The Best Way to Check your Park Performance in Google
Google change how they rank websites many, many times every year. Google sets it own parameters for these rankings and unless you are very skilled at understanding these parameters or algorithms your website could end up being ranked so low that your clientele may never “find” you.
It can also be quite difficult to check your ranking because Google also factor in “localisation and personalisation”.
Localisation relates to the search results specifically for your location. E.g. If you’re in Brisbane and search “zoo near caravan park”, you’ll get different results to someone in Melbourne searching the same term.
Personalisation will also affect your results if:
• you’re signed into your Google account, then your view history and your social connections impact your search results.
• or, perhaps, you follow someone on G+, the articles they write generally rank higher when you search on such topics they have covered.
Algorithm updates, localisation and personalisation are the three challenges of rank tracking.
Is there a way for you to track your rankings? Google Webmaster Tools is probably the most accurate tool to check your Google ranking. Anyone who has access to their website can set it up.
1. Log into or setup Google Webmaster Tools
2. Click the website you want to review
3. On the left-side, go to “Search Traffic” > “Search Queries”.
4. Note the filters and date range at the top. Use these to refine the data you’re after.
The columns that appear are:
Query: The search query used to make the website appear in search results.
Impressions: The number of times one of the website’s pages appeared in Google’s search results.
Clicks: The number of times people clicked from search results to the website.
CTR: Click-through rate equals clicks divided by impressions.
Avg. Position: This is your Google ranking for the keyword (or more accurately, search term).
This is where you can become confused. Just because you’re “2.0” for a search term doesn’t mean you’re in second position. If you have a page ranked in second position and another page ranked eighth, your “avg. position” for that query is “5.0”.
Average position means nothing if you’re not getting clicks and clicks mean nothing if you’re not getting bookings. It is imperative that the SEO personnel engaged to keep your website active uses this information. A low click-through rate can mean your web pages have become irrelevant to the search query or your search result isn’t attractive.
To maximise the SEO of your caravan park is to look for search terms in the report that have high impressions, relevance and a low CTR (<10%) and then write good title tags and meta descriptions – ones that are easily read, contains your keywords, looks attractive and not too long. Add these to your website/postings and hopefully your ranking will become more prominent.
Adapted from an article Published in Accommodation News and written by Joshua Uebergang, Head of Search Marketing, Fasttrack Group an Australian agency that specialises in digital marketing and websites for accommodation providers.