Creating a solid web presence.
A client has two domains. The first domain hosts a website which is old by today’s standards. It doesn’t use a responsive layout so it doesn’t display properly on tablets and mobile devices. It is difficult for the client to update. It has a nearly empty home page and the list goes on.
But it ranks extremely well in search engines and ranks #1 for a couple of key search phrases.
The other website is fully responsive, wordpress site which is infinitely easier to maintain, faster and features much more rich written and pictorial content. The entire site has been optimized for SEO.
And it sucks.
Sometimes things don’t work right away even when you do everything right.
Search engines produce organic results based on relevance, authority and competition. In other words how relevant is your website to the search, how trusted is your content and how many others are competing for the same or similar search term.
It’s is a rather unique example where a client business has two domains and a unique website on each but it makes a few good points. It came down to the simple question of why would the old website still be outperforming the newer, supposedly, better website?
How long a site has been established on a domain matters but not as much as you might think. Initially new domains are not trusted as much compared to established domains.
The more sites that link to you and the number of links from those sites matter. In this example the old website had just 49 inbound links from 5 other websites which was 49 more than the new website.
It does matter but it’s a double-edged sword. Long established backlinks tell search engines that the link can be trusted however if there are no more recent backlinks then the lack of freshness can be a less than positive influence.
Facebook, Google+, Twitter. It can all boost your presence. The more people talk about you the better and it doesn’t take much to boost rankings in a search that has less competition.
Competition and relevancy
The broader or more generic the search the harder it will be to show up. “Car” is very broad but “Singer Automobiles” may only be relevant to a handful of websites. If your content is sparse it can still rank very well in a less competitive search.
Search engines have, somewhat, leveled the field. Yes there are a myriad of techniques and tools to boost presence often requiring the skills and services of experienced professionals but for small business better results can be a few easily obtainable steps away. The smash and grab websites that went up quickly stuffed full of keywords tied to link farms are being culled from results. You may end up penalized if you try to find the shortcut to success. New domains, like plants, take time to root. Have patience. A new website may be in order ensure that it displays correctly on current browsers and devices as well as optimizing structure and navigation. If your website structure hasn’t been looked at in 5 or more years then it’s as good as time as any to reassess. A website that is clunky to use means that it won’t get the attention it deserves which can hurt your business.
Content and the sharing of that content is king. This is almost more important than all of the under the hood SEO enhancements. Good content on a consistent basis does the most for you. The more relevant your content is and the more that people trust to share it or link to it the better and don’t ignore being accessible on social media.
The takeaway is that establishing a solid web presence is a long term project. What goes up today doesn’t necessarily rank today even if it is better. An effective web presence takes a little bit of TLC each and every day.