How Google’s new rules might affect your web site.

Cute, isn’t he?

What I want to talk about this week is a different type of “Panda”, however.

Last year, Google launched a series of updates to their search algorithm (their “RULES”) with a code name “Panda”

Yes, they think they’re the CIA now…

They recently (last week) announced that a new Panda update is forthcoming.

These series of updates have had some serious ramifications on millions of web sites world-wide such as Andrew Strauss, owner of Oh My Dog Supplies LLC who received 70% of his customers through Google searches. After the changes, he lost 96% of his Google traffic and his sales plummeted from $68,000 a month to $25,000 a month.

Google’s main priority is to provide the highest quality, most accurate and relevant content possible. Their other priority (which by the way keeps them in business) is to sell Google Adwords. But that’s for another discussion.

The main focus of these Panda updates are to eliminate low quality content from their system. They know that page 1 is the only page that people look at, generally, and they are dead set on making page 1 extremely accurate in relation to the searches being made.

So, if someone does a search for “umbrella stores in Sioux City, Iowa”, you can bet your last dollar that the search results returned for this search are going to be extremely accurate.

How does google define “relevant” and “quality” in regards to content and what can you do to make sure you score high enough?

Google considers relevant and quality content to be directly in relation to two factors:

  • On Site Content
  • Off Site Content

On Site content is the actual “stuff” that you have coded into and placed on your site such as text, videos, images, meta tags (keywords, page titles, page descriptions), and your actual domain name (having a keyword in your domain name is helpful). Make sure you keep your content fresh as well, as Google spiders your web site frequently.

Off Site content refers to any articles, blogs, social media mentions, backlinks from other web sites, reviews, and other content that is on other web pages, directories, etc.

It is rumored that Google gives Off Site Content a weight of as much as 70% of your total page ranking!! That’s a very serious statistic and what that means for you is that you can do all of the right things with your On Site Content and still only impact your total score 30% or so.

If your On Site content and Off Site content are good quality, abundant, and closely related to each other in terms of keywords and scope, Google will give you a high ranking and you’ll be considered “relevant”.

“But I’m already submitting my site to the search engines on a regular basis. Isn’t that good enough??”

It depends….

If you are in “niche” industry with very little competition, this might not be a problem. After all, if there’s no one else to compare your site to in regards to keywords and what is “relevant”, than you become “RELEVANT”. However,  if you are competing against a larger pool of other businesses like your own, it probably won’t be enough…especially, if they’re Off Site content is more numerous that yours.

What to do next?

  • First, make sure that your On site content is updated, fresh and useful for your focus audience.
  • Second, make sure that your site is tagged properly with the correct meta tags and it helps to have a good keyword rich domain name as your primary domain.
  • Third, get working on Off Site Content! Get out there and try to get articles and reports published on other web sites, blogs, and other locations. Use social media to your advantage, get backlinks from other web sites, and try to garner good reviews from your clients that can be verified through Google + Local.

It’s a lot of work, but the payoff can be tremendous. Some see the Panda updates as an obstacle that is tough to overcome. I happen to see it as an opportunity to do the right things and get a “leg up” on competitors.

For the astute marketer with a well-rounded, diversified SEO plan, built on a foundation of quality content, this can be your opportunity to grow your business and pull ahead of your competitors in the battle for online exposure.

Need help in this area? We’re rolling out a completely new Premium Search Engine Marketing Platform very soon that focuses on the requirements of the new Panda updates and maximizing Off Site Content.

Call us today at 1.877.490.8324 for some new ideas and a free, no-hassle consultation.

You may also Click here to schedule a confidential consultation.

If you enjoyed this article, would you mind sharing it with others who might benefit as well? Please click any of the icons below and spread the word! 🙂

To your success!

Ben Vaughn
Sr. Online Business Strategist
AutoWeb Technologies

How to use landing sites and pages to grow your business.

Some of you might have heard of landing pages. They are sometimes referred to as a “Splash Pages” or “Lead Capture Pages” or “Landing Sites”.

