December 6, 2009

Cayman SEO: Top Keywords for the Cayman Islands this Holiday Season, 2009

In the Cayman Islands, keywords tend to shift during holidays and is a prime example of why you should optimize your website for keyword trends. The shift is also prevalent in most parts of the world and is very important when targeting holiday traffic. Search Engine Marketing (both SEO and PPC) is important in understanding keyword trends and how it affects your bottom line.

Very important details: The keywords are from Google's Adword External Keyword Tool. When doing an online campaign is it important to cross reference your keywords using atleast 3 keyword tools. Other tools that are as relevant as Adwords are; Wordtracker and Keyword Discovery.

Without further adieu, here are the top 20 keywords for the month of November, 2009 - beside the keywords are monthly average searches of the past 12 months.

1. cayman 2,240,000
2. grand cayman 550,000
3. cayman islands 450,000
4. cayman island 165,000
5. cayman hotels 135,000
6. cayman islands hotels 60,500
7. grand cayman island 60,500
8. caymen 49,500
9. grand cayman islands 49,500
10. grand cayman travel 49,500
11. little cayman 49,500
12. grand cayman cayman islands 33,100
13. cayman brac 27,100
14. caymans 27,100
15. cayman airways 22, 200
16. cayman vacation 22,200
17. caymen islands 14, 800
18. grand cayman hotel 14, 800
19. grand cayman rental 14,800
20. grand caymen 14,800

If you look at the keywords for the same month last 2008 - you will notice that it is almost the same because they are trends. Everytime at the same time of the year - keyword trends play a very important aspect of Search Engine Marketing: both SEO and Pay Per Click Campaigns.

For enquiries please contact Fevi at 345-925-8188 or email fevi@easywebsites.ky

Thanks for reading and Happy Holidays!

November 11, 2009

Cayman SEO: 'Tis the Season for PPC

Published in Whats HOT! A Cayman Free Press Publication, December 2009

The Internet is the biggest market in the world and this Holiday Season, sales are projected to be at over 25 Billion Dollars. Being online allows your business to be open 24/7 and make money for you even while you sleep. Competition, however, is quite steep and you are not guaranteed that customers will find you amidst all the other websites.

So how do you instantly increase your online exposure without breaking the bank?

The answer: PPC or otherwise known as Pay Per Click.

PPC is the advertising business model of Search Engines. Advertisers only pay their host when their ads are clicked-through. The biggest PPC providers are Google.com via Adwords and Yahoo.com as well as Bing.com via Microsoft AdCenter. All of them operate on a bid-based model, which means that advertisers bid on keywords or phrases relevant to their target market.

PPC allows you to reach your target market instantly and directly. When a user searches for certain keywords on the search engine, your ad automatically comes up on the sponsored search results and its goal is to attract the attention of the user.

PPC also allows you to stick to a budget. You only pay for every user that clicks on your ad. You also get to decide how much you'll pay each time a user clicks on your ad and the maximum spend per day, per week and per month.

Tips on a good PPC Campaign

1. Check out keyword reports from the period of November 2008 to January 2009 to see which keywords converted well during the holidays. These keywords will most likely work well again this year so make sure that you bid higher on these keywords for the next few months to take advantage of the holiday traffic. This will increase your ad's chances of being displayed more often so that more people will see it and click through it. Hopefully, these clicks will transform into clients for your business. This of course depends on the usability of your website’s landing page to transform ‘clicks’ into clients.

Use Google’s External keyword tool for this search: https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal

2. Now look at your ads. Your ads should be edited to match the holiday season. For example, you may edit your headline to make it more relevant to Christmas like from "Cayman Islands Vacations" to "Cayman Holiday Getaway". You can catch your target market's attention if you can relate your business to his/her "holiday needs".

3. Another way to catch your target market's attention is to offer promotions. Tourism-based businesses usually offer packages for the whole family. In this way, you can show your target market that you can help them by allowing them to save a dollar or two. Include the promotions in your ads so that users searching for vacation packages for the holidays can spot you. Who knows, he or she can be your next loyal client.

4. When a user clicks on your ad, the next thing he/she will see is your landing page. Create a landing page that's captures the holiday mood. You might want to dress up your landing page to include Christmas designs and features. One good suggestion is to provide a "Holiday Package" or "Holiday Promotions" page or a "Gift Certificate" feature to help users decide on which package or product to purchase.

Check out your bestsellers from the same period of the previous year to find out what tickles your customer’s fancy and include that on your promos for the holidays.

