This week we are taking a look at GolfAsian.com, an agency that plans golf vacations in Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. With a well-organized website and great customer service, they are poised to become a leader in the golf vacation industry - with a few website tweaks and online marketing strategies.

GA-homepage.jpg  
SEO: using primary and secondary key phrases
Mark has made some strong efforts toward optimizing the Golf Asian website. Each page has a unique title tag and meta description, two key areas that draw visitors in from the search engines. He is also making use of some key phrases in the on-page titles and in the anchor text of links within the content. However, many of the phrases targeted throughout the site include specific golf locations and cities such as Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket, and Hua Hin. Unfortunately, these specific locations are not getting many--if any--searches.

SEO will serve GolfAsian.com best by targeting visitors who are looking for a golf vacation, but aren't sure where they want to go. I would recommend using broader terms throughout the website that aren't location specific.

keywords.jpgBased on some keyword research, some phrases that are worth targeting as primary keywords are:
  • Golf vacation
  • Golf vacations
  • Golf holiday
  • Golf holidays
  • Golf vacation package
  • All inclusive golf vacations
  • Golf trip
  • Golf trips
  • Thailand golf
Only use the specific locations as secondary keywords on the pages that are about those cities, courses, packages, etc, and always in combination with the primary keywords. This way, you are focusing on more general search traffic while still ranking for the handful of people searching for a specific destination.

*Tool Tip: Not sure how to check if people are searching for your keywords? Sign up for a service like Keyword Discovery or Wordtracker. Sometimes these services offer a free trial; so plan ahead and cram your keyword research into a few days.

Link building: beat the competition with a backlink

Currently, GolfAsian.com has around 4,000 inbound links, but they are all coming from just a handful of websites. While lots of links are good, they aren't going to help you if they are all coming from the same source. Links from a variety other quality websites are critical for ranking well in the search engines, as well as driving traffic to the website.

Instituting a link building campaign will help improve rankings for more competitive primary keywords, as well as fill up the results for secondary, less competitive phrases.

A few tips for getting more links to your website:

  1. Search for authority sites. A "quality" link is one that comes from a site that has lots of other quality sites linking to it. A good way to find websites to court for links is to check the backlinks of your competitors. See who is linking to the high-ranking competition and ask them to link to you too.
  2. Get listed in directories.It's important to be listed in general directories like Yahoo and DMOZ, but also target industry specific directories such as those for golf, travel, and vacations.
  3. Go slowly. Getting two many links too quickly is a red flag for search engines.
  4. Use anchor text. When a good site links to you, you want them to do it using phrases you are targeting such as "golf vacation packages." Use your best judgment based on your interaction with the site manager on whether you can request specific anchor text, or just be happy with anything from a good site.

backlinks.jpg*Tool Tip: to check the links coming into your site, go to http://siteexplorer.search.yahoo.com/. Type in your domain, including the "www" if that's your primary URL. Click "Explore URL." It will automatically show you the pages of your site that have been indexed; just above the results, click on "Inlinks" so see your incoming links. You can change the settings to exclude links from your own domain and to include links to any page of your website.

Layout: featuring everything equals featuring nothing

In general, there is too much happening on the Golf Asian website. By trying to feature so many different things, nothing ends up getting featured. The key areas that need to jump out from every page are:
  • Website name
  • Tagline
  • Navigation
  • Call to action
The content needs to be obvious and easy to scan. Break up long paragraphs by using section headers and bulleted/numbered lists.

Choose a few items to feature in the sidebars and rotate them, instead of trying to feature everything at once.

Cut the homepage content in half, and then cut it in half again. The homepage needs to function more like the back cover of a book, giving visitors a taste of what they will find inside the website. Give a 2-3 sentence overview of what the site is about (using keywords) and then drive visitors to the deeper content.

The GolfAsian.com website is filled with great information that is well organized and relatively easy to navigate. Cleaning up the layout, using more general key phrases, and instituting link building are key changes that will drive more relevant traffic to the site.

 


May 16, 2008





Jackie Baker is an internet marketing analyst with SiteLogic Marketing (http://www.sitelogicmarketing.com) where she focuses on auditing websites as well as SEO, social media, usability, and information architecture consulting. She comes to the industry from a marketing/PR and website development background. Jackie maintains an active presence online through her blog RegardingHorses.com (http://www.regardinghorses.com) where she shares her love all things equine, particularly therapeutic riding.






Comments(7)

Jackie,

Thank you for your comments. I agree with many of the items you mention and will look at implementing them. However, I think your feedback about the location specific pages being ""too specific" are incorrect. We get our most qualified leads that convert to sales from people searching for very specific destination information.

The traffic is certainly higher from optimizing pages for more general terms, but the key is to get qualified leads and not build traffic. That is why a mixture of pages optimized for both general and specific terms is a better business strategy.

Let me know if this makes sense.

Thanks again,

Mark Siegel
Managing Director
Golfasian Co. Ltd.
+66-(0)2-714-8470
http://www.golfasian.com and http://www.thailandgolfzone.com
The golf experts in Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia!

Mark,

I do agree, you will get your most qualified leads from people who are searching for exactly what you have to offer, namely the location specific golf courses and packages. However, you will get many qualified leads from more general terms as well, even if the percentages are lower compared to the traffic.

The issue here is that you are optimizing primarily for locations that very very few people are searching for. Thailand receives a handful of searches, but the other locations are getting none or next to none. You do need to keep using these, because those few people are your most qualified leads. However, that is an incredibly small amount of searchers. If you emphasize the general phrases more throughout the site (while still including the locations), you will gain more traffic but you will also gain more leads from people who are looking for a great destination. Pair the primary phrases with the locations every time you use them, and you will target both. You have lots of pages and good information on your site, so you can easily optimize for both, or one or the other that is most appropriate.

Does that clarify what I meant a little better?

Unless the search is very high locational pages should be added as travel gents new york...the search here would be much less but highly targeted...

The index page can be targeted for general term...travel agents

The former will show much earlier in SERPs while the latter will come after much efforts and wait..

Hey Jackie,

I agree with your post. If we are doing proper on page optimization with targeted keywords and we have a quality links then we can beat our competitors.

I am just starting to optimize my website and try to promote it up the search engines. I can see that this is not going to be an easy short term task. Thanks for your suggestions.
Jay

Thanks a lot for the advice. For newbies like me, we are on the ehat of making links coz we wanted to see the results in the shortest possible time. And with what you have said, I guess I will have to do it a bit slower.

Thanks, Jackie, for sharing your great tips. I do believe that you follow the rules and do stuff the right way, you can get great results on all major search engines. Link building is a big one though and could be very time consuming, but is definitely possible.

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