Quite a bit can happen to your web traffic. But sometimes, it’s not always clear what the cause is. It happens when we’ve considered all the changes Google has made, thought about the changes to their “Algorithm”, taken care of a handful of dead links, and adjusted the titles and descriptions. But many times – there’s still some room left on the “idea board”.
Every business with a website has been through it. But before you think I’m going to throw out a bunch of complex industry terms you’re not familiar with, just know this: that’s not the point here.
The last time we ran into this particular problem for a client of ours, it was Phoenix Wire Inc. (PWC). When it came down to it, half of the solution came from paying close attention to data, the other, a good old fashioned realization. It turned out there were two major factors impacting our client’s site. One of them: usability. The other, a trademark dispute — which was a bit more uncommon. Ultimately, addressing both issues helped us increase traffic and conversions by nearly 100%
The end result:
Usability & Content
Old-school SEO has gone the way of the dinosaurs. With Algorithm updates like Penguin, Panda, and Hummingbird, the focus was shifted away from the black-and-white to a more abstract and complex combination of relevancy, quality, and usability. There’s much more involved than picking the right keywords and cramming them into the page. Instead, Google actively rewards the sites that are relevant and helpful with better rankings. Websites with real answers to real questions that are written for a human to easily read, find, and navigate through will always perform the best.
What we did first: We updated the site with a more modern and user friendly aesthetic.
To begin, we brought the website’s design out of 1999. You might think that this is just a matter of “form” over “function”, but it’s important to realize that the look of your website actively impacts its performance in search engines as well. If someone enters a dated site and has to wonder whether the business is still open or not, there’s a good chance they’ll find a different site that gives them a better first impression. This impacts what is called “bounce rate,” and if it happens a lot to your website – Google’s search algorithm may very well penalize it.
What we did next: We updated content to provide real value
Part of bringing the site out of the last decade was also making sure it appealed to humans, and not just to the search engine “robots”. There’s no point in updating a site’s look if the content isn’t encouraging visitors to stay, and you can’t really game the system anymore with a surplus of keywords. Our solution was to fill the site with helpful content that is easy to read and navigate, while providing the answers that potential customers are really looking for (not just a list of keywords).
This stumbling block was a bit more uncommon, but had a very simple solution. Phoenix Wire sells a product that is most commonly referred to by a trademarked name (kind of like “Kleenex”). Because of that we couldn’t directly use that name as a keyword on the site, which had a very real impact on search rankings.
What we did: Made simple content edits and tweaks to make the most of the situation
The Solution to PWC’s problem wasn’t hidden in some obscure report. Nor was it any kind of secret SEO “trick”. It was actually on the back of a generic Ibuprofen bottle, right where the label reads, “Compare to Advil™.” When it came to solving the maddening issue of not being able to use the one keyword our client’s web-traffic relied on, using the brand comparatively turned out to be the no-brainer we needed.
How it turned out
With a simple redesign, content adjustments, and a simple solution to our copyright conundrum, PWC’s site benefited on every front.