Category Archives: SEO Strategies

How Not to Panic Over Lost SEO Rankings

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Working as an SEO, I’ve learned it’s imperative to make sure that rankings stay around the same daily average, as have most people in this field. When they drop suddenly, it’s hard not to panic and go into over-drive trying to figure it out. Hopefully, my guide will be able to give you some clarity and help lower that stress by pointing out where some issues might be and how to fix them.

Was There Really a Change?

Sometimes ranking trackers don’t update locally the way they should, or it could have picked up an online ranking experiment. Believe it or not, the best way to rectify this is to look at the organic traffic on your page and see if it has dropped. Here are some things to consider:

Did it drop over a holiday weekend?

Is it a more emphasized drop than the usual ups and downs of the month? Look at a week-by-week basis to find out.
• Are the drops on the same days of the week continually?
• Did another search console have the same results?
• Looking at your tracker, does it show continuous ranking drops?
• Try looking at specific keywords over time

If everything is still up except for your rankings tool data, be patient and keep checking it. There can be plenty of fluctuation, so wait to see if this is a real issue or not.

What May Have Gone Wrong

Many trackers updates their algorithms almost daily if not more often than that. If you think that yours may have updated their algorithm, look for any articles or blogs that might make a note of the change around the time that the changes started.

Have any of your friends noticed a change? As an SEO, I’ve been able to make a good network of friends in the SEO circle who would likely be having the same issues and have some good ideas for different tests to run.

If Google did decide to update, you’d have to figure a way to get your rankings back up. Most importantly, find out what change was made, and why? What is it that they are looking to cut out of SEO?

Changing or Losing Links

Look over the site and see what links are there and if any are missing. If multiple links have gone missing from the site, you’ll have to try and replace them. Is it for the whole site, or is it for a group of pages or one page specifically from the site?

Did any of the links that these went to suffer drops as well or have they decided to update their page? This can have an effect on your links. Even just the URL or content can make a difference. If this is your problem, it’s important to figure out how to get them back. Try fixing the problem by:

• Reach out to the site owner and original provider of the links
• Find out if the links being removed was an accident
• See if the links now go to a new source – and then figure out how to make your links better than theirs.
• Ask your team to buy new links to replace what’s been lost

Page Changes

If the page has been modified at all, they might be misread and may not parallel as much to the actual target keyword. To combat this:

• Never change your URL
• Check for the presence of the target keyword in the page titles, and H1 and H2s
• Check that the keyword density is still the same
• Make sure Google can read all content on your page
• Watch for server and crawl reports to ensure that search engines can find your site.

Also, check to see if internal links were changed, site navigation or key pages were updated.

The Competition

Sometimes, rankings drop because of outside reasons. If your competitor is ranking higher than it was before, it’s time to go through their sites and see what you need to change to make yours better.

The Future of SEO

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SEO has come a long way recently, moving from focusing on only keywords, content, and link-building to focusing on brand building and influencing search queries. This is a much more inclusive approach and goes far beyond simple link-building and creating content around a pile of keywords.  Do not get us wrong, we understand that these are essential building blocks in successful SEO.

future-search-ss-1920-800x450

However, as time evolves we are noticing a trend in SEO that will make up its future.  Here are some of the pillars of the future of SEO:

  1. RankBrain. RainkBrain is an algorithm update done by Google.  It is highly misunderstood, even though it is the third most significant ranking factor within the Google algorithm.  Although there are disputes amongst marketers regarding RankBrain and what it does and doesn’t do, there are several ideas about what RankBrain does not do that are agreed upon.  RankBrain does not do any acting on your back link profile, neither does it act on your click through rate or quality content. What it does do is help Google’s algorithm to better understand search queries and then match them to relevant content.
  2. Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). Google conducted an AMP project back in February of this year. The results from this project were integrated into Google’s search results in the form of ‘Top Stories’. These stories appeared in carousel format on mobile devices.  In August, Google started displaying links to these same AMP pages in the main organic search results list. Now, even if there are relevant app pages, mobile devices will be directed towards AMP pages when conducting searches.
  3. Knowledge Graph. Google’s Knowledge Graph was introduced back in 2012 and it is their way of organizing information and making it universally accessible.  In a nutshell, search engine results gathered from a wide variety of sources are organized.  For a brand manager, such as an Indianapolis SEO expert, this means that they are looking to control the queries, conversation, and impression that people have of them.
  4. Real-Time, Integrated Penalty Filters. This refers to Penguin, which was also integrated into Google’s algorithm. Data on your SERP is updated and refreshed every time Google re-crawls and indexes them. This helps search results to constantly fight spam.

