What Should You Do If You Lost Search Traffic?
As you may already know, there’s been a lot of upset in the online world this past year over the new Google algorithms and updates. Lots of businesses have seen their organic online traffic practically disappear overnight, and their sales subsequently plummet. Even websites that had been playing their cards right with entirely white hat SEO practices have suffered a drastic loss in traffic once Google set their updated crawlers loose upon the web. And the dust still hasn’t settled yet. So What Should You Do If You Lost Your Search Traffic?
Well, those who are familiar with online business know that things change fast, and they change often. It’s just the way the cookie crumbles. Popularity of platforms, social networks, marketplaces and strategies shift, and you’ll have to be on your toes. But no matter the changes, the ups and downs, the name of the game is still the same. Your business needs traffic to stay afloat, and to grow.
Despite how bleak things may seem from time to time, there are always ways to breathe new life into your Internet Marketing Strategy. Even if search ranks fail, other traffic sources are available to capitalize on, new ones are sure to turn up, and SEO can still yield great results.
In fact, if you have lost search ranks and traffic there are some things you can do to help get them back. So let’s take a look at some things you can do to regain lost search engine traffic first.
Top Google Search SEO Tips
The first two common mistakes that micro to small businesses are currently making are actually pretty simple to fix. Well, easier than you had most likely thought anyway. And these fixes can have a big impact on getting your website back in the good graces of Google.
1. Secure Your Site With An SSL
Despite the fact that Google search crawlers now preference web properties that are secured with an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) over those without, experts report that roughly half of all websites and blogs have installed SSL certificates on their sites.
Now, if you are not familiar with SSL, this is a layer of security that helps protect your visitors’ information when they visit your site. Regardless of whether they are just entering their name and email to sign up for your newsletter, or are entering sensitive financial information during checkout, this is a critical layer of security every website and blog should have. And Google has simply made it a necessity in order to be considered worthy of top search ranks.
On the bright side, now that an SSL is an essential must have for any website or blog, most hosting companies have started offering a free SSL with their hosting packages. And most hosts will install the certificate for you, although you may have to do some finish work on your site afterwards to force your site and pages over the SSL so they are secure.
For instance, you will need to install a plugin on your WordPress site to complete the installation. But that’s not too difficult; just look for the top-rated SSL or https plugin and follow the instructions to set it up. And don’t forget to change your site address to https instead of http in your general settings.
2. Make Your Site Mobile Responsive
Another important requirement you really need to pay attention to is the mobile responsiveness of your site or blog. Over half of your traffic these days will come from mobile devices; some experts say over 65%. It can depend on your target demographic and niche as well. Some may experience higher volumes of mobile views while others get fewer mobile views. But it’s still going to be a bigger and bigger portion of your traffic as time goes on, so you need to sort this out anyway.
Depending on your CMS, the content management system and framework your website is built on, you may not have much work to do. Platforms like Wix and Shopify ensure that your site is mobile responsive by default, though you may need to install an app to make this function work.
But if you are using a platform like WordPress, ensuring that your site displays beautifully across all mobile devices, it may require a bit more effort. Still, it’s not too difficult to get on track. You can use the popular WP VC Composer plugin to make your site responsive. (I’ll be doing a video tutorial to show you exactly how to set up your pages with VC Composer soon, so be sure to follow my blog here and check back again shortly.)
Either way, it’s a top priority to make your site mobile responsive…as fast as you can!
3. Watch Out For Duplicate Content
Another common issue is duplicate content. Google has also made it clear that it does not like duplicate content, opting instead to preference “distinct” content. And it’s not just to make things difficult for online businesses; people don’t like reading the same exact information over and over again. And duplicate content gets into copyright infringement issues as well. So it’s best not to have this type of content on your site anyway. But this issue alone can send your site into a downward spiral to oblivion in search ranks.
So how can you check your site for duplicate content? Try this helpful tool at Siteliner; you can get a free analysis of your site and it will even show you what areas of your site contain duplicate content, so that you can fix it.
