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Timothy Martell

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Exclusive Blog Posts

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Navigating SEO: Unexpected Reasons Why Your SEO is Failing

Why Your SEO is Failing

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:

 

  • Rewrite or Update the Content - By updating your content with the most up-to-date information, or simply rewriting it to be a better resource, you're improving user experience. On top of this, Google takes notice of changes and may immediately reward your site, depending on how it grades the new updates. Be sure you're going above and beyond to provide valuable information that matches the intent of users searching the target topic.

 

  • Create Related, Supplementary Pages and Internal Links - It's nearly impossible to completely capture an entire subject with content on a single page. And even if you could, it'd be overkill for the intent of most users. Instead, create supplementary pages that relate to your target topic and link it to your original, high-trafficked page. For example, if your original page was about your used car business, you could write a separate page that provides reasons to buy a used car over a new car, linking to that page. You could also create a list of the best used cars to buy, using data from sources like Consumer Reports and U.S. News. Over time, these pages will build authority on their own, and pass some of that along to your main used cars page.

 

  • Redesign the Page to Increase User Interaction - Small issues like low average time on site and high bounce rates could be bringing down your once high-ranking page. Google is implementing more and more user interaction-based factors into its algorithm, so you'll need to make sure your site is not just providing great content but a high-quality experience as well. To help with this, you could redesign the page to include images, video, interactive tools to keep users engaged on-site longer. As a result, you should also see higher conversion rates.

 

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:

 

  • A complete and optimized Google My Business Page.
  • Citations (local listings) with consistent NAP across the web.
  • Content optimized with locally-focused keywords.
  • Consistent flow of quality reviews on Google and across the web.

 

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!

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