We’ve just gone live with a new look and feel and optimised SEO website for Treffynnon – Holiday cottages Pembrokeshire.
Long-time family friend Paul Perton was clearly happy with the rebuild of his own photo website paulperton.com that he recommended our Durban web design services to Steve Mallett, who lives in the UK.
Steve lives in the small holiday town of Pembrokeshire in Wales and rents part of his property out as a holiday cottage. Steve built his own WordPress site for the small business and over the years has had good success with search engine referrals resulting in rental bookings.
However, Steve came to us with a problem – the efforts of the “expensive” SEO referral company he had contracted were not bearing fruit. In fact, he felt that his website visits had suddenly and mysteriously “hit a wall”.
Worse, the same SEO company he was not getting any results from were recommending that he change the Treffynnon.com url of his website – an online brand he has taken years to build.
We made the following observations:
- Gaining access to Steve’s Google Webmaster Tools account did not reveal that Google was unhappy with his SEO efforts. It it possible to annoy Google with “black hat” SEO techniques to such an extent that they remove the listing from their search engine. They usually let you know of their disapproval through the Webmaster Tools service.
- Research into Steve’s Google Analytics account revealed a slow and steady decline in visitors, not the sudden dive that was Steve’s perception. Visitors were, in fact, down by almost half over similar periods in the previous year.
- The website had been optimised with a specific search term that did not have a strong “keyword market”. We could not determine why this would be the case and deliberated on whether it would be better to “own” a specific keyword phrase with a low search value over “sharing” search of keyword phrases with thousands more hits.
- The code in the website pages itself appeared confused and untidy. The pages were responding “strangely” and returned inconsistent code anomalies.
- The look and feel of the website was in urgent need of a clean overhaul.
Based on these observations, we made the following recommendations:
- Since there appeared to be nothing wrong with Google’s relationship with the Treffynnon.com url, we happily reported to Steve that it is unlikely a Google black listing was the source of his woes.
- We suggested that the cause of his visitor loss was probably due to incorrect SEO optimisation as well as increased keyword competition in his industry by large online letting agencies.
- We recommended and implemented a new look and feel that borrowed from his last site, but was much more up-to-date and complied with web standards.
- A Google Adwords campaign should be implemented early in January to combine with site upgrade and SEO efforts.
The result is the new website and our SEO upgrade efforts went live yesterday afternoon at www.treffynnon.com.
With regard to the SEO optimisation of the site, we concluded that it would be better to advertise on Google Adwords with a specific keyword phrase that would reduce ad spend wastage. But this strategy is the reverse of what the website SEO strategy should be – which needs to attract a broader visitor who may use different search terms to find what they are looking for.
We researched and recommended and implemented the following SEO search terms, related home and funnel pages:
- Holiday cottages Pembrokeshire
- Pembrokeshire holiday cottages
- Holiday cottages Wales
- Holiday cottages in Pembrokeshire
Steve also took a backup of his old site and loaded it onto the similar domain http://www.selfcateringpembrokeshire.com/
On informing us of this build, we immediately recognised the SEO opportunity for “link juice” and custom coded an SEO-optimised “under construction” page that points back to the main Treffynnon site.
While we know that the recommended Google Adwords campaign should deliver short-term results, it’s too soon to tell whether our SEO recommendations will bear fruit in the long-term and are interested to see how the site progresses over the next six to 12 months.