Making Content Marketing work – first look under the bonnet of your website

What can go wrong when making content marketing work hard for your organisation?

Here is the scenario: Great client, nice looking WordPress website, existing content in need of a polish but otherwise all ok. Content Strategy has been done, personas are sorted, and a content creation calendar has been published.

A really nice premium content download has been made available. Lots of blogs on the 2 top keyword chains have been published where there is known traffic and they are not too competitive.

Stand back and wait for the results as the new content goes on! Can’t fail.

First ranking report shows no movement. But “never work from one set of results” we all reassure ourselves. Then wait.

Second week’s ranking report shows no movement. “Harder than we expected” we say.

Third week… Fourth week… Fifth week… There is something very wrong here! 

Time to investigate and lift the bonnet

To cut a long story short (and to protect some of those mysterious ways in which agencies discover things) Google and the other search engines do not like this site. It may look ok on the exterior, but under the bonnet there are some worrying grumbles and knocks.

  • Since google’s ‘mobilegeddon’ release the sites google popularity rating only went in one direction – down
  • Terrible backlinks with high spam scores had been added as part of an expensive SEO service delivered by a previous (now out of business) agency
  • Hacked from Russia with loads of sexy URL links (you know the sort) hidden in the database
  • Something preventing all the posts from being indexed  (a theme update sorted that one)
  • Some basic “best practice” had been ignored on technically optimising the website making it unnecessarily slow

Any one of these could have been rendering our new content at best “unwanted” by google – but all four together and we weren’t going anywhere with our fantastic new content.

You’ll be relieved to know that this tale of woe does have a happy ending. In it, there is a lesson for anyone about to implement a content marketing or inbound marketing programme.

The Happy Ending

  • Everything we put on now gets indexed almost immediately
  • The site is mobile responsive and quick
  • It is clean of bad backlinks and spam links

As a result, some keywords have jumped up 20, 30, even 40 places. A real incentive to redouble our efforts to show how we can make content marketing work.

The Final Lesson

So the motto of this blog is not to overlook website health checks! Do them at the very start.

Do them regularly.

Just because your website might look fabulous means little to the search engines. If they don’t like it for technical and/or bad content reasons, then your design and content won’t make the impact you want it to. 

Talk to your agency today about a thorough Website audit and make sure you have the perfect content platform.  Contact us if you don’t currently have an agency and we’d be happy to discuss where you are and what can be done.

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