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Seo Problems


Best Answer torka , 31 March 2015 - 10:04 AM

Rankings -- at least as most people try to use them -- are largely irrelevant. (Really.) I'm more interested in what sort of traffic all these sites are getting. Increasing? Decreasing? Staying the same? What sources? What are the conversion rates for the traffic from one source versus another? In other words, depending on the situation, increasing rankings can be an uphill battle. Would increasing traffic from another channel bring greater ROI than increasing rankings?

 

I know, I know, you specifically asked about rankings. And I understand, rankings look like a convenient measure of site health. It's really hard to get away from looking at rankings, because they seem like the sort of thing that should be important.

 

The thing is, there really isn't such as thing as a ranking for any given page, at least not in Google. Google personalizes rankings, even for people who aren't logged in to a Google account. If you use a couple of different rank-checking tools, you may very well get different results (and there's a good chance what the tools say won't agree with what you see when you search manually).

 

And of course, apparent rankings are highly specific to the given search term. Even a slight variation in a keyword that somebody uses to search could easily result in wildly different results.

 

So when somebody talks about "the" ranking for their page, right off the bat we're starting with a flawed premise.

 

But the biggest problem with using rankings as a measurement of performance is that some of the most significant factors influencing rankings are totally out of your control. One of the biggest, of course: the competition. Rankings don't exist in a vacuum. If one of your competitors invests more money into their optimization campaign or hires a better SEO or simply lucks in to doing more things right than you, they're going to move up in the results. And if they move up, you (and everyone else) must move down. There are only 10 spaces in the top 10. Anytime a new player moves into one of them, an existing page has to move out.

 

Site optimization these days needs to be focused on something other than simply maximizing rankings. Well, actually, good site optimization never focused on rankings. This is what we've been preaching on this forum for over 10 years, so it isn't exactly a new idea...

 

Optimization can be boiled down to a three-step process.

  1. Make your site as user-friendly as possible. Insure there are no technical impediments to either human or search engine bot visitors. Navigation needs to be intuitive and logical. Page layout should draw the visitor's attention to the most important elements on the page and make it easy for them to find the call to action. (Each of your pages already has a call to action, right?)
  2. Fill that site with the highest quality content possible. Don't confuse quantity or frequency with quality. It's not about how much or how often you post, but the fact that the stuff you do post is excellent. Informative, useful, engaging, educational, humorous... whatever is appropriate for the type of site and content. Just make it the absolute best it can be. (And of course take care of the basics: grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Proofreading is your friend.) It pays to be brutally honest with yourself -- or to ask someone else to be brutally honest with you. I've actually never run across a webmaster who admits the content on their site is low-quality, but I've certainly run across a metric crap-ton of sites with absolutely terrible content. I suppose no one likes to admit they have an ugly baby.
  3. Let other people know about your site. This can include such things as social media promotions, advertising and relationship-building with other webmasters, among others. The goal is not to "build links" (because any link you can place yourself will never be as valuable as a link that you earned from someone else) but rather to build relationships. You may find that properly promoting your site allows you to gain enough direct and referral traffic that you stop worrying about rankings and organic traffic. A website that relies on organic search for the bulk of its traffic is in a precarious position indeed. What Google giveth, Google can taketh away, with no advance notice, for any reason (or for no apparent reason at all). Organic search traffic should be treated as the icing on the cake, not the cake itself.

My :02:

 

--Torka :oldfogey:

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9 replies to this topic

#1 JordanRoper

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Posted 31 March 2015 - 05:13 AM

Hi guys,
 
I wonder if anyone can help with an urgent SEO issue that we are having?
 
We optimised (internal SEO mainly) many websites for regional search terms such as "business town) and they've always ranked well. However, no matter what we try with business-town.co.uk we can't seem to get anywhere. Please could you have a look and let me know if you can help?
 
Thanks in advance, 
 
Jordan

Edited by chrishirst, 31 March 2015 - 06:34 AM.


#2 chrishirst

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Posted 31 March 2015 - 06:36 AM

 

 

we can't seem to get anywhere

 

That's because you are about TEN years behind (at least) the times in your thinking. 



#3 JordanRoper

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Posted 31 March 2015 - 06:43 AM

Hi Chrishirst, thanks for your reply, please can you be more specific? All of our other clients rank well with the same structure, we personally feel that it is something wrong with the links and not the fact that we're 10 years behind? 



