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I’m So Sorry, I Can’t Help You, You’re Website Just Isn’t…
We seem to be saying this a lot lately. When we are in the business of saying “Yes”, it’s so hard to say “No”.
Recently, a new client hired MarkNet Group to optimize their website. I took one look at the site and immediately I knew there were significant changes that needed to take place before I could even begin the SEO process. While they were ready to begin SEO, their website said No!
I’ve had a lot of potential clients (now turned customers) come to me with a quote in hand that they received for SEO services. All of them with the hollow promise of taking them to the coveted Top #1 Google Ranking. Not one quote that was submitted alerted their client to the inability of SEO implementation due to the lack of their website structure and the design of the site.
SEO Fraud is a common theme. I see so many clients being taken advantage of. Unless you know what to look for, you’re at the mercy of their honesty; or rather dishonesty.
So Who Do You Trust? Where Do We Start?
First, let’s start with the easiest and most important factor; YOUR WEBSITE. How many times have you done a search and clicked on a website, only to find it was either too confusing, not what you were looking for, or even worse, too outdated. Here at MarkNet Group, we start with a complete website audit. We want to make sure your entire website is properly structured to rank on search engines.
Listed below, are some factors we look at which determines whether or not your website is ready to be optimized.
Content Management System (CMS)
In the old days, websites were built using Dreamweaver, Frontpage and other programs. These websites are known as static websites. The reality is that most of these sites are most likely outdated and can only really be updated by someone with in-depth knowledge of website development. On a static website, the content is usually stagnant and not user friendly. Today a website should be dynamic. Dynamic sites can be more expensive to develop initially, but there are many advantages. At a basic level, a website with an intuitive & user-friendly content management system provides the web owner with the ability to easily update and add new content to the site. It also allows for SEO implementation will get the site ranking much faster on search engines. I can create a page for a specific service and location and it can sometimes rank within just a few hours. There are many content management systems you can use. The most popular being, WordPress, Joomla and Drupal. At MarkNet Group, we love using WordPress. For us, it simply works best for our clients, search engines and visitors.
Yes the design of your website is extremely important. However, many websites are designed and developed without a proper website strategy. Does the design echo your brand? Does your brand truly resonate with your ideal audience? Is the design modern, clean, intuitive? All of these factors are important. Recently, a MarkNet client, decided to hire someone to redo their website. When I looked at the design, it was too busy and user un-friendly. When I spoke to the client about my concerns, she told me there was nothing wrong with the website. A few weeks later, she lost a lot of traffic to her website and as a result her rankings went down. Make sure your design is clean, cutting edge, easy to navigate and it clearly conveys your brand.
Mobile Responsive Website
If your website is not mobile friendly, then you have a major problem; with Google, and with your customers. Nothing annoys people more than slow and un-navigable sites; on all devices, especially mobile. Without the proper responsive mobile development, users will experience obstacles trying to navigate your website, and in turn they’ll quickly abandon your site, and may never return. Considering that over 50% of users are on mobile, is that a risk you’re willing to take?
Take the Google Mobile Friendly Test
This is a quick way to find out if your website is mobile friendly. In 2015 alone, we redeveloped dozens of websites to make them mobile responsive. It is important that your website stays current. If you failed the test, no worries, just contact us and we’ll help you get your website mobile ready.
Website Architecture & Layout
Make sure your layout offers a great user experience. Here’s the rule of thumb; it should take no more than three clicks to reach every page. If visitors cannot navigate easily through your website, you’ll lose them. Google is now looking at user experience and using it as a ranking factor. You only have a few seconds to capture your audience’s attention, you don’t want to confuse them with unorganized or inapplicable clutter. Simplifying your layout and keeping it focused will keep your customers happy and engaged. If too many people leave your site without navigating through other pages, it will affect your rankings.
There are many factors when it comes to your website’s content. The content on your website must speak to your audience and not to your search engines. While at the same time, you must make the search engines happy. Here are a few things to consider:
- Build geographic organic landing pages ~ Create landing pages targeting geographic locations you service. For example, if you search, “WordPress SEO CT” on Google, you will see Marknet Group at #1. If you do the same for NJ, you will see us again on top. I started using this technique in 1998 and it has always worked wonders for my SEO.
- Build out your services page ~ Many websites list all of their services under one page. Your services should be broken down to specific pages for each service. For example, if you are a professional photographer, you should have individual pages for wedding photographer, baby photography, events and so on. This is one of the biggest mistakes I see, even with other SEO companies themselves.
- Blogging ~ Your blog is very important. It is your voice and it can separate you from your competition by making you an authority for a specific service. Now let’s put a twist to it. You can use your blog to quickly rank for a specific search term. I tell my clients to always use a keyword within your blog title. For example, if you a trying to rank for fall wedding photography, instead of using a blog title like this real life example: “Portraits in the Leaves”, I would use a title I know someone will search; “5 Fall Wedding Photography Tips for Professionals”. This does 2 things; first, you will hopefully rank on the first page of search engines when someone searches for “Fall Wedding Photographer”, and secondly, it shows that you are an authority on the topic.
If you follow these tips and take our Free SEO Audit before you hire an SEO company, you’ll already be ahead of the game.
No Phony Baloney Here. We Don’t Like Frauds.
If you’re not sure who to trust, Call Us. We Care.
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