How to Rebuild a Website on WordPress Without Losing Rankings
Let’s be honest. As an SEO consultant, we’re always being confronted with the question: Can SEO really generate sales?
When clients come to me with an existing website that they want to re-establish as a brand, I usually start by asking them a few questions about what they want to achieve and how they measured its success in the past.
The first thing I want them to know is that keyword research and selection is just as important as ever for their site’s performance – maybe even more so now than ever before. Next, I want to make sure that they are aware of the significant difference between search engine optimisation (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM).
SEM is about getting visitors to your site who are already searching for the products or services you offer. The advantage of this is that you can target your audience when they are already searching for you, and that is a whole lot easier to do than to get a new set of potential customers to discover your product or service.
SEO is about getting visitors to your site who are not already searching for the products or services you offer. The advantage of this is that you can get visitors who are already interested in your industry, or in your product or service category, to discover your site.
Why should anyone care about SEO vs SEM? Well, in the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t make much difference. But on a personal level, selecting the right keywords and moving your pages to the top of the heap for your chosen keywords can make a world of difference in terms of helping your business to grow.
Find The Right Keywords
If you want your website to perform well in Google and other search engines, you need to make sure that your chosen keywords are relevant to the products and services you offer. There is a lot of competition for most keywords, and your task, as a business owner or marketer, is to find a way to stand out from the crowd.
When I am first presented with a keyword list, I usually start by looking for popularity metrics such as monthly searches, global search volume, and so on.
I then cross-reference this with industry metrics such as profitability, growth rate, and so on to establish a baseline score for each keyword.
This helps to establish a point from which we can work our way up the scale, taking into consideration other components of website building such as content and structure. Having a high search volume for a keyword does not necessarily translate to success – after all, everyone has heard of Google, right? Well, maybe not everyone.
Remove Any Redundancies
When I first meet with a new client I like to establish a baseline understanding of what they want their website to achieve, and how they intend to get there. One of the first things I do is to review their web content, looking for pages that are both redundant and of a low quality. A lot of business owners think that having lots of content is a good thing, but what does that really mean?
Lots of content does not equal high-quality content – in many cases, it can even mean the opposite. As an SEO consultant, it is my job to help my clients to minimise these negative effects and improve the overall quality of their content. When I remove low-quality content, it usually has a positive effect on the health and performance of the site.
Understand The Different Needs Of Different Types Of Visitor
Depending on the device they are using to access your site, users will have different needs. If you want to improve the overall performance of your site, you need to take this into consideration and establish different user personas, or types. Using Google Analytics, you can track user behaviour and establish conversion rates for each one.
For example, it might be that 80% of your site’s visitors are male business owners searching for information about your product or service and 20% of your visitors are female consumers who are mostly visiting your site because it’s a brand they know and trust. While it’s great that your site gets a decent amount of traffic from both sources, it’s important to understand that their needs might be served by different pages or content.
Focus On Long-Tail Keywords
When you are selecting keywords for your content, it is a good idea to focus on long-tail keywords – these are words or phrases that are more specific and therefore less competitive. While they might only hold limited search volume, this really is a bonus as it means you can be certain that your chosen keywords are relevant to your target audience. Just remember that there will always be some competition for these keywords, so you need to make sure that you are using the right tools to find these hidden gems and maximise your results.