The Search Engines provide training centers and setting up a PPC account is almost as easy as setting up an email account. But before doing so please study and learn as much as information as you can so that you are not wasting your dollars on useless clicks. For more information of how to set up and maintain a PPC account, contact me at 925-8188 or fevi@easywebsites.ky

October 26, 2009

Cayman SEO: Drive Traffic to your website during the Holidays

The holidays are fast approaching in the Cayman Islands and I know for a fact that most people and business owners cannot wait, more so for this year, 2009 - because of the global recession that has hit many-a-business hard. For many tourism-based businesses, this is the time of the year that is the busiest because of the influx of tourists for the Christmas Holidays.

Why then would you possibly need additional traffic to your website?

Because 2009 is a 'special' year, now, more than ever is the appropriate time to take action on your website to ensure that it enables your business to take advantage of the 'gifts of the season'. This year, more than any other year before it, your customers are going to be looking for more value in every product or service that they buy.

Here are a few reasons why you need to take a second look at your website to ensure that is is working for you in this holiday season:

1. Just because it is the holidays and we expect more tourists on the island - it doesn't mean that tourists automatically know where to go and what to do. They will still be going online, before they come to the island, and they will be doing their research on what restaurants to dine in, what place to stay and what car rental and activity to engage in. Does your website have the ability to attract NEW clients for the holiday season, given the slow global economy? Does your website have the ability to retain 'OLD' clients?

2. Is your website positioned for 'holiday keyword searches' that are seasonal keywords? Do you have landing pages that support these holiday keywords and engage the user to click on your website either to use a service or buy a product?

3. Does your website 'speak' of the value of your product or service so that each click that comes through is translated to a booking or a sale? Is the value of your product or service easily translated by your website for its users?

As a website owner what can you do so that your website is able to retain its old clients from previous years, attract new customers who are looking for value, ensure that the website appears for all relevant holiday keyword searches?

Here are a few simple tips to get the most out of the Holiday traffic:

1. Create content within your website that provides the services and products you are offering for the holidays. Ensure that this page is linked directly from the body content of your homepage so that Search Engine robots can easily pick it up.

2. Start engaging in Social Media Networking promoting your holiday products or services as early as now - create links that will land on the content page for your holiday offerings.

3. Ensure that your website is prepared for the holiday traffic by checking with your hosting provider - bandwidth plays and important role because even if your clients can find you - if they cannot access your website within a limited timeframe, you can kiss that user goodbye.

Since we provide this service to all our clients, please feel free to contact us for any questions or clarifications you might have. Yes we can increase your holiday sales using the power of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Pay-Per-Click Campaigns (PPC) and Social Media Networking (SMN) for your website.



October 6, 2009

Cayman SEO: Grand Cayman Helps out the Philippines

On September 26, 2009 - Typhoon Ondoy battered the Philippines and flooded almost 80% of the entire Metro Manila. We at Easywebsites.ky wanted to do our part in the relief efforts. We want to thank all the volunteers and all the donations that came by.

Please watch the video of our Relief Efforts for more information.

Here are the credits below:


Thank you


Robert & Jeanette Totten of CLPG

Paula & Anne of CLPG

Melanie & Catherine & Lean of Smile

Dr. Albert Thacker of Smile Dental Clinic

Tom Mccallum

Max & Kenisha & Favi of Grandview

Robbie Cribb of Cayman Auto Rentals

Reno Mancini

The Wharf Staff

Twila Escalante

Lucinda Stokes

Katia Herrera

Karen & Saskia & Sharon

Dawn Ackermon of Heritage Club

Joy Basdeo of Simply Weddings

Deanna Bidwell of RBC Wealth Management

Nirmila Kumar


Staff and Volunteers

Carol Anievas

Len Anievas

Ken Estanislao

Albert Camacho

Sabrina Deparine

Leonard Jancordia

Dr. Meann Endriga

Dr. Adette Lagura

Mark Anthony Mara

Michael Bala

Glen Mark Garin


Photos taken from Flickr (Thank You)

Brandon Hoover

Adrienne Acob

Katrina Lou Samsin

Dave Deluria

PMT2009

REMBCC

(apologies if I missed anyone)


Special Thanks to

Gina and Boc Villamor


Music by Train

"Calling All Angels"


Video by Fevi Yu

Ondoy/Ketsana

Philippines Relief Project


We are still accepting donations until October 9, 2009 to benefit the Portalet Projects in Evacuation Centers. There are still almost 400,000 families in Evacuation Centers and most of them have no homes to return to.

September 11, 2009

Cayman SEO: Something to Tweet About

Part and partial of Internet Marketing and SEO is Web 2.0's Social Media Networking.

As published in Whats HOT! for the month of September, 2009: Something to Tweet About
by Fevi Yu

Twitter is an extraordinary powerful online tool but even experienced IT professionals have had issues understanding everything it has to offer. So how do you begin and what can Twitter do for your business in the Cayman Islands?

