Search Engine Optimization For Dive Shops
One question I always get (and understandably so) when I start a search engine optimization job for a client is, “how long until I start seeing results?”
The answer to this is not the same for all dive shops and it isn’t 100% predictable. There are several things which will influence the length of time that it will take for you to start seeing results. The first thing that matters is the age of your domain. If you have a domain that you just bought and hasn’t yet been indexed we will submit your domains sitemap to all of the major search engines to index, but when they do is largely up to them. Generally we expect this to be done within one to two weeks. This is when you will be able to find yourself in search results for very specific searches. To be found for the more broad range, and much more profitable searches is the next thing we have to go for.
Again this has many variables which will influence how long it takes to start ranking. Different keywords will take different amounts of time. This is where we will have to start our seo plan. Generally we start trying to rank for some longer tailed searches first which are less competitive but build our pages value in the eyes of the all mighty google. Increasing our traffic is an important step to ranking for the more competitive search terms which really are our bread and butter. So for an example, we may start building anchor links such as “dive shops in Guanacaste, Costa Rica” before we would go after a more competitive keyword like “scuba diving in Costa Rica.” Both of these keywords are valuable, but the term scuba diving in Costa Rica is much more highly contested and has many more searches per month than the other but we certainly want to rank for both, along with countless others.
The other thing you have to recognize when looking for results is that we may very well see a lot of progress in terms of search engine rankings, but very little in terms of traffic initially. Initially the page we are trying to rank may be listed on the 8th page of search results. It may take very little time to reach page 2 or 3 of the results, but the chances of us seeing any increased traffic at this point is very little. It has been studied, and over 80 percent of searches result in the person not leaving the first page of results before finding the link they want to click. The vast majority (over 60%) of clicks happen in the top 4 positions. Generally I find that the rankings are improving for quite a while before you will see the increase in reservations for your dive trips.
I will use another dive shop I just began working with a few weeks ago as an example of the competitive levels of keywords. Searches such as “scuba diving in Rangiroa” or “scuba diving in French Polynesia” are our money keywords. They are what we are trying to break into. This dive shop owner has a very stable french clientele and is looking to expand to the American, Canadian, and UK markets. These search terms will likely take a few months to rank for. Searches such as “dive shops in Rangiroa, French Polynesia”. “diving Tiputa Pass”, “shark diving in French Polynesia”, “best dive sites in Rangiroa“, and these types are much easier to rank for and we will likely start seeing some traffic through these searches within 1 to 2 months.
So to get back to the initial question about how long until you are seeing results, the average amount of time before people start seeing an increase in reservations tends to be 2 months or so. This is when we will start ranking for the longer tailed, less competitive keywords. Depending on how competitive your keywords are the more highly searched and much more valuable keywords you can expect 4 to 5 months.