Working for one of the larger Gold Coast agencies has its advantages and one is how many websites I get to see and evaluate on a monthly basis. When a new client signs up for ongoing SEO services, one of the first steps is to audit there website with technical SEO, as well as an audit of there content on the website. Here are the top 6 mistakes we see time and time again.
Content Audits can help us find weakness as well as help us with building a solid strategy for there content moving forward. It is imperative to have such an audit so we can look at what content you are missing, what needs improving, what your have to much of, as well as where your not quiet hitting the mark.
SEO just isn’t what it used to be and that’s a good thing. As search engines refine their efforts in order to better serve their users and ensure quality, the requirements for what constitutes good SEO is constantly being improved on. It’s for this reason that SEO content audits are important, and what passed for ‘acceptable’ a few months ago might not today.
So my hope today is to cover 6 achievable steps that you can look at to see if your current websites content is up to today's standards.
Page Duplication from HTTPS Migration
Migration from HTTP to HTTPS (SSL Certificate) This will be the new standard as of July 2018 for website. So this is one you should be aware of now. It can be a complicated subject so I will break it down as best I as can. Here are a few things you need to look at or talk with your web development team or SEO about prior to migrating.
- Basically Google treats your current http://yoursite.com.au as one domain and when you upgrade and apply a SSL certificate google will then treat the new version of your website https://yoursite.com.au as a separate domain if you have not properly migrated the site correctly.
- This require setting up 301 redirects on the website from http to https in the htaccess file.
- Also updating your Google Analytics to https so you Google knows its now the primary site to track.
- Updating your Google Search Console to https version so you can see crawl errors.
- Remember you have www and non-www versions as well! Its a lot to consider.
Why is this so important to your content?
If Google sees two websites with the exact same content on the same pages and does not see all the 301 redirects and signals it needs to know where to go, you will be treated as if you have duplicate pages and content and this will affect your rankings.
Can I migrate to SSL myself without breaking stuff
Yes you can. But that doesn't mean you should. Unfortunately we have seen clients apply these SSL certificates themselves, not follow the migration best practices from Google and basically break all referral traffic and SEO juice that they once had on there old domain, once this is lost (backlinks) its almost impossible to get back. So my suggestion is let a professional migrate your website to SSL.
PS. You need SSL by July 2018, as deemed Google, so don't wait till June to get this organised as that may be to late - See our article here on SSLs or call us on 1300 729 098 to organise your SSL migration now.
No CTA's, or a lack of effective calls to action
So why should you have CTA's? Actually what the hell is a CTA you may ask, I go in depth in a previous blog what is a CTA button and how to make a good one if you want to know more. But here is why they are important.
- You have a website that you have traffic to
- Once the new user arrives, and they consume your content and then what?
- Well then they either consume more of your content (if your lucky) or they bounce and leave your page and site.
So the question is what were you expecting the user to do
Maybe a better question is, what would you prefer happens? If the answer is I want to get there contact information so I can then market to them our offerings" then you would add in a download of a ebook or something of value to grab there information.
If the answer is "I want them to go to my online store" Then put a "Visit our online store" button or banner where they can see it.
Most visitors leave a site because there is not a clear instruction or direction as to what to do next, dumb it down and make it clear, and funnel them to where you would like them to go ultimately.
Lack of Content through the buyers journey
So its hard to predict when a new organic user arrives on your website why they are there, what they intent is, are they here to educate themselves, do research or are they looking to buy. As you can imagine content would likely need to be written and presented differently to each one of these parts of the users site. As you dont want to educate or give white pages your case studies to someone that is ready to buy, and vise versa, you don't want to try do a hard sell to someone doing initial research around a service or product, as you will scare them off.
But we can break this down into whats called the buyers journey, you can read further in depth blog I wrote about this What is the Buyers Journey? or how to Align your sales process to your buyer's journey
Content Types for the Buyers Journey
So lets look at what sort of content you might want to focus on for the different stages of the buyers journey.
Awareness stage: Explainers, how-to's, Checklists - these are usually Blog Posts, E-books, Educational webinars or Infographics.
Consideration stage: Product comparisons, case studies, videos testimonials, white pagers.
Purchase stage: Product pages, Demos, Trial offers etc.
Retention stage: Case studies, Product Support, Blog posts, Newsletters, Social media content, Upgrade or renewal opportunities.
It’s not uncommon for customers to return to a website several times before making a call or completing a contact form. This can often occur on desktop, mobile or both. Both layouts should give the consumer what they need and make it easy for them to get in touch or place an order. There’s no need for pages of details and information if you can be succinct. In short, your website should be the online version of not only your brochure but also an online version of your elevator pitch and be structured accordingly.
Local Relevant Content
So if you have a service based business, or a store front then this is particular necessary. Develop content that is relevant to the local searches. If you have a plumbing business in South Brisbane then, develop content around near buy suburbs, create landing pages, create blog posts.
Don't forget Google Business Pages!
Yes you are allowed to have multiple locations if you have offices in multiple locations. If you have a business in north Brisbane and one on the Gold Coast you should have two Google Business Pages as to get the local search traffic.
As mobile phones become most people’s primary method of accessing the internet, local search has become increasingly important. Local searches using search engines and even social media are used by people to find service providers in their area and websites that take this into consideration will come out on top.
People are always worried about putting up their prices on there website. I have heard a number of reason why they believe this is better. It stops people shopping around, or competitors will know our price point etc...
Would you rather I bounce?
The reality is if your like me, I want to know what your service or product is, and how much you charge for it, then I will consume your content and then I will weigh up whether your the business I want to be dealing with. If I hit a snag at any of these points I'll bounce and look else where.
Price is never the issue
It comes down to trust and perceived value and which business offers the best of both. I don't mind paying premium for certain things if I think I am getting better value in the form or quality, support, and education for my money.
Add A Review to your content plan!
Reviews are the new Word of Mouth! Stop neglecting them in you content. You can ask clients to review you on many platforms like google and facebook, or add CTA's and buttons or other review based sites.
You can read more on the best ways to develop these in my recent post Leveraging customer reviews to improve your local SEO.
Online reviews, comments and real-life testimonials on social media pages and other listing sites provide convincing social proof of your brand’s ability to deliver.
Yes, developing content can seem complex and keeping up with the changes can feel like a full-time job. Remember, that’s why agencies like iOnline exist.