Google Panda Update 4.1: A List of Do’s and Don’ts

Google Panda 4.1: A List of Do’s and Don’ts.

Did you read our primer on Google Panda 4.1? To put it simply, Google Panda was an algorithm update focused on keeping websites honest with a high degree of quality and relevancy. Recently, a wealth of information has surfaced to give us even more information on what the big “G” is looking for from websites (that want to remain visible in search). Whether you’re a business or an SEO, this is the list you should strive to “get right” with.

While Google never supplies an official list of factors impacted by algorithm updates, the following items have all been drawn from a wide variety of leaks that have trickled out of Google sources since Panda’s release. Please keep in mind, this list could be much longer. However, it should give you a brief picture of the kind of factors we actively look at when it comes to “recovering” from Google Panda,especially with the Industrial Niche in mind.  Keep in mind, the typical industrial business is very different from a retail business or blog, and approaches the web in a slightly different way.  Some items (like “social shares” and “positive comments) may be less relevant for a manufacturer or other Industrial business, however the general principles of quality and authenticity remain the same.

So without further ado, an abbreviated list of “Do’s” and “Dont’s” when it comes to internet marketing and SEO after Google Panda 4.1

panda-4.1-dos-and-donts

 

What to strive for: Page factors that indicate “high quality”

1. Usability and Satisfaction: Bounce rate, time on site, interaction, and usability in general are all active factors that indicate whether or not a particular visitor is satisfied with your website. Bad usability = Bad ranking. Generally, it’s as simple as that. Another active, but under-reported factor in this equation is your Content Quality Rating, which (to oversimplify the issue) stipulates that every page should have a purpose, and that the most successful pages consistently achieve that purpose. For instance, to echo the example used by Terence Mace in his excellent post on content quality factors, if a page is on an ecommerce website and the goal is to sell a product, the most important elements of the “main content” include the product name, images, description, an ‘add to cart’ button, and a price. Main content elements like these should always be focused on the end-goal.

2. Positive Social Mentions and Shares (when possible)

3. Comprehensive contact information on every page

4. A positive reputation on blogs, forums, and other websites. These can include Wikipedia, magazines, and organizations like BBB, Yelp, and more.

5. Detailed “about us” information, proving that you are a legitimate business. This should include  standard “about us” content, in addition to a mission statement, company history, and a company directory.

6. Obvious design difference when comparing “main” content to additional, supplemental, or nonessential content

7. An “aged” domain is ideal

8. Citations and references to and from reputable experts (when possible).

9. Positive comments and reviews (when possible)

 

What to avoid: Page factors that indicate low quality

1. Bad page usage metrics

2. Duplicate page titles and descriptions

3. “Keyword Stuffed” content, titles, and descriptions

4. Pages on-site that are off-topic or hard to categorize.

5. Outdated information

6. Pages with errors, duplicate or unnecessary content, and bad design.

7. Pages where the main content isn’t immediately apparent (below the fold).

8. Popups and excessive advertisements.

9. A bad reputation on sites like BBB, ripoffreport.com, scamreport, Yelp, and others)

10. Distracting design

11. Low quality comments

12. Slow speed

13. Low reading level

14. Broken links

Are you wondering if your business website has been impact by one of Google’s algorithm updates? We can help you recover

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Panda 4.1: What it Means for Websites and How to Recover

how-to-panda-4.1   This week, Google announced its latest Algorithm update, Panda 4.1. One of Google’s Webmaster Trend Analysts, Pierre Far, explained that the update is focused on one major objective: identifying low-quality content, which has essentially been Panda’s strategy all-along. Once again, Google is stressing quality over quantity. Apparently, the update has already resulted in small to medium sized sites with high quality content experiencing better rankings. So, what does this mean for the Industrial World? Here at Industrial Traffic, our specialty is websites for the manufacturers and b2b businesses of the world. Because of that, many of our clients fall into two camps: service providers and retailers. Generally, service providers don’t have the hundreds of pages you would expect from a major corporation or large ecommerce site because they only really need to provide the information that their customers are looking for. In short, their websites tend to be relatively focused. With this in mind, if you have a small or medium sized website with good, quality information – chances are you your web presence made it through this algorithm change unscathed, you might have even seen a traffic increase. On the other hand, if you have a large website with numerous pages and a complicated structure, there’s a chance that Google’s latest update wasn’t as kind to you.

Have You Been Struck by Panda 4.1?

