What with Panda, Penguin and the latest Venice update last week, it’s been an eventful few months over at Google.
Now it’s been reassuring to know that Add People customers have weathered the effects of these changes very well indeed to date, certainly a testament to the way our SEO services have evolved with search engines over the past few years.
But we’re not content to rest on our laurels – SEO is an ever changing science and it’s important to stay ahead of the curve if you’re going to succeed.
We work with thousands of small to medium sized businesses, and among the many continued success stories we have seen a small minority of customers who are finding difficulties. But some common themes are reoccurring, so fresh from the minds of our SEO experts, here are seven great tips to recover your rankings or help keep your site on top of the pile.
1. Check your site for duplicate content
It’s tempting to copy good content from another site or copy content from your old site. But if you’ve done either Google will be in the process of hammering your ranking score.
Run a quick check for this at www.copyscape.com. Where duplication is highlighted, remove and replace it with fresh and relevant content.
2. Quality check the content on your site.
Google loves content, and it really loves it fresh. So even if there’s no duplication issue, now is a good time to check through your site, get inspired and publish some freshly written, relevant content on all your main pages. If you have a blog remember to update it regularly, and if you don’t we suggest getting one installed.
3. Try loading your website without typing in “www” first
If Google discovers your web pages from multiple URL’s, it is going to declare them as duplicate (as per point 1). Hence you need to tell Google what your preferred URL is. This is commonly called a ‘canonical’ issue.
Run a test by simply typing in your URL without the www e.g. for www.addpeople.co.uk just type addpeople.co.uk in the browser. If your website doesn’t load as normal then you have a problem, which your web developer should be able to help you with.
4. Check all pages on your website load correctly
Google is penalising sites with broken links that suggest the site isn’t being well maintained. If any of the main pages on your site doesn’t load, pass this on to your web developers to do list.
5. Look at your backlink anchor text profile
Put as simply as possible every link into your site should have ‘anchor text’. If a high proportion of the links into your site have the same ‘anchor text’ (it’s unclear as to the exact percentage) Google thinks your link profile is unnatural. Try diluting this with fresh, manually generated inbound links with a diversity of anchor text and, if you’ve invested in link building services in the past, get someone to look into your link profile with a view to getting some of them deleted to restore balance.
Add People customers remember we can help you out with a free link audit.
6. Install Google+ and Google Places
Google increasingly emphasises searches conducted locally, something that will hit home over the coming weeks as the latest ‘Venice’ update starts to take effect. We recommend installing these tools to help the visibility of your site (and if you’re a customer we’ll do this for you!).
Remember once you’ve got it, use it! Update your Google+ account with regular unique content which people in your circles will find interesting, and if you can find the time we’d recommend becoming an active member of an online community where you can interact with potential customers.
7. Be patient, act on these recommendations and hang in there!
SEO is a long haul strategy and any changes will take time to take effect so there’s no click of the finger solution here. But by doing the right things and following best practice guidance like this you will reap the benefit and build better ranking sustainability in the long run.