10 SEO Tips from Website Magazine helps me spot Front End Office Booking Problem for Client
A Story in Keeping Your Eyes Open
Nine years ago I met the Website Magazine team at BlogWorld and have been a subscriber ever since. It is a great industry mag. The March issue arrived and it had a ‘10 SEO Tips for Website Redesigns‘ Article.
I have been optimizing sites and working with SEO since about 2007.
None of these tips were new to me, but SEO is not the only thing I do for clients. I have just recently finished up some web design heavy projects. A little SEO refresher never hurts.
Plus, it never hurts to see a fresh perspective and re-arm myself with some simple tips that I can share with my clients and my coaching clients.
One of the tips caught my eye and made me think of a recent client request that I missed an opportunity to push back on…
We had setup a site and the client wanted some ‘Learn More’ buttons below some content snippets.
It was an after the fact extra sent to me in a laundry list of about 15 other small requests. I simply set them up and went through the long list.
Website Magazine’s first SEO tip read as follows:
1 Employ Descriptive Links
Designers and marketers understand the value of effective calls-to-action (CTAs). And, the best practices confirm that verb-noun pairs work great in terms of setting expectations and enticing action. The problem from an SEO perspective is that this practice can lead to unnecessary repetition.
As soon as I read this reminder tip, I slapped my palm to my forehead and remembered that I had just set up three of these below blurbs on a clients site.
I seized the opportunity and did some quick and very basic steps. I checked out their page, updated their theme and plugins (after a db backup) and reviewed the page with the buttons.
I hopped into Google analytics and noticed that their goal performance had slipped about 5% year over year.
That was a surprise. We expected it to grow and not dip.
I did some more checking around with a quick Google Local search.
Two negative reviews right at the top. One was a week old and another was a month old.
This client is not on a reputation management plan with me. They are self monitoring this activity.
Both reviews said that it was hard to call and setup an appointment and that a receptionist had been rude to boot.
The client had never had a review like that before.
Reviews are important to this client, but more importantly, negative reviews are very problematic.
So I called the client and to my surprise the phone rang 13 times and no one answered it.
This is a small business with a staff of over a dozen people and 3-4 people that are available to answer the phone at any given time by design.
Houston, we have a Bookings Problem!
This could all be explained with anecdotal evidence.
- Could have been coincidence that two complaints came in within 5 weeks on the same topic
- Another coincidence that no one answered the phone in the middle of the day
- And another that conversions (new appointments were down 5% year over year)
But there were three or four types of smoke from a company that rarely had fires.
Regardless, this article set off a chain of discovery that I did not expect. That might be the take away here. Editing the copy on the ‘Learn More’ buttons was easy. Stumbling on a potential issues that is foiling the closing process and establishing customer reviews that paint a negative picture to future potential clients, that is the type of thing that can set off a negative landslide!