Website review to improve website ranking and conversion

Today I would like to show you how to quickly review a website and find low hanging fruits in terms of SEO, marketing and other technicalities.

I will review the website of Blue Tea that offers kitchen designs in Sydney.

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Google Webmaster Tools

Did you register your website to Google Webmaster Tools?

If no, do it now.

Done? Now, please set up your preferred domain name inside Google Webmaster Tools. Go in “Site Configuration / Settings” for that.

Note: You will need to claim both the root domain yourdomain.com and the www.yourdomain.com in Google Webmaster Tools in order to be able to set the preferred domain name. I personally believe www. is redundant so I set my preferred domain name as being the root domain.

Have you submitted a sitemap?

If no, you can install some WordPress plugin that will generate it for you.

If yes, check that the ratio of URLs in web index / Submitted URLs is healthy. A too low number would mean that the Google Crawler has difficulties to crawl your website.

Are there any reported errors (under “Diagnostics / Crawl Errors”)?

Front page search engine optimization

Have you done any keyword research?

Your website needs to focus on certain keywords. At the beginning you want to focus on high-ish volume / low competition keywords. If you are not sure how to do it, I teach it in the free email course I set up.

For Blue Tea, the keyword is “kitchen design sydney”. Although the volume of searches is quite low (720 per month), it will bring good qualified traffic.

Is the main keyword present in the title of the front page?

In the case of Blue Tea, the title is “New Kitchen Designs Sydney”. I’d suggest to add one more keyword and the name of the company, something like “New Kitchen Designs in Sydney and Colour Design | Blue Tea”

Does the front page have a <h1> tag with the main keyword?

No! Ahhhhhhhhh. This is a big SEO opportunity.

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The main title on the page is a <h2> tag only, and doesn’t contain the main keyword.

Does your front page have a convincing meta description that contains the main keyword?

The current meta description is “BlueTea, Specialises In Designing New Custom Made Kitchens And Colour Consulting. Book A Free Consultation With One Of Our Professional Interior Designers Today.”. It is already very good but I would try to insert the main keyword so that it gets displayed in bold in the search results when someone searches for “Kitchen Design Sydney”.

By the way if you need someone to do these changes for you, I can personally recommend Neerav our popular PHP freelancer.

Do all the images have a “alt” attribute with important and descriptive keywords?

On most of the pictures of the website Blue Tea, the alt attribute is missing. This is another good SEO opportunity. Decorate your images with alt attribute that contains relevant keywords, especially the logo.

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Article page search engine optimization

Does the website have enough content targeting the important keywords?

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Blue Tea has done a great job in writing articles that include some important keywords. Unfortunately they are still missing the main keyword (kitchen design sydney).

Do the articles pages have good URLs?

I then look at the link structure of the article pages. For example, the article “Kitchen Design with Island” has the following URL:http://bluetea.com.au/new-kitchen-articles-2/kitchen-design-with-island. It is great to have urls composed of domain.com/category/title. If I were perfectionist, I would remove the “articles” in the category url as it doesn’t give any value to Google or the user.

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Can I find the main keyword of the article in the <h1> tag and the title?

If you go on this article on kitchen planning, you can see that the <h1> is optimized but not the title! Currently the title is “New Kitchen | Blue Tea”. This is another big SEO opportunity… I would suggest “Kitchen Planning | New Kitchen | Blue Tea”.

Marketing related assessment

Does the front page contain a way to grab the visitors’ email address?

This is critical to convert visitors into prospects. It is then so much easier to convert a prospect into a client rather than a first time visitor into a client…

Is there any call to action on the front page?

Yes there is and the buttons stand out from the rest of the design. My only suggestion would be to rename the “Submit” labels into something more catchy.

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Is there any trust factor?

Yes! A phone number is provided:

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On taskarmy, the trust factor is the combination of the testimonials and the number of people who recommend taskarmy:

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Did you set up a Google AdWords campaign?