No matter how big your business or your website is, getting hit with an SEO penalty can be a big deal. Read on to learn about just a few of the best practices that can get your web traffic back on the right track. But remember, whenever it comes to SEO, results always take time. Especially with Panda, content oriented changes mean that sometimes you’ll have to do a significant amount of work to make a difference, whether you’re transitioning from a time when “keyword density” was the name of the game or simply finding the time to add more usable information to your website.

Here’s How to Recover from Panda 4.1:

  1.  Revise thin, duplicate, and low quality content

In previous years, it was pretty easy for businesses to publish page after page of keyword dense copy to manipulate the search engines. Those days are gone. But how do you know which pages need work? The best way is to perform a full site audit. Which pages fell off the face of the earth? Which ones are still performing? And what can we do to make them better? This can be an in depth process, but to provide a brief primer, here’s a pointer: Google Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics are your friend. With a number of reports in Google Analytics, you can assess the % Change as it pertains to visitors who made it into your site via landing pages. If you see drastic drops in % Change after algorithms updates  hit, chances are you’ve been affected. However, in our example site – a medium sized industrial business with good, non-duplicate content (the type of website that is Rumored to be improving), we experienced a modest 23% increase in visitors. But that doesn’t mean we should stop everything we’re doing and pat ourselves on the back. It means it’s time to continue re-assessing the value of content on site to make sure that it’s not negatively affected by the next algorithm update, because we all know it’s coming — we just don’t know when.             Sample site: increase

  1. Add new content that helps your visitors

It’s always been our experience that adding fresh, helpful new content to a website almost always results in an increase in traffic.

  • Long form content ranks well: Content over 500 words (and even as much as 1500 words) , with a broad focus of keywords works consistently better than short form content focused on highly competitive keywords.

 

  •  Good links (internal and external): The content on your website should lead the visitor towards the resources they need. That means logical internal links and external links that lead to authoritative sites and reputable domains.

 

  • Content Value:  Does the content solve a problem or answer a question? Google’s desire is to rank content that’s useful for their customer base: Humans. Why? Because if its search engine doesn’t serve up the results real people are looking for, everyone will stop using Google. It’s pretty simple. That means, it’s important to remember that the human is your primary focus.

 

  • Content Variety: Good content doesn’t just mean “the right words”. It can also involve a wide variety of images, videos, and graphics that are designed to inform, engage, and keep the reader on the page. After all, it’s been proven that visual stimulation is key in holding on to valuable website visitors.

 

  1. Improve the user experience

Is your site easy to use? Does it look like it belongs to the last decade? These are both factors that can impact how your potential customers interact with you online. Since users have come to expect a certain kind of quality and ease of use, it’s important to give it to them! Otherwise they’ll click off to greener pastures.

So what does Panda 4.1 Mean for Small Businesses, B2b’s, and Industrials?

The websites that have been affected the most by Panda 4.1 have been those with information that tends not to change or information that’s the same just about everywhere. This can be a problem for a lot of businesses who tend to take the “Set it and forget it” approach to their business website, or only provide generic information. However, keep in mind that there is never an end-all-be-all ranking factor for websites. If your content doesn’t change all that often but it’s good content and your visitors tend to respond well to your website — chances are you’ll be fine. But that doesn’t mean you should rest on your laurels. If your content hasn’t been updated in a long time, Google’s latest changes are a warning shot that says: Keep your content fresh. 

 

Has Panda hit your website?  Let us know what the result was!

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New Site Launch: ConductiveCompounds.com

Industrial Traffic is proud to announce the launch of a brand new site that has been in the works for Conductive Compounds, a global supplier of functional inks and coatings for the electronics industry.

When Conductive Compounds approached us and expressed interest in a new site that took advantage of all that 2014 had to offer, we knew it had to be responsive and easy to navigate.  The responsive development was fairly straightforward, but putting together a navigation that made it easy for visitors to digest all of the information on site was slightly more challenging. The end result was an architecture that offers relevant information to every kind of customer, whether they prefer to search for the product they need by their application, their industry, or the specific product category.

Conductive Compounds provides highly technical products to an equally technical audience. With that in mind, we knew that customers would be dealing with a wealth of information. We also knew that the success of Conductive Compounds’ site would rely on being able to intuitively present that information without overwhelming visitors. On top of the site’s responsive design and  clean, easy to read layout — this was accomplished with the development of product comparison and selection tools.

