Some websites just cannot be optimised for Google

Posted on January 18, 2019

 

I spoke with someone recently who wanted to achieve more from their website. They’ve had site for almost two years, but over that time have received very little from it in terms of enquiries.

This is not uncommon.

The website itself was relatively cheap when they had it built by another company, with a lower cost up front followed by a monthly fee. There’s nothing wrong with this as a model, as we have a similar offer at Engage Web where we offer a website for £99+VAT per month with no upfront fee.

You can see more about this in the video.

However, the person I spoke with had one severe limitation with their website, something I’d not encountered for many years with a website. It was limited with regards to the number of pages they were allowed to have. The website had just five pages, and it wasn’t possible under their ‘plan’ to have any more without paying an additional fee.

Over 10 years ago, I had seen web designers offer to build websites on fixed-page packages, such as three pages for x amount, five pages for x amount and so on. I had believed this limited-page method of selling websites had died out, especially when the vast majority of websites are database driven, meaning the number of pages you have makes no odds to the design process.

The problem is that with a five-page website, you’ll never get the sort of business you would with an unlimited page website. When you optimise a website for search terms, you should be focusing on one page for a particular product, service or problem your business solves. This means that the really successful websites have hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands and even hundreds of thousands of pages. Each one ranks for different phrases, bringing you traffic for lots of different search terms.

You cannot expect a five-page website to rank well for dozens of search terms, no matter what content you add to it. It cannot feature blogs, news or articles – something which is essential for rankings, traffic and increased enquiries. It cannot be truly successful because it’s just so limited.

Unfortunately I had to explain this bad news, and explain how Engage Web couldn’t optimise the website for them. It would have been unethical of me to have offered to do this, considering we could have never achieved the desired results with a five-page website.

Of course, the real issue here is who is still making limited-page websites and selling them to businesses looking for a website, and convincing them they’ll actually work? When you look to have a website designed, and you’re told you can only have a fixed number of pages, you should realise what that means in terms of reduced business. A fixed number of pages means a fixed number of possible optimised search terms, which means a fixed number of potential rankings, which means a fixed number of visits from search engines.

This means a fixed number of enquiries – usually fixed at zero.

Darren Jamieson

Technical Director at Engage Web
Darren is Technical Director at Engage Web, as well as being a co-founder of the company. He takes a hands-on approach to SEO and web design, helped by more than 15 years’ experience in these fields.

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