Twitter Basics
On the Surface Twitter interface looks like a giant SMS screen where you can post messages no longer than 140 characters, referred to as 'tweets'. Originally desinged as an oline form of communication, it has developed into a platform for reading information that is relevant to your industry. More recently, 'tweets' have evolved to share interesting content found online and sharing real-time accounts from real people who are involved in a newsworthy event, crisis or natural disaster.

Retweets and other Cool Apps
When you see an 'RT' at the beginning of a tweet it means that that is a retwet from another user. Whenever you want to share information from someone else that you are following, just copy and paste the original tweet and put an 'RT' with the credits of the original person with an '@' at the beginning. Retweets are a sure-fire way of getting content to spread like wildfire online. For anyone wanting to 'RT' your content, it will have to be interesting. To tract retweets you can use web tools such as Retweetradar, Retweetist and Tweetmeme.

Hashtags are metadata for tweets. They were created to allow groupings on twitter without having to change the basic service. To track or follow hashtags use hashtags.org, which provide real-time tracking wihtout the necessity of following a specific service account. Other services such as Tweetchat, Tweetgrid and twitterfall also follow hashtags.

A notable aspect of Twitter is the numerous applications that are readily available. Tweetdeck allows users to tweet in tow clicks. Seesmic deesktop allows users to read, replay and send tweets from their desktops. Tweetree helps users organise their conversations in one page.

Personal branding in Twitter
  • Reserver your name, fast - When signing up for twitter, the name you want might not longer be available. So instead of getting your company name, for example, @Easywebsites, you might end up having to use your name with a reference to the company. However that could mean you end up with a twitter name like @easyfevi, which might not sit well with everyone.
  • Determine your Objective - like most advertising you place on the papers, there must be an objective and a brand that people can identify with your company.
  • Be an Expert in your field - and have your customers and other industry professionals follow you
  • Funnel your online marketing brands - just because you have a twitter page it doesnt mean that everyone is going to start following you. You have to ensure that all your customers, clients and contacts know that you have a twitter resource and one way of doing that is to ensure tht your Twitter page is visible in all your other online platforms such as your website, your Facebook fan page as well as youtube, Tripadvisor and similar sites.
Once you get the twitter bug there is no getting away from it. The readily available information from the best of the best in your industry is highly addictive.

July 16, 2009

CAYMAN SEO is no. 1 in SERP Inquiries

Cayman SEO is the blog site of Easywebsites.ky - a web design and development company specializing in Internet Marketing and Search Engine Optimization.

http://caymanseo.blogspot.com is current in the no. 1 position for the following keywords on Google:

  • cayman seo
  • cayman islands seo
  • grand cayman seo
  • cayman islands search engine optimization
  • grand cayman search engine optimization
  • cayman internet marketing
  • cayman islands internet marketing
  • grand cayman internet marketing
  • grand cayman islands internet marketing
  • cayman search marketing
  • search marketing cayman
  • cayman optimization
  • grand cayman optimization
So if your company is in the Cayman Islands and would like to be found online - please check us out.

July 14, 2009

Cayman SEO: Top Ten Keywords for your industry

Search Engines such as Google, Yahoo and the recently launched Bing, formerly MSN Live, have become such important tools in our daily lives. So much so that the latest average daily search on Google has reached 293 Million. Imagine that… and then try to imagine how many searches are being done for your products and services. The good news is that you don’t have to - I have compiled a list of top searches done for industries in the Tourism sector of the Cayman Islands. If you do not find your industry in the list below – feel free to contact me and I will gladly send you a top ten list. Also please note that since Google represents 63.7% of the total searches done, I have only included Google statistics below.

Top Ten Searches for the Cayman Islands Accommodations Industry (monthly)

1. Cayman hotels at 135,000 searches per month
2. Cayman hotel at 27,100
3. Cayman resort at 27,100
4. Cayman vacation at 18,100
5. Cayman vacations at 18,100
6. Grand cayman resort at 18,100
7. Cayman islands vacations at 14,800
8. Grand cayman hotel at 14,800
9. Grand cayman islands hotels at 14,800
10. Cayman islands hotel at 9,900

If your business belongs in the accommodations industry – being in the first page of these keyword searches is profitable as these are the actual searches being done by your direct Target Market.

