Website Health and SEO Optimization ACo

July 14, 2018

To improve the overall health of its website, we performed a full assessment of the website and identified several major errors impairing its crawlability. Then, we worked through the following issues to make the website more SEO- and user-friendly.

Also, to better ACo’s position in local search queries, we implemented several Local SEO strategies to increase the visibility of their local business in organic search results. 

Live ACo - Website SEO Assessment

After exploring the current state of, we executed two levels of SEO work to resolve existing technical challenges and enhance content-related issues.

Phase One: Technical SEO

To ensure pages linked properly, we fixed the following issues:

Broken Internal and External Links

Whenever a hyperlink — whether pointing inside or outside your webpage leads to non-existent webpages — it not only affects your visitor’s user experience, but also negatively affects your search engine rankings, as web crawlers classify your website as poorly maintained or coded. reported multiple errors from internal and external broken links, and so we simply removed the link altogether or replaced it with another resource.

4XX Status Codes also reported several 4xx errors, meaning certain webpages could not be accessed. As a result, they experienced a drop in website traffic, as the errors prevented both users and search engine robots from accessing certain webpages. We resolved some of these errors while correcting the aforementioned broken links, and then resolved any remaining errors by redirecting the links to accessible online resources.

Links to HTTP Page Errors

When links point from an HTTPS site — the secure version of the standard hypertext transfer protocol that your web browser uses when communicating with websites — to an HTTP (insecure) version, it can confuse search engines on the proper page version to rank. To correct this issue, we simply replaced all HTTP links with new HTTPS versions.

Nofollow Attributes on Outgoing Internal Links contained nofollow attributes on nearly 70 outgoing internal links, telling web crawlers not to follow the link. As a result, these links passed no “link juice” to the referred webpages and negatively impacted search rankings. By removing these attributes within the <a> tags, we improved the crawling process.

Phase Two: On-Site SEO

To enhance their ability to rank in search results, we fixed the following issues on the site:

Duplicate Title Tags and Meta Descriptions

When a webpage contains the exact same content within its title tag and/or meta description as another page, it makes it difficult for search engines to determine the best page to obtain for specific search queries — reducing a page’s ability to rank and confusing users on the best page to select. More importantly, search engines could ban the pages altogether. To protect their webpages, we created and published unique title tags and meta descriptions for all webpages, incorporating relevant keywords throughout.

Missing Meta Descriptions

While not directly impacting search rankings, meta description tags offer searchers a concise summary about the webpage when sifting through search results. Without a meta description, users typically see only the first sentence of content. To encourage people to open, we completed all missing meta descriptions with enticing, keyword-rich text.

Short or Long Title Tag Elements

The majority of search engines show only the first 70 characters of Title tags. On, some tags were too short — not taking advantage of the space to best inform crawlers or searchers — and some were too long — hiding key content after the first 70 characters. We fixed both issues by rightsizing the Title tag content, incorporating relevant keywords.

meta descriptions and title tags

Missing or Multiple H1 Tags

While not quite as essential as Title tags, H1 tags help inform web crawlers and searchers as to page content. When missing, search engines can push content further down search results. Additionally, multiple H1 tags within one website page, while permissible, is not considered an SEO best practice. To fix both issues on, we added missing H1 tags and reduced multiple entries to just one tag per page by changing the remaining to H2 or H3 tags.

Missing Alt Attributes

Multiple images on the neglected to include Alt attributes, meaning search engines could not understand the content included in the images. To boost the potential of their images ranking, we described all images with keyword-heavy content by adding Alt attributes to all images across their website.

Phase Three: Local SEO

To influence their position in local search queries, we optimized ACo’s presence in the following ways:

Google My Business Listing

Because Google My Business helps feed local search engine results, we made sure ACo experiences the maximum benefits from this platform by:

  • Ensuring content accuracy
  • Completing any missing information
  • Creating a plan to boost reviews
  • Developing a list of post ideas

Online Directories and Citations

Consistency in name, address and phone information matters when getting found in local search queries, and so we cleaned up any discrepancies — such as misspellings, abbreviations, lack of suite number, wrong phone number, etc., — across the major aggregators that feed a large amount of map data for Apple, Yelp, Bing, Trip Advisor, etc.

Website Performance

To make sure their website did not stand in the way of local search traffic, we also:

  • Confirmed accuracy of name, address, phone information.
  • Added Local Business SCHEMA markup to Contact page.
  • Incorporated Google Map within Contact page.
  • Ensured sitemap submitted to Google.
  • Boosted page load time.
  • Fixed any new technical SEO issues.

Website Content

To help draw a more local crowd, we made adjustments and additions to their website content to send a stronger local signal by

  • Optimizing their homepage with local keywords.
  • Writing locally descriptive About and Contact pages.
  • Adding city, county and state-related keywords and phrases into location-based web
  • Developing an FAQ page to optimize for voice search.

Backlink Strategy

The quality and authority of a link pointing to a domain (i.e., backlink) plays a part in a site’s visibility in search results. However, according to SEMRush, scored high on overall backlink toxicity — meaning links from other sites were weakening its SEO and reducing their organic visitors.

To address this, we:

  • Investigated existing website backlinks.
  • Prepared and submitted a list of toxic backlinks to Google.
  • Created a strategy for earning more quality backlinks.

Keyword Research

Finally, to create a go-forward content strategy, we created a comprehensive spreadsheet of keywords for ACo to incorporate in their digital marketing efforts, including 160 new blog topic suggestions.

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