In today’s business world, websites are ubiquitous. Virtually every business has one and gaining the competitive edge can seem impossible. Everyone knows they should be optimizing for search, but many are not certain of how. At Champ we still encourage our clients to start with the basics. Without the fundamentals in place, no fancy SEO product will deliver results. SEO starts with a well-organized website and useful content that searchers are looking for. So where to begin?
Take one of our clients who has a running trail review website as an example. We’ve had incredible success building them an SEO strategy that can scale with their business for years to come, and it all started with a secure foundation. So what exactly does that look like?
Build a Strong Foundation for your Traffic to Stand Upon
We began making changes to the site by configuring and optimizing the settings for the Google Search Console. Google Search Console is free and it’s the best way to get a bird’s eye view of what’s happening with your web traffic and to control how your site appears in search results. This is an essential first step to any SEO strategy.
Our meta data analysis had also revealed opportunities to clean up and standardize the implementation of H-tags, and we ensured that all 301 redirects and 404 pages were properly set up. These items allow Google optimal crawling of a site while assisting users with straightforward navigation and comprehension. It’s important to your search success that you don’t leave your visitors with dead ends or errors. We also improved indexing with a site map and made sure canonicals were in place for the preferred domain so that Google could understand the hierarchy of page importance.
Further, we recommended a new URL structure which included stronger keyword targets. Your URLS are highly important information to Google and an often-overlooked opportunity for businesses to see some quick website performance improvements.
Next in sequence we tackled on-page factors for SEO, ensuring that appropriate keyword targets were being used and that page titles and meta descriptions were clean and optimized. We also focused on adding keyword-centric H2 tags where appropriate to better organize the content according to search relevance.
When striving for better search results, be aware of places where duplicate content could hurt your site. Google doesn’t like to see the same content appear in many places on a site since that can decrease value to the user. It may also view content on other sites that link back to you with less value if that content is on your site as well. By cleaning up duplicate content where the client was using syndication as a means of reach, and using cross-domain canonical tagging to retain SEO credit for their content, we were able to improve back-linking and overall value gained through the quality content they had been creating. We basically explained to Google that our client was the original source of a lot of awesome content.
The results of these efforts speak for themselves.
From the start of our relationship with in September of 2017, they began experiencing rapid growth in visitors with each month’s percent growth larger than the previous month’s. They have expanded their reach by tens of thousands of visitors. This is even with the natural ebb and flow of traffic for their business with the weather patterns in the areas they provide information about.
Optimized Conversion Call to Actions Bring Users Across the Finish Line
Having more visitors is not always enough to make for a successful website. Typically, we need to convert those users in some way in order for the business to benefit. If they don’t join your mailing list or buy your product, those visitors are not providing you their full value. In order to capitalize on their increasing volume of visitors, Champ worked with their team to optimize calls-to-action to convert more visitors to subscribers.
We fine-tuned the placement of sign up opportunities in the header and footer of the site to encourage exposure and designed an elegant pop-up to capture the user’s attention.
We also cleaned up the process involved in subscribing, where a simple email entry gets users on the list. It’s important for businesses to limit the barriers to conversion as much as possible when setting up forms on a site while still gathering the information needed.
By feeding these calls to action with steadily increasing volumes of users, we were able to help grow the list of email subscribers from 700 to over 3,000 in a matter of months. From January to April 2018 the list grew from 1,000 to 2,000 subscribers then, in only three additional months, they topped 3,000 subscribers opting in. The growth is phenomenal, and due to their excellent content, they have very few users unsubscribe month over month.
A Strategic Approach to Content Development
In the world of digital marketing, you’ll often hear that “content is king.” It is, in fact, incredibly important to improving the reach and visibility of your website. However, content for the sake of content is just not enough. Make sure you have a strategic approach to your content creation. What is the content meant to do for you? What customers or clients will it serve? Where will it spur growth in your business.
Our client is in the process of strategizing the next steps in their content development plan. We can’t wait to see where this takes them. Do you have a well-defined strategy in place? Is your SEO foundation strong enough to uphold it? If you need help we’d love for you to be our next great success story. Get in touch to learn more about how we can serve your business!