Top Ten Searches for the Cayman Islands Scuba Diving Industry (monthly)

1. Cayman diving at 8,100 searches per month
2. Cayman dive at 6,600
3. Cayman scuba at 5,400
4. Grand cayman dive at 3,600
5. Grand cayman diving at 3,600
6. Cayman scuba diving at 2,400
7. Grand cayman scuba at 2,400
8. Cayman islands diving at 1,600
9. Cayman divers at 1,300
10. Scuba diving grand cayman at 1,300

Top Eight Searches for the Cayman Islands Car Rental Industry (monthly)
Note: There were only eight searches for the car rental industry available

1. Cayman car rental at 14,800 searches per month
2. Grand cayman car rental at 9,900
3. Cayman car rentals at 4,400
4. Grand cayman car rentals at 1,600
5. Cayman island car rental at 720
6. Rent a car cayman at 480
7. Cayman taxi at 390
8. Coconut car rental grand cayman at 46

Top Ten Searches for the Cayman Islands Wedding Industry (monthly)

1. Cayman wedding at 2,900 searches per month
2. Cayman weddings at 1,600
3. Grand cayman wedding at 1300
4. Cayman island wedding at 880
5. Weddings grand cayman at 720
6. Cayman islands wedding at 590
7. Cayman islands weddings at 480
8. Cayman islands weddings at 480
9. Wedding in cayman at 320
10. Weddings in cayman at 260

The total number of these top ten searches for weddings in the Cayman Islands is almost 10,000 per month. That is over 330 searches per day. Just imagine if your website had 330 inquiries per day and what it would mean for your business. If your website was created with the end users in mind in that they are able to navigate seamlessly and find pertinent and relevant information – then these inquiries might just become bookings.

Top Ten Searches for Cayman Islands Activities, Tours and Events (monthly)

1. grand cayman events at 9,900 searches per month
2. tours cayman islands at 3,600
3. cayman islands events at 2,900
4. grand cayman trip at 2,900
5. cayman things to do at 1,900
6, cayman tour at 1,900
7. cayman trip at 1,600
8. grand cayman tour at 1,600
9. cayman activities at 1,300
10. grand cayman things to do at 1,300

Businesses that are activity related should see to it that their websites appear on the first page of these relevant searches for their industry.

Be a responsible website owner

Its not easy to optimize your website to appear on the first page of Search results but another challenge to the website owner is to ensure that that visibility is maximized by having a functional and effective website that speaks to users. Lets face it, even if your website is found on the first page of search results - it does not automatically mean that you will get more bookings or reservations. What it means is that you have the opportunity to present your company's products and services to alot more people who are looking for you.

It is not enough to have a website that has amazing graphics too - but yes that is helpful. More than having a website that has all the fancy bells and whistles a website owner has to ensure that Users are able to navigate properly and that the site architecture is not confusing.

July 3, 2009

Cayman SEO NEWS: Unethical SEO practices by NETCLUES!


I am a very passionate person when it comes to work and sure, most of the time I don't have time to moderate comments on my blog. Not that there is alot of them mind you, but because I know some people are trying to ride on the link popularity of my blog caymanseo.blogspot.com, which has a pagerank of 4/10 - and because I know how difficult breaks can be - I don't mind and sometimes approve them. What I do mind is when a competing company does it.

So my blog is decidedly no. 1 for most if not all the keywords relating to SEO and/or Internet Marketing in the Cayman Islands. Of course it is - I have applied alot of what I know about optimization to my blog. So it really makes me so angry that a competing company would even dare post a link back to their blog hoping to ride on my coat-tails. You should have made a comment at the very least and maybe I would have let it pass but to blatantly put a link back... thats just plain LAZY.

Its embarrasing really. I would hate to work for a company like that. Get your own links NETCLUES and hopefully you dont do this sort of unethical SEO to your clients. I am disgusted that we belong to the same industry and I am hoping that you do not kill our industry by your lazy, unethical behavior.

And they did it again. I have attached the printscreen here dated Sept. 3, 2009. This time it is optimizing for 'Internet Marketing' the previous comment was optimizing for 'Cayman SEO' - hmm. I wonder who the 'genius' is behind this.

June 14, 2009

Cayman SEO - Increase your online presence using Social Networking sites

In the early days of the Internet – social networking websites such as Geocities (1994) and Tripod (1995) focused on bringing people together to interact and share personal information. Some sites went a little further by having its users link to each other via email – ie. Classmates.com (1995) and sixdegrees.com (1997). But most of these sites simply weren’t profitable and eventually shut down. It wasn’t until the years between 2002 and 2004 that three sites emerged and caused online social networking to become part of mainstream users globally. These three sites were Friendster.com, myspace.com and bebo.com. In 2006 Facebook.com opened to communities outside US Colleges and became the largest growing site in the world.

Social networking then flourished and became a component of business internet strategy - various social networking sites have sprung up to cater to every demographic. It is estimated that there are over 200 social networking sites using existing and emerging social networking models. Twitter.com (2009) eclipsed many other social networking services and even though lacks some essential aspects of SNS – has allowed add-on services that distinguishes it from the rest.

