Relevance. Are you aware that Google places relevance as the prime indicator for how highly a site ranks on search engine results pages (SERPs)? Google lives or dies on serving the most relevant returns in order of priority.
It’s one thing to be relevant to the “Google bot” so you rank well, but how can you tell if your website is relevant to your target audience? At Webdirexion, we use SEO site comparison audits, along with other tools, in order to determine what is working well, and what isn’t. And, in order to check your relevance to your specific target “personas”, we always recommend you first outline their pain points and motivators, then track your conversion rate results. In this article, we focus on SEO and compare two websites in the hotel industry, an industry we specialize in, to consider how both websites could improve their SEO and Content Marketing.
The keyword was not used in the title for either site and therefore, both titles should be rewritten in order to include the phrase. Depending on the keyword or phrase that either site wishes to rank for, it should be included in both the title and description tag. This did not occur for either site in either area for the phrase ‘Fort Lauderdale hotel.’
Alt tags also need to be used in order to improve SEO, however, there was a lack of alt tags for both websites. Ocean Sky Resort did use the keyword in an alt tag, which is good, but overall both sites are in need of improvement in this area.
As for heading tags, Ocean Sky Resort did a much better job of optimizing their heading tags. While Riverside Hotel had headings present, they did not include the keyword, and there was also a duplicate heading tag found. Riverside Hotel should rewrite their headings in order to include the key phrase and make sure each heading is distinct, something that Ocean Sky Resort was able to accomplish.
Keyword issues continued in the actual copy found on the website, particularly for Riverside Hotel. The phrase was not used enough times and was not emphasized in the copy either through bolding the phrase or using it in anchor text. Ocean Sky Resort did a much better job, as the keyword was used multiple times, found in anchor text, and emphasized either through bolding, italicizing, or underlining. Ocean Sky Resort could improve their copy by inserting the key phrase earlier (ideally in the first 100 words).
In terms of social presence, both sites do an equal job, having share buttons for Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ present. Neither site includes a link to a blog, which is a feature that could be implemented that would improve SEO.
Looking at the link analysis, Riverside Hotel fares slightly better, although both sites do an adequate job. Riverside Hotel has more page and root domain links, and also has a slightly higher Page Authority and Domain Authority. Improving crucial SEO areas such as inserting the key phrase into copy more frequently, adding alt tags, adding a blog, and earning more links from other well-established pages would help to better the Page Authority and Domain Authority scores for both pages.
Note that both sites need a “link to a blog”. Blog marketing is one of the top SEO tactics since it extends reach and posts when written well will engage your primary business prospects. Google gives SEO points for frequently updated relevant content. We’ve written about triple leveraging blog posts as a further amplification of reach tactic. And there are also good ways now to boost posts on Facebook. Since we get a lot of interest in these tactics by busy owners and marketers, we’ve created some campaign services to help you out — download our R.A.C.E. “Winning Marketing Strategy” overview (PDF) to see one of our new services. The do contact us to review other campaign options.
It is interesting that and possibly telling that Riverside Hotel has both a high number of links from external sites (2233) plus a lower audit score. This could mean that at one point they engaged in some junk SEO work with a lot of low relevance links from low quality sites. If this is true, and you can check it with Google’s Search Console (was Webmaster Tools), then this property may need to do some “link cleaning” and disavowing of spam like link practices.
Finally, neither site is accessible via HTTPS, something that is becoming increasingly important for all websites, not just pages where secure information is exchanged.
In conclusion, both websites have important areas of their SEO that they need to improve. In particular, the key phrase should be used throughout the website in key areas such as the title, description, alt tags, and of course, the actual copy located on the page. Both sites would benefit from the addition of a blog, which will help with not only SEO, but also other important aspects like social media, customer loyalty, and customer engagement. Switching to HTTPS will benefit both sites to boost their security and trustworthiness, and will improve SEO as Google uses HTTPS as a ranking signal.