Imagine you’re a small business owner stuck with a website you can’t update that attracts no visitors. With the original web developer long gone there’s no access, no backup, and no budget for a new site.
That was the condition of Everholdwelding.com when business owner Ian McLeod came to me. In less than 30 days I took Everhold Welding from a website with no search visibility to one that gets found on Google. Before the website was just an expense, but now it’s making the phone ring with new clients.
How did I do it? First I tackled the site architecture and technical issues, but not before I knew my SEO strategy.
To restore access to the WordPress site the hosting company rebuilt it on a public server, then copied it back to client’s domain. That was bad, but they used absolute URLs in links which bounced visitors between the new and rebuilt sites. That was worse. Even worse yet, they didn’t hide the dev version from search engines which means there’s duplicate content. When Google finds duplicate content, it has to decide which site or page to return in search results, or maybe it will suppress both.
The first thing I did was find and fix all the links to and embedded images from the duplicate site. Once that was done I asked the hosting company to delete the dev site.
The second thing I did was install a plugin for scheduled backups and send the business owner instructions to avoid another website rebuild nightmare.
I don’t know who created them, but I deleted several orphaned pages, redirected them, and then took steps to remove them from Google search results. I verified the site with Google and Bing Webmaster Tools, I generated a good sitemap, and I made and uploaded a robots.txt file.
While all of these things should be relatively straightforward within WordPress, unfortunately the website theme is in a three-way battle with WordPress and the Yoast SEO plugin for control over content, meta data and other features already built in to WordPress. This makes the basic tasks more difficult and leaves bad SEO as collateral damage.
The lesson is to use caution when a WordPress theme (a website design template with other features) tries to take over the basic content management and site identity already built into WordPress. These themes are built for convenience but can result in bad SEO.
Above all this is a local business, so the Google business listing is crucial. With a business listing you can specify the physical address, and also the area you service – such as a 50 mile radius. The welding shop that also offers mobile welding service is both.
With the phone number and address of the business associated with the website URL I advised my client to build links to the website by listing the business in high-quality directories such as Angies List and NextDoor.
ON-PAGE SEO and CONTENT
With the website foundation patched up, I added new content and optimized existing pages. I also:
- Embedded a Google map for directions
- Added a block of optimized text on the home page
- Added new images to the photo album
- Wrote several blog posts with local content
- Optimized meta titles and descriptions
Everhold Welding is busy and billing new business from customers who Googled “welding shop near me”.
While always a work in progress, the site is now visible to Google and converting qualified visitors searching for welding services. Search traffic is low as expected, but it only took a few weeks to land several new welding contracts directly from the website.
Compared to the previous month, Google search impressions were up 10 times, and clicks increased five times. Most importantly, the site is optimized now and attracting the right audience. The content of the site shows expertise and depth, there are customer testimonials, and contact info is always close at hand offering a free quote.
Owner Ian McLeod said,
“I spent a lot of money on a website, but it wasn’t bringing me any business. The website sat for almost a year after the original developer stopped working on the site, the sour taste of a half finished website and amateur hour layout left us with a mess that we didn’t know how to fix, or where to start.
Mr. Lock guided me through getting access to the website logins, told me what he needed and who to ask to get it. Once he did SEO my phone started ringing with new customers who found me by searching Google.”(Ian McLeod, Everhold Welding)
If you’re a business owner who’s stuck with a website that’s not performing, contact me for help.