Traditionally, these are used very specifically in marketing (search engine, email, direct mail, etc) as a way to direct a prospect or customer response to a very specific web page or web site. These web pages/sites usually display specific sales copy built around a specific product, service or keyword. The main goal of these landing pages/sites is to create a “conversion” which is simply having a visitor complete a form, make a purchase, make a phone call, or do something else desired.

There are different variations of the “how” and the “why” behind landing pages and landing sites. Many times, these landing pages are just sub-pages of the main web site.

What I want to talk about today, however, is a variation of this concept.

Several years ago, it was easy to optimize your main web site for all the keyword phrases you could think of related to your business. That, along with proper meta tag coding on your web site, good content, regular submission, and some luck gave your site a decent chance at good rankings on the major search engines without spending too much money.

The problem is that in the last 12-18 months it has become harder and harder to get high rankings for a diverse set of keyword phrases. The search engines, especially Google™, are penalizing sites that appear too “Broad” with the number of keyword phrases. They want their search results to be as exact as possible.

Here’s the problem for us…

If you own a business that has a lot of different products or services, you might only be getting rankings for certain keyword phrases, which can omit areas of your business that are important.

For example, if you own an automotive repair business and your list of services is related to “repair” and also “maintenance” and the brands that you service cover all of the domestic and imports, that’s a lot of keyword phrases to cover. There’s a huge list of keyword phrases related to auto repair, engine repair, brake repair, transmission repair, etc. coupled with “Ford, Chevrolet, Toyota, Nissan, etc”. Conversely, the list of keywords related to automotive maintenance, engine maintenance, brake system maintenance, transmission service, routine maintenance, etc. coupled with these same car brands is also very long!

Same business, but a different set of services altogether.

Same thing goes for lawyers, insurance companies, dentists, doctors, contractors, etc… If you have a diverse set of service offerings and specializations, this can be a nightmare trying to get high rankings for all of them.

What can be done to help combat this broad list of services and still remain high in your site’s rankings?

Create landing pages or landing sites for your business.

When you create these “standalone” web sites/pages, you “segment” out a particular product or service from your business into a space all it’s own. This allows you to create focus and a directed “CALL TO ACTION” around a product or service that you want to sell a lot of. The landing page can include sales specific copy about that product or service or service group along with something that converts a visitor into something that is measurable.

Generally, this “CALL TO ACTION” can be several things:

  • Getting a visitor make an immediate purchase.
  • Getting a visitor to schedule an appointment or consultation using a form.
  • Getting a visitor to pick up the phone and call you.
  • Getting a visitor to sign up for a monthly newsletter or register for a free report about a that particular keyword/area of your business that interests them.  This then allows you to market to them on a regular basis. This is very powerful because we know that it takes several exposures to a product or service before a purchase is generated. We’ve written about this many times before. Newsletters and regular email communications that are informative, but not too “sales oriented” allow you to build trust and a “fence” around your herd of prospects and clients.
  • The list can go on and on and is only limited by your creativity.

Keep in mind!!! This doesn’t mean we remove these products and services from our main web site.

We want to make sure that our company’s main web site still covers everything that we do.

Other tricks of the “landing page/site” trade include:

  • Setting up these sites/pages with their very own URL (domain name). So, if you are a dentist and have a growing dental practice with good rankings for your traditional dental services, but poor rankings for your “cosmetic dental services” and you live in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, you might want to setup a separate landing site with a domain name “www.siouxfallscosmeticdentists.com”. Yes, it’s a long domain. It doesn’t matter. You won’t be advertising this domain (unless you want to, which is fine). This is mainly for the search engines to know what the site’s focus is (along with some other clever keyword phrase meta tags you’ll include).
  • Another strategy is to post videos related to this specific product or service/service group on the landing site.

Combine this strategy with GOOD CONTENT (a must) and you can watch your business search engine footprint grow exponentially.

Like to learn more? We’re always here to help. Call us today at 1.877.490.8324 for a free, no-hassle consultation.

You may also Click here to schedule a confidential consultation.

If you enjoyed this article, would you mind sharing it with others who might benefit as well? Please click any of the icons below and spread the word! 🙂

To your success!

Ben Vaughn
Sr. Online Business Strategist
AutoWeb Technologies