Most of what you see from Acadia is thought leadership, updates about Acadia’s accomplishments, and celebrations of our client wins - as marketing director, I want to share some behind the scenes looks at what we, as the Acadia marketing team, do to market the agency.
Just like our clients come to us to help with their marketing needs, Acadia has the same needs that must be identified, planned and actioned. In this blog I'm going to take you through my first priority when I started with Acadia, improve our SEO. Backend and technical SEO doesn’t have the glamor associated with it as re-designing a homepage or working on new creative assets. But without doing the maintenance work to keep your site healthy, it’s crucial in achieving your brand's growth goals.
My day one priority working with Acadia was to review our website and check its health. It is our flagship asset when it comes to showcasing who we are, what we do and why we do it.
First step was getting access to our SEMrush account. To my great joy we already had Acadia.io set up as a property and the tracking was in place. In my previous experiences this level of care was not always taken. So before we could start fixing any issues we’d have to find out what they were.
The initial error count on the Acadia site was 330 technical errors. Not the most i’ve ever seen, but certainly not the least. These errors had left the Acadia site with a 74% site health rating. This was a big concern for me. The benchmark for good site health is 90% or higher and while it may fluctuate from time to time, that is the minimum standard we’re looking for.
Do you remember the feeling from being back in school when you had homework or assignments from every class and they all needed to get done ASAP? If not then you were a better planner than I was at that age.
Our 330 errors were split into 8 categories, including:
- Incorrect pages on the sitemap
- 5XX status pages
- 4XX Status pages
- Broken internal links
- Duplicate content issues
- Duplicate title tags
- Duplicate meta descriptions
- Broken external links
As a result of merging multiple sites to create the Acadia site we had some common issues. All in all the marketing team had to review each issue and decide if the page needed to be edited, redirected, or removed since it was no longer needed. Our plan was that of divide and conquer.
The plan paid off immediately. Within 3 days of making the initial fixes we had resolved 220 errors. The site health had a slight improvement, but usually takes a couple of days to react. But with methodical progress working through the plan our errors steadily decreased and the site health continued to improve.
Within 4 weeks of starting this process we had resolved 330 issues and raised our site health from 74% to 88%.
Technical SEO and site maintenance is far from the sexiest thing a marketer can do to work on their brand. It’s not as creative as designing a new website, or planning a photo shoot, or even posting an update on social media. But without the foundational work of having a healthy functioning website, all your hard work doing the other things won’t pay off as well as it should. Google likes sites that are healthy and optimized to its algorithm, that’s how you can rank higher and gain authority status.
This initial success for Acadia’s SEO efforts are far from being done. We still have much left to do. In the next blog in this series i’ll provide an update into our progress after our initial 3 months of working.
Jonathan Kahn is the Marketing Director at Acadia