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Technical SEO Making Websites Great

Great Small Business Websites in Scotland – Do You Think You Have One?

This is article is not going to get really technical – but in a minute I am going to get all of you small business owners with websites thinking about why you need to at least be aware of Technical SEO and not just One-The-Page SEO.

Now – web developers and website agencies out there – I am NOT putting my headline question above to any of you – because – you will immediately answer – YES – we build great websites – because you are going to say that – aren’t you??

NO – I am asking the business owners in Scotland who have a website this question:
Whether THEY think they have a great website?
What do THEY know about how well their website is really doing?
How well does your Small Business Website PERFORM?
As an SME Owner paying good money for a website, was it value for money?

Measuring Your Websites Performance

The most simplest way to measure website performance is for me to ask you this – Is your phone ringing – regularly? Is your business bank account healthy?

Well – GREAT! If you are in this bracket then YEH, things could be good for you. I say could be good for you,  because it depends on what type of marketing you are doing.
It might be actually, that lots of people really know your brand, and that also, you are doing some form of multi-marketing channel campaigns that are giving you the online visibility you have and so your getting lots and lots of visitor traffic from that. But, who knows – there might be pages inside your website that you are still struggling to get noticed.

So, NO – this is not you – you are saying. I am in the other camp. Let’s see, you do gardening services, or build sheds, or install heating or plumbing, have a small hotel offering wedding functions, your a recruitment company, there you are, tons of small business owners in different fields just trying to make some money. Some of you have been bombarded with emails from so called Marketing Motivators – You know the headline

Hey Did You Know I am a Huge Fan of  – (Someone We all Don’t Know) – And if you Come to my Seminar or Workshop it will be Life Changing for all You Marketing Entrepreneurs out there!! BUT – Enrollment for you to be like this person we all don’t know closes in 6 hours. And we only offer you this deal once a year. So, WOW go check it out!!

With the amount of website owners I constantly have coming to me for help. They have been there – but it just took them about 3 years to realise they are no further forward. The annual turnover is still the same, the business has not grown and the website is – well – just about the same as it was 3 years ago.

I know what many Small Business Website Owners are fixated upon when you come to see me and ask for help – I need to be top in Google!!I hear it all the time.
Listen – I have to tell you – it might be painful to hear – but it is not being number one in Google that counts!! It is not about stuffing your pages with keyword terms, and it’s not pimping yourself out talking your face off doing organic Social Media Marketing on Facebook that is going to cut it either. Paid for Social Media Marketing – well yeh – but that that is another story but not for this article.

Websites Built and Marketed Properly Convert Visitors Retain Customers

Successful websites are converting their visitors, and, can even do this well on PAGE 2 of Google’s results page. Trust me I have seen those results. But that success does not just come from someone saying you just need a content strategy nothing else – just wake up in the morning – do some exercises – go run a marathon – come back write your best piece and that is the be all and end all. You will make lots of money.  Unfortunately – there are lots of things to do in order for your website to be successful. And just one of the many tasks but a very important one is checking on your Technical SEO.

How Much Do You Know About Your Websites Technical SEO?

Let’s come back to this website you have and how aesthetically pleasing you find it. You chose it – AND – maybe like how you chose your last car or van for the business. Yeh, looks great, it’s got wide wheels and a dumping great carburetor that will make it go faster and overtake your competitors vans on the road.

NO? – OK – so let us again get you looking at this pretty website you have – but no one is coming – and no money is going into your bank account. Instead lots of money came OUT of YOUR bank account and went to the people who built your website and promised you great things. Again there could be lots of other reasons your website is not working for you. It could be you did not stick at marketing your site for long enough, and I will touch on this shortly. But let us come back to the topic of Technical SEO.

All Web Developers in Scotland are Great!

We would like to think so. I would love to see the whole of Scotland full of great web designers and marketers. But I have to be brutal. There are a lot of LEGO BUILDERS in Scotland. They build websites, but simply take the parts they can find on the internet, things like templates and plugins, that are easy to hook up to each other and wallah you have your website. No coding or anything – no thought towards marketing or your goals or what you liked or disliked about your competitors website, no checking to see how well they built it to achieve the aim – to MAKE YOU MONEY – but hey look how nicely laid out it is – PRETTY!

Search Engines Hate SEO Messes

Now tell me – as a business owner of a website how often do you look at either Google Analytics or Google Search Console?
You say – WHAT? What are these wonderful tools?
I don’t have access to these tools?
But, er, wait! I think my web developer does?
But he doesn’t allow me to see them, says they are for his eyes only.

NO! And again NO! This is YOUR DATA and YOUR WEBSITE and why leave your future in the hands of a LEGO BUILDER!!

I am not expecting you the business owner to be technically minded. You don’t drive around all day in your Beamer or Jag and keep pestering the dealership every 5 minutes that you are not going fast enough!! But you look at the dashboards and you at least know all is well under the bonnet – no red lights!

