Find out where the owners of this French Bed and breakfast are going wrong and what they need to do if they want to improve their online visibility.
Hi everyone and congratulations to the owners of the bed and breakfast “la besace.fr”, who have won this month’s ranking academy’s amazing free web site audit.
What do you mean it’s not an amazing prize!
Within a few minutes you will discover where the owners of this charming French B&B are going wrong and what they need to do if they want to grow their clientele on time for the summer season.
I’ll show you amazing!
The audit assesses 6 key areas which are crucial for online success if you’re a small business owner.
Google my business profile
On line Reviews
Social media profiles
The audit wouldn’t be complete without taking into consideration the competition and includes comparisons with two key competitors.
This is really useful as it gives us a precise idea as to what we need to do if we want to be ahead of them.
Let’s start with having a look at the website content
The very first thing I am going to check is whether or not the la-besace.fr is responsive, meaning, does the site display well on a mobile phone or tablet. This is key since 50% of web users these days use a mobile device. This number is even greater for local searches. So let’s have a look.
Let’s go to mobiletest.me and do a search for la besace on an iPhone 5
Conclusion: it isn’t. Google pays a lot more attention to mobile friendliness and has incorporated this as a signal in their ranking formula. Not being mobile friendly will cost you in a long run as you will be penalised by Google and people who visit your site will quickly bounce out of it. Go responsive.
Now let’s move on to the content starting with the home page.
The home page of any site is the most important page. That’s what Google will see first and that’s where most links will point to.
There is hardly any content for Google to see apart from two images. You should have, at the very least, around 500 words on any given page, let alone your home page.
There seems to be content available in English and in French. This is a big no, no. You shouldn’t mix languages on the same page as it is confusing for search engines. If you are targeting different markets you will need a specific site per market.
The title of the page, which is a key signal for search engines, says “acceuil” which translates to welcome in English and that’s it. There isn’t any keyword in there, not even the name of the business.
Conclusion, nothing on the home page of la besace.fr indicates to Google what this site is about, what business this is or even what they are called. This is pretty bad altogether. On the plus side there is major room for improvement.
Let’s dig a bit deeper into the English version of the site.
Let’s pretend we are the google robot or crawler as it’s called and visit la-besace.fr. In order to do this I have installed on my browser a little tool that helps me mimic what the google crawler will see.
The result, as you can see, is pretty abysmal.
There is literally no content available for google to crawl apart from a navigation bar which gives a very slight hint as to what this site maybe about with a link called “room”. All other links are very obscure with no keywords in place.
Clicking on the option “description” reveals a page where I can finally find some content but it’s very thin indeed. And once again there is no use of any relevant keywords in key places like the titles of pages or even the content itself.
Going through each and every one of these pages reveals a cruel lack of essential signals for any search engine to be able to rank this site for terms that could be highly relevant like B&B in France or guest room in France etc…
The outcome of the full content audit revealed that there were zero keywords in any on any page, content or images meaning that it will be literally impossible for la besace to appear in google unless you type its name as it is in the main URL.
Your content is the most important part of all the signals you can send to Google. If you need to get one thing implemented correctly this is it. Here la besace is way of the mark
Let’s now have a look at the second most important area, links signals.
Links are essential in order to determine the importance of a site.
An easy way to understand how it works is by comparing links to a voting system. For one link pointing to your site you have one vote. Each vote however carries a different weight. A link from, let’s say, BBC-travel pointing to my site will carry a lot more weight than a link from my neighbour’s blog. In the end whoever has the most quality votes is likely to be elected to the number 1 spot in Google…simple
As mentioned earlier the links available on la-besace site itself do not use any relevant keywords. Internal links play a part in helping Google understand what your pages are about so why not implement them when you can?
Internal links are not, however, as important as external links.
External links is where the true benefits lie. Let’s have a look at the results of our external linking audit and what it reveals.
The domain authority, or domain importance if you prefer, of “la besace” is weaker than its competitors. 15 vs 19 (these are scores out of 100) . This scoring is based on the number and quality of links pointing to each site. This result means that la-besace is likely to be behind its competitors in search engines results as they have less importance.
La besace would clearly benefit from gathering more links in order to outplay its competitors. This shouldn’t be too hard as the gap between them is pretty narrow.
Let’s now look at another key area, business citations.
Citations are a very important aspect to the online success of local businesses.
A citation is a mention of your business name, address and phone number somewhere on the web.
