One of the biggest pitfalls of SEO is if Google penalizes your site.
Once you find yourself at the bottom of search results, you must pinpoint the exact issue that caused the penalty.
From here, you should make the changes in the hopes of recovering your site’s organic traffic. This could take weeks—if not months—if you correctly identified the error.
If not, you must repeat the process by finding another issue that could have caused the penalty.
As you can see, this is a time-consuming and emotionally draining process you don’t want to undergo.
Thankfully, below are the ways you can keep your site from experiencing a traffic decline in search results.
Google launched the Helpful Content Update in August and December 2022.
Its goal is to create content that provides value to its audience. For example, authors should write product reviews based on their experiences with the product. They should be truthful and objective about the product being reviewed, even if it means not recommending it to people.
While this reduces the chances of site owners converting visitors into affiliate sales, Google rewards them by increasing their rankings on top of search results. You can do this using different rank tracking tools available.
One way to ensure that your site produces helpful content is by creating many informational articles.
They target keywords that ask a question, i.e., keywords that start with the 4 Ws (what, why, when, where) and 1 H (how).
By targeting informational keywords, you answer questions your target audience may have about the topic. This enables you to create value for your website and helps establish its general helpfulness to your audience.
As a rule of thumb, Matt Diggity suggests that your site should have 67% informational content and 33% commercial, i.e., best of, reviews, etc. This allows you to help your audience with useful information about the subject and not just product reviews.
"E-A-T" is an acronym that was first mentioned in Google's Quality Raters Guidelines. It stands for "Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness".
E-A-T is not a set of ranking factors. But, as guidelines used by quality raters, they help separate your website from the fluff, thus increasing your chances of ranking for your target keywords.
This is a reason why SEO is important. Search engines no longer observe a set of rules that site owners can outsmart and gamify. It's now a dynamic algorithm that relies on external factors aside from internal ones. This way, only websites with the highest quality will be able to rank.
In fact, the FRED Update of 2018 was believed to focus on E-A-T as a determining factor for sites that increased or decreased in ranking.
To help you establish your site's E-A-T, you need to answer _why _people should look up to you as an authority.
Answer this simple question:
What credentials do you have relevant to your topic that make you an expert in your field?
You can showcase your awards and accomplishments to hammer down the fact that they can trust you. Or create helpful content similar to the previous point, allowing you to showcase your knowledge of the topic.
In line with building authority, you need to cluster content on your website into their specific subtopics.
By creating these content silos, you are able to develop topical authority for your website in the eyes of Google.
Let me explain:
Search engines view websites as authoritative when they see different well-written articles about the same topic published on the site. This shows them that the site owner or author knows what they are talking about.
And to help search engines understand the correlation among these pages, they should interlink articles on the site about the same topic together. Search spiders will make the connection between the articles and their topics faster thanks to the internal links that connect them.
To create your content silos, create a pillar post that serves as the evergreen content (which continues to be a blogging trend) about a subtopic. Then create supporting articles that connect to the pillar post and flesh out information not elaborate in the post.
Here's a visual representation:
You can create as many silos on your website, each of which is a subtopic to your site's main topic. In the example above, all the subtopics (on-page SEO, off-page SEO, and content) fall under the SEO umbrella. From here, you can create even more supporting articles to flesh out your silo and build even greater authority.
When creating these pages, make sure also to check the index status of all pages. The strength of your silos depends on whether Google can crawl your pages.
As crucial as backlinks are in your SEO strategy, it's best to build your site's foundation first. And no other set of tactics works best here than on-page SEO.
In a nutshell, on-page optimization techniques allow you to create a site that's much easier to crawl and index for search spiders. And as spiders find your site pages immediately, you can rank for your target keywords much faster.
There are lots of factors to consider when optimizing your website. But this on-page SEO guide should help you get started.
Below are key points mentioned in the article that you should implement on your site:
- Research for keywords with the lowest competition and the highest search volume.
- Mention the page's target keyword on the H1 (page title), URL, and SEO title.
- Format your content with proper subheadings (H1, H2, etc.).
- Use images to break up the monotony of text.
- Make your site load faster. Use caching plugins, compress images, and use a lightweight theme for your site.
Creating a decline-proof, algorithm-proof website takes tons of work. However, it beats having to do tactics that could put your website at risk of future penalties.
That’s why it’s better to put in the work now, following the tips above. This way, you can experience smooth sailing and an ever-growing uptick in your organic traffic