Recently, I was approached by a business owner to evaluate changes in their SEO. They’d recently had a new company take over and build them a new site and noticed that their online leads had significantly dropped. Wanting know why and what to do about it, they contacted me.
Looking through the new site vs the old site, I noticed many similar issues as this site had when they moved.Â I haven’t been able to put a dollar amount to the lost revenue due to decreased leads or lost opportunity cost, but I’m sure it’s high.
There are a bunch of issues on why. In a nutshell, the new company was told to use similar page structure, page titles, page descriptions, ALT tags, content, etc as the old site.Â Unfortunately, not as simple as adding a new theme to a wordpress site, but not incredibly difficult either, as most of it was just copy and paste.
The new company appears to have not listened and din’t copy content over and apparently decided they would optimize how they wanted to, which resulted in a significant drop in traffic, visibility and more importantly leads for their organization.
I would also hazard a guess and say theyâ€™ve never taken a site that was this highly optimized before, so they thought whatever basics they would do would help, as is probably the case with many un-optimized sites they come across. Sort of like building a brand new site that doesnâ€™t have any traffic, anything you do will help, but, as an analogy, they took a high performance car going 90 mph and put big olâ€™ truck tires on it.
So, research is key and making sure that the research includes the user intent and user needs. Essentially, what people are searching for. The new site is now not positioned best for what people are looking for, so it doesn’t come up as much anymore. The site needs to present what users are looking for and the old site did a better job of this.
Of course in addition to page content, there are other issues that are affecting their SEO, in the form of errors and warnings that should be addressed.
- 1 page has more than one h1 tag
- 1 page doesn’t have an h1 heading
- 1 link on HTTPS pages leads to HTTP page
- 2 subdomains don’t support HSTS
- 2 pages have duplicate meta descriptions
- 2 pages have duplicate H1 and title tags2
- 2 pages have a low word count
- 2 internal links contain nofollow attribute
- 3 pages have too much text within the title tags
- 8 pages have only one incoming internal link
- 14 pages are blocked from crawling
- 38 pages take more than 1 second to become interactive
- 83 images don’t have alt attributes
- 142 pages have low text-HTML ratio
- 178 pages have no hreflang and lang attributes
- 888 external links contain nofollow attributes
Generally, any couple of these that are issues won’t bring a site down, but it’s worth looking at everything when your site traffic does crash.Â These are indicators that Google looks for to see if your site is optimized in many different ways.
Once we started to fix these problems and re-optimize the page, the site started to turn around. However, full recovery can take quite a while.