Hello, I’m Nick Ponte!

I run a marketing company in Maui that specializes in helping local businesses thrive. This usually involves helping them with their marketing efforts, taking their advertising online, and even helping them build an e-commerce platform.

For the past couple of months, I have been sharing everything I know about Search Engine Optimization (SEO). I created a basic guide to get started, which I call the No-Fear Guide to Basic SEO. I also discussed the top three SEO moves you should make right now if you’ve already begun.

Today I want to talk about taking your SEO from good to great.

Also Read: SEO Organic Methodology

The Non-Stop Revolution

In my time working with Hawaii businesses to improve their SEO, we often reach what feels like a tipping point. They have the basics down, and they have seen some results come in. This is always when I encourage them to keep going further with SEO. Just when you think you have it figured out, something changes.

The landscape in the digital marketplace constantly shifts. I understand why some people might feel intimidated or confused as they attempt to move their business online. In the past five years, Google has changed its core search algorithm several times, often drastically changing how businesses rank. And of course, if their rank changes, they’ll see changes to their web traffic and sales.

Additionally, some parts of SEO seem counterintuitive and complicated. It’s tough to know what to prioritize, or how to get the most bang for your buck. The marketplace has grown increasingly digital, especially throughout the pandemic, and it’s getting easier and easier to get left behind. 

Finally, some people out there seem absolutely obsessed with SEO. Is it really that important? If they are that good at it, how can you or I keep up with them anyway?

This is where I encourage businesses to press on instead of shrink back. Yes, the field changes. Yep, it gets complicated. Sure, there’s competition. But all that indicates that great SEO is incredibly worthwhile. Plus, it’s not as complicated as it seems when you have the basics down. If you read through some of the articles I’ve already linked to, I guarantee things will start to click for you.

If you commit to taking your SEO from good to great, you’ll see more traffic to your website. More people will shop on your online store, and more will visit you in person. This will all pay off in revenue and profit, enabling you not just to survive these uncertain times but to thrive through them.

Also Read: SEO Keyword Selection

The Intermediate Strategy

To start going from good to great, follow these three steps:

  • Build a “Sandbox” Website

To improve your knowledge and skills, set up a consequence-free playground for yourself. Instead of making tweaks to your business’ website to see how your changes affect your analytics, build a sandbox website. I recommend using a basic WordPress site.

What should your sandbox website be about? Consider simply writing about one of your passions and putting content on it. The goal is to build it in roughly the same format as your business website so that your experimentation will translate to the real world. But besides that, the world is your oyster when it comes to topics.

As you make tweaks to things like your body text, headers, tags, slugs, and metadata, you’ll need a method to track how traffic and ranking change. This leads us to the wonderful world of analytics.

  • Adopt Google Analytics

We’ve talked before about how Google is the king of search engines and likely to stay that way for a long, long time. So, I suggest doing all your SEO work on Google. Thankfully, Google wants you to win. More businesses and customers using their search engine means more revenue for them in the long run, so they have developed all kinds of tools to help businesses succeed.

Something I haven’t talked about much before is Google Analytics. For someone looking to take their SEO from good to great, though, this is where to start. You gain the full power of Google, only this time it’s giving you insights into your own business performance. 

  • Configure Google Analytics and Link it to Google Search Console

Once you’ve started with analytics, there are three important configuration steps.

  • Filter out your own traffic. As you play around with your websites, you will mess with your own numbers. So, in Google Analytics, go to Admin > View > View Filters > Add Filters. Filter out your own IP address. If you aren’t sure what your IP is, you can ask Google in a quick search.
  • Filter out bot traffic. There are millions of machines and programs capable of using the web, which might skew your traffic numbers. To filter out most of them, go to Admin > View > View Settings and hit the box that says “Bot Filtering.”
  • Add Google Search Console. Start by following this link. Add in your sandbox website. Then, in Google Analytics go to Admin > Property > Property Settings and select the option to connect your search console property.

With all that said and done, you now have a playground to practice your skills and get an abundance of analytical information in response. As you learn what works, you can begin applying it to your business website to pump up your traffic and revenue.

If you want more help with your SEO, don’t hesitate to reach out to us today!

Further Reading: 3 Common SEO Mistakes Every Business in Hawaii Should Avoid


Photos Courtesy of Ross Findon, little plant, and Myriam Jessier

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