Recently, we’ve found that one of the first and most critical steps in onboarding a new Next Level client is auditing their website for redundancy and irrelevant items. Many competing agencies have proprietary tricks they use to “optimize your site” and fool the Google crawl. They hope that this will earn your business/brand a better score and better placement in search results but these tools and tricks often hurt more than they help. They frequently create redundancies and that’s why at Next Level, we’ve found a website without redundant plugins, media, and coding will usually perform better.
Quality Over Quantity
Every agency has tried to game the system at some point but most of us learn at some point, the best way to improve your search results is to work with Google instead of against it. Google provides a Lighthouse Report and Google Search Console for analyzing your website and providing a road map of how to improve. A simple scan of your website will tell you all the main factors affecting your business’ search results. Often when we perform that scan at Next Level, we find that issue isn’t more content, it’s less. If you’ve had more than one agency in the backend of your website, it’s likely that you’ve got different tools, plugins, builders, and codes installed. These will work against each other and ultimately cause your page to load slower than it should. Combing through your backend to make sure there is no redundancy is essential anytime you’re going through an agency transition. Redundancy isn’t the only thing that can lower your search scores, irrelevancy isn’t good either.
Let Go Of The Past
Often in the process of creating a website, agencies will publish media in an effort to showcase examples and gain approval on direction. Stock photos, template pages, and any other published page remains searchable, crawlable, and absolutely affects how your brand/business is perceived on the internet. Images in particular can drive a lot of traffic to your website but if this traffic is not relevant to your business it will lower your relevancy and eventually your search rankings. On the other hand, improving these items means that when your site is crawled, only your best content is put forward and ultimately will win you a higher score. Removing irrelevant content is a great way to improve your SEO in an easy and cost-effective way.
Eliminating redundant and irrelevant content is critical to analyzing the results of your digital marketing. Understanding every click and when/why they close is one of the best ways to control the buyer journey. If users are coming through channels that you don’t understand, this can skew results and make using analytics data more difficult.
10 Users come to your site. 8 users came through an irrelevant stock image and 2 users came through an intentional image and both converted. Users that come to your site through a stock image might not be your target audience and are likely to bounce quickly. Users that came to your site through the intentional image had their pain points addressed and filled out a form. It will be difficult to separate those user experiences and we might be inclined to make decisions about our website user experience based on a 20% success rate but in reality those changes might hurt our 100% success rate. It’s best to remove any irrelevant paths to your site, if not for any reason but for the tracking and analytics purposes.
Having a clean backend is essential to growing your web presence. There are dozens of tips and tricks that many agencies perform to improve your website performance but the best strategy continues to be best practice setup and a tidy list of media, plugins, and pages on your site. Eliminate anything you don’t need and your site is likely to perform better for your customers and in the search results.