SEO Value of Quality Links

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Links matter in SEO.  And it’s a good thing, too, because a recent study shows that links are still a prime contributing factor when it comes to rankings.  Everybody can breath a sigh of relief.  A lot has changed in the internet world in the past few years, but it seems that the value of links are still holding true.  Google itself is claiming that links are in the top two most important factors when it comes to promoting your site.

the-power-of-links-740x400So then why are we even talking about this?

Even though we have established that links are still important, we haven’t talked about why.  If we don’t talk about why than SEO companies aren’t going to be able to maximize their full potential.  Health care websites tend to have a lot of links attached to them, but if they aren’t doing what they are supposed to be doing the website isn’t going to be scoring as well as it should.  A chiropractor can have a blog about important health issues and studies, but if the blog doesn’t link back to the main site the reader is going to go find another chiropractor.

So here’s why links are so important:

  • Using the chiropractor’s blog as an example… People want to know how to help themselves. Going to get adjusted is an awesome service, but we still want to know how we can keep feeling that great when we get home and for in-between adjustments.  This is where links going to blogs, articles, and pointing back to the website are going to be the most useful.  If you don’t slip in your URL, people aren’t going to know where to go to find you.  And that’s just sad.
  • Use multiple channels! The awesome thing about the internet is that you can market all over the place.  Organic traffic search is the obvious tool.  What about thinking outside of the box?  Local Indianapolis SEO Companies like Millennial Tech Services understand how important it is for healthcare providers to be exposed on click-to-pay sites, too.  The health care industry is always tied into sites that you have to pay to access, and this is often an untapped resource.  Referral traffic is great, and direct traffic is great.  In this instance, organic is not the only way to go!
  • Don’t be lazy. I’m not trying to be rude, but I am saying it’s a waste of everyone’s time to just buy links and hope you get some good traffic.  What you are most assuredly going to get is some penalties, which will wind up dropping your rankings.  Not cool.  So do your job!  Put your client’s money to good use.

In SEO, everything works together.  Links are important, we get it, but they tie into everything else.  You can’t slack in one hand and do good work in the other.  It all ties in together, and even if you are doing a great job with links, if you are failing in the other aspects it’s all going to fall flat anyway.  Remember: content is key.

How to Avoid Ruining Your Site’s Search Rankings

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At Indianapolis SEO, we’ve encountered countless webmasters who come to us for help after wrecking their search engine rankings thanks to a website redesign. We want to help you prevent this situation by explaining some common mistakes made by webmasters during a site redesign and how to avoid them.

shock-surprise-clickbait-horror-scared-ss-1920The first mistake many webmasters make when updating their site is forgetting to transfer content over from their old site. If your old site had gained any organic search rankings at all then you need to make sure you transfer that valuable content to your new and improved website. If you forget to do this, you will be unpleasantly surprised when your new site plummets in the rankings. Remember to take all foundational content and incorporate it into your new site to ensure it maintains its organic search rankings even after it is updated.

Oftentimes when redesigning a site, webmasters will add new images to give the website a fresh and unique look. However, this is also an aspect of website redesign where a lot of simple yet costly mistakes will occur. For example, if you add flash-based or un-optimized images to your new site, it is highly likely that your search rankings will be severely hindered. Make sure you remember to optimize all new images and to avoid adding flash elements in order to prevent mobile users from getting blocked.

The last common mistake made by webmasters during a site redesign is forgetting to make their site mobile-friendly. Having a mobile-friendly website is extremely important in the technology saturated world we live in, and if you forget to add this vital feature your site will definitely suffer. However, simply enabling your site to be viewed on mobile devices isn’t enough. You need to make your site as mobile-friendly as possible so that it is as user-friendly as possible. This means configuring your mobile site so that it loads quickly and isn’t bogged down with too much information. Also, if at all possible, you should avoid using pop-ups as these will cause many users to leave your site almost immediately.