Reasons why your business should have social media presence:

1. It is a free online tool that has the potential to target your clients directly

2. It is also a way to target your clients right now – there is no waiting period

3. It is a way for you to interact with your clients on the same level

4. Social networking also creates brand awareness of your product/service

5. Social Media can act as an online reputation management tool

6. It is great tool for recruiting new college graduates

7. You can easily learn about new technologies and competitors in social networking sites

8. Can be used to generate leads for prospective customers

Companies are able to drive traffic to their websites while encouraging consumers to have discussions on how to improve or change products or services.


Social Networking is good for Business

In late 2008, Reuters.com published a report that Facebook, Bebo and Myspace are actually good for business and that bosses should not stop their staff from using social networking sites because it could actually benefit their firms. The report by Demos said encouraging employees to use networking technologies to build relationships and closer links with colleagues and customers could help businesses rather than damage them.



Robert Ainger, Director of Orange Business which co-produced the report said that it would be wrong of businesses to ignore the importance of networking in the current economic climate. “The report points out that the value of networking within an economic downturn is perhaps more important than ever and I believe it could mean the difference between a business collapsing or capitalizing on the tricky conditions.”



For any questions or clarifications regarding social networking and/or this article please email fevi@easywebsites.ky

This Article is going to be published in WH's July 2009 Issue

May 16, 2009

Cayman SEO - Three (3) Easy tips on improving your website presence

(As published in Whats Hot March Issue)

Imagine Google as a recruitment company and imagine your website as a candidate applying for a position – and in this case your website is actually applying for a position – a Search Engine Results Page (SERP) Position.

A SERP Position is the way Google and all other Search Engines display search results. The difference of a first page result vs. a second page result is far and wide and businesses on the first page of their industry’s major keywords reap the benefit of 62% more traffic* than a second page position.

In this metaphor, the end users are your Customers. It will be up to them to ‘hire’ your service/s or altogether ignore your application. There are many facets to this but that is another article and another issue of What’s HOT altogether.

What three simple things can you do to improve your position on Google without heavily relying on your webmaster? This is probably the single most frequent question that my clients ask me and I have narrowed down the answer to these three simple and effective ways of improving your online presence.

Easy Tip #1: Write an Effective Page Title – the page title is located on the very top of the browser (it doesn’t matter whether you use Explorer or Firefox). The Page Title is what the search engine robots first see as they crawl your site. That’s why its imperative to insert as much information about your location and services and not just your company name.
___________________________
*based on a whitepaper study done by iProspect, a leader in Search Marketing behavior


Helpful Tip: Write the page title in this structure and keep it to 65 characters long (including spaces):

1.) Country / Location
2.) Main Service or Product
3.) Company Name

Example: The Page Title of Easywebsites.ky is “Cayman Islands website design and development: www.easywebsites.ky”

Now, try searching on Google for “Cayman Islands website design and development”

You will notice that easywebsites.ky has the no.1 position on the SERP and its NOT for our company name and is instead for the services we provide. That is a simple enough example but for competitive keywords, it is not enough to simply write a good page title.

Very Important Note: Having the correct Page Title does not guarantee top placement or even a placement in the SERPs. However, writing a good Page Title can increase your position especially when the page content supports the page title.

Easy Tip #2: Content is King – Search Engines love unique and frequently updated content. There is a fine line between writing for Search Engines and writing for users and you must be very careful when threading that line. Writing for search engines is defined as focusing on your keywords / key phrases even if it no longer reads properly to a user.

You must also know how to balance content and graphics – too much content will turn off your users unless it is worth reading and has valuable information.

Helpful Tip: Before beginning to write content, it is imperative that you know what keywords you are targeting. Use keyword tools such as Google Adwords to help you decide. But remember – the content has to read well to users.

Easy Tip #3: The More Links the Merrier – but before you start linking to everyone requesting for a link please continue to read this. Links to your website ONLY count when it is relevant to your industry and / or location. If you are a business located in the Cayman Islands it would be wise to solicit links from other businesses located here AND links from a similar industry. ie. Wedding sites and photographers sites, car sales and car maintenance sites, etc. There are also many directories that offer linking services and it is best to qualify them before paying for listings.

What is the best strategy in getting links? Creating a website that is an authority in your field. When you become an authority – people will just link to your site without asking for a link in return.

February 7, 2009

Car problems and SEO in the Cayman Islands

I am a girl and I drive a car. As most women (not all), I am as clueless as the next whenever something goes wrong with it. About a month ago, I visited a friends house and picked her up to go to the beach. As soon as my little car started, my friend looked at me and exclaimed, "What the heck is that?" and I looked at her and was surprised, "What?"

