and user engagement. He has been providing practical guidance for businesses and individuals navigating the digital landscape since 2012.