These days, search engine optimization (SEO) is not for the faint of heart. As Google continues to refine its algorithm, the path to ranking well in search has become increasingly complex.
You can’t simply slap a bunch of keywords on a page and expect to rank well. Search engine optimization has evolved from being technical-driven to being marketing-driven.
If your website isn’t generating sufficient traffic and it has a low position in search results, here are 7 things you need to consider:
1. Your Website Doesn’t Have the Right Mix of Keywords
Google isn’t looking for the same keyword over and over again. Search is becoming contextual, and that means having variations of your keyword and using natural language throughout your website content.
You also want to make sure you have important keywords and key phrases in crucial places – your page titles, your H1 and H2 headers, and your meta description.
2. You Aren’t Updating Your Site with New Content Frequently Enough
As we’ve mentioned before, you must commit to continuous content development to succeed in your online marketing activities.
While content is used for a variety of different purposes (inbound lead generation, lead nurturing, post-sales, etc.), it plays a critical role in search engine optimization. Creating new content on your website encourages Google to check back more often, therefore indexing your site more frequently.
This is why you need a blog that gets updated regularly.
3. You are Content Poor
“Panda”, one of Google’s larger recent updates, penalizes websites with poor quality content.
The solution is simple. Ensure your entire website and your blogs are well written, relevant, and not full of fluff or filler.
4. You Don’t Have Enough Content “Above the Fold”
Another Google algorithm is “Top Heavy”. It is meant to help serve search results that offer a good user experience. It punishes websites with ads, spam, or other non-user-oriented material at the top of the page.
You should ensure your most important content is “above the fold” when a user lands on your website – not only for search, but so you don’t lose prospects due to poor website usability.
5. You Have Shady Links from Around the Web Pointing to Your Website
Google’s “Penguin” update targets websites with spammy and unnatural links pointing to them. If you have suspect links, you need to get rid of them.
Google looks for sites with natural backlinks that are “earned”, and that indicate your content is deemed valuable by credible, external sources.
6. Your Website Isn’t Responsive to Mobile Devices
Back in April, we wrote a blog urging business owners to ensure they have a mobile-friendly website.
Well, “mobilegeddon” is here and websites that aren’t responsive to mobile are no longer doing as well in mobile search. As Search Engine Watch says, “Google gets half of its traffic, as well as half the views on YouTube, from mobile. If your site isn’t good with mobile, it’s not good with Google. People want mobile sites and it’s in any site’s best interest to be mobile-friendly.”
7. People “Bounce” when They Reach Your Site through Search
Google knows when searchers are exiting your site within seconds of clicking on it. This is called a “bounce”. It tells Google that your site isn’t the right one to be served up for that particular search term – it’s not seen as relevant by Google users.
You can reduce your website’s bounce rate by offering high quality content above the fold that aligns with what searchers are expecting when they find and land on your site.
The Bottom Line
Good search engine optimization tactics require research, developing quality content, and ensuring your website appeals to users (not to robots or advertisers). This re-enforces the idea that in order to gain visibility and credibility with search engines, you must have an outside-in perspective. In other words, be first and foremost marketing-driven.
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