She said that my muffler probably needed changing because it sounded like a sports car. (No wonder I felt cool everytime I was driving) I never noticed because... well because I didn't think it was a problem. My car can get me from point A to point B and thats all that really matters. Right? (I guess I am just talking to women here, most guys would probably say, "wrong")

Anyhow as soon as I got home, I searched on Google for "pajero muffler shop grand cayman" which returned no relevant results whatsoever. Ok, ok, i thought to myself, what do most regular folks call those shops and then searched again, "car service center for mufflers, grand cayman"

One of the returned results was for a Cedar City, UT based service center that had 'grand' cherokees and 'cayman' porsche cars. Another one was for a directory listing of all the car shops in Grand Cayman. But if I wanted their phone numbers, I would have gone to check the yellow pages. And, I did not want to waste my precious phone minutes calling each and every one of them to ask if they fixed mufflers. What if they asked me what kind of muffler? I would not know how to answer that! "Um, the small one for small cars?"

Anyway, my search for mufflers and car service centers was futile. There are no automobile repair centres websites that are properly optimized for the Cayman Islands. And my muffler was getting louder and louder as each day passed. No wonder it was called a muffler - because you wanted to put mufflers on your ears because it was just so noisy.

About another week passed by and I was by Kirks Supermarket just finishing off my groceries. I started my car and turned the AC on because of all the fresh meat I bought then finished putting my groceries in the car. This gentleman was deliberately walking towards me and I could see him from the corner of my eye. Now, every girl out there knows that she is bound to get hit on one way or the other... so, like every other girl that feels uncomfortable in those situations, I pretended not to see him. But he came straight at me and said loudly, "Have you gotten your mufflers checked?"

I looked up and said, "I have tried to find a shop but I don't know where to take it." We were right beside my car so we were pretty much shouting at each other.

He said, "Take it to Scotts automotive, they are the best on the island." and then proceeded to walk away. I shouted after him, "Where is Scotts?"

"You know where Mirco Centre is?", I nodded, "Its the opposite street, keep driving to the end its by the right side."

That is one of the reasons why I love living in the Cayman Islands. Complete stranges will just come up to you and help you out. Of course he was probably more concerned about my little car's noise pollution but nonetheless, he helped me out.

I took my car out to Scotts Automotive on that same day and made an appointment for the next day. It took less than an hour to fix and my bill was less than CI$ 70. But more important than that, my car stopped making that crazy sports car sounding effect and nobody looked at me anymore while driving around the streets of Grand Cayman.

When you come to live in the Cayman Islands - its not so easy to find things online. Most companies will show up for their Company name but not for their services.

Scotts Automotives really is the best for fixing mufflers, that stranger was right. It was inexpensive and fast - the kind of service that should be promoted - atleast online.

When creating your title tags for your company website, put in a word or two about your best-selling service. In that way you will be assisting Search Engines such as Google to classify where to put your company in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Page/s). If thats the only thing you do right on your website, it might just work.

If you are looking for a shop to fix your mufflers: go to Scotts. Look for Sue or Michael. Their number is 345-926-4186 and they are located on that street opposite Micro Centre. If they had a website, I would link to them.

This experience is relevant to how Search affects our daily lives. As a business owner, it is up to you to help the Search Engines find your services online.

If you want to be found online for your services, please do not hesitate to give me a call (345-925-8188) or send me an email fevi@easywebsites.ky

January 24, 2009

The Critical Mission of Internet Marketing in the Cayman Islands (With a Special Focus on the Tourism Industry)

The Problem

I was driving in my car the other day and listening to the news. Coincidentally, I was passing by the Waterfront and seeing three cruise ships on port. On the radio, the news was saying that the badly beaten Global Economy would further dampen the tourism business in the Caribbean as a whole and that some hotels in St. Lucia were closing. It was all very surreal as I almost ran over a tourist when he decided to cross the street when the traffic light turned green. Don’t worry though; nobody was hurt as of writing this article. It was then that I decided to do my part, as an Internet Marketing Professional, in assisting the Cayman Islands Tourism Industry.

This article is about the Critical Mission of Internet Marketing against the greatest Economic turmoil of our generation. It will discuss how the Internet can be used as a tool to generate more business and how Search Engines can play a major role in helping your business stay afloat, if not succeed in the coming difficult years.

The onset of the US Credit Crisis and the succinct downturn of the World's Global Economy poses a threat for businesses in the Cayman Island. I cannot think of a single industry that is not being affected by what is going on in the International Business Community. For the purpose of this article, I am going to concentrate on the Cayman Islands Tourism Industry, which in effect, affects all else. By focusing on our biggest industry, this article hopes to bring about possible solutions to a burgeoning problem.

