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Navigating SEO is a DrivingSales.com exclusive series by Timothy Martell, CEO of Wikimotive. In this series, Tim breaks down ways dealers can improve their SEO and offers insight into how it will benefit business.
There's no worse feeling than to see your website on a downward spiral. It may not even be much, but when it's consistently down, something's up.
Now this has likely happened to everyone at one point or another, but it's what you do after noticing the trend that makes the most difference. That's because inaction is the enemy of SEO. You need to understand what's going on, make a plan, and start working to fix your issues as quickly as possible.
In many cases, you may have been hit by a penalty, or have hit a technical snag and need to change website providers. Other times, the issues are not so easily identifiable.
Below, I'll go over a few of the unexpected reasons you're not seeing positive SEO results and solutions to help you change your current situation.
High Ranking Pages are Being Downgraded
Most sites have a select few high ranking pages that deliver a good percentage of the overall organic traffic, including the homepage. From there, the remaining 30-50% of goes to individual pages via longtail keywords, which fluctuant on a month-to-month basis.
So when high ranking pages start to lose traction, it can affect how your organic traffic looks as a whole. This is why it's so important to keep an eye on these high-trafficked pages, as you'll want to take action the second you notice a declining traffic trend.
The problems may not be so obvious, though, especially if you haven't made any changes to the page in recent months. And to be honest, there's no way for anyone to give you a definitive answer to the "why" question you're probably asking yourself.
Instead, all you can do is analyze the data within your analytics and the SERPs in order to come up with an action plan. Here are a few quick ways you can breathe new life into an older page and hopefully regain lost traffic and add even more over time:
You're Not Focusing on Local
Over the past few years, Google has placed more emphasis on location-based search. These are business results pulled from Google My Business and Google Maps that allow users quick access to relevant information about local businesses, such as location and phone numbers.
While not a completely new feature, more and more keywords are triggering these local pack results each and every day. As of writing this, Google has also recently modified the design of the local pack dramatically. Instead of showing 3-7 results, they've standardized it to only show 3 results, linking to maps results if a user wants to view more.
A lack of local focus in 2015 could cause your overall traffic to dip if your competitors have beat you to the punch. But that doesn't mean all is lost!
To gain traction in local, you need to have four key factors:
Your Strategy is Not Consistent
One of the biggest misconceptions with SEO is that it's something that you can just stop and start whenever you feel like it and see results. In some cases, you can do on-off SEO and see results. But to grow your overall organic traffic and improve rankings, there needs to be a consistent strategy in place.
In a lot of cases, if you're not adding new content, updating old content, working on building links and new local citations, you're not going to see consistent growth. If you want that, you need a consistent strategy. This means you can't have a BDC associate working on SEO in their spare time and expect any tangible results.
I've said it before and I'll continue to say it: SEO is a full-time job. Start taking it seriously, and you'll open up opportunities to increase traffic, leads, and sales!