The caravan and motorhome club has been around for 112 years, which is probably around the average age of it’s members. With all that experience, however, doesn’t come SEO knowhow. Despite being an OG, the Caravan and Motorhome club is missing some big opportunities to increase is organic search visibility. Let’s take a look…
1. NOT PROPERLY TARGETING AN ‘EASY TO IMPROVE’ KEYWORD
In my opinion [caravan holidays] (49,500 ASV) is probably regarded as the ‘glamour keyword’ at the CMAC, by the looks of things it’s the keyword with the most search volume that they already rank for that’s relevant and commercially viable. They currently only rank in position 31 for this, however (according to SEM Rush).
Improving their ranking for this keyword is likely to be something that will take time, and something they should absolutely focus on.
In the meantime however, there are potentially other quick wins out there.[motorhome holidays] is a term with an ASV of just 480, not huge, but potentially much easier and quicker to rank for than the aforementioned [caravan holidays], so what should CMAC do to improve their ranking for this term? Well, it already ranks in position #10 according to SEM Rush so it may just need a few tweaks.
As you can see, all of the other URLs (with the exception of justgo.co.uk) ranking for this term are motorhome SPECIFIC, that is, the mention ‘motorhome’ in the URL string or as part of the domain, CMAC doesn’t.
Now, ‘motorhome’ is mentioned in the page title, H1 and copy, but as far as Google are concerned, this a topic that’s distinct-enough from ‘caravans’ to warrant it’s own page. So what should CMAC do? I’d recommend setting up a new page to target [motorhome holidays] as well as other motorhome specific terms.
This may also help the https://www.caravanclub.co.uk/uk-holidays/uk-sites/ (more on this URL next) ranking better for [caravan holidays] as it will be more specific and targeted at this term.
2. ALLOWING TWO URLS TO COMPETE FOR THE SAME KEYWORD
Keyword canbilisation is a scenario in which two URLs on the same domain (or different domains belonging to the same business) are competing for the same keyword. Generally in these cases, if the two competing pages were to be consolidated or optimised for different terms, the new primary page (or the two newly optimised pages) would rank better and attain more traffic than the competing pages did put together. CAMC is potentially suffering from canibalisation, see below;
There is a clear opportunity here to either consolidate these two pages, or optimise them for different keywords, but which one should we choose? First of all, let’s look at the risks and opportunities around consolidation.
How many links does each URL have?
The first URL is ostensibly the more ‘valuable’ one; it has more referring domains linking to it, more traffic (estimated) and ranks for more keywords. Therefore, if we are going to consolidate the URLs, it would make sense to make this URL the primary or ‘canonical’ version.
In addition, if we look at the keywords that the second URL ranks for, they’re pretty much all branded.
This means that, if CMAC did decide to redirect www.caravanclub.co.uk/uk-holidays/uk-sites/club-sites/ to https://www.caravanclub.co.uk/uk-holidays/uk-sites/ and set up a new URL to target the terms above, the likelihood is that it would be able to regain it’s rankings for all these keywords relatively quickly, because they’re branded.
If CMAC didn’t want to go all-in with a redirect initially, they could try canonicalising www.caravanclub.co.uk/uk-holidays/uk-sites/club-sites/ to https://www.caravanclub.co.uk/uk-holidays/uk-sites/ and test the effects. I know what you’re thinking, what about all the users that want to find the products on the canonicalised page?
Well, given that the proposed canonical URL already ranks for a lot of the branded terms that the one I’m proposing canonicalising does, it’s likely that potential customers would still be able to find what they’re looking for by navigating through the canonical page; yes this might not be best practice UX, but the way around that would be the redirection and new page setup I suggested previously.
Regardless of what route they go down, there is a clear opportunity here to potentially rank in a better position for [caravan sites], and drive more traffic and potentially revenue.
3. BEING TOO AMBITIOUS
It’s always tempting to go after the keywords with the highest search volumes that match what you sell, but sometimes, it’s just not realistic that you’ll ever be able to rank for them. Take [family holidays] (22,000 ASV) for example. CMAC appears to be targeting this keyword on this page https://www.caravanclub.co.uk/uk-holidays/be-inspired/family-sites/
It’s being used in the anchor texts of links pointing to the URL, and in the H1 on the page itself. Given the SERPS for [family holidays], it’s unlikely Google will ever rank this on page #1, it just doesn’t match the perceived intent – which is family package holidays abroad; take a look at the results yourself;
All big-name tour operators, and nothing associated with caravanning/camping/motorhomes. So what should CMAC do with the page instead? I would optimise it for one, or several of the below highlighted terms;
Sure, they have much less search volume than [family holidays], but CMAC stands a much better chance of ranking well for them (they’re already on page #1 for one of them). Actually getting traffic from one or a few low search volume terms is better than getting zero traffic from a high volume term (profound I know).
There you go, hope that wasn’t TOW in-depth (sorry not sorry).