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5 Oversights Costing You Google Traffic

Why isn’t your website’s traffic where it should be?

Whether your organic traffic figures are failing to fly or you’re struggling to generate sales through your site, there are a number of simple slipups keeping businesses from achieving their online objectives.

Check out our handy list of 5 of the most common oversights when it comes to online marketing – and transform your site into a well-oiled sales machine.

#1 A dirty link profile

Websites of a certain age naturally accrue links over time. While we know links are one of the most important factors affecting Google rankings, links from poor quality and spammy sites can do some serious damage and often go completely unnoticed.

Luckily, this is a quick fix. Using a tool like Open Site Explorer, you’ll be able to quickly identify any links from spammy sites and create a ‘disavow’ file with the power to prevent these links from affecting your rankings.

#2 A shortage of ‘good’ links

Once you’ve had a good clean-up of your backlink profile, it’s time to assess what you’re left with. Link-building in general is often overlooked in holistic marketing plans – even today. With years of hearsay turning link-building into a dirty word, the significance of links is something often misunderstood, or neglected altogether!

A quick comparison of your site vs. your top competitors will quickly reveal that a backlog of great quality links is one major factor allowing other businesses to overtake you in search results. Link-building should be a top priority for any business looking to make waves online and (as long as it’s done well) could be the key to thousands of new visitors. Why not take advantage of your offline network of suppliers and local businesses, asking them if they’ll link to your site as a ‘partner’?

#3 Double trouble

Duplicate content can wreak havoc when it comes to your rankings. Whether you’ve got the same copy in multiple places across your website or you’re publishing content taken from other sources, all of this duplication can confuse Google’s crawler. In situations like these, the crawler will attempt to identify the original source (or the source which best addresses the search query) – causing rankings for all others to fall.

It’s essential to focus on creating original content if you want to stand a chance of winning traffic on the web – and one common issue found with larger sites is having multiple URLs for the same piece of content. In this instance, adding a simple ‘canonical tag’ can point Google in the right direction.

#4 Poor UX

Poor user experience (UX) can cause you to drag anchor when it comes to your traffic. As Google strives to show more relevant, higher quality results to its users, its algorithm has learned to interpret certain metrics as signs of quality and usability. Signals such as ‘pages per session’ can be a clear indicator as to whether or not users have found a site easy to navigate (or, indeed, appealing enough to navigate to in the first place).

To make a long story short, ploughing great work into a poor site will only take you so far. A simple examination and frank discussion of your site’s layout, menu system, design and navigation options could highlight a number of points to address. A clean, carefully laid out, navigable and user-friendly site is an ideal launchpad for a successful online marketing campaign.

#5 Too much sales spiel

Gone are the days when SEO meant sliding keywords into fluffy sales copy on your site’s key landing pages. As Google’s algorithm continues to evolve, in a bid to provide every user with the most relevant results, it’s becoming increasingly important for websites to offer genuine value in order to win valuable organic traffic.

It’s almost never worthwhile pumping out ‘quick and dirty’ content for its own sake – and publishing poor quality content, or ‘fluff’, can actually be harmful to your site’s rankings. Instead of focussing on keyword frequency alone, create something your target audience will find legitimately useful.

Whether it’s a guide to a particular topic or a tool they can use to make their lives easier, usefulness is the key to unlocking value in the eyes of Google. Stuck for ideas? Check out our top tips on generating great content ideas right here.

Whether link building has slipped under your radar or you’ve found your content drifting back to the dark ages, there are a huge number of effective fixes when it comes to improving your site’s keyword rankings and organic traffic. Now’s the perfect time to cast a magnifying glass over your own site to see what’s working and what’s been overlooked – you’ll be firing on all cylinders in no time!

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