So, here is our search engine robot crawling your website pages. And not just yours but billions of pages across the internet. Isn’t that wonderful!

But now your search engine is stuck. It has arrived at your website and found complicated URL page addresses, it has found things your developer hoped it wouldn’t find.
This robot crawler hates wasting time, it likes to simplify everything and sail through your website code and the words you put on the page. Now time is ticking because your website is not performing like the search engine robot expected. And worse than that there is a queue forming behind the crawler robot. Oh my god look – it is your customers. They are waiting on your website loading – aw damn! Oh well – look – they’ve gone, they found another website like yours loading a lot faster and giving them a better experience.

Please – Come Back – My Website Is Great!!

And there is the story for many small businesses – A pretty looking website and business that none of these people coming to look at your website had ever heard of you, and unfortunately not likely to hear of you again. But they saw you for a split second for that search they did – but unfortunately your website did not come up to standard.

Well, how are you going to find out what has gone wrong?

Oh Yes! These dashboards have the answers – Google Analytics will tell me how well that developer technically built my site. That Google Search Console that also talks to Google Analytics lists a whole raft of errors my site is experiencing because Google talks to business owners through that dashboard – shouting at you when you have a Technical SEO problem. And if you continue to ignore these two tools – then why should your website do better and be making you money? Google is trying to help. If as a small business owner you learn to understand a least a bit of this data, you can make some great decisions and I am afraid – you might have to some kick butts too – website builders look out!

And there are some other tools outside of Google Analytics and Google Search Console that can tell you how well your site is doing.

A Great Small Business Website Doing Well in Scotland 6 Months in

Shirley Paterson runs a business called NextGenergy. If your domestic electricity bills are shooting through the roof there is nothing this lady don’t know on how to get those energy bills down. You should meet her. She is a mind of information on how to get the most out of Solar or Air Heat Pumps, and have you put better insulation in your loft.
OK – I am selling this lady – but because I admire her talent and passion for all that energy knowledge she has – just incredible! But, she has been learning new skills.

Now take a look at this.Technical SEO Score

Towards the end of 2016 Shirley had over that year thought she had a great performing website. And, like I said she is knowledgeable in the numbers when it comes to heating your home. But, she got an inkling that her website was just not cutting it. So, Shirley had me do a website audit. Wow! This WordPress website looked aesthetically pleasing but underneath the hood we found to our horror – A Technical SEO mess. It was dreadful – awful – Boo!

From conducting the website audit this gave us a benchmark to step off from and wheel Shirley’s website into theatre and begin operating. My selected tech team and I worked on the site and improved the overall technical website architecture and then we turned our attention to the site landing pages.

What is important to note is that Shirley is like many of you small business owners in Scotland out there. She stayed by her Websites beside! No just kidding.

Shirley, like all of you small business website owners are all governed by 4 key factors – TIME | RESOURCE | KNOWLEDGE | BUDGET. And depending on how far you push any of those levers forward will depend on how well your website will perform. Shirley will tell you herself that TIME is the greatest issue for her. She has so much knowledge to get onto a website page that would be highly beneficial to her audience, but like many small business website owners in Scotland, TIME, is the issue because BUDGET does not allow her the luxury of having someone else do all her day to day website page management and marketing. That is the case for many Small Business Website Owners in Scotland.

And YES – there are some great website agencies and freelance developers out there that do a great job. But for the rest of you wondering why you don’t get more business, don’t just be a LEGO BUILDER. Take pride in the websites you build. All the teams I am working with will always be employed in work building new sites. Because they don’t just build websites, they work as a team to create and follow a standard I developed called OnlineXcellence – and let me be honest – even we have to find time to work at that model ourselves with our own websites. But, we are too busy right now looking after our customers and their websites – because happy customers matter. At the heart of that website design is Technical SEO that will support the On-The-Page SEO and of course the Search Engines.

Great Website Performance – How Long Does It Take to Have a Great Website?

Now that you know you have to take a closer look at your Technical SEO. I know you want me to finish on that all important question above. And you think I am going to answer with – How Long is a Piece of String?No – I shall be honest with you. For you to have a great website, you will need TIME | RESOURCE | KNOWLEDGE | BUDGET – all 4 working together. However, BUDGET is going to be a key factor – especially if you are not very good at driving your own website everyday. Internet Marketing is a skill. If you are intent on doing all those skills yourself, then see how you are in about 3 years. If you are serious about your business growth online and you commit to each of these factors but with a decent annual MARKETING BUDGET that provides you with a decent set of trackside mechanics who are skilled Internet Practitioners with a posse of great talent behind them. Then again, based on the figures for dealing with the Small Business Owner wanting to market their website, whether selling services or products then look at a time window of 12-18 months. Unless you happen to stumble on something that really takes off quickly – like this guys website:

About the Author

Brian Mathers – An Internet Marketing Practitioner at ICTADVISOR with 20+years helping to grow small business websites

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