If you’ve made it to this page, you likely suspect that something is going wrong on your website. The first step in assessing your website’s potential need for some on-site optimization is to gather some data to establish a starting point. You can always come back to this data to compare the progress you have made along the road to SEO success.
The first thing you will want to do is to think of a couple of keywords that your customers may use to find you. Next, head over to Google and input them into the search bar. If you are not coming up on the first page, you are missing out on tons of potential traffic. While you are there, go ahead and input a search for your company name or key brands as well. If you don’t come up number one, you have even bigger problems. (**Note: if your website doesn’t come up at all, try searching for your actual web address to see if you are in Google’s index.)
Make note of which competitors are ranking higher than you are for your chosen search terms. Do they represent the key players in your market segment or are they simply out marketing you? In either case, there’s a good chance that doing some optimization work on your site will be beneficial.
You can also have a look at your site’s “backlink” profile by checking to see which websites are linking to you by using a tool such as SeoMoz’s Open Site Explorer. You can perform up to three searches per day, so go ahead and put in your top two competitors to get an idea of where their links are coming from as well. Building a strong, diverse, relevant backlink profile is an important aspect of “offsite” SEO.
If you don’t already have a Google Analytics account, go and set one up. It’s free and it’s incredibly useful. If you have to set it up, you won’t initially have any data (like the image above). However, over time you will begin to understand why and how people are using your website. If you are using a CMS such as WordPress, it’s fairly easy to enter your Analytics ID through any one of a number of convenient plugins. If you are using an HTML site, you will need to input the ID into the source code so that it will appear on each page.
Have a look at the Analytics data. Do you see many visitors coming to your website? What search terms are they using? Head over to Google and see where you are ranking for these search terms. If you are anything but first place, you are missing out on a lot of traffic- and customers.
Stay realistic about SEO
It is important to establish and aim for realistic long-term SEO goals. Here is and example: I occasionally encounter clients who want to be number one for the term “tour” or even “Bali tour.” While this is not patently impossible, it would take years and cost a fortune to build the authority and infrastructure necessary to achieve this goal. It is also not realistic for another reason: no hotel is “Bali-wide.” Why not try something more direct and relevant like Bali Day Cruise? This may be lower volume, but the visitors you will get are higher quality.
SEO is ongoing!
There’s no one-shot solution for achieving (and maintaining) good rankings in search engines. At the center of your ongoing SEO efforts will be the generation of high-quality, engaging content for your users. Think of things you can give to your users to enhance their experience on your site. While developing this content, make sure that you do focus on a variety of interrelated phrases which will help cast a wider net in the search engine results.
Of course, we do this professionally, so you can always contact us for a free consultation. We are focused on bringing our fellow Bali-based businesses to the forefront of search engine results.