Is There Any Hope for a Site That Was Never Optimized?
The website was already developed, but it’s missing search engine optimization. Therefore, even though the site might be valuable, it will be difficult for the audience to find it. This can happen easily when company employees without a knowledge of SEO put up the site themselves or if the company hires web designers and copywriters that focus more on the look and words of a page than optimizing it for SEO purposes. While design and copy are extremely important, SEO is just as much so.
Once a site is already set up, is it possible to go back and optimize it? The answer is yes. It’s not too late to make it a high-quality and optimized site. The question is where to start. We recommend starting with a benchmark report.
Benchmark Report- Gain a Picture of the Site’s Current State
Most likely, a company won’t have to start its site over from scratch. Before making any changes to the site, it’s important to identify which parts are already working and which parts need to be changed. A benchmark report provides this understanding. On Moz, Rand Fishkin recommends determining factors like:
- The amount of traffic each type of content (articles, blog posts, product pages, etc.) brings in
- Search traffic increases and decreases
- Search traffic patterns across different search engines
Use this information to see what percentage of search accessible pages are creating traffic, where increases and decreases in traffic might have coincided with a certain marketing activity and other patterns. Some aspects of the site might already be performing well, or might only need slight improvements, whereas other areas need a lot of work.
This information will also be useful as the company makes changes to the site. This base data can show whether SEO changes bring in the desired results or not.
SEO Strategy- Figure Out What to Change
If pages are not bringing in a lot of traffic, work with the content that is already there as long as it contains original, high-quality and useful writing. If the content is duplicate, insubstantial, poorly written or spammy in nature, changing that will be one of the main ways to improve the site. Add relevant SEO keywords to the current content and any new content. Also, look at improving factors like link building and accessibility of the pages.
In addition, Victoria Edwards recommends on Search Engine Watch to:
- Include rich media content
- Optimize content that is not text-based
- Content optimization: Create unique and optimized title tags and meta descriptions for each page
- Make sure the site works well and quickly, and that it has a quality design that is easy to use
- Avoid black hat techniques like keyword stuffing
Instead of completely starting over on a site that was never optimized, first learn what is and isn’t working about the site and then make informed decisions on how to change it. A digital marketing agency, (specifically, Zero Gravity Marketing) will assist with creating a benchmark report and implementing an SEO strategy.