I hope the information provided above helps you to avoid many of the mistakes webmasters have made in the past when redesign their site. And if for whatever reason you find yourself dealing with poor search rankings after updating your site, feel free to contact our experts at Indianapolis SEO to help you identify and correct the problems.

Understanding the Vital Importance of Technical SEO

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While some people will claim that technical SEO is nothing more than makeup, Senior Search Manager at Pi Datametrics Max Holloway will argue differently.  In his particular role he focuses on helping people with many SEO issues, and a large majority of them are technical in nature. He claims that anyone who truly specializes in technical SEO is focused on working with their clients to meet their needs and brainstorming on creative solutions for SEO.

site-migration-finance-1024x924So, what would your Carmel SEO look like without the implementation of technical SEO?

According to Max, the first thing would be botched migration.  So much can go wrong here, and if you aren’t willing to pay a technical SEO for their full service in this department, you may end up costing your Carmel SEO all of its visibility.  Some of the potential migration hazards include:

  • “No 301 mapping
  • .htaccess rules not written correctly/efficiently
  • Staging environment gets indexed
  • Staging robots.txt or meta robots data brought over to live
  • Different versions of PHP/Apache/jQuery between environments”

Source: https://searchenginewatch.com/2016/06/16/why-technical-seo-is-so-much-more-than-just-make-up/

The next issue your Carmel SEO could potentially face in the absence of technical SEO is faceted navigation.  For this one area, a number of questions arise, such as:

is duplicate content being created?

should we remove facets or add more?

how many products should be displayed on each page?

which of the faceted navigators should be indexed and which ones should not?

These answers cannot simply be generated, and are evolving with each site and its visibility.

Another potential issue, which is often the most overlooked, is optimizing page load.  Page load speed can make or break your Carmel SEO.  The speed can be effected by things like inefficient coding, improperly configured servers, too many HTTP requests, image sizes that are too large, or multiple DNS lookups.  Sometimes entire websites have to be rebuilt in order to improve the page load speed. Each step of the way to doing this, many technical SEO factors must be considered.

As you can see, technical SEO is not something that can be overlooked.  It has a vital importance to your Carmel SEO, and it is the science behind the search.  What you know must be tested, as you can not rely solely on Google.  Google doesn’t always know what works best.  The best way to make sure your technical SEO is not overlooked is by putting in the time and effort it requires or employing a technical SEO to do it for you.

How to Maximize Your Outreach to Create Great Link Building

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As you are surely aware for your Noblesville SEO, having great backlinks is one of the several keys to success.  In order to obtain real, authentic, content-worthy backlinks, you must reach out to other human beings.  There is no getting around this one, as outreach is the only way to keep Google from thinking you are up to no good with spammy content.

Outreach-Preparation-Meets-PersuasionGoogle knows exactly how to detect spammy backlink tactics, and will be sure to put you in your place if you try and go there. In order to create great link building and incorporate it into your Noblesville SEO, you must maximize your outreach.  There are two ways in which this is accomplished: preparation and persuasion.

Research

Just like you wouldn’t hop on a plane to Paris without first packing a bag, you shouldn’t expect to effectively outreach to gain backlinks without first doing some research.  Being well versed in what you are communicating will equip you with a persuasive argument.  Researching and planning ahead helps you to have a good foundation prior to outreach, increasing your chances for success by keeping the process as simple as possible.

The three things to really understand before you commence outreach for your backlink campaign are:

  • the value to your audience
  • the website you are contacting, and
  • the person and their motivation.

Value

This is going to be your main selling point to your audience.  Why should they link to your page?  You must provide them with tangible value for their company and let them know exactly how it will benefit them.

Understand the Website

Knowing that the site will truly benefit from linking to your site is a must, however there are a few  more questions you can ask yourself in order to make your outreach as successful as possible.  For example, why does that particular site exist?  To whom is the site targeting primarily?  How does this site profit financially?  Is it from goods, services, etc?  What are their current relationships with other sties? What does this site do in order to serve its audience? Does it provide external resources such as audios, videos, blog posts, etc?