Some facts that can help us provide an online solution:

According to the Google Adwords Keywords tool, in 2008 there was over 7.5 Million searches for the words, "caribbean" and "the caribbean" as an approximate monthly average. That is a total of over 90 Million searches in 2008 alone.

Here are more interesting keyword searches that may and could possible assist us in achieving a more comprehensive online exposure:


In the same timeframe there was only less than a million searches done for "grand cayman", "cayman islands", "cayman island" (Note: there was a million searches done for the keyword, "cayman" but is it difficult if not impossible to determine how many searches were done for the porche-made car or for the islands. If we compromise and split that figure in half then there was approx. 1.5 Million searches done for the Cayman Islands, but that is a guesstimate)

Searches for Caribbean destinations are shown in the table below:


It is important to note that these searches were performed on Google and the Google Content Network. I have not even included searches done on other search engines such as Yahoo and MSN as well as the many other minor search engines.

Critical Mission #1 – Bring more tourists into the Cayman Islands

When someone goes online to search for a general keyword such as "caribbean" or "vacation" or "travel" it is easy to conclude that they do not know where to go and have not made up their minds on which destination to choose - thats why they are using such a general keyword. Someone who knows where to go will generally search for something specific and use a phrase instead of just a word.

An example of this is someone who has already decided to go to the Cayman Islands. He or She will then go online to search for something specific like, "grand cayman condos on seven mile beach"

Search funnels usually start from the very general and end at decision making using very specific keyword phrases.

So the Cayman Islands Tourism Board should really focus on getting the DOT website to the first page of the general keywords to help in the decision making process of undecided individuals.

With approximately 90 Million people searching for "caribbean" and "the caribbean" - if the online campaign manages to pull in 1% of that audience then that could translate to an additional 900, 000 visitors to the islands per year.

But (and isn’t there always a but) as a general rule, it is up to the website to transform 'hits' into 'conversions' and that's where solution #2 comes in handy.

Definition of HIT: A user that finds your website and clicks on it.

Definition of Conversion: An action that is done by the user within your website. For the DOT website, and for the purpose of this article and because we want to create solutions, let us define a conversion by a user booking a vacation.

Please note that if you belong in the tourism industry – the same rules apply to your website. If you optimize your website to show up for general keywords or compete in sponsored listings then chances of increasing your hits are high. But, again, it is up to your website to convince users.

An example of this is instead of just showing up for “cayman islands scuba diving” – start looking into showing up for “caribbean scuba diving” and competing head on against other destinations for scuba diving enthusiasts.

Because we are competing for the same tourism market – I would even suggest that the more prominent businesses start competing head-on against other destinations. When a user searches for “Bahamas Scuba Diving” and your website shows up as a sponsored listing – you might just be able to change their minds to experience Scuba Diving in the Cayman Islands.

Critial Mission #2: Improve Website Experience

I have been working in the Cayman Islands for a little over 3 years now and I have to say that a lot of business folks really don't care about their websites. There are typically two kinds of business owners.

The first kind wants to have a website that looks amazing and has all these moving photos / rotating banners / embedded videos or a flash website. They spend thousands upon thousands of dollars getting it to look as amazing as possible without thought or consideration to its users.

The second kind just wants to have a website and doesn't really care how its done as long as he can say he has a website. "Yeah, my son did it and I think it looks great!" - nevermind the fact that it receives no hits and no one can ever find it.

When you develop your website with a focus on user experience this translates into more traffic, more repeat business, fewer bounce rates and higher click through rates.

Jakob Nielsen, who according to the New York Times is "the guru of Web page usability" mentions that a homepage is the most valuable real estate in the world.

For the purpose of this piece, let us dissect the homepage of www.caymanislands.ky - If you were a tourist looking to vacation in the Caribbean what would differentiate the Cayman Islands tourism website from all the other destination tourism websites? Take a look at the other Tourism websites of our neighboring destinations – Bahamas, Jamaica, Aruba… What would it take for a user to choose the Cayman Islands over any of those destinations? Does the DOT website address this or is it merely a photoslide show?

We are all selling basically the same photos – the same crystal clear azure waters and amazing beaches.

Other noticeable issues on the DOT homepage:
  • Poor site navigation – someone in the DOT decided to be creative by using unfamiliar menu items. Is it not a fact that what is familiar is what will engage a user to click-through?
  • Poor site visibility – I have 20/20 vision but I still need a magnifying glass to see the menu items of the website. Also, lets face it – our target market are older, successful executives and they already wear glasses. Web usability studies have also shown that younger people with 20/20 vision prefer larger fonts for easy browsing.
  • Using graphics that look like ads instead of links – when it is a link – make sure it looks like a link instead of graphics or else users will just turn a blind eye. Check out the link “Discover the Cayman Islands” and you will know what I mean. How much money was put into this section of the site and how much money has it generated in bookings? I bet I know the answer to that.
  • Too many photos not enough descriptions – Web usability studies since the beginning of the World Wide Web have clearly stated that users prefer photos that have descriptions. No matter how pretty the photo is a call to action and/or short description would have made a huge difference between someone clicking-through or someone clicking-off. Yes a photo is worth a thousand words but… it is words that help decision making on the Internet.
  • Using photos that are as generic as all the other Caribbean destinations – that is self explanatory.
  • Aside from the Tourism Website not being user friendly, it is also not Search Engine Friendly.

