The summer season is winding down and whether you took a nice vacation somewhere this year, or want to get going on a last-minute getaway, there a few travel related ideas to keep in mind. In fact these ideas are actually similar to how Google works (we know—we always have to relate back to SEO).
In fact, following these tips and keeping them in mind can make sure you, and Google, don’t get confused. They can also be simple solutions as to why your site isn’t ranking.
Digging through a packed suitcase looking for your swim trunks, sunscreen, or sunglasses is the worst. With so much stuff in your suitcase you probably just confused yourself and won’t be able to find what you’re looking for. Website copy is the exact same way.
While Google isn’t going through your website looking for your swimming clothes, it is looking for very specific keywords to tell it what your site is about. As you know from the basics of SEO, having keyword phrases is important to ranking. But when you have too many keyword phrases, your message can be lost and buried. What happens then? Google may get confused and be unsure of what your site is really about. This may translate to a lower ranking.
Understand the Code
About the only thing worse than leaving on a road trip and suffering vehicle problems is suffering vehicle problems and not understanding what that little check engine light means. Make sure you understand what your car’s check engine light means—this little code is very important!
Whether you’re tech savvy or not, on some level you probably know that websites and their content are all structured with code, too. When Google is crawling your site there are some code issues you need to be aware of:
- Having too much code will cause GoogleBot to stop crawling your page before everything is crawled.
- Messy code can cause GoogleBot to miss important content.
By not understanding or using good coding practices, Google may misunderstand your site.
Give Good Directions
When you’re out on the road and someone stops and asks for directions, be neighborly and point them in the direction they’re headed. Make sure you use the easiest directions you know because they may be new to the area and unsure of where to go—the simpler the better.
Without getting too technical, the nature of the internet is that there are vast quantities of information spread out everywhere. You may have an old site, a new domain, or different pages that need to redirect Google back to current information. Make it simple for Google and give good directions with a 301-redirect. This ensures that GoogleBot will index the correct pages.
Speaking of giving directions, be consistent with them. If you’re trying to point a weary traveler in the right direction, make it simple and don’t change your mind. There’s nothing more confusing than “Turn left here then right there. No wait, turn right here then left there. Or wait, don’t turn at all” for example.
Just like you wouldn’t want your information and directions to change, neither does Google. If your business’ information isn’t consistent online (i.e., your address and phone number are listed differently across multiple sites) it can confuse Google while it’s looking for this information. What can possibly happen, you ask? Your Google Places page may not appear because Google may not think you’re a real business. If that happens, potential customers may not be able to find your business, either.
These are some of the more common areas as to why websites don’t rank high on Google. And whether you’re planning on hitting the road one last time for the summer or wondering why your site isn’t ranking very high, remembering these tips can put you, and your website, on the road to success!