How well does your website perform in search results?
Do your own test: search for your website as if you were a potential client or buyer looking for your services or products. In other words, be your own customer. Don’t use your domain or company name, instead pretend you are looking for the services or products you provide. Are you showing up or is everyone else getting the first interviews while your site is waiting in line on page 150?
If you are not showing up when searching for your products or services you are losing that first interview with a potential buyer or client.
Search engine optimization (SEO) isn’t rocket science, but it is an ever-changing algorithm that web developers/designers need to stay on top of. All websites should be optimized and built with search engines in mind so your site has the best results possible from the moment it is launched. Unfortunately, many sites are not. Most often this is because the designer/developer does not have enough knowledge in the area of search engine optimization to build the site properly. There are lots of stunning websites on the internet that no one can find.
Recently, clients have called with beautiful existing websites but ZERO search visibility. A quick look at the site’s coding showed very little, if any, optimizing had been done by the site’s developer. These sites were not showing up in the top 50 + pages of Google for key search terms relevant to their business. When your site is properly optimized it is naturally listed within the top few pages of Google. The term used in the industry is “organic search results” (another word would be FREE search results). Every website should have a baseline of great organic search results before even contemplating paid search results and paid advertising.
SEO Client: Geckoes Rainforest Lodges, Costa Rica
Zoë Courtier and Tom Keller contacted me after finding me on Twitter in March of 2011. They had a beautiful site but were not being found for any relevant searches. They also had a prominent banner on their home page to a rainforest lodge booking agency that took their visitors off their site to the agency’s site where the visitors could browse many competing lodges in Costa Rica. While Geckoes Lodge is a member of this agemcy and is required to show the banner on the home page, it didn’t need to be front and center as a ‘call to action’.
After taking a look at the site’s code, it was clear that much could be done to improve the site’s visibility. Any search that did not contain ‘Geckoes Lodge’ (the domain is geckoeslodge.com) produced no direct website results within the top 40-50 pages and beyond of a Google search. Together we identified their target search terms: Luxury rainforest lodges, holiday houses, accommodations, costa rica, Caribbean and any combination of these.
The following was done on the site to incorporate these search terms:
- All title tags were changed and varied on each page.
- Meta descriptions were changed and varied on each page to reflect the page’s content.
- Key words were added.
- The home page content was rewritten to emphasize the target key search phrases.
- Links were added to the footer area to include the most major websites they are listed in creating ’round-about’ linking.
- Links were added to the existing Facebook and Twitter social media accounts.
- The agency banner was reduced and moved to the footer.
The site was then re-submitted in March 2011 for the search engines to “crawl” (this term means they scan the site and re-index their findings). The site was crawled 2 days later and the results happened immediately. Of 20 combinations of the terms identified, over 6 phrases were instantly listed on the first page of Google results! Many other combinations landed Geckoes Lodge on pages 2 and 3.
Today, August 8th, 2011, Geckoes Lodge continues to enjoy fantastic “organic” search results. Here are some of the results:
|Luxury rainforest holiday houses||page 1 #1|
|Luxury rainforest holiday houses costa rica||page 1 #1|
|Luxury rainforest holiday homes costa rica||page 1 #1|
|Luxury rainforest holiday houses caribbean||page 1 #1|
|Luxury rainforest holiday homes caribbean||page 1 #1|
|rainforest holiday homes caribbean||page 1 #1|
|rainforest holiday houses||page 1 #1|
|Luxury rainforest lodges, caribbean||page 1|
|rainforest holiday homes caribbean||page 1|
|rainforest holiday homes costa rica||page 1|
|Luxury rainforest accommodations costa rica||page 1|
|holiday houses costa rica||page 1|
|Luxury rainforest accommodations caribbean||page 1|
|Luxury rainforest accommodations||page 1|
|luxury rainforest lodges||page 1|
|holiday homes costa rica||page 2|
|Luxury rainforest lodges costa rica||page 2|
|rainforest lodges costa rica||page 3|
If you have a website that needs some help with search engine optimization or you just want to improve your current search results, Blue Iris Webdesign can analyze your existing site and provide the insight and services you need to increase your visibility in search results. Services include helping you increase your rankings by using social media, reciprocal links, Google Analytics, email newsletters, key phrase selection for your target market, and the advantages of publishing web articles.