About this series: We love it when website owners generate free reports of their site (and their competitors’ sites!). But sometimes, we take it upon ourselves to generate a free report of a website of our choosing, and take a look at what it’s doing well and where it has space for change. Each website tells a different story and fights a different battle, so we like to go into detail about potential improvements. Today’s teardown is for consulting firm D.Hilton, which focuses on compensation planning, executive recruiting and retention and retirement.
The site’s score is solid as evidenced by the orange colour, but to get it up to green there are a few things that can be done. It is important to note that this site operates in a niche which means their audience is very specific and although at first it may seem harder to rank well in search engine results, this will give them many opportunities in the content creation area.
The site’s visitors are mainly in the Unites States, and this is good since that’s their target audience. In their traffic breakdown, search engine queries are bringing in traffic, but Direct traffic (users that have the site bookmarked, or those who type in dhilton.com directly into their browser) is also high and that’s a great sign because it means they likley have a high number of recurring visitors. Social referrals are not that high, but with a few actions we’ll detail below in the Social section, we can see that number rise.
The Site Review section deals technical issues on your site relating to user experience. We see that the site is taking too long to load, which can drive away users who do not appreciate slow-loading sites (i.e., most of them). This can be done by optimising images, minimising redirects, leveraging browser caching among other things. On this site there is one internal broken link which is something that should be fixed immediately. What are broken links exactly? When you end up on a page that says 404 Error, that’s because of a broken link. They’re usually caused by renaming or moving a page and not updating the internal link for it, linking to other pages and not updating the link when they change the URL, or linking to specific content like a PDF that has been removed. Simply put, users prefer and expect s site that runs smoothly (and Google knows this).
This section is a little more technical, but it is one of the ‘easiest’ to fix. Things like duplicate tags (title tags must be written differently for every page), extra long titles for pages, lack of alt tags for images (if images don’t show in a browser, the alt tag will show text in place of the image, giving context to the contents of the image), are all small things that can make a difference when Google is ‘reading’ your site. As you can see, fixing these errors may be time consuming, but it isn’t difficult. If you are on WordPress, Squarespace, Wix or Weebly, these are easy changes to make. If you are on a different platform, you might want to check with your webmaster.
The folks over at dhilton.com dide a good job with their mobile site, since it site looks good on desktop, tablet and smartphones. A site that looks awful on mobile is one of the most frustrating points that visitors face. As you can see, there is one great big red NO in this section, which refers to whether or not the mobile site loads quickly. Since the desktop version does not load quickly, it makes sense that the mobile is also a little too heavy. This can be fixed following the same guidelines we mentioned before, and following the more technical instructions on Google’s PageSpeed Insights test.
The Popularity section deals with backlinks and how popular your site is. Dhilton.com has 507 backlinks which is very good, and a higher number than what we normally see, especially from websites focused on such narrow niches. We’d encourage them to seek links from a larger range of websites (they have a high number of links but the number of websites these are coming from is a little low in proportion), and see what links their competitors have.
The site is doing very well on LinkedIn, which makes sense since they are in a niche industry and mostly deal with Executives and other businesses. We would suggest they continue focusing on LinkedIn to generate leads, with a particular focus on creating specific articles for their followers and submitting them to Pulse. For instance, they could create a series of posts talking about the results of their survey on how credit unions nationwide approach executive compensation and retention planning. Joining and participating in relevant groups can also give your website traffic a boost and bring you good leads.