SEO Case Study, Melbourne Australia
A question I am often asked is ‘Can I do my own SEO?’. It is a very fair question given the amount of overheads small businesses have these days. The short answer is – Yes! In fact, anyone can learn SEO. But there are factors to take into consideration before deciding if this is the right way forward for your business.
Below is a case study about a small business who approached me with this question, and the steps we took to ensure they were able to confidently optimise their own website on an ongoing basis.
When the team at Shelves for Shops contacted me about their website and SEO concerns we decided the best course of action was for their designated ‘SEO person’ to attend one of my short courses. This offers an introduction into what search engine optimisation is all about. It is often after a course that a business will decide whether they are happy to manage their own optimisation, or engage a professional to take the reigns for them. There is no right or wrong answer. In fact, most of the time businesses opt out of managing it themselves simply because they don’t have the time to do so, and their time is better spent working ‘in’ the business that ‘on’ it.
Their primary concern was the platform their website was built on meant they had little to no control over managing the content themselves. Aside from the basic functions, such as adding and removing products, they were at the mercy of their web developer.
For ever the smallest of tasks (like changing images, or the colour of font), they had to email their developer and ask them to make changes. And of course, with every change, came a bill.
Frustrated with the lack of control in a website that was outdated and not SEO friendly, we decided the best way forward was to build a new website on a user-friendly system that would allow the business to have the autonomy they required.
Their requirements included an online shopping platform with the ability to process large sales and hold a catalogue of over 2000 items, an area in which the current website lacked. We also discovered their design was not responsive, a big no no for websites these days.
Most importantly, they need a CMS (content management system) that allowed them to input their own SEO data, including title tags, meta descriptions AND the ability to create google friendly URL’s.
In addition to this, I found lots of technical issues, including multiple 404 errors, dodgy links and slow loading times, all of which were contributing to the businesses overall website rank.
After the website went live and stabilised we saw an increase in rank for primary keywords almost immediately. Other factors also improved, including the amount of users visiting the website, the time spent on the website, and in turn, the amount of enquiries that came through increased.
Once the site was up and running the business started a You Tube channel focussed on educating the customers on their products and ‘How To’ videos. We were able to utilise these videos on the website, in turn improving the user experience.
The business also started a blog, and shared the posts shared on social media. I encourage the team to blog as often as they can.
But none of the above means anything if the results are not tracked. By introducing the business to simple but effective research and tracking platforms, they were able to identify their strengths and weaknesses and optimise pages accordingly.
After taking control of their website, rankings and results, the team felt much more confident managing their SEO ongoing. I now give the business ongoing SEO and technical support when required.
A key learning the business took away, is that they will never ‘finish’ optimising their website. SEO is an ongoing and ever-changing task and it’s important to keep up to date with best practice.