If you discover that it is your own content causing the duplicate issues, you may need to use “canonical tags” to help reduce those duplicate red flags. Canonical tags are a popular tool in the SEO world, but not so difficult to work with as you may think. So if your site analysis is coming up with duplicate content from your own pages, be sure to read Google’s helpful information on canonical tags here.
And last but not least, you should protect your content so that others cannot steal it. There is nothing so frustrating as creating amazing unique content, only to have people come by your site, copy it and use it on their website or blog. This will most definitely result in your own content being proclaimed “duplicate content”. While you can always notify Google that someone else is using your content and try to have it removed, its best to simply secure your content to help ensure that you avoid this issue altogether. Make sure that your sites’ content is right click protected to ward off lazy, would be copy and paste content thieves!
4. On Page SEO
Though it’s been said a zillion times, on page SEO is a must to mention here as well. This is the information that you can put into your articles, pages and posts that will help search engines index and sort your content, thereby helping your audience find your valuable content. We went into this in detail, with step by step instructions in an earlier blog post, so we won’t go into it further here.
You can also boost the rank of your website as a whole using a number of optimization techniques; like building high authority backlinks, and optimizing your sites post pages for social sharing!
Other Traffic Sources To Capitalize On
Just because Google may have knocked your site back to page 10 in search ranks doesn’t mean you can’t get your traffic back. And you should definitely do all you can to get as much organic search traffic as possible. But there are other traffic sources you can use that can be quite lucrative as well. Let’s take a look at some of these other options.
5. How Social Networking Can Help Recoup Your Traffic
Social Networking is a great way to reach your target demographic, increase awareness of your brand, and drive traffic to your site. And as to be expected, Social Media Marketing has become an even more popular traffic source than ever before since the Google search changes and updates. Again, some businesses may see more benefit than others from Social Media Marketing, and some platforms may be better for your particular needs than others. To avoid wasting time and effort, just make sure to assess which social platforms will work best for you and plan your strategy well. Social Networking is a big boost for most businesses, so be sure to get your Social accounts set up and network!
6. YouTube Videos
YouTube can be so beneficial for your brand awareness and traffic that it merits its own mention here. Posting videos with instructions on how to use your product, how to troubleshoot your product, information about your company, or anything related to your niche or industry, can have a major impact on your traffic. Even if it’s purely for entertainments sake, you can drum up a lot of interest with YouTube videos, and it’s about the best way to engage and connect with your audience that you can get.
People love to see helpful information displayed in video; after all, who doesn’t like to watch interesting videos. While written content will always be critical for attracting search engines and people do still want to read, video is a massively popular way to attract attention to your business, products and services.
You don’t have to have an expensive camera or studio either; your mobile device camera will do. Just be real with your audience and give them content that has value on a regular basis. Just like every other aspect of your web presence, perceived value is key-so give your audience value they can see!
7. Written Content Is Essential
That’s right, while video can get you fantastic results, written content will remain vital to your web presence for the foreseeable future. Perhaps it will remain so forever. Either way, you need to be posting fresh, new written content all the time. You should put up at least 1 new post per week; 2-3 is better. However, the more content you create the more you’ll see your business grow, so you certainly shouldn’t put a cap on your content. Create as much as you can!
Make sure you include images with your posts or articles. And be sure that your static web pages have loads of unique, conversational, informative content too. If you have trouble writing don’t let that stop you. It is easy to learn how to write tons of great content, you just need the right system to set your “inner writer” free! If you need help with that we have a wonderful new eBook that will show you how to write like a pro here…
For more information about Content Marketing and Content Writing, including detailed information about the topics we’ve discussed here today, be sure to check out the all New Content Marketing Crash Course Package here – you’ll be glad you did.
Until next time, work on fixing any of these issues you may have, create loads of great content and enjoy sharing with your audience. It’s the surest way to gain valuable traffic!