We often have clients who feel their website broadly works for them, so they’re not looking to invest in a complete content refresh or website redesign. They just want to maximise what they’ve got, without significant investment or stakeholder involvement.
Even if optimising and improving website performance isn’t your focus in your marketing plan for 2024, you need to allow some time and resource to keep your website optimised and performing how you want it to. Otherwise, things can get out of hand quickly and become harder to fix down the line, especially with the rate search engines are releasing algorithm updates nowadays.
Here are our (relatively) simple ways to not just keep your website working well but working harder for your goals, including:
Optimise and reoptimise on-page content
Technical SEO improvements
Improve conversion performance
Make sure you repurpose great content
Complete an audit
The most important step is to run an audit on your website and its content. An audit will help you figure out what’s working well and what’s not, and where to begin.
Start by looking at quantitative data like page search performance, traffic and conversions. Then layer this with qualitative information like content quality, navigation and call-to-action placement on each page.
Next, take a look at what your competitors are doing, and in particular what are they doing well? You can get plenty of insights from online tools (even free ones) to get an idea of their performance and what they’re investing in. And don’t just look at your business competitors, look at search competitors too. These are the websites that you’re fighting with for the top position in the search rankings. If your target audience are finding their website first, they’re stealing an opportunity for you to tell your customers who you are and what you’re about.
Finally, do a technical audit which will help spot errors like missing or duplicate meta data, broken links and other quick things you can fix to improve your website performance as well as user experience.
Now you’ve completed your audit, you’ll hopefully have a whole list of ideas to improve your website. Let’s look at what your next steps should be.
Re-optimise key webpages for SEO
How high up the SERPs (search engine results pages) a particular webpage will be for its target keywords can change all the time. As do search engine algorithms. This means you can’t just create a page and forget about it, especially if it’s a priority business area for you. Keep checking performance and reoptimising where you need to.
One of the reasons Wikipedia does so well at hitting the top of SERPs is because it’s constantly updated. Not just with new pages, but existing pages are regularly updated with new information. Your should do the same to keep your website alive and signal to Google that you’re current and relevant.
You’ll need to identify which pages you want to focus on – these could be your main service/product pages or perhaps blog articles targeting a particularly relevant keyword or topic. Then perform optimisations and updates – these can be as simple as adding long-tail keywords as FAQs or updating your internal linking.
Monitor performance and try testing and learning different things to see what works – and repeat what you’ve learnt elsewhere.
Remove or merge poorly performing pages
Having lots of poorly performing pages impacts your SEO and leads to poor user experience because the content isn’t relevant to your audience or easy to find.
Tidy up what you can by removing it (NB you’ll need a redirect plan if you’re removing content!) or merging it with similar pages if it’s feasible and makes sense – i.e., the page shouldn’t be too long, the topic and content should flow. Merging can take time, but just because a page isn’t performing doesn’t always mean the content isn’t useful and should be thrown away.
Make technical upgrades where you can
A proper audit will also take into account technical issues you can resolve to improve your website speed, search engine optimisation and user experience. Platforms like ahrefs and SEMrush are great for this.
Look at what errors came up in your audit and see what you can address. You can fix many of these without needing to involve a developer or dedicated SEO agency. Systemically fixing errors and warnings should have a measurable impact on your overall website performance.
Actioning simple changes, like fixing missing meta data, across many pages, adds up to signalling to search engines that you care about your site and user experience, meaning your overall website SEO will improve.
Review your calls to action
Now you’ve increased the number of people finding your website with some good SEO, what are they doing once they’re there and how can you get them to convert? (Here we’re classing a conversion as something like submitting an enquiry or booking an appointment.)
Review your calls to action on your webpages – if not all pages, then your key ones. Do they make sense for the target audience and where they are in the customer funnel? If you’re not sure about this, do some customer journey mapping and user research for your key audience segments to understand them and what they need to know and want to do.
Look at competitors and what they’re doing – and how can you improve on that?
Anything that makes it easier for your users to convert will improve your conversion rate. For example, if your form requires a lot of detail to fill in, can you rationalise this down?
Finally, repurpose great content on other platforms
Getting your website working harder doesn’t just mean optimising it. What can you learn from it, and what can you repurpose elsewhere? Your audit will show you what content performs the best, and if you dig deeper, the types of content your audience engages with.
So if your top performing content is resonating, and with the right people, don’t just stop there. Reuse that content on other platforms, try out new formats and share with other teams or markets to work efficiently and increase your return on investment in that content.
At Wallace Health, we have a create once, deliver anywhere mindset. Whatever we produce, ideally, we want to be thinking bigger picture about how we can modularise, localise, personalise, and maximise the content for better reach and better efficiency.
We’ve already talked about breaking out of silos to share your content with other teams. For example, let your sales or patient support team have the list of FAQs you’ve just added to your website so they can respond quickly to these same questions, with consistency and in the right tone of voice.
To take the cross-team collaboration further, ask others what challenges they have, what frictions they encounter during the customer funnel, and then think about what content you have (or can produce) to support them and improve time to conversion while customers go through your customer funnel.
But don’t forget…
Of all things to remember, don’t forget that your website should be for your target audience, not Google or Bing, or even for you. Don’t get stuck thinking about what you want to tell people but make sure you’re focusing on what your audience want.
Search engine algorithms are built (and continually adapting) to serve the content it thinks is the most relevant to a user. As long as you’re looking after your users and what they need, you should be most of the way to reaching your goals for your website – whether that’s increasing your brand awareness, pushing your target audience closer to conversion, or scoring those conversions.
If you’re looking for a content partner to maximise and reinvigorate your website, get in touch. While these tips can help you boost your website without significant redesign and redevelopment, if you have a large website or it’s your primary customer touchpoint, then you’re likely going to need some support.
As a digital-first healthcare and pharma content marketing agency, we can manage everything you need to get the most from your website – whether you have a particular area of your website in mind or looking for a full overhaul.