When it comes to avoiding search engine penalties, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
More and more web users are browsing on phones and tablets every day—make sure your site looks snazzy on their devices.
Your visitors are starved for fresh content—keep the buffet going or watch your traffic vanish.
To be successful online, your company’s website has to rank for search phrases that your customers are interested in.
But once you’re ranking well, it’s not Mission Accomplished. Success is never indefinite, as any company who’s been burned by a Google algorithm update will tell you.
Sometimes your search rankings will plummet without warning.
You have to look at every aspect of your website to determine how to keep the good times rolling.
Here are 5 reasons why your company’s search engine rankings keep falling, with fixes for each…
Understand that search engine optimization (SEO) falls into one of two categories—white-hat and black-hat.
White-hat SEO consists of the approved methods for making websites search engine-friendly. Black-hat SEO is associated with techniques that are widely regarded as unethical and against the rules.
In the long-term, you have to use white-hat SEO practices for your website if you want to stay in Google’s good graces.
For the past few years, Google has been cracking down on low-quality websites using dishonest SEO practices. Any website that doesn’t follow these standards will have a penalty applied to it, resulting in an immediate decline in its search engine rankings.
Search engine penalties are a big deal.
Getting rid of a penalty can be a huge hassle and a lengthy process, best left to professionals (not the original guys you hired who ruined your search reputation).
Google has become very good at what they do.
In fact, they use your site’s visitor data to determine its overall quality. Google knows which sites people like and which sites people don’t like based on cold, hard data. They do this by collecting metrics from both Chrome browsers and their analytics platform.
Specifically, here are a few things that you should be paying attention to in your own analytics data:
If your site has better user statistics than your competition, you’ll start to win with search engines over time. If your site is worse, obviously the opposite is true.
Your site must keep people engaged! You need a website users love. A superior user experience comes from professional design and incredible content, which are easily in your power.
People aren’t just checking out your website from home computers anymore—and Google is well aware of the rise in mobile web users.
You have to alter your website to account for this shift.
Mobile users have overtaken desktop web browsers, and your website has to be able to load quickly on their devices—or else you run the risk of losing that particular individual as a regular visitor and face penalties from Google.
In addition to load times, your site needs to be mobile responsive. That means your site’s layout adapts to different screen sizes in a way that maintains the quality and message of your full site.
Responsive design coding ensures your site is viewed properly when people are on their phones or tablets. If your site hasn’t been coded to be mobile responsive, it’s definitely time for an upgrade.
Any piece of content that you post to your website has a limited shelf life.
Regardless of the traffic you’re getting, it probably won’t last if you quit making new stuff.
It’s extremely important for you to produce new content at least once per week, if not more often. You should consider establishing a blog to increase the opportunities you’ll have to post content (if you don’t have one already).
But keep in mind—your posting schedule shouldn’t come at the expense of quality. All major search engines use quality as a means for ranking any content that’s posted. Better two insanely useful, in-depth posts per month than 8 average articles.
You’ve got to commit to a content marketing strategy and a strict schedule for posts. We recommend at least 1 new piece of content per week.
Every single company in your industry wants the top search position on Google. The only variable that changes year in and year out is that you have more and better competition to battle.
Yes, you could watch your competitors’ sites like a hawk and copy their every move. But that’s a reactive mindset, and you need a proactive mindset to succeed online.
You have to stay vigilant in your efforts to continuously improve your website and infuse it with new content. Your audience has the ability to choose where they get their information from, so you need to give them a reason to stay loyal to you.
If you do anything, do it well and do it often. From site design to your content marketing, give your competitors a reason to toss and turn at night as they wonder what the hell they can do to beat you.
Winning with search engines takes much more effort now than it did in the past. These days search engine visibility is about having a superior site in every regard.
How do you stack up next to the competition? Do your customers have a clear reason to visit your site over another?
If not, what are you going to do about it?
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