I posted a few days back in our Facebook group, offering to do an SEO review on 10 websites belonging to businesses in the scalp micropigmentation industry. In response to requests that followed, this SEO review is for Melissa Carr of www.melissacarrcosmetictattooing.co.nz.
During this review, I examined the following:
- On-page SEO elements of a typical page on each website
- The overall structure of each website
- Social proof and reviews
- Internal linking
- Inbound links and spam score
- Speed and security
I won’t explain each of these in detail because I’m hoping their explanations will become clear during the assessment. So here we go!
on page seo elements of a typical page
The first thing I look for are pages specifically targeting keywords for the primary services offered. Your home page is not the place for this. Google wants your home page to act as a gateway to the information pages on your site, and it’s actually quite hard to rank a home page for a big search term.
Melissa’s primary services are cosmetic tattooing and scalp micropigmentation, so she needs pages that scream relevancy for these keywords. When reviewing the website, Melissa does have the right pages in place, but the on-page SEO is out of whack. Here are some comments.
- Your main SMP page has no H1 headline. This is like the main headline in a newspaper, it tells Google what your page is all about. You should only have one per page, but every page should have one.
- Your other SMP related pages have H1 tags, but they’re not keyword targeted, and you actually have two H1’s on each of those other pages which is bad SEO practice.
- Your service pages look good. The content is easy to digest and well presented, and crucially, there is plenty of it. But your keyword targeting is off and needs to be resolved.
overall website structure
This website adopts a flat hierarchical structure in the SMP section, but a hierarchical structure in the Cosmetic Tattooing section which is much more powerful. This could be implemented quite easily but at the moment you’re missing out.
I suggest giving the main SMP page a new URL, perhaps /smp/, then setting the other SMP related pages as child pages of the main SMP page, for example /smp/women/. This would be much stronger for SEO and makes it easier for Google to understand the structure and content of the website.
social proof and reviews
However I can’t find a link from the website to the Google Business profile (visit page), where there are some good reviews. Google reviews are a powerful SEO signal, so although the Google Business profile does link to the website, the website should have a third social link to the Google Business profile.
Melissa has a ton of great reviews on Facebook. As she operates in a competitive market, with a major SMP competitor and a number of PMU artists not far away, Melissa should feed these reviews dynamically to the website to improve conversions, like we do for our advertisers (example here). This way, customers can read reviews without leaving the website.
An internal link is where you link from one page of your website to another page of your website. These are in-content links and do not include links within menus or the footer. Internal links are critical for SEO because they help Google to understand what your website is about, and which are your most important pages.
You have made some use of internal links, but they’re not in-content text links which are more powerful, and they’re not used throughout the site as much as they should be. For a good example of internal linking, check out our Sacramento page.
inbound links and spam score
Aside from your website content, inbound links, sometimes called ‘backlinks’, are by far the most important part of your SEO strategy. An inbound link is where another website links to your website, and Google views this as a vote of confidence. Generally speaking, websites do not link to spammy or illegitimate websites, so if someone is linking to you, it reinforces the message that your website is the real deal.
All inbound links are not created equal, in fact, too many poor quality links can actually hurt your site. You should be aiming for links from authoritative websites (local news websites, big blog sites, local business associations etc), or from websites that are highly relevant to our industry (like Team Micro, What Clinic etc). The best links are both authoritative and relevant.
We use Moz to measure your inbound link power. They produce a metric called Domain Authority (DA) which is a score from 1-100. Higher scores are granted to websites with a good number of authoritative links, and a low number of poor quality links from spammy websites.
It is important to note that the scale is not linear…. getting from DA1 to DA10 is relatively easy, but jumping to DA20 is MUCH harder. Most sites never make it past DA15. Team Micro is a DA32 website, but its taken years of diligent SEO to get there.
Your spam score represents the % of websites with similar inbound link profiles that have been penalized or banned by Google. For obvious reasons, you want to keep this low, like less than 2%.
This website has a DA14 score and a spam rating of 1% which is quite weak, however this may be enough at least for now until competition becomes stronger. The website won’t rank against stronger sites for competitive terms though with this score.
You need a paid Moz subscription to see all the data, but you can see the top line stats here, and I’ve included screenshots taken from our Moz account below.
moz overview for melissacarrcosmetictattooing.co.nz
moz spam score for melissacarrcosmetictattooing.co.nz
speed and security
Your website speed is a huge ranking factor now, as Google now uses mobile-first indexing. This is understandable, especially in the SMP and PMU industry where around 80% of your website visitors are using mobile devices to access your content.
Security is also important, and directly influences rankings. Your website should be on https:// not http:// and this is mandatory if you are processing customer data online.
We use GT Metrix, the industry standard, to measure speed. Melissa’s website is getting a speed rating of 34% and takes 16.7 seconds to load, which is extremely slow (verify here).
A score of 34% is low enough to have a significant impact on Melissa’s rankings. Worse, visitors are unlikely to wait 16.7 seconds for the website to load and may leave to search for a service elsewhere.
Melissa’s website is fully https:// secure with no security-based warnings.
The following actions should be undertaken as soon as possible to strengthen the SEO of this website:
- Correct use of H1 and H2 headlines need to be implemented sitewide. One H1 at the top of each page, and multiple H2’s as necessary to break the page into topics. Ancillary headlines can be H3 or H4.
- The main keyword for each page should be included in the title tag, the H1 headline and once in the opening paragraph of each page.
- Keyword targeting is generally off throughout the site, so a thorough review is needed.
- The SMP section should be restructured into a silo. The content is available, but the hierarchy of the website is not optimal.
- In-content internal links should be added to all of the most important pages, to interlink them like a network. The best way is to add links where it is topically relevant and useful to do so.
- The website should be connected to the Google Business account.
- Facebook reviews should be dynamically fed into the site. Copy and paste is no good, it needs to be a dynamic generation.
- A small number of quality inbound links are needed, as the metrics are currently weak which leaves the website vulnerable to new competition and changes in the Google algorithm. Maybe reach out to local news websites.
- The speed of this website is a real problem. The photos on the site need to be optimized and a suitable caching system should be implemented to prevent the website from loading from scratch every time the site is requested by a visitors device.
Final note… the domain name is really long. I see you own www.melissacarr.co.nz … you should consider using this one instead. However make sure the pages of your website are correctly redirected to preserve your SEO value.
These are additional steps that every website owner should take. We didn’t verify these, or were unable to, for this specific website, but make sure you have these covered:
- Register and verify your website in Google Search Console.
- Create an XML sitemap and register it with GSC (above).
- If you have a .com domain, register your target country with GSC (above).
- Make sure you have at least 10 citations. These are mentions of your business online including name, address and phone number data (NAP), and may or may not include a link to your website. Good sources are Yelp, Yellow Pages, local business directories etc.
- Disavow any spammy links coming into your website using the Google Disavow Tool.
- Make sure you have at least a few reviews on the most important review sites – Google Business, Facebook and Yelp.
- Ensure your website links to all your social media accounts including (if you have them) Facebook, Instagram, Google Business, Pinterest, YouTube etc.
- You need dedicated pages for each of your key services.
- Your address and contact information needs to be included in full on your contact page, matching the format shown on your Google Business listing.