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Dangers of DIY Website Creation: Search Traffic Drop Off

Ever think to yourself, "Why should I work with a digital marketing agency when I can do this myself?” Well, let's answer that question, and look at a real life cautionary tale.

Dun, dun, dun! Not to be dramatic, but this is a huge deal. Today’s business landscape is primarily online, with potential customers keying out everything they could want or need into a search engine’s empty field. If your business isn’t showing up in search results, you’re nonexistent to new customers. Only your tried-and-trues will know where to look. 

As search engines become more nuanced, and algorithms constantly evolve, it takes an industry specialist to ensure that your website is on par with current search engine metrics. Sometimes, though, the fact that “SEO” is a term that’s been thrown around for decades could lead any business owner to believe that they could handle it on their own. They might have some experience in web design and think, “Why should I work with a digital marketing agency when I can do this myself?” 

Well, we have a cautionary tale that answers this self-query. And the results are sobering. 

Web Design and SEO

Let’s start by defining terms. What even is SEO? It’s a term we hear all the time, and it’s basically the process of fine tuning a website so that it ranks higher in organic search engine results. This is the background work that is done so that consumers are instantly given the best, most relevant search results based on the terms they use. 

Web design is a collection of behind-the-scenes customizations that create the aesthetic you’re going for, while also building in the functionality you and your customers need. Eventually content will enter the scene, and once everything is put together, you will have a fully functioning website that allows clients to learn, shop, and get in touch with you. 

Web design and SEO go hand in hand, and when you trust one digital marketing agency with these tasks, they can work to build in optimization opportunities along the way. Once everything is up and running, you’ll have a powerhouse of a website that works for you, directing people to your business and answering their top questions. When web design and SEO are done correctly, it allows your brand to shine as an authoritative resource while also giving consumers precisely what they need and want, instantaneously. This then naturally pushes your site higher in online rankings.

But this takes a lot of work up front. When AMST analysts work with clients to best determine an SEO protocol, they go through a few stages: consultation, evaluation, strategizing, and connection. In the end, you have a plan that is tailored to your clients, your business, your industry, and has an eye on what competitors are doing. All digital platforms are integrated and connected, so that you can easily bring in search results, wherever potential customers are online. 

This is the ideal. And this is precisely what one of our clients had going on. Then they decided to strike out on their own and handle things in-house. Here’s how it went.

How Search Traffic Drop Off Happens

Our client, a B2B Industrial company, had previously relied entirely on the team at Alt Media Studios (AMST) for all of their SEO and website needs. We did everything for this client, using all the SEO strategies we had at our disposal. In fact, they were one of our hallmark clients. Their website was very user friendly and was performing well–they dominated the search engine results pages (SERPs) for their targeted keywords. Sounds like the picture-perfect scenario, right?

Well, a new marketing manager was brought on, and she decided to rebuild the website using only their in-house people, not the pro team at AMST. What were their results? Within a year, the client lost a measurable amount of website traffic. After just eight months with the new website, these were their results:

  • 33% decrease in organic clicks (21.2k to 14.4k)
  • 35% decrease in SERP impressions (1.76M to 1.15M)

How does this compare to their stats when they were working with AMST? When we were handling their SEO, we had click and impression increases every single year. 

Effects are cumulative–when you work with a digital marketing expert, your SEO strategy and website traffic should always be building and improving, using harvested data to tweak and fine-tune. If you’re working with an SEO professional, you’re constantly reinvesting into the process. That’s the real secret. That’s where potential comes alive.

How Alt Media Studios Helps With SEO

Our monthly search engine optimization (SEO) activities include, but are not limited to:

  • Keyword Research
  • Technical Search Engine Optimization Analysis
  • Google Analytics & Webmaster Tools Setup
  • Bing Webmaster Tools Setup
  • Sitemap Implementation & Optimization
  • Meta Tags Analysis and Optimization
  • Navigational Structure Optimization
  • Optimizations to improve page speed
  • Creation of needed Search Engine Optimization content (with approval)
  • Heading Tag Analysis and Optimization
  • Image Optimization
  • Keyword mapping
  • Canonical Issue adjustments
  • Content Optimization
  • Internal linking Optimization
  • Optimization of HTML Source Code
  • Anchor Text Optimization

Even if you’re familiar with all of these facets of a robust SEO plan, do you really have the time to execute them all yourself? Do you have the resources to train and manage an in-house SEO team, ensuring that they stay current with the latest techniques and search engine updates? Why not work with a Google partner instead. At AMST, we know the ins and outs of what the biggest search engines are looking for, and we can put that knowledge to work for you. 

From niche businesses to mainstream service providers, we’ve helped countless clients improve their site traffic and keep the momentum going. Don’t take chances–SEO is a game that takes accumulated skill and dedication to win. You’ll find both right here at Alt Media Studios, a local Cleveland SEO agency. Get in touch today to learn how we can put our expertise to work for you! 

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