Everest Media, a digital agency based in Pool, has investigated the website health of 12 of Cornwall’s leading businesses that boast a combined turnover of £575 million. It’s produced some fascinating findings!
Did you know that 70% of people don’t look past the first results page on Google? This is exactly why search engine optimisation (SEO) and website health should be the foundation of your online marketing efforts.
Every business will understand the importance of search engine visibility. However, what may be surprising is the number of big brand websites that are currently letting a few trivial issues badly dent their rankings.
And if potential customers can’t find them – they can’t buy from them.
HOW CLEAN IS CORNWALL’S BILL OF SEO HEALTH?
“Using methods that we apply to client projects, we have looked at the websites of Cornwall’s leading retail, manufacturing, and tourism brands to assess their online health,” said Samuele Armondi, Everest Media MD.
“Together, these companies employ over 5,200 people and have over 60,000 web pages. Amazingly, our analysis found that only 1.26% of those pages were considered ‘completely healthy’.
“Now, we know that the businesses are very successful. But it just goes to show how much more could be done to tighten up site health and bring in more business.”
During their checks, the Everest Media team found three main issues kept cropping up.
ISSUE 1: CRAWLABILITY
Crawlability is the ability of search engines to read a website. Essentially, the more pages crawled, the better search engines understand your site, and the more likely you are to rank well for your targeted keywords.
Everest found two key issues affecting crawlability for these sites. A third were either missing or had not specified a sitemap, an essential tool in helping search engines
understand website structure.
Meanwhile, a quarter of the sites had HTTPS issues. Browsers will warn users about loading elements on a website not secured with HTTPS, which can harm user experience and reduce confidence in the website.
ISSUE 2: MOBILE FRIENDLINESS
Surprisingly, only one site was fully mobile-friendly. This is especially alarming considering around half of all global web traffic is mobile. Two sites didn’t pass Google’s mobile-friendly test, while the remaining nine passed, but with warnings.
11 of the 12 sites had no accelerated mobile pages (AMP). This is Google’s framework for fast-loading mobile web pages, which is prioritised in search rankings. Implementing AMP means you can boost mobile site speed and become eligible for new, rich results in search engines. This is especially relevant for e-commerce and tourism brands, as mobile traffic is expected to account for 67.2% of online sales in 2019!
ISSUE 3: PAGE LOAD SPEED
Seven sites were judged to have slow page loading speeds. This affects search engine ranking and how likely users are to buy from a website.
Research from Google shows that when a page takes over five seconds to load, users are more than twice as likely to leave the site without doing anything.
This is even more pronounced for mobile users, with 53% of users likely to abandon their visit if a site takes more than three seconds to load.
SO WHAT’S THE GOOD NEWS?
“While these figures can look alarming, it’s not bad news for these brands,” adds Samuele.
“Most of the opportunities we found as part of our research can be improved upon fairly
easily and quickly, allowing businesses to reap even bigger rewards from their digital investments.
“We recently saw a client’s search engine visibility grow by 30% following some very simple changes. Growth like that can really make a difference!”
Do you want to see how your business compares to our research, and read the full report? Give us a call or drop us a line!