The Person & Their Motivation

Last but not least, you must be well informed of the site’s primary contact you will be emailing.  This person is most likely the decision maker, and your ability to persuade them to link to your site all hinges on the connection you form and build with him or her.  Make sure you are contacting the appropriate person and get to know them by interacting with them for awhile.  You can follow him or her on social media, comment on their sites and posts, interact on their favorite forums, subscribe to their newsletters, and so forth.  Put all of these practices into play and you have all of the tools you need for effective outreach in order to build great backlinks for your Noblesville SEO.

Three Easy Ways to Attract More Links to Your Site

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Getting other websites to link to your site can be difficult, especially if you’ve had little experience with link building.

20160309162330-woman-laptop-computer-internet-blogger-digital-workingBelow we’ve listed three easy ways you can attract more links to your website and ultimately increase site traffic:

  1. Create better content.

If you aren’t satisfied with the number of links to your site, then its time to make some changes. One of the easiest ways to increase the number of links to your site is by creating better content for your website. The main reason people probably aren’t citing your site is because they do not like your content. There may be a number of reasons for this, but it’s most likely that your content isn’t high enough quality. Solid content must be well-researched, informative, succinct yet detailed and interesting. If your content does not fulfill this criteria then its time to start writing better. If you look through your content and still can’t figure out why people aren’t linking to your site it may be time to call a professional. Try contacting a reputable SEO company such as Fishers SEO that specializes in link-building to help you through this process.

  1. Share your content.

Creating high quality content is only one part of attracting links to your site. Having the best content won’t matter much if no one sees it, and unless you are a major website with millions of followers who will share your content as soon as you publish it you need to be promoting the content yourself. This means sharing it on all social media outlets to make users aware of the new content you’ve added to your site. Getting your relevant content out to potential site visitors will help your website gain traffic and should ultimately improve your link-building. Again, if you feel a little overwhelmed with the sharing process and aren’t sure where to start, SEO companies such as Fishers SEO will be able to guide you through the content promoting process.

  1. Broaden your tactics.

As long as you are actively doing the two steps listed above, your website should attract a good amount of links. However, if you still are not happy with your results, it may be time to rethink your tactics and broaden the strategies you use. Are you exhausting all outlets? Are you doing enough link-building? Are you consistently creating fresh, new content to attract a larger audience? There is always room for improvement, so comb through your digital marketing plan and see where your SEO is lacking.

How to Gain More Site Traffic Through Better Website Navigation

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User experience is becoming increasingly important in the world of search engine optimization (SEO) and it’s changing the way many websites approach their digital marketing plans. Seemingly small aspects of your site such as website navigation has gotten a higher priority in an effort to improve overall user experience and ultimately boost site rankings.

navigation-optimization-simple-stepsIn this article, we’ve provided you with a few simple ways you can improve your site navigation to enhance overall user experience. A special thanks to Fishers SEO for providing the information listed below.

  1. Do your keyword research.

Before you can start making changes you need to first collect user data. You can begin collecting user data by doing your keyword research. The goal of keyword research is to collect all the relevant topics from your site. As you compile your topic list, try to think of each individual page as its own separate topic. For example, if you have a jewelry site your topics may be necklaces, bracelets, rings, earrings, etc. However, your topics shouldn’t end there. You also should have subcategories that help customers find more specific types of jewelry. These can be divided up in a number of different ways, but you could start by the style of jewelry (i.e. pendant necklaces, multi-chain or chokers). Try to think of creative ways to help users better navigate your pages. Remember, it’s all about user experience!

  1. Organize your pages.

Once you’ve collected all your keywords or topics, it’s time to begin organizing your pages. You first need to determine which pages are your top-level pages and then divide them into two sections: company-focused and customer-focused.

company-focused-navigationYour site should include both company-focused and customer-focused top-level pages to help users find the information they need. Company-focused topics include about us, contact us, blog, etc. Customer-focused pages include the various products or services your company may offer. Next, you need to determine which pages will be your secondary-level pages to figure out which topics will be your subcategories. Remember, you want to be specific in order to help site visitors better navigate your website but you don’t want to overwhelm them. It is a delicate balance so make sure you don’t rush through this process.

customer-focused-navigation-760x127If you find yourself struggling through this process and think you may need an expert opinion I’d recommend contacting a knowledgeable SEO company such as Fishers SEO. They’ll be able to guide you through the various steps and answer any questions you may have.

