For many websites, organic traffic represents over half of their visitor volume. What’s scary, however, is that any company could lose the value of months (or even years) of consistent and diligent SEO work in mere seconds. The main culprit? Not resolving SEO issues in a timely manner. As companies and web traffic grow, it’s easy to ignore small SEO issues and add them to the ‘to-do’ list. Those SEO ‘to-dos,’ however, add up and can cause skyrocketing bounce rates and free-falling traffic. As a marketing data analytics firm, we’ve assisted countless companies with their SEO issues, helping to prevent ranking, conversion, and sales losses.
Google Search Console
As a content marketing analytics company, we rely heavily on Google Search Console, as it reveals so much of what’s going on with your site’s traffic. Given that it is such an incredibly powerful tool, it can be overwhelming to know what to look for without help from a marketing data analytics firm. Here are a few things you can find in Google Search Console that are invaluable for troubleshooting your organic search traffic:
- Site errors and warnings
- Search queries that help your site appear in search results
- A list of internal and external pages that link to your website
- Crawl rate and when Google accesses your site
Although not comprehensive, these metrics are a fantastic first step to properly diagnosing any organic search issues you might be having. If your car breaks down, the first place you would look is under the hood. If your organic traffic begins to break down, the first place you should look is Google Search Console.
Every year, Google changes its algorithm over 600 times. Needless to say, it can be difficult to keep track of every change. As a marketing data analytics firm, we understand how important it is to keep track of each and every iteration, as it makes it possible to determine what changes you need to make and when. There are plenty of resources – like Moz, Search Engine Journal, and more – you can use to learn how changes will impact what Google is penalizing, why Google is making changes, and how you can stay on Google’s good side. If you begin to see a decline in your search traffic, you should review these resources to ensure your website is compliant with Google’s policies.
Quality of Content
As a key focal point for Google’s algorithm, they have worked to prevent low-quality and thin content from appearing in search results. In short, search engines work to provide the results that best match the search intent of a user. If you want to rank highly, you have to convince search engines you’re answering the questions of users. With that, we live by a simple principle when it comes to organic search traffic: Content Is King. Ensure the content you are posting answers prospect’s questions, utilizes strong H1s and H2s, leverages strong supporting imagery (don’t forget alt. text!), and isn’t stuffed with unnecessary keywords.
Having inbound links is one of the most valuable ways to signal to Google that your website is high-quality and authoritative. In short, an inbound link is a link from another website to yours. Although highly valued in Google’s organic search algorithm, the tricky part about inbound links is that you have very little direct control over them. Should you see a decline in your organic and/or referral traffic, using link checkers like Smallseotools and majestic is a great way to determine if there has been an inbound link decline for your website. If this is the case, a couple of ways you can strengthen your inbound linking strategy is by writing guest posts on websites and creating valuable original content that other writers can use.
Sudden drops in any traffic channel are scary. Given that organic traffic is composed of high-intent users, it can be even more concerning, as it means fewer conversions and revenue. Should this ever happen to you, avoid panicking. At the end of the day, it’ll likely be something easily identifiable and can be remedied quickly in-house or with the help of a marketing data analytics firm.
Interested in working with a content marketing analytics company to help troubleshoot your organic search traffic? Contact Us!
Over the past month, we’ve taken a close look at Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and how you can use it to improve your website’s performance. But how exactly does it work? We sat down with our resident SEO expert Joe for some insight on how to take advantage of Google’s crawling capabilities and prepare your website for longevity.
Q: We know that using certain keywords can help your website appear higher in search results, but how does Google know to look for these words and display your page first?
A: Google’s algorithms parse content from a holistic perspective. They index every word on your website based on thousands and thousands of criteria, but from a high-level, Google is looking at which words are being used frequently, commonly linked, and used in high-visibility positions (like an H1 heading).
In essence, Google attempts to parallel how people use websites. If a certain range or set of related words and concepts is being frequently used on a page and is being consistently linked to from other internal pages and external sites, that’s solid evidence that the page is likely a good source of content for those keywords. The more Google is assured of this, the more likely your search position will be strong.
Q: What is the real benefit of having blogs live on your site?
A: Like any other form of content, the SEO value blogs can have will depend on execution and positioning. I believe the biggest benefit of blogs is that they offer a consistent opportunity to diversify the content on a website, with little impact on the navigation and content hierarchy.
Blogs enable site owners to feature content that can be otherwise independent of the site navigation. Blogs also allow site owners to publish content that may otherwise be too niche to present on the main menu, too broad to push into one corner of the site, or too seasonal to keep around permanently. The transience of blogs let content exist for the sake of content, rather than website politics. That freedom translates to a diverse range of content, and it’s often the case that popular blog posts are not necessarily ones that communicate product features or service offerings, but those that articulate a peripheral topic of interest.
Without blogs, websites lack dynamism and diversity. Blogs help expand the reach of a website’s overall audience, and Google’s search algorithms will take that into account.
Q: What are the top five mistakes people usually make that cause poor search results?