#4 Michael Martinez

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Posted 31 March 2015 - 10:04 AM

You may want to read this recent announcement from Google about their revised definition of doorway pages.

#5 torka

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Posted 31 March 2015 - 10:04 AM   Best Answer

Rankings -- at least as most people try to use them -- are largely irrelevant. (Really.) I'm more interested in what sort of traffic all these sites are getting. Increasing? Decreasing? Staying the same? What sources? What are the conversion rates for the traffic from one source versus another? In other words, depending on the situation, increasing rankings can be an uphill battle. Would increasing traffic from another channel bring greater ROI than increasing rankings?

 

I know, I know, you specifically asked about rankings. And I understand, rankings look like a convenient measure of site health. It's really hard to get away from looking at rankings, because they seem like the sort of thing that should be important.

 

The thing is, there really isn't such as thing as a ranking for any given page, at least not in Google. Google personalizes rankings, even for people who aren't logged in to a Google account. If you use a couple of different rank-checking tools, you may very well get different results (and there's a good chance what the tools say won't agree with what you see when you search manually).

 

And of course, apparent rankings are highly specific to the given search term. Even a slight variation in a keyword that somebody uses to search could easily result in wildly different results.

 

So when somebody talks about "the" ranking for their page, right off the bat we're starting with a flawed premise.

 

But the biggest problem with using rankings as a measurement of performance is that some of the most significant factors influencing rankings are totally out of your control. One of the biggest, of course: the competition. Rankings don't exist in a vacuum. If one of your competitors invests more money into their optimization campaign or hires a better SEO or simply lucks in to doing more things right than you, they're going to move up in the results. And if they move up, you (and everyone else) must move down. There are only 10 spaces in the top 10. Anytime a new player moves into one of them, an existing page has to move out.

 

Site optimization these days needs to be focused on something other than simply maximizing rankings. Well, actually, good site optimization never focused on rankings. This is what we've been preaching on this forum for over 10 years, so it isn't exactly a new idea...

 

Optimization can be boiled down to a three-step process.

  1. Make your site as user-friendly as possible. Insure there are no technical impediments to either human or search engine bot visitors. Navigation needs to be intuitive and logical. Page layout should draw the visitor's attention to the most important elements on the page and make it easy for them to find the call to action. (Each of your pages already has a call to action, right?)
  2. Fill that site with the highest quality content possible. Don't confuse quantity or frequency with quality. It's not about how much or how often you post, but the fact that the stuff you do post is excellent. Informative, useful, engaging, educational, humorous... whatever is appropriate for the type of site and content. Just make it the absolute best it can be. (And of course take care of the basics: grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Proofreading is your friend.) It pays to be brutally honest with yourself -- or to ask someone else to be brutally honest with you. I've actually never run across a webmaster who admits the content on their site is low-quality, but I've certainly run across a metric crap-ton of sites with absolutely terrible content. I suppose no one likes to admit they have an ugly baby.
  3. Let other people know about your site. This can include such things as social media promotions, advertising and relationship-building with other webmasters, among others. The goal is not to "build links" (because any link you can place yourself will never be as valuable as a link that you earned from someone else) but rather to build relationships. You may find that properly promoting your site allows you to gain enough direct and referral traffic that you stop worrying about rankings and organic traffic. A website that relies on organic search for the bulk of its traffic is in a precarious position indeed. What Google giveth, Google can taketh away, with no advance notice, for any reason (or for no apparent reason at all). Organic search traffic should be treated as the icing on the cake, not the cake itself.

My :02:

 

--Torka :oldfogey:


  • sillithomas likes this

#6 Jill

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Posted 31 March 2015 - 10:37 AM

Wow...isn't Google like 15 years late with that doorway page announcement?


  • chrishirst likes this

#7 Michael Martinez

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Posted 31 March 2015 - 08:40 PM

They're kind of slow at the Googleplex but random chance argues that sooner or later they'll come around on most technical details.

#8 torka

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Posted 01 April 2015 - 09:02 AM

Aw, cut 'em some slack. They've got a lot on their plates. ;)

 

--Torka :oldfogey:



#9 chrishirst

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Posted 01 April 2015 - 12:37 PM

... They've got a lot on their plates. ;)

Though much less than they used to have, apparently :)

#10 torka

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Posted 02 April 2015 - 08:37 AM

:eat:

 

--Torka :oldfogey:






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