A few months ago, we set about the task of optimizing Kyle Krull's website. Kyle is the president of Integrity Marketing Solutions, and a full-time, practicing estate attorney in Overland Park, KS. Kyle has had a website for many, many years ... but his site suffered from the "Cobbler's Children Have No Shoes" syndrome. We hadn't really touched it, except to add new content and an occasional cosmetic face-lift, for several years. Despite good traffic to his website (primarily through off-site, off-line marketing efforts), his site was virtually invisible to the search engines. A quick analytics report showed that his site did not rank within the top 50 results on any of the three major search engines for local search "Overland Park Estate Planning Attorney."
So, we finally decided we simply could not live with the situation any longer and moved Kyle's website from the back burner to the front. The first step was to analyze his old site. Here is what we found ... and if your website is more than a few years old, you are likely in the same boat:
The Problems (aka Opportunities)
- Kyle's site had virtually no SEO coding. Title, description and keyword tags were haphazard at best, non-existent, and/or duplicative.
- The site-structure was out-dated and not optimized for the web crawlers to even FIND his key content.
- The content, while abundant, was not keyword-optimized by topic or geography.
- The layout was out-dated and did not take advantage of current browser technology.
- The navigation was abysmal ... primarily because the site had been up for many years, it had truly outgrown it's navigation structure.
- We had inadvertently allowed his domain renewal to approach it's lapse-date. Search engines penalize you if your domain is set to expire in less than a year. The longer-out your expiration date, the better.
The Good Points
- Kyle's website has been up on the web for a very long time. This is a good thing (as well as a challenge as outlined above). The search engines give you extra points for longevity.
- Inbound Links -- Kyle's site enjoyed an abundance of quality inbound links, because of his consistent off-site and off-line marketing efforts. He has written for and been quoted in a number of quality publications, including regular appearances in Kiplinger's various financial publications.
- Good Traffic -- Again, because of Kyle's consistent off-site marketing efforts, his website had excellent local traffic. In fact, his profile on Martindale was consistently ranked as the #1 viewed attorney profile in his market area.
And #4 -- but perhaps the most important -- Kyle gave us carte-blanche to design, update, and optimize his website. I say this was perhaps the most important aspect of this project because, for once, we were not constrained by the "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing" syndrome. So often, clients ask us to work on their website, but because they simply cannot surrender control, they give us so many constraints that the project is doomed before it ever starts. They have read a book, talked to their friends, done some online research ... and they just KNOW that we need to set up six new domain names for their website before we even start. They have a string of obtuse keywords for which we MUST optimize the entire site ... every . single . page. Or they only want us to work on one key page. Or they refuse to allow us to use the name of their city on their pages because, they insist, they serve a much larger market area.
Stay tuned for more discussion of how this project developed...
But for a sneak-peek at the outcome, hop on over to Google and search for "Overland Park Estate Planning Attorney." (Hint: You'll find www.kekpa.com on page one!)