- Losing the forest for the trees: People can fall into a black hole trying to identify every single small factor in SEO, but ROI is best maximized by tackling the major coefficients of the search algorithm – valuable content and a logical content hierarchy
- Not optimizing meta titles and descriptions: Most people see these as throwaway tasks, but at the end of the day, a site’s meta titles and descriptions are major factors in determining clickthrough rate at the search engine results page.
- Internal linking: Google’s crawlers are increasingly being programmed to replicate how humans approach and use a website. Internal links are more important than ever to guide crawlers and demonstrate what content focuses certain pages have.
- Overstuffed keyword lists: The more keywords a website tries to optimize for, the less the website will actually be optimized for any of those keywords. Aim for a lean keyword list that is regularly reviewed and re-optimized for.
- Content density: Aim to have at least 200 words for any page considered desirable for search. Anything less, and the search algorithms won’t have enough physical text to parse for scoring.
Q: Do I have to use paid search to improve SEO? What are your top three suggestions for improving SEO organically?
A: Paid search is a bonus because it can be used to “crowd” the search engine results page, giving your brand a feeling of authority, but it in no way directly affects your SEO. Top suggestions for improving SEO through organic means include:
- Researching and writing about relevant, popular content topics that people are interested in learning about.
- Developing content about topics not covered by our competitors.
- Identifying local geographical opportunities for optimization.
Q: How often do I need to update my website to keep my position in search?
A: It depends on the nature of the industry that the website operates within. A mature manufacturing industry may simply not have new topics of interest week-to-week, while a growing or dynamic industry, like electric vehicles, may necessitate daily updates to stay relevant and up-to-date.
Q: What are some tools that I can use to learn more about my website and its SEO performance?
A: Google Search Console is a completely free service provided by Google that uses Google’s own data to help site stakeholders benchmark keyword performance. More importantly, it provides data on visibility versus clickthrough, helping identify what keywords are underperforming despite their high position. All site owners should at the very least check it on occasion – the data there is incredibly valuable in understanding the nature of a website’s organic traffic before and after they arrive on the site.
SEO is not something that can be done overnight. It takes time to strategically plan and develop relevant content. Digital agencies that specialize in SEO like Bluetext can help improve your site both for the short-term and for the long-haul.
In today’s Internet ecosystem, there seems to be a blog for everything. Fashion blogs, fan club blogs, cooking blogs, review blogs — you name it. Blog types range from personal, professional, niche-interest and most importantly, business.
This begs the question; who writes these blogs? What does it take to be a blogger?
The beauty of the Internet is anyone can be a blogger. Blog writers range from influencers to B2B government contractors! In 2019 there were over 500 million blogs published on the Internet. Blogging is more than just a hobby, it is actually a very useful digital marketing tool.
What is the point of these blogs?
The average reader might guess entertainment. But to a digital content strategy firm, the value is search engine optimization.
But what does that mean and why should my company care about SEO?
Search engine optimization, or SEO, refers to the strategic content writing and website design meant to increase a website’s organic visibility. With over 3.5 billion Google searches a day, it is critical for customers, partners, and even investors to be able to find information about your business through search engines.
Blogging helps boost SEO quality by positioning your website as an appropriate answer to your customers’ questions. When potential customers and partners enter queries or keywords into the search engine, they are matched with algorithm-based results Google has determined most valuable and relevant to their search intent.
When you optimize web pages — including blog posts — you’re making your website more visible to people who are entering keywords associated with your product or service via search engines like Google.
But…how do I optimize?
There is more to a search engine optimization strategy than repeating select phrases over and over again! A digital content marketing agency will advise you to be smart about your blog. Almost as smart as Google’s algorithms, which crawl websites to determine which websites best match the intent of each user.
Sound complicated? It is, but your search engine optimization strategy doesn’t need to be. A consistently updated blog can be an incredibly effective and user-friendly way to boost your website’s organic search rank.
A digital marketing and analytics agency will analyze not only your business’ website but also competitors’ sites to identify a strategic blend of keywords to integrate into your website. Blog pages are an optimal place to include keywords because content can naturally accommodate frequently searched subjects. Using digital marketing and analytics tools, such as SEMrush or Moz, a top search engine optimization firm will recommend a series of blog topics and titles, a strategic cadence for updating your blog, and some expert tips and tricks.
Here are Bluetext’s top tips and tricks to blogging your way to the top:
- Identify the focus keywords. These should 2-3 phrases or words per post that receive high levels of search volume but have a realistically achievable level of competition.
- Head for the headers! H1 text and titles are weighted more heavily by search engines. Put your keywords in these fields, but don’t fill your pages with H1’s, as this will deduct from your search equity.
- Repeat, repeat, repeat. Aim to repeat the selected keywords 4-5 throughout the post. However, be warned: Google crawlers are smart. They value relevancy and will not rank a site that seems inauthentic or filled with spam-like content.
- A picture is worth a thousand words…quite literally! Place your keywords in the alt text section on post images, and Google crawlers will include this in your keyword count and most users won’t ever even notice.
For more tips and tricks when it comes to blog writing and SEO, check out our blog.