Small SEO Updates – Big Improvements!

by | Sep 23, 2019 | 0 comments

As an SEO Consultant, I get to speak to a lot of business owners. Here are two things I hear quite often.

  1. I had a bad experience with SEO in the past
  2. I don’t get much business from my website

I’m going to pick up on the first point a bit later because first I want to address the second.

I don’t get much website traffic – what can I do?

Let’s look at a real-world example. I met with someone who is now a client to discuss getting more traffic to their website. I carried out a technical audit and also checked their keyword rankings. Whlst the website had a few technical issues, the most obvious shortcomings were;

  • Site speed (the home page is a video and pretty big)
  • No SSL certificate (despite the site asking people to book, but not pay, via a form)
  • Poorly optimised page titles and meta descriptions

Whilst there were a lot of other opportunities and things that we worked and continue to work on, these were the quick wins.

Optimising Page Title and Meta Descriptions

The first thing we did was optimise all the page titles and meta descriptions. As you can see in the image below (marked point A), this had an immediate positive impact on the number of search impression in Google Search.

Google search console impressions screenshot

It’s hard to see in this image but we saw a four-fold increase in daily search impressions (over the previous period) in less than a month.

Adding an SSL Certificate to the Website

Referring to point B in the image above. We made two key changes to the customers’ website. First, we added an SSL certificate. It still amazes me that website owners have not installed an SSL certificate on their websites. Even with Google making it very clear to visitors that a website without one is clearly labelled as ‘a risk’ by Google Chrome browser. In this case, a very clear notification to proceed with caution as this particular website required visitors to fill in a booking form and therefore share their personal information. We were convinced that just doing this would result in better conversions for this client.

Moving Hosting Provider

Many freelance web designers and developers and in fact a lot of Digital Agencies, use shared hosting solutions for their clients’ websites. This was the case with this one and we were keen to move it on to something more appropriate and faster. In this case, we moved to an Amazon Lightsail Instance and these are the Google Page Speed Insights results, before and after. No other optimisations were applied to the site to achieve these results. These were purely, one host to another – same website.

Google Lighthouse Speed Test – Pre Move

lighthouse speed test pre site move screenshot

Google Lighthouse Speed Test – Post Move

lighthouse speed test post site move screenshot

Summary of the Improvements seen in Google Search Console

From an average of around 150 search impressions per day that really weren’t going anywhere, these updates resulted in over 1000% increase in Google Search Impressions in just 6 weeks. This is a great example of how an SEO Consultant can take a holistic approach to look for opportunities. I should add that to get these things done took some time and persistence on our part because our client was not totally in control of all the aspects of his website. We took time to round everything up and put him back in control.

This is what we would refer to as base-building. It gives us (and the client) a really solid base on which to work on with regard to ongoing search engine optimisation. Which takes me on to addressing point one at the start of this article – I had a bad experience with SEO before.

Why do so many people have a bad SEO experience?

I can only speculate here because firstly, not everyone has a bad experience and secondly, I only ever have one side of a story here. It’s likely however that many providers of SEO Services, are following a process that doesn’t involve looking at some of the bigger picture things. Let’s say we dived right in and just fixed metas because the other things were ‘too hard’, or ‘out of scope’ for our process. The client would have seen some gains but they wouldn’t have had the solid foundation in place. They would also only be getting a small fraction of the improvements they could have and perhaps that feels disappointing when you are investing your money and want to see solid, long term results.

That’s where we like to be different and look at the big picture. We aren’t about short terms gains and short terms relationships. We are about doing the right things, and doing the best things for our clients. Sometimes this is painful and involves going the extra mile for our clients.

If you are looking for an SEO Consultant in Eastleigh, Southampton, Winchester or in fact anywhere in Hampshire – I can offer you a free face to face consultation to review your website. We can discuss your options and look at all aspects of your online assets. If you are outside of the Hampshire area, then I can offer a one to one via phone, skype or hangouts from anywhere you like. If you don’t want a free consultation then you can always send me any questions you have. I am a lover of great coffee so if you want to buy me one and have a chat about websites and SEO, then that’s cool too.

Like with almost everything SEO related, the devil is in the detail.