SEO Is More Than Just a Website Re-Skin
Here's a story that defies logic. You want a newwebsite. Your old website is looking a bit dated and you've found through some research that you aren't getting a lot of organic search traffic. You want both a reskin of your site and some SEO work. In reality, however, you end up only doing the re-skin. You aren't creating new content.
This is the classic example of putting new paint on a house where the foundation is falling in. It just isn't going to achieve the desired results of getting more visibility in searches. Just because your site looks nicer than it did doesn't mean that you're going to start receiving more visits from search.
Here are some things to consider when building out content on your website:
Search Engine Optimization is Actually All About the Searcher
When you built the page, you never considered the searcher. You were only focusing on checking off a box on your website pages to-do list that you felt the site needed. After you checked off that box, you thought about what you wanted to say to the reader of that page, but you didn’t really consider much about what they actually wanted to find out.
When you build out your new pages, make sure you answer the following questions about the copy:
- What is this page's value to the searcher?
- What is unique about this page versus other pages like it?
- What are the questions that searchers may be looking for and does this page answer them?
- How complete is the information you’re writing about?
For a more robust list of questions to think about when you’re building out web pages, check out Amit Singhal’s blog on Google Webmaster Central, More Guidance on Building High-Quality Sites.
Avoiding Thin Content
People in SEO circles talk a lot about thin or poor-quality content. This type of content doesn’t address any of the points mentioned. It also usually lacks length and depth. Pages with less than 200-300 words are going to be viewed by Google as low quality pages and will struggle to rank (the exception to this is home pages and e-commerce pages).
It could be time to take an inventory of your pages that are thin on copy. Are they getting visits from search? Jump into your Google Analytics reports and find out which pages are getting traffic and which pages are not. Pay special attention to your thin content pages and think about ways to bulk them out—not just with more copy, but with relevant copy that provides valuable information to page visitors.
Avoid Repeating Yourself – The Duplicate Content Trap
An easy but mistaken way to build copy on your website is to re-use copy from one page to another. This is another low value trigger. With these pages, you’ve not only fallen into the trap of not providing unique value versus another site, you’ve not provided unique content within your own site as well. If you have multiple pages with cut-and-paste information, then consider rewriting the content and
consolidating the pages into one single page. If your pages absolutely need to contain very similar content, then you’ll need to look into setting up the proper redirects or tags. For a deeper explanation on duplicate content, see Moz’s What is Duplicate Content?
Deeper Technical SEO Issues
Remember that just reskinning a website won’t drive up search traffic significantly (if at all). There could be any number of issues that a thorough SEO audit would revel about why your site isn’t performing well. If you think that you’ve built high quality content into your site and that your copy is providing unique value to searchers, but you’re still not getting traffic from search, then there may be some sort of deeper and more technical SEO issue that is preventing you from being found in search.
If you’re looking to dive in and find those answers, it’s good to start with a Search Engine Optimization Professional who understands the industry and keeps up with SEO on a daily basis. Companies that expect marketing managers and developers to keep up with this fast-changing industry will find their websites falling quickly behind.
Reach out to TSL to schedule a preliminary consultation so that we can analyze your website content and formulate methods to help you achieve more traffic from organic search.