It’s that time of year that we decide what we want to improve or work on in 2018 and an area you should be focusing on in 2018 is your business’ website and its Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
As 2018 approaches, a good way to start is with a SWOT analysis where you identify your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats in a grid:
Your strengths and weaknesses are generally internal items and things you can control whereas your opportunities and threats are outside your control – of course you can also outline opportunities you have within your site too. For SEO purposes, a SWOT can help you outline keywords or content strategies you want to use this year as well as any technical elements that could be hurting your site or could assist your ranking.
For example, Allison runs the Dover Bed and Breakfast. They consistently get great TripAdvisor reviews, Allison writes excellent blogs and social media posts, and have been in business for 10 years. Allison randomly does searches for her own property and sees that her ranking is way below her competitors’, who are newer inns and bed and breakfasts. She decides to run a SWOT analysis and finds:
- Quality website content
- Age of website
- Established in the area
- Low rankings for targeted keyword terms
- No investment in a marketing strategy or SEO plan
- No technical SEO elements on the site
- Duplicate content for room detail pages
- Continue to publish blogs, but optimized for the search engines
- Add technical SEO elements to the site
- Research other keywords for the site
- Add links to other sites and share links to the blog to improve the backlink profile
- Update directory listings and profiles on other sites
- Invest in other SEO tactics, like social or PPC
- New lodging competition in the area
- Competition has optimized sites
Now, Allison has a clear picture of where her weaknesses lie and where she can improve to beat the competition. Some questions she might be asking herself include:
- What keywords does Dover Bed and Breakfast rank well for now?
- What keywords is the competition using?
- What content is doing well on the site?
- What pages bring in the most organic traffic?
- What pages have the best conversion rate?
- What pages have a high bounce rate or exit rate? What can be done to improve them?
- Do you have the know-how to implement technical SEO elements?
- What budget can you devote to SEO and online marketing?
- What sets Dover Bed and Breakfast apart from the competition?
- What’s your competition doing better than you in terms of SEO and site design?
- What other complementary marketing tactics are you missing (like email, social media, PPC, etc.)?
By running a SWOT analysis and understanding how you measure up to the competition, you can go into 2018 with a solid SEO and website marketing plan.