I hope the information provided above helps you as you reorganize your site navigation in an effort to improve user experience!

Google Launches New Mobile-Friendly Algorithm

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On May 12th, Google released the latest update to its algorithm, which gives mobile-friendly sites a boost in the Google ranking system. We’ve know about this update for a while, as Google announced back in March that it would be making some changes to its algorithm in order to encourage digital marketers to make their sites more mobile-friendly. However, it has been stressed that if your site is already compatible with mobile devices, this update should have little to no impact on your rankings and, if anything, should improve how your website performs in the search results.

google-iphone-mobile-ss-1920-800x450This update was designed to reward those who are mobile-friendly and penalize those who are not. If your site is not already mobile-friendly you need to change it ASAP. It’s no secret that the majority of internet users are opting to search the web on their mobile device instead of a desktop computer. This means if your website is not mobile-friendly, you’re missing out on a lot of potential traffic. Here are a few ways you can make your site more appealing to mobile users and improve your search engine optimization (SEO) once you make the switch:

  1. Make your site easy to navigate.

Nothing is more frustrating to mobile-users than a complicated website that is difficult to navigate. My best advice for mobile websites is to simplify them as much as possible. Avoid the temptation to over complicate and try to take out any unnecessary information. Remember, people who visit your site from a mobile device are viewing it on a much smaller screen, so things that might look great on a computer oftentimes will appear cramped and overwhelming on a mobile device. Try to make your information as succinct as possible without sacrificing content quality.

  1. Do everything you can to ensure fast loading times.

This is just as important as having an easy to navigate site. Simplifying your site does nothing if your pages load slowly. People want to get their information as fast as possible, and if your site takes more than a few seconds to load they’ll get frustrated and look elsewhere. You can ensure fast loading times by getting rid of any pop ups that may appear and by utilizing Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). However, it is important to remember that AMP is still in the beginning stages, so make sure you do your research before taking the time to switch over.

The Importance of Mobile SEO

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It is a common misconception among users that because paid advertisements appear at the top of search listings on mobile devices that they are more valuable than organic search listings. However, even though organic results appear below the paid ads, this does not mean that they are less beneficial for your website traffic.

ss-mobile-seo-800x450In fact, just the opposite is true. Although paid ads are listed at the very top, studies have shown that the first organic listing still gets 73% more clicks from mobile users than the top two paid ads combined. This means that even though paid advertising has gotten stronger over the years, organic listings are still considered to be more profitable for your website. However, there are few things to remember concerning the paid ad and organic listing relationship:

Screenshot_20160428-145815-338x600First, it is important to remember that although organic search results are more valuable for search traffic, most mobile users will only click on the first four organic search listings. This is due to the smaller screen on a mobile device. Many mobile users don’t want to take the time to scroll through the entire first page of results on Google, so the majority will click on the first four organic listings. This little fact is all the more reason to ramp up your mobile search engine optimization (SEO). Getting in the top four spots on the Google search results will guarantee consistently high levels of website traffic without requiring you to pay for advertisements.

Next, paid advertisement has historically done better in branded searches whereas organic results were clicked on more often for non-branded searches. So what does this mean? Both branded and non-branded clicks are valuable in their own way but most digital marketers would agree that non-branded traffic is far more beneficial. This is due to the fact that non-brand clients are not yet loyal to a specific brand or company and therefore have the potential to go with any of the search results listed.

I believe that most reputable SEO companies would agree with the above assessment of paid advertisement vs. organic listings. While paid ads can be valuable in some cases, I believe in most scenarios working on your SEO to improve your organic listings is the most beneficial, especially in relation to mobile devices. My best advice would be to continue to improve your mobile SEO and not give into the temptation to rely on paid advertisements to bring in mobile traffic.