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 Barry Tunstead of www.skulltec.co.uk.
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.
Barry’s primary service is scalp micropigmentation, so he needs a page that screams relevancy for this keyword. When reviewing the website, it seems this is missing.
Barry is using his home page to target this keyword, which is not optimal so this needs to be created, perhaps at a URL like /smp/. To give some direction I examined his on-page SEO for another internal page, his Aftercare page (see link).
- The main headline uses a H1 format which is correct, but the keyword is not specific enough. Right now the headline is ‘Aftercare’, when it should be something like ‘Scalp Micropigmentation Aftercare’.
- There are no H2 headlines in the content. Instead, the first sub-headline is formatted as a H3, with the only H2’s on the page being in the footer. This confuses Google. The sub-headline should be a H2, with the footer headers using either H3’s or H4’s.
- The content isn’t very engaging. Try to add more photos and a little more text.
- Some of the internal pages are very low on text, like this one. Google won’t rank these pages as they will deem them to be thin content.
overall website structure
This website adopts a flat hierarchical structure, but for the purpose of what this website is trying to do, that’s fine. The only thing I noticed is that the home page needs links to the internal pages.
In-content links are more powerful and send better relevancy signals to Google than navigation or footer links. You should still have these, but manually linking from the text on the home page to the internal pages definitely helps to get those pages ranked.
social proof and reviews
The website links to three social media channels: Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. Two of these accounts are fairly active, which sends a signal to Google that this website represents an active business, but try to update LinkedIn from time to time, or remove the link to it.
What surprised me however is that I can’t find any connection from the website to Barry’s excellent Google Business profile (visit page), where he has a ton of reviews. Google reviews are a powerful SEO signal, so although the Google Business profile does link to the website, the website should have a fourth social link to the Google Business profile.
I recommend Barry also looks for a way to feed his reviews to his website, like we do for our advertisers (example here). This way, they can read reviews without leaving the website. It’s not enough to copy and paste reviews into the site, there needs to be a dynamic link for Google to make the connection.
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.
I didn’t find any internal links on this website, so Barry is missing a trick here. 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%.
Skulltec.co.uk has a DA9 score and a spam rating of 1% which is weak. This may be enough to get ranked in Paisley, but its not strong enough to rank well in the neighbouring city of Glasgow, or for searches using the word ‘Scotland’.
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 skulltec.co.uk
moz spam score for skulltec.co.uk
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. Barry’s website is getting a speed rating of 53% and takes 17.7 seconds to load, which is really slow (verify here).
A score of 53%, and especially a site load time of 17.7 seconds, is low enough to have a significant impact on Barry’s rankings.
Barry’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:
- The website needs a main SMP page, as detailed above.
- The issue with H2 and H3 headlines, as detailed above, should be fixed.
- Many of the pages are very low on content.
- 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. Links should also be added to the internal pages from the home page.
- The website should be connected to the Google Business account and if possible, Google reviews should be dynamically fed into the site. Copy and paste is no good, it needs to be a dynamic generation.
- Quality inbound links are needed, as the Domain Authority (DA) is not high enough to rank for anything competitive. Maybe reach out to local news websites, but this needs to be a sustained effort to make up the shortfall.
- 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. The biggest issue is the video on the home page. A rethink is needed about how that is served to the website as right now it is slowing the site down significantly.
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.