With Google AdWords, you will be able to show up on the right hand side of the search results page. If you are not there, your competitors are…

In the case of Blue Tea, they appear first:

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Important ranking first doesn’t mean anything. You need to track your conversions (Google AdWords gives you a code to insert in your “visitor is converted” page) to know what you are spending in Google AdWords is less than the amount of business it brings you. If you estimate your lifetime value of a customer at $1000, it means you need to spend less than $1000 in Google AdWords to get a sale from it. Don’t only look at the CTR metric in Google AdWords, sometimes an ad that attracts clicks in Google might not convert well on your website and will end up costing more overall.

Should you set up Facebook Ads?

Facebook Ads works differently than Google AdWords. Google AdWords has a pull model: the user searches for something, and your ad is displayed. Facebook Ads has a push model: the user doesn’t ask anything, he is just on Facebook, and you push your ad to him.

The nature of the ads you would use on Facebook Ads must by nature be different from the one you use in Google AdWords, and most of the time it might not be worth using Facebook Ads at all.

As an interesting anecdote, Facebook Ads has removed its conversion tracking feature, some believes it is because the conversions from Facebook Ads were so poor…

Anyway, if you want to advertise on Facebook Ads, I would suggest you to advertise two things: events you may organize, and freebies that will require the user to give his email address.

Facebook Ads is so good at targeting locally that advertising local events on it is very efficient. A friend of mine has recently started organizing salsa classes next to where I live and I set up some Facebook Ads to kick-start the perceived popularity of his first classes. It worked like a charm (and for super cheap)!

Off-page search engine optimization

Did you register your business to local directories?

If your business is local, the most important website to register to are Google Places, Yelp, TrueLocal.com.au (there are many more, I let you look for them). Registering in Google Places will allow your website to appear in the Google Maps area.

This is what appears in Google when I search for “kitchen designer sydney”:

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If you need someone to help you rank in the first page of google, I highly recommend Marius.

Are you set up to passively discover link building opportunities?

For non local businesses, I would recommend you to subscribe to keywords in Google Alerts to receive emails whenever Google indexes a new page that contains the specified keyword. I use it for example to track who speaks about taskarmy.

For local businesses I would recommend you to find blogs in your niche (including the blogs of your competitors) and subscribe to their RSS (I use Google Reader for that). Every day, I review the new blog posts, and if there is something interesting I add to the article, I leave a comment, including my website URL when the form permits it. This will help a bit with SEO, but although with traffic.

Finally, thanks to Google Alerts you can discover new blogs where you can comment but also and more importantly guest-blog. Guest blogging is the practice of offering a blog post to a blogger in exchange for a backlink to your website.

Guest-blogging is by far the best link building technique and a good traffic generator too. (Unfortunately it takes time and writing is not for everyone.)

Technicalities

Do you have any web analytics in place?

Google Analytics is free and it provides everything you need but I’d like to mention GetClicky (not free) that provides real time reports. This is what I use on taskarmy.

On the long run, the web analytics will tell you if you are getting results from your SEO effort.

Split test your newsletter form

Once your website starts getting sufficient traffic (about 100 per day), I’d suggest you to do some split-testing to see which call-to-action, which copy works best in converting your visitors into prospects. You can use a tool like Google Website Optimizer but I highly recommend Visual Website Optimizer (unfortunately it is a bit pricey once the trial period has expired: $40/month).

Conclusion

The website Blue Tea has done the hardest already (writing content) but has missed some pretty important steps, which is great because I feel my review was useful to them 🙂

I am planning to review more websites in the coming weeks. Let me know if there is a website I should review.

  • Jessica

    I’m picking up a lot of good stuff here. My site may not be an e-com site but I still find a lot of tips that I can apply to my blog. I just added analytics, next stop would be webmaster tools and some seo.

  • Tommy

    Good review – although link building being the real hard part of SEO, I would have liked to hear more about it. For your next website review, how about you check out http://www.giftcertificatefactory.com 😉 ?