We have a new client who wants better results. Let me share how we start to develop a strategy — you can do the same for your own website.
In this case, as in many cases, the client just wants overall improvement — more traffic, better rankings, more leads, stuff like that– rather than one specific result. We know that search engines incorporate hundreds of factors into their algorithms, and that there are five main types of web traffic. So where do we start?
There are five places that are always worth a look:
Overall website quality and user experience is always the first issue. When we looked at this client’s site, we saw a lot of ads above the fold — almost all the real content was down low on the page. We also saw a great tool that was a real point of difference between the client’s site and those of his competitors. We saw that there was a blog, but that it was only updated occasionally. We recommended moving the content up, showcasing the tool, and adding regular blogging to build plenty of great content on the site.
Have a look at your website: is it offering your visitors a lot of value? Are there ways you can improve the value of the website?
Your analytics are always going to be a significant source of information for you, and what they tell you about what works and what needs work will be one of the most important things you can use to improve your overall web presence. In this case, we didn’t have any analytics to work with. We used some online tools to get an idea, but we know that this — like checking rankings by doing searches — is only a vague approximation of the truth.
Dig through your analytics: what traffic sources are sending well-converting traffic your way? What keywords are people using to find you?
We had a look at the client’s social media. They are participating on all the major platforms, but not regularly, and they’re heavy on promotional posts — they look like they’re trying to sell stuff, rather than providing information or participating in a community. They have quite a few likes and followers, but nobody actually interacts with them. We recommended a more human approach.
Check your social media: do you look good? Are you posting regularly and interacting with others? Are you providing value to followers?
We used backlink check tools to identify the link strategy this client has been following. We found some quality links, but also a lot of comments of the “Great site!” variety and listings in low value directories. For this site, which has no brick and mortar business presence, guest blog posts could be a good option. Commenting is okay, too, but the comments have to add value to the discussion and be good enough to drive some traffic.
Check your links: is your content good enough to get natural links? Are you working on linkbuilding regularly?
You can’t get accurate ranking information by running searches on your keywords, but you can find others who come up when folks search for those terms. This client has competitors in two main groups: big dogs like national magazines and website that look a whole lot like his. For lasting success, this client needs to keep from looking like a commodity and distinguishing his business from his competitors. He may not be able to compete with major media outlets, but he can certainly rise above his cookie-cutter competitors.
Look at your online competition: are they also your physical-world competitors? Can you do at least one thing better than they do?
Chances are, if you look at these five elements of your online presence, you’ll find areas for improvement. Then it’s just a matter of taking action.