Words Matter! Beware of DIY Disasters

One of the potential pitfalls of saving money by looking after a website yourself after an external agency has built it for you is to tank any initial high rankings by unknowingly deleting the aspects that assist with page range and replacing them with things that don’t.

In a nutshell, the main thing that search engines such as Google rely on to determine the relevance of your website to what someone is searching for is the text on your pages.

And by text, that is the words that are typed in on the page, not words that appear in images. Search engines can’t read text that appears in graphics. In the above graphic, search engines can’t see the “Word Matter Beware of DIY Disasters” or the URL.

So imagine what happens to your rankings if you delete most of the text and fill your page with graphics instead…

A Little Case Study

I was approached by a friend to help with a website of an award winning Townsville home builder that was not ranking well and consequently not bringing in enquiries; they were looking at possibly engaging a developer to build a whole new website. My friend had kindly sent SEO work my way previously and knew I could get real results without having to go to that expense, and that company agreed to trying small changes to their existing website. The biggest issue was most pages lacked any text.

They gave me the search terms they’d like to be found for. I researched them and found some were not searched for at all and weren’t worth trying to optimise. Instead I focused on the ones that were viable. For many of these, their site wasn’t showing up in the first 50 results (I didn’t check further than that; most people won’t go past the first 10 or so). I noted what the rankings were before starting, to be able to measure against them later.

I suggested some easy changes to get going, with the site title, footer, navigation and the addition of text based on other documentation they already had. The changes really were minor – with more content I’d be able to help them even more, but even so the results have already made quite a difference.

Three days after making these changes, rankings had already improved immensely, with the site appearing on the 3rd page of search results (though one managed to get on the first page – the main goal!). Today, nearly 3 weeks later I checked again, and the site is consistently showing up on the 2nd page of search results.

With more text to add to the website, I’m confident we’d be able to improve to appearing in the top 10.

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