The DOT Website as an Internet Marketing Tool for your business

As an Internet Marketing Professional, I can tell you, that if your website had a link from the DOT website, it would help it rank so much higher for your industry keywords. It can’t just be any link though – it has to be a html link using anchor text for it to be effective.

The DOT should provide this service to businesses who can help promote our islands. But at the same time they should create guidelines on how to achieve these much sought after links and not just because you can pay for them upfront.

Critical Mission #3: There is no right time but right now

Because we are working with third party initiatives, ie. Google – it is impossible to just call them up and ask them to put us on the first page for the searches that we choose. Not even if we had a million dollars to boot. Or… hmm… maybe. I have never tried to bribe Google, so I wouldn’t know. But I can’t imagine anyone turning a million dollars down, especially in this economy where hard cash is fast becoming a commodity.

The good news is that you won’t have to spend a million dollars to get your website into major keyword searches for your industry. You won’t even have to spend 10% of that much money.

So what would it take for your website to start earning its keep?

First, learn the lingo, here are some basic definitions of two major Campaigns that can help you increase your website presence:
  • SEO or Search Engine Optimization – is the process of naturally increasing your position in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). This is a two-step process:
  1. On-Page SEO – deals directly with developing websites on Search Engine Friendly platforms and creating content that complement your products and services
  2. Off-Page SEO – is the process of linking your website to relevant websites
  • PPC or Pay Per Click Campaigns – is a campaign on any of the Search Engines for your website to appear in Sponsored Listings. This is when you pay the Search Engines for every click-through or for X amount of views. Google enables users to learn this independently but if you have no time to truly understand how to manage a campaign – it is best left to experts who can manage your bids, minimize your bounce rates, increase your click-through-rates and increase your conversions.
Second, when you have decided to engage in either SEO or PPC – it would be best if you consulted an SEO Professional. Make sure the consultation is FREE as it should be on the first meeting. There are quite a few Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Companies in the Cayman Islands. My company, Easywebsites.ky being one of them.

I truly believe you should hire a local company to do your SEO or PPC Campaigns for you. The reasons, I have blogged about before and can be found by following this link:
http://caymanseo.blogspot.com/2008/05/why-hire-local-seo-company.html

Whether you hire me or any of the other local SEO companies, do it now – the time to act is right now so that your business will stay above the competition and be able to compete in this flagging economy. Also, SEO is not an overnight campaign. It takes atleast six months before you can see results.

In Summary:

(If you were too lazy to read the entire piece, here is a quick rundown of the fundamentals of the Critical Mission of Internet Marketing for the Cayman Islands Tourism Industry)

  • There are many keywords/key phrases that people are using in the Search Engines in searching for your industry – saturate them all, if and when possible.
  • Catch the attention of possible/prospective target markets at the very beginning of the search funnels
  • Don’t just compete with internal markets – broaden your target base and go head on against companies in other destinations (but before you do that – make sure your website is up to par)
  • Ensure that your website is User friendly AND Search Engine friendly too
  • Find out if SEO or PPC is right for your business

January 19, 2009

The top Keywords for the Cayman Islands for January 2009

The historical inauguration of President Barrack Obama tomorrow has had very little effect on the keywords being search for in the Cayman Islands.


Without further adieu here are the top keywords for the Cayman Islands:
  1. cayman islands
  2. cayman islands guestbook
  3. grand cayman
  4. grand cayman island
  5. porsche cayman
  6. cayman net news
  7. cayman island
  8. grand cayman islands
  9. cayman
  10. cayman island map
  11. cayman airways
  12. cayman brac
  13. cayman airlines
  14. little cayman beach resort
  15. cayman compass
  16. cayman news
  17. cayman islands history
  18. waterford cayman sales
  19. grand cayman map
  20. little cayman
  21. vrbo cayman brac
  22. smith cayman polarized photochromic
  23. cayman islands government
  24. grand cayman tours
  25. grand cayman beach suites
  26. truman bodden cayman
Again and as always, only one keyword research tool was used for this data. It is always best to use atleast 3 research tools for cross comparison. Only US data was used.

For more information about keywords for your industry - please do not hesitate to contact Fevi at 925-8188