Search Engine Optimization For Your Parks & Recreation Department

Search Engine Optimization For Your Parks & Recreation Department

As a parks & recreation department, you have very interesting and captivating content to share, even if you don’t quite realize it yet. Citizens depend on the parks & recreation department of any municipality to provide clean, safe and beautiful spaces to encourage accessible recreation for all.

Parks and recreation marketing strategies include a wide range of advertising activities, many of which are newly evolving digital technologies. These focus on brand awareness and increasing sales. But one strong strategy will help you see increases in recreation center class registrations, outdoor activities and more: search engine optimization.

How Does SEO Work?

Search Engine Optimization, or commonly known as SEO, is the practice of changing or updating your website content to make it easier for search engines to find and rank your content for each individual keyword. 

Search engines rank the content that most searchers find valuable the highest. How does it determine this? By assessing which content users click on first, and stay on the longest. This tells each search engine that the content is worth ranking higher up, and makes it more visible to searchers. 

SEO For Your Parks Department: The Essentials

Want to start using SEO to help residents discover classes and register sooner? Here are some key pointers. 

Ensuring Inclusivity at Your Parks and Rec Organization

Use Geomodified Keywords

Geomodified keywords refer to keywords which specify a location. These are all examples of geomodified keywords:

  1. Best parks in Louisville
  2. Soccer leagues Houston
  3. Omaha recreation center

Geomodified keywords are quite similar to geotargeted keywords. However, there is a difference. Geomodified keywords specify a location in the keyword itself, as seen in the examples above. Search engines have evolved to exclude results from other cities and locations based on these factors.

Geotargeted keywords are the advancement of geomodified keywords. Without specifying a location, Google can still tell where a searcher may be looking for results from. These keywords may include 'near me' or another non-specific modifier to help the search engine identify that the searcher wants results that are within the immediate proximity. 

It may surprise you to know how many people are looking for results using location specifiers. This is why it's always a good idea to mention your city's name in the page content, headings, image alt tags, and so on to help residents discover your rec center's classes or other city-affiliated programs.

Answer Common Questions From Residents

At this point, we're all familiar with 'Googling' a common question or problem we've encountered. It's why search engines exist, to fetch information and answers for our inquiries. So how can you churn those commonly asked questions into rich content for your website?

Host a workshop with resident-facing city employees and ask them to compile the questions they are asked the most by residents. Next, once you've narrowed down those questions, take a look at your website and see which questions are often answered by your team directing them to a webpage—this may very well be an opportunity to update the page with more relevant content to a common search queries, and drive traffic to your website.

Here are some common inquiries to optimize for SEO:

  1. Parking lot locations, rules and regulations
  2. Costs of municipal recreation programs and recreation center fees
  3. Garbage, recycling and compost collection schedules determined by each neighbourhood
  4. Seasonally appropriate questions, such as bylaws for outdoor activities and street maintenance schedules during the winter

Keep Your Website Updated Frequently

Finally, related to the previous point, a commonly updated website is a happy one. Search engines prefer websites which are recently updated for sharing content with searchers. Plus, searchers also like to get modern answers to their questions, rather than answers that were accurate 5 years ago.

Keeping an active presence online is one of the most important things you can do when it comes to digital marketing. It signals to your residents and to search platforms that you are responsive and working away at providing enriched content. 

So, how often should your website be updated? At the minimum, once a month. Ideally, once a week is a safe plan. Of course, not every municipal team has time on their hands to keep things active. That's where we can help.

Xplor Recreation’s parks and recreation management software helps municipalities of all sizes connect with their community. From small villages to large counties and everything in between, our parks and recreation management software empowers you to efficiently support your community, regardless of scale or style!

Get Started With Xplor Recreation Today

We help organizations manage all aspects of their facilities' operations, marketing, and financing and reduce time spent on back-office functions. This allows supervisors and their staff to do what they do best—create an exceptional customer experience and take their community to new heights. 

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