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  • Writer's pictureLydia Schuldt

SEO Strategies for the Outdoor Industry

Updated: Jun 19, 2023

  • SEO content audit

  • Keyword research

  • Keyword optimization

  • Build topic clusters

  • SEO blog writing

  • Link building

  • SEO consulting

Search engine optimization is an ongoing challenge for businesses and can be particularly challenging for outdoor brands to tackle. The outdoor industry is a unique niche where you can often find SEO copywriters, but finding help with SEO content strategy or specific SEO tactics can be more challenging. Many SEO agencies, outdoor marketing agencies or SEO specialists tend to be more “techy” or in SAAS, so making sure you have some SEO strategies for the outdoor industry is essential for your outdoor business to build more authority.

What is SEO and why do you need it for your outdoor brand?

SEO stands for search engine optimization, which is the practice of optimizing a website or web page to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) for specific keywords and phrases. Having a strong SEO strategy is important for your outdoor business because it helps improve your online visibility and drives traffic to your website which can increase conversions and revenue. Specific outdoor brand SEO strategies are essential for the language and values of your website to continue to align with the outdoor industry.

What are the SEO strategies for the outdoor industry?

We compiled a list of different outdoor brand SEO strategies that your outdoor business can utilize to make sure you are tackling SEO correctly the first time around. Make sure to invest your time and money carefully when you start working on SEO. Your outdoor brand will benefit immensely from smart SEO strategies, but some SEO mistakes can damage your brand. Check out these top SEO strategies for the outdoor industry to start making an SEO plan for your business today.

SEO content audit

The first recommended approach to SEO for your outdoor brand is to invest in an SEO content audit. If you already have a lot of content on your pages, it’s important to do a content audit to find out what needs to be added and what needs to be changed. By investing in an SEO content audit you can figure out which blogs and articles on your website need to be updated or combined, which ones are right on target and which content should be trashed. Irrelevant content can negatively affect your outdoor brand SEO and should not be on your website.

It’s also recommended to do an SEO audit of your entire website. This can tell you what you are doing well for SEO and what needs to be improved. An overall SEO audit of the whole website is a great first step to take if you are interested in an SEO monthly retainer. This can help continue to build more authority for your outdoor business and rank higher on Google for the outdoor industry.

Keyword research

Keyword research is essential for SEO for your website and is the next step you need to take once you decide to start focusing on search engine optimization. Keyword research is a mixture of strategy, critical thinking, skills and research. It’s a combined effort of utilizing different software tools and methods to find which keywords your website and content should prioritize. Some suggested SEO tools and softwares we use at From the Waves are SEMRush, Keywords Everywhere and Moz. It’s helpful to use outdoor industry keywords that have a low competition and a high monthly search volume for a better chance to rank for your outdoor business.

Keyword optimization

Now that you have done your outdoor industry SEO keyword research, it’s time to start keyword optimization so you can start seeing results. Keyword optimization consists of strategically adding keywords into your website content as well as in the onsite SEO. This includes adding keywords into blogs, on landing pages, in meta descriptions, tags, alt text and headings. Make sure to not overdo it and that your content and descriptions are still legible and natural sounding since readability is important for SEO as well as for your customers. Remember, SEO optimization can take a while to show up on Google and it may be several months before you start seeing results.

Build topic clusters

Building topic clusters with SEO content strategy is an important step when it comes to SEO for outdoor brands. Topic clusters are usually a group of blogs that are structured around a central topic used as a pillar. By building topic clusters, Google can better understand the structure of your website and the relationship all the pages have to each other. Strategic topic clusters help websites build authority which can lead to higher rankings on the search engine results page. Overall, topic clusters can drastically help bring in more organic traffic, create and organize high quality content and help keywords start ranking higher. Learn more about how topic clusters help SEO for outdoor brands and how they can help bring in more outdoor enthusiasts.

SEO blog writing

Diving into SEO content strategy and building topic clusters can set you up so you have a rough outline of different SEO blogs for your website. Specific SEO blog writing tips for outdoor brands can help your outdoor company rank higher on Google and bring in more organic traffic. Build blogs based on your topic clusters to increase the chance for Google to understand your website as an entire authoritative topic. Having strategic SEO blogs on your website is an excellent form of outdoor brand marketing that will engage customers as well as improve SEO. How to write SEO friendly blog posts can be intimidating, but with these 8 SEO tips for the outdoor industry, you will be off to a great start.

Link building

The most important step for SEO content strategy is having links on your website in the form of internal links, external links and backlinks. External links to the best outdoor brands such as REI, All Trails, Patagonia or other outdoor gear brands are helpful for SEO. Google will be able to see your association with higher ranking websites because of your outdoor brand SEO strategy of external linking. Internal links are important for your own content on your outdoor companies website as well. Taking time to link blogs to each other and to other internal pages helps Google understand your website as a whole and can index your website with more clarity.

Building backlinks for your outdoor brand is also very important and there are many different approaches on how to do this. One effective approach to get backlinks from related websites in the industry is by submitting guest posts for other outdoor brands or commenting on other blog posts. It’s important that you have “dofollow” backlinks rather than “nofollow” backlinks which can damage the SEO for your brand. Oftentimes, people invest in building backlinks since it can be a bit of a hassle and is very important for search engine optimization.

SEO consulting

Another SEO strategy, if you are interested in working on SEO yourself, is investing in SEO consulting for the outdoor industry. By investing in SEO consulting you can pay $75 for one hour to pick Lydia's brain on all things SEO. In this online meeting, SEO expert, Lydia Schuldt can go over SEO content writing, SEO strategy, on-site SEO and off-site SEO. This is a great approach to SEO if you are on a budget and want to book a few sessions to focus on SEO yourself for your business.

Using AI as a tool

Many SEO copywriters and SEO blog writers in the outdoor industry are afraid that AI is ruining their careers. Many people who aren’t writers don’t understand that having AI or ChatGPT write entire blogs often creates poor quality content. The grammar is on point and the informative facts are great, but AI can’t replicate a human's brain that seeks adventurous content that draws in readers. Overall, we have learned that it’s not the same and that AI is creating mediocre content for outdoor businesses.

One thing that AI can be very helpful for and be used for in the outdoor industry is as a search engine tool. AI is great for summarizing articles, researching a product or place or helping to brainstorm ideas for a blog. Using AI as a tool for creating content on your website is very beneficial, but having it create your content for you will result in bland content that won’t sing to the soul of your outdoor loving customers.

Other marketing strategies for the outdoor industry

SEO services for outdoor brands are helpful to bring in more traffic and build authority, but other marketing strategies for the outdoor industry can also help your business grow. Some of our top suggestions for digital marketing outdoor industry strategies are email marketing, leveraging influencers, having a high quality social media presence and bringing in brand ambassadors. We also recommend networking and getting involved in organizations such as Basecamp Outdoor or attending Outdoor Retailer to get your face out in the industry at a networking event.

To learn more about From the Waves SEO services check out our packages and rates to build more authority for your outdoor brand and outsource SEO content writing. Feel free to book a free discovery call if you are interested in investing in these services.

SEO outdoor industry


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