The Status of Websites Today
I have been in the business of websites since Netscape was the only browser and HTML was the only programming language.
In all my years of creating, promoting, and evaluating websites some of the basics have not changed. If you build a good product you will get the results that you want for your business.
Unfortunately, many website managers take a “If it’s not broke don’t fix it” attitude to their companies online presence.
I decided to check for myself the situation to see how many companies out there really need a website review to improve their sites.
For my study I chose the travel and hospitality industry. The reason I chose this industry is because many of these businesses really depend on traffic to their website for sales. I looked at the homepage of each website and scanned the following items:
- Page Title
- Header and Footer
- Use of Social Networks
- Use of TripAdvisor
- Use of English language
- Image Title Tags
92 out of the 100 websites I analyzed had very obvious issues including:
- Poorly written homepage titles with no keywords
- Poorly written homepage titles that were well beyond the pixel limits that Google implements
- Limited use of social networks
- Limited use of TripAdvisor which is paramount for hotels and tour operators
- Keyword stuffing in the header and footer
- Obvious mistakes in English language
- Missing image title tags
With so many SEO companies out there and so much information on SEO I was very surprised by the results. Some of the websites I evaluated had a mention in the footer for an SEO company that was obviously doing a very poor job of on-page optimization and ranking for their clients.
Let’s look at a few examples that exemplify some of the results I found
In this first example we see the title is over the Google pixel limit. They also state “4 stars hotel” which is incorrect English, as it should be “4 star hotel.” We also see this hotel using the title area for the words “Best Internet Rate Guarantee” which I find very strange. I would certainly hope you will give me the best rate.
In this second example we see the title starts with the company name. Keywords should always come before the company name in the Title tag. The keywords used are “tour guide services” which is very generalized and really serves no purpose for this company. Instead it would be better to use more specific keywords such as “Moscow tours” or “Tours in Moscow.”
In this last example we see again mistakes with English. If I am thinking to take a tour in Prague and your website has basic English mistakes I would question how well your guides know English language. The menu states “Europe with Guide” which at a minimum should be re-written to “Europe with a Guide.” Next right next to their logo it states “Visit Prague with Authorized Guide” which should be re-written to “Visit Prague with an Authorized Guide.”
These examples are just a few of many serious SEO mistakes that are costing these companies better search engine rankings and more clients.
A Website Review is like a Business Plan for Your Website
Smart companies use a business plan to guide them. By this I mean that they are constantly reviewing, revising, and implementing their business plan as they grow. Companies that make a business plan and then forget about it are not really gaining the maximum results from this exercise. A business plan is a guide to where you want to go and the goals you want to achieve. It is a roadmap to success.
The same can be said for a website review. Evaluating a website is similar to taking your car in for a regular oil change and check-up. You want to look inside the website, code, marketing, and every single aspect of the site to understand what is working and what is not. A website review also gives an understand of how you can improve and is a roadmap to setting clear goals for your website and digital marketing strategy.
The Main Criteria of a Website Review
With so many elements to investigate it is important to create an overview of what exactly needs to be checked. This includes:
- Sales and Marketing – Are you getting across the right message and do you have a clear USP (unique selling point) for your business that is clearly stated on the homepage?
- User Interface – Is it easy for users to navigate your website and find the information they need?
- Security Issues – Perhaps you have some security issues that you don’t know about?
- Mobile Readiness – How does your website look on mobile devices?
- On-Site SEO – Are you using the correct keywords in the right places? Is your website correctly optimized for search engines? Do you have broken links?
- Indexation Issues – Are you correctly updating the search engines as you change and improve your website? Is your site loading fast or do you have speed issues?
- Social Media – Are you correctly utilizing social media on your website to gain more followers? Do you have an up-to-date blog with news that is engaging for your followers and industry?
- Content Analysis – If “Content is King” then your website should have engaging content that drives visitors to a sale. Does your content do this effectively? Do you have duplicate content that is hurting your search engine rankings?
- Keyword Research – Have you identified the correct keywords for your industry?
- Site Crawl – Can the search engines correctly crawl your website? Do you have coding issues that are hurting your rankings?
- Inbound links – Inbound links are one of the major ranking factors. Do you have enough inbound links coming to your website as compared with your competition? Do you have quality links related to your business and industry or spammy links that Google might penalize you for?
So Why Do You Need a Professional Website Review?
Some of the reasons are obvious but let’s get specific:
- Know Your Business – At the end of the website review you will understand your business better. It is amazing how much you can learn about your business by really looking at your website and the message you are sending to your visitors.
- Know Your Market – Reviewing your website gives you insights into your market and your competition. You can create new opportunities and find ways to be more competitive in your market just by making sure you are utilizing the right keywords.
- Be Coding Compliant – Coding issues that are noticed by Google can hurt your search engine rankings. Cleaning up sloppy code can make differences for your rankings.
- Secure Your Website – You can ensure your website is safe from any glaring security issues. Considering everyone from government to corporate websites is open to attack it never hurts to bottle up any potential security holes you might have.
- Be Faster – A review of your website shows areas where you can speed up your website. As this is now a major ranking factor you can improve your rankings and the usability of your website.
- Be Mobile Friendly – With so many people utilizing mobile devices it is imperative that your website can be viewed correctly across varying devices from mobile phones, to tablets, and all the way up to flat screen TV’s.
- Grow Your Audience – You can find better ways to grow your social outreach with a website review by ensuring you are putting social buttons and bookmarks in the right place.
- Engage Your Audience – By reviewing your content you can find better ways to engage your audience and provide content that is interesting and effective.
- Rank Better – Overall a website review will show all sorts of ways to improve your website and on-site optimization. This by itself can improve your search engine rankings
- Convert Better – By reviewing your landing pages and your marketing message you can improve your conversions from the potential customers visiting your website.
- Gain More Customers and Revenue – The end result of the website review and the improvements you make to your website is that you start getting more customers and higher revenue.
Our team of guru’s is ready to give you a comprehensive website review that delivers actionable recommendations to improve your website and digital marketing campaign. Contact us now to get started.