Reviewing our site reviews: highly satisfied customers!

We have been doing website reviews for more than 3 years now. Recently, we decided to update our format. We now offer different types of reviews, varying in depth of the analysis and in price accordingly. After completing a review, we usually have some contact with our customers (we answer questions about the review), but we were relatively clueless about the effects of our reviews. Do people really implement our advice? And are they satisfied? Do our reviews lead to more traffic and sales or to higher ranking in Search Engines? Time for a little research!

Very satisfied customers

A few weeks ago we asked our site review customers to give their opinion about the review we did for their websites. More than 100 of our customers took the time to fill out our short questionnaire (thanks guys!). Not at all surprisingly, most of our customers (82 %) have a WordPress site. They mostly maintain a blog, or a company site. We have customers from all over the world, but the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and the Netherlands are home countries to most of our clients.

We first asked our customers to indicate on a scale from 1 to 10 how satisfied they were with the review we made for them. A very large majority (67 %) was very satisfied with our review, rating it with an 8 or higher.

graph 1: satisfaction with site review, scale from 1 to 10

About 1 in 5 customers (20 %) even rated our review with a perfect 10! That is an amazing result and we are very proud of that! People who were not satisfied mostly indicate that they had very different expectations from our review. The advice was (in their opinion) not practical and too obvious. Admittedly, our advice is a narrative and can be lengthy. Improving (the ranking of) your website unfortunately is not a simple trick or a button you can push. It will need your on-going attention.

Advice implemented

We also asked our review customers to what extent they had implemented our advice on their website. Our results show that most customers took the time and effort to implement more than half of our recommendations. On average, people tend to implement about 65 % of our advice.

graph 2: percentage advice implemented

We were also very curious to see in which areas people were most inclined to follow our advice. We therefore asked our customers to indicate in which areas they had implemented our recommendations. Our results show that the chapter ‘General SEO’ is the most implemented part of our review. Fewest people improve upon their Template Code.

graph 3: percentage customers implementing various parts of the review

No guarantees for ranking

Most important purpose for the majority of our review clients to order a website review is to strengthen their ranking in Google. To what extent does implementation of our advice actually lead to a higher ranking in Google?

Some agencies claim to guarantee higher ranking if people use their services. At Yoast we never claim such guarantees. SEO just isn’t a mathematical law. The competitiveness of your niche is a very (if not the most) important predictor for whether or not your site will rank. Our website review will give you a clear overview of all the important aspects of SEO specifically applied to your website. Whether or not the review results in higher ranking depends on your ability to implement the recommendations and on the competitiveness of your niche. That being said: what do our reviews accomplish in terms of ranking when asked at our clientele?

Higher ranking in 52 % of the cases

The results of our survey show a strong correlation between the percentage of recommendations implemented and the ranking in Google. This means that the larger the extent to which people followed our recommendations, the more people indicated that the ranking of their site in Google was strengthened. The results of our study show that half of the people (52%) who implemented 90% or more of our advice indicated that their ranking in Google had improved. Note: the other 48 % did not notice any change (only 4 individuals claimed a deterioration of their ranking in Google).

It appears that following advice not specifically written with SEO in mind, pays of in terms of SEO nevertheless: implementing the ‘General SEO’ recommendations solely resulted in higher ranking in only 30 % of the cases. It appears that clients who follow the total of our recommendations have highest chances to increase their ranking in Google.

On-going process

Trying to optimize your website for search engines is, as I already said, no mathematical law. It is by no means a trick or a button you can push. The general SEO advice is of course most specific for SEO, but aspects of UX, site speed and template code are important for improvement in ranking and in increasing traffic as well.

Our recommendations come as a package and you should implement them simultaneously as much as possible. Most of our advice will be oriented towards a long-term strategy to keep your website optimized. Optimizing your website is an on-going process, which of course can start with some quick adjustments. Our review will help you start this process and give you handles to keep it going. Interested: You are, of course, very welcome to order a Website Review yourself!

This post first appeared on Yoast. Whoopity Doo!