SEO issues – a methodical journey
We have been around for nearly five years now and time has flown. I first registered the company in October 2011, launching it in the following January and how things have changed! Our learning curves have continued to be steep; how could they not with the pace of change both digitally and in how we now choose to buy as a nation, not to mention how many times the definition of good SEO has changed in that time?
Digitally, we spend a lot of time working with developers to optimise client’s sites and writing copy that will carry the right keywords, in the right places and in the right format. SEO really is a combined operation between content and site performance now. The developers we work with constantly strive to solve speed issues and in tracking performance – a website is actually quite a complex mix to get right and Google constantly keeps us on our toes. Who knew that we would need to be able to analyse so much information – but we love it! At the heart of every good marketer sits a spreadsheet of data and a highly methodical mind!
The amount of information that we can now collect to inform our marketing practices is amazing – from working out what keywords you have a fighting chance with, to checking if that tweak you made last month delivered what you hoped it would.
Just this month we received a call from an AdWords consultant we work with, he had a client whose page quality scores in Google were so low that he couldn’t get enough exposure with paid ads to even get the traffic to the website. Google literally didn’t rate this website at all. He asked us to look at it and work on optimising it to get the page scores up. Now the interesting thing about quality scores is that the lower they are the more the advertising costs; you are penalised because Google thinks the user experience and the relevance of the page to your chosen keywords ad is not good enough.
We went to work!
Within minutes, we could see what was wrong with the site:
- It was partially mobile friendly but some pages just wouldn’t convert and were unreadable – this is because the graphics weren’t resizing AND they were placed in tables.
- It was a WordPress site, our speciality, and it had no SEO plugin installed so you couldn’t edit the meta description (the bit you see on the Google listing), the URL, page title or focus keyword. You couldn’t easily check the readability score either – yes, Google even has that nailed now!
- There were enough keywords, but not necessarily on the right pages, in the right order, density or format.
- The flow of the website’s navigation wasn’t working, we could tell this by looking at their analytics.
- There were no calls to action on the pages – no “what’s next?” to make it easier for the buyer.
- The homepage was a mess and landing on it left you wondering what to do next, so we quickly worked with the developer to get another homepage set up with inviting graphics, navigation and content
We worked on the main pages to set up the SEO on each in the proper way, redesigned pages and created landing pages for the AdWords to point to whilst we did the work.
I have to say we were delighted with the results we achieved in a month. Within a week we were getting calls from the company saying that they were receiving calls that had come through the website – our AdWords colleague had cleverly put a bit of tracking code on the site which changed the telephone number if they came through a Google AdWords link; we could track this conversion now. A month on, the email I received last week said it all; they had very few direct bookings from the site before and in the first month had £32,000 of potential business, some of which had already converted over.
Had we actually even met the client? No! This was all undertaken on the phone and via email with a company 200 miles away. Have we finished our job? No. The client wants us to continue to monitor and tweak and to help them across other marketing channels now.
There is still loads more to do – we haven’t even started on links, social media, blogs, remarketing, ecommerce and direct marketing yet, and we forget at our peril that search engines are hungry beasts that need constant attention!
This was a collaborative team effort with three companies all working together for the sake of a shared client – a win-win for everyone!