More threads by Caroline

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My client is consistently #2 sometimes #3 regardless of my efforts :oops:. The business at#1 has a much nicer website, newer and the copy is better. I've suggested that all things being equal in terms so links etc, a new website (his is about 7 years old) with a refresh of the text may just nudge him higher. What are your thoughts on how much a website/hosting contributes to results?
 

JeffClevelandTN

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My client is consistently #2 sometimes #3 regardless of my efforts :oops:. The business at#1 has a much nicer website, newer and the copy is better. I've suggested that all things being equal in terms so links etc, a new website (his is about 7 years old) with a refresh of the text may just nudge him higher. What are your thoughts on how much a website/hosting contributes to results?

Hi Caroline! In regards to the competitor's website being much nicer, I'm assuming you are referring to the appearance/aesthetics?

We see pretty ugly looking sites rank better organically than "nicer" looking sites all the time :).

More often than not when taking on new digital marketing clients, we do a total makeover of their website (even if we have to significantly discount the one time cost of a new website) because the website is going to be a key factor to their success. Sometimes we will require a new website before taking them on a new client. Usually our new clients have the following issues present with their existing site:
  1. Poor navigation
  2. Poor aesthetics
  3. Poor or non-existent landing pages for PPC and Social
  4. Overuse of stock photography and/or poor quality custom photos
  5. Inadequate, quality content for existing pages
  6. Lack of proper URL structure
  7. Lack of specific pages for important services/products
  8. Improper or lack of proper: Page Titles, meta description, Header text, internal page linking.
  9. Existing website platform is not Google friendly (our preference is Wordpress, using Divi as theme, and Yoast or RankMath)
  10. Inexpensive hosting which usually impacts: Page Experience, Core Web Vitals
While the first three items are not direct ranking factors, they are engagement/interaction issues. #4 is both an engagement and ranking factor (along with proper alt-text). #9 and #10 are more technical, longer to answer items but have been key to the success of our clients.

Long term, after addressing all the other items above, items 5 thru 8 we strongly believe are the most important ongoing areas to focus for beating the competition. If you are doing on-going work for your client, the most important thing that can be done to improve ranking is better quality content that is better organized than the competition.

You didn't mention what work you've done for the client and their industry, which would be helpful to know. If your ongoing work doesn't include writing new content and/or optimizing content for your client, it needs to.

You most likely can improve the ranking of specific pages by focusing items 4 thru 8 without the need for a total website makeover if you need to justify to the client the importance of a better website with better content.
 
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