rehabbing your website with content strategy and a facelift

Schooled themed background of a wooden desk with a green apple and pencil

There’s a lot that can happen to your web traffic. But what happens when you’ve tried everything and nothing seems to bring your numbers back? You’ve considered the  Algorithm Changes. You’ve taken care of the handful of dead links you had holding you back. You even re-wrote some content that could have been better, but nothing seems to work.  

Sound like a familiar situation?  We’ve all been there. But before I start, let me get this out of the way now: the whole point of this post isn’t to throw out industry terms or regurgitate information you already know about keywords and content. My hope is that it gives you some practical, real-world information that will pay off further down the road (Or maybe convince someone to finally get around to updating the way your site looks or reads).

The last time we ran into this problem for a client of ours,  time spent in Analytics and one good old fashioned realization ended up being the saving grace for our client’s website. As it turned out, it all came down to two glaring factors. One of them, usability, was fairly straightforward. The other, a trademark dispute, was a bit more uncommon. Ultimately, addressing both issues helped us increase traffic and conversions by nearly 100%.

(Note: I won’t be including the client’s name in this post. So hopefully you can take my word for it!)

Now, before you start thinking I’m advocating for copyright infringement I’d like you to read the next sentence.  I am not advocating copyright infringement.

But with that said, let me give you a brief primer on where I’m coming from with each topic, and how it might present itself as a stumbling block for your website. We’ll start with usability

Usability

For anyone who’s been paying attention for the last couple of years, I don’t need to tell you that old-school SEO has gone the way of the dinosaurs. Instead of focusing on keywords, it’s an entirely new ballgame. No longer can we rely on search engine rankings to dictate the success of a website, because they’re different for everybody. With Algorithm changes 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. While Penguin and Panda seemed to focus the most on relevancy (and quality), it seems like the focus as of late has shifted to usability. Keep this in mind, because I don’t plan on boring you with theory for too long.

What we did

Well, for starters we brought the website out of 1999. In order to understand what this means in terms of usability and content, you have to understand what the last few algorithm changes did. To really dumb it down, the combination of Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird really gave websites an incentive to appeal to humans, not just to robots. All 3 eventually made sweeping changes to the way usability, content, and other on pages factors can impact a site’s authority.  You can’t really game the system anymore with tons of keywords. But as many already know, you can feed it with good, well written content that provides the answers people are looking for.  After hummingbird hit (as hard as a hummingbird can hit?), these were the first things we addressed. Cam created a simple new design, that we then filled with answer based content that focused first on answering customer’s potential questions.

Copyright Issues

This one’s out of left field. But our client encountered it — so you might have too. Ever been working on a marketing plan for a client but you couldn’t use certain words? In our case, our client was selling the generic version of a product. However, we were asked to remove direct references to the official name of the product from the website (One of those “brand” names that has become so common that people use it in every day practice. Kind of like “Kleenex”).

What we did

While this wasn’t entirely unexpected, it killed their web traffic; this goes to show how powerful a brand can be. But what do you do when nobody searches for the generic name of the product? This simple answer wasn’t in analytics. In fact, it wasn’t even online. It just so happened to be on the back of a bottle of generic ibuprofen on the groggy morning after Saint Patrick’s day. “Compare to Advil”. When it comes to copyright isues, using the brand name in a comparative light kept our client safe and still allowed us to use the specific keyword.  Such a simple little change brought back the traffic and quickly gave the site the breath of fresh air it needed.

This was the result (here I’m comparing 3 months from 2014 to the same 3 months from 2013):

metrics

More visitors entered (without raising bounce rate), and spent more time on the site

Just two simple tips. See, I told you I wouldn’t bore you with silly jargon and tiring theory.

4Walls Media Group is an Industrial Traffic Company | copyright 2017 |