I am part of a travel agency, and we are currently working to build a field guide for one country. This guide will include every area and major city, with information about hotels, restaurants, major tourist destinations such as museums, monuments, etc. However, we are not sure how to approach the SEO for this section. One of the main questions we have is, keeping in mind that Google loves long, rich, high-quality pages of detailed information, we thought of combining certain areas that have less activities into one long page... problem is, that is not consistent with the rest of the structure of the fieldguide, and is not as logical to a real person... Also, we are wondering about on-page optimization. We know that H2 headers, bulleted lists of answers to questions, and good alt-tags are important. And of course, attention to mobile is imperative. But what other elements do we need for a really strong, information-rich country field guide that Google will love?
I think your site structure here will be essential in whether this project is successful or not.
Without knowing all of the details/just odd the top of my head, I would recommend breaking down your guides into location silos, something like site.com/country/field-guide-item where each field guide item is the topic you're discussing, such as "best restaurants in XYZ country" or "top water activities in XYZ country," making sure that each field guide item is based on keyword research for the topic at hand.
From there, you need to make sure you have optimized:
-H tags (as you've already mentioned)
-Breadcrumbs with schema markup
-Internal linking within the country field guide silo
I would not combine multiple areas as this will confuse google about what each page is about, so follow your gut there. If there is only enough to do in an area to write 500 words, then so be it!
I hope that helps as its based on not knowing your site and structure plan. However this should be able to get you started in the right direction. :)