They are generally found in key directories such as the yellow pages, yelp, Thomson local directory etc.…
Citations help search engines validates that a business is who we think it is. The business information provided needs to be exact and identical everywhere it is mentioned.
Let’s have a look at what the audit shows.
The citation profile of la-besace is not great and shows only a 44% completion rate.
This is based on 22 major directories I have identified as being key for citations. La besace is only mentioned in 11 out of the 22. So surely the completion score should be 50% right?
Wrong. This is because the business information for la besace in some of those directories is inconsistent, bringing the total to only 44%.
Fortunately the audit also revealed that the citation profile for both competitors was poor meaning la besace could get an edge on its competitors if it was corrected.
Let’s now move on to our next area, customer reviews.
Online customer reviews are another key factor for local online visibility. Why?
Because they will help you rank better in search engines, they will encourage people to click on your site in search engines and they will influence your customer’s decisions.
Let’s have a look at the outcome of the customer reviews audit for our winner.
The review profile for la besace is pretty straight forward
Number of customer reviews in Google = Nil point
Number of customer reviews in Yelp = Nil point
Number of customer reviews in trip advisor = 21 points
Not great since trip advisor will not really influence Google’s results.
Furthermore, one of their competitors does have reviews in Google and Yelp meaning they will have an edge.
There is a twist however in this story.
It seems that the competitor in question has collected a number of negative reviews. This means there is a fair amount of people who are not satisfied with the service they provide.
Looking at the reviews posted for la besace in Trip advisor shows a very high level of satisfied customers with a score of 4.5 out of 5.
Getting similar reviews in Google and Yelp would help their visibility a great deal, not to mention that they would annihilate their competitors. They would need around 1.5 times more reviews in google to outclass their direct competitor. In this instance that means 5 reviews in google would suffice. Surely that’s easily achievable.
Next area, Social media
Small business owners tend to struggle with managing and maintaining a web site, let alone multiple social media streams. There is however a disproportioned amount of efforts and budget invested in social media from small business owners as they feel it will bring them a lot of business.
I’d say less is best. Focus on your site first and foremost and if you have any spare time and cash, you might want to consider investing in other platforms such as twitter Facebook etc.. Having said that social Medias play a part in the overall visibility of your site and are not to be ignored. Let’s have a look at La besace profile.
La besace does indeed have a Facebook account. Unfortunately it doesn’t look very well maintained. Only one post in 2016 which looks less than engaging and two posts in 2015. There is no check in either which is a shame for a B&B.
There is no post in google plus either and no presence on YouTube or Instagram.
As I said, I do not suggest to be present on all of the above but if you have a Facebook account then you might want to post a little more than twice a year as it will help too.
Each business will be different and some social media platforms are more useful than others. It’s up to the business owner to see what is likely to be the most suitable solution for their business needs.
Finally let’s have a look at our last but not least item of the audit, Google my business
Google my business has been created specifically by Google for small businesses. Having a Google my business profile is an essential weapon to have in your arsenal.
You must fill it in correctly as it will be used in many places across the web. It is also the opportunity to show case your business with some really inspirational imagery and description and encourage potential customers to get in touch.
Let’s have a look at what the audit revealed
La besace’s Google my business account is 80.9% complete. This is simply due to the fact that some images are missing in a few categories and in some of the categories there is none at all. Other than that it’s a pretty complete profile. Let’s have a look.
The imagery used also looks slightly amateurish. The difference between a set of professional looking imagery and pictures you take yourself will greatly influence the opinion people make of your business. You shouldn’t judge a book on its cover but when you only have the cover to look at…
Anyway in this case I feel it would be worth investing a little bit of money in a professional photographer in order to get some really inspiring photography which will help convince potential clients that la besace is a great place to stay, which I’m sure it is. These images could be reused on the site which would be consistent with the Google my business profile and even on social media.
Completing the missing categories with relevant imagery and updating opening and closing time would bring the completion of the profile to 100% helping further with visibility.
Phew! All done. So does it look bleak for la besace-fr? Not at all.
I feel confident they could largely improve their online visibility by implementing the recommendations I’ve made. Most of which are free. Both competitors are in the same boat and it would take no time for la besace to do a lot better than them.
You too could be our next winner. Go to rankingacademy.co.uk/audit and register for our next draw. If you win you will receive a fully detailed audit result along with recommendations which should help you boost your business online…What are you waiting for?