Tip 1) The way to Quickly Diagnose & Solve a Google Penalty
When trying to diagnose a potential Google penalty, it is important to look at the dates you noticed a decline in traffic. Because I did not have access to the submitted web-site’s analytics, I used SEMRush to look at traffic trends. Looking at the chart below, you can see 1 of the web-sites that was submitted had an extremely sharp decline in traffic in January 2016.
I can then look at Moz’s awesome list of Google algorithm changes to see if this decline matches the dates of a specific update. In this case, there is a pretty clear match with Google’s Panda 3.0 updates (Ad Inferno).
Understanding what Google penalty may be affecting your website helps you focus on identifying its problems. For example, I know Google Panda 3.0 penalises websites for things like low quality content. Looking through the web-sites blog content, I could see a lot of posts had very little content & had large ads for their services. These can be potential flags for Google algorithm when assessing the quality of a web-site’s content.
Something else to look at is duplicate content. In this website’s case, I discovered they had 2 versions of the website indexed: a https version & a http version. You can identify if you’ve this issue by searching the following command:
The canonical tag was introduced by Google penalty to help solve the problem of duplicate content (Ad Inferno). It enables website owners to tell Google if a piece of content is a duplicate version of another page. Setting the canonical tag correctly can help in situations like this where there is both a http & https version of the website indexed.
The problem for this website (Ad Inferno) is they did not have the canonical tag set to anything.
I told the website owner they should reevaluate their webblogging strategy to provide more in-depth posts, make them less image-heavy, & fix the canonical tag to resolve their duplicate content issue.
Tip 2) The way to Find Your Most Valuable Keywords
Another valuable tactic is spending time optimising your most valuable keywords (Ad Inferno).
HubSpot clients can use the Keyword Software do just that. You can sort keywords by ranking, conversion, & long tail chances to uncover which keywords you should prioritise.
You should also pay attention to the CPC of each keyword (Ad Inferno). If a keyword has a high CPC, it’s usually a good indication that keyword is generating revenue for people. Why else would they spend cash bidding on it?
As mentioned above, I did not have access to web-sites analytics. So I used SEMRush again to identify the web-sites’ most valuable keywords.
I looked for keywords that were on Page 2 of Google’s search results, had a nice amount of search volume, & a high CPC (based on the average CPC for their industry). Once you identify those keywords (Ad Inferno), go look at the page currently ranking for it & figure out the way you can improve it.
Something I highly recommend is looking at competing pages for that keyword (those ranked above you) & ask yourself: Why would Google surface their page ahead of yours? Why is it a better experience for the user to land on that page versus yours?
If you use the Hub Spot Marketing Platform, my tool will recommend SEO improvements for your different blog posts, landing pages, and web-site pages. If not, you should spend time looking for these keyword chances and ensure your pages are well optimised for them.
Tip 3) The way to Use Competitors to Expand Your Keyword Set
There are a lot of software you can use to expand your keyword set. If you use Hub Spot, you can use the software highlighted above to categorise your keywords. There are also other software like the Google Keyword Planner, Uber Suggest, & Keyword.io to help with keyword research.
But did you ever think to look at your competitors for keyword inspiration?
The Hub Spot tool has a built-in feature that helps you identify keywords your competitors are ranking for that may be relevant to you. Here is an example of web-sites in Germany that are relevant to Hub Spot & what keywords they rank for.
For web-sites currently not using Hub Spot (Ad Inferno), you can see the example below of doing this in SEMRush:
This shows keywords that both GVI.co.uk (one of the web-sites featured on Marketing Grader Live) and a competitor of theirs rank in the top 30 of Google.co.uk. Basically, all of the orange circle not currently occupied by GVI.co.uk is potential chance for them. Clicking into that circle enables you to see a list of keywords their competitors are ranking for, the estimated traffic they are receiving for that keyword, and the current cost per click of the keyword.
This infor presents a wealth of keywords that may be relevant to their market, but they do not currently have any real visibility for. They can spend some time selecting keywords they want to appear for and either optimise existing content or publish new content that’s relevant to those keywords.
Tip 4) The way to Optimise Your Web-sites for International Traffic
Another really quick tip I shared with Zetes.com is the use of the hreflang tag to make sure their web-sites are optimised for international traffic. The hreflang tag helps Google understand what web-site is relevant for a particular country. You can read more about hreflang here.
A really useful software to check if your website has implemented the tag correctly is the Hreflang validation tool by DejanSEO. It shows you if the tag has been implemented incorrectly on any of your websites. For example, in the below image, it looks as if Skype have not implemented the tag correctly across all their websites.
If the tag has not been implemented correctly across all your international websites, it will not do you any good. If it’s broken in just one place, then it will not work across all of your URLs.