Highlights of Conductive Compounds’ new site include:

  • Fully responsive design, providing a streamlined experience on any device
  • Fresh new design elements
  • Brand new SEO
  • Easy to use product comparison tool
  • Intuitive site architecture
  • Fresh content

The Design

On the design side of the project, our lead designer, Eddie, started out with a style tile. We use “style tiles” as a  tool to help our clients quickly and painlessly wrap their  head around the many design elements at play with a new site. In most cases, the style tile provides a great snapshot of what to expect when everything is said and done with a site’s design. The goal our design team set out to accomplish with ConductiveCompounds.com was to create a clean, corporate, and approachable site. The creative process actively took into consideration the intentions of customers in order to help them take full advantage of the site’s improved architecture.

Conductive Compound’s Style Tyle

To take a look at the difference between Conductive Compounds’ old website and their new responsive website, check out the video below.


  

The Optimization

As Keith, our Lead SEO expert explains, “This project was an interesting one from an SEO perspective for a few reasons.”

First off, the company didn’t have much visibility in the search engines, and after a quick audit we realized that many of the standard practices for SEO were not being utilized. Simple things like using a dash instead of an underscore in file names, naming images keywords, and naming pages keywords.

In addition, most of the site contained duplicate meta titles and descriptions, which is a big factor for poor rankings. We spruced up the file names, wrote unique titles and descriptions for every page and setup 301 redirects to pass any juice from the old pages to the new ones.

The second problem we encountered was that the site architecture was extremely flat, meaning that every page was on the root without any folders for organizing information into categories. We addressed this by categorizing all the products and organizing them into folders named keywords like,‘dielectric-inks’ or ‘conductive-epoxies’, for example.

 

Check back often for more on what’s happening at Industrial Traffic from new site launches to the latest in the industry. While you’re at it, also feel free to follow us on Facebook and on Twitter

 

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How One Industrial Website Got the Boost it Needed

Quite a bit can happen to your web traffic. But sometimes, it’s not always clear what the cause is. It happens when we’ve considered all the changes Google has made, thought about the changes to their “Algorithm”, taken care of a handful of dead links, and adjusted the titles and descriptions. But many times – there’s still some room left on the “idea board”.

Every business with a website has been through it. But before you think I’m going to throw out a bunch of complex industry terms you’re not familiar with, just know this: that’s not the point here.

The last time we ran into this particular problem for a client of ours, it was Phoenix Wire Inc. (PWC). When it came down to it, half of the solution came from paying close attention to data, the other, a good old fashioned realization. It turned out there were two major factors impacting our client’s site. One of them: usability. The other, a trademark dispute — which was a bit more uncommon. Ultimately, addressing both issues helped us increase traffic and conversions by nearly 100%

The end result:

phoenix-wire-seo-results

Usability & Content
Old-school SEO has gone the way of the dinosaurs. With Algorithm updates like Penguin, Panda, and Hummingbird, the focus was shifted away from the black-and-white to a more abstract and complex combination of relevancy, quality, and usability. There’s much more involved than picking the right keywords and cramming them into the page. Instead, Google actively rewards the sites that are relevant and helpful with better rankings. Websites with real answers to real questions that are written for a human to easily read, find, and navigate through will always perform the best.

What we did first: We updated the site with a more modern and user friendly aesthetic.

To begin, we brought the website’s design out of 1999. You might think that this is just a matter of “form” over “function”, but it’s important to realize that the look of your website actively impacts its performance in search engines as well. If someone enters a dated site and has to wonder whether the business is still open or not, there’s a good chance they’ll find a different site that gives them a better first impression. This impacts what is called “bounce rate,” and if it happens a lot to your website – Google’s search algorithm may very well penalize it.

What we did next: We updated content to provide real value

Part of bringing the site out of the last decade was also making sure it appealed to humans, and not just to the search engine “robots”. There’s no point in updating a site’s look if the content isn’t encouraging visitors to stay, and you can’t really game the system anymore with a surplus of keywords. Our solution was to fill the site with helpful content that is easy to read and navigate, while providing the answers that potential customers are really looking for (not just a list of keywords).

Copyright Issues

This stumbling block was a bit more uncommon, but had a very simple solution. Phoenix Wire sells a product that is most commonly referred to by a trademarked name (kind of like “Kleenex”). Because of that we couldn’t directly use that name as a keyword on the site, which had a very real impact on search rankings.

What we did: Made simple content edits and tweaks to make the most of the situation

The Solution to PWC’s problem wasn’t hidden in some obscure report. Nor was it any kind of secret SEO “trick”. It was actually on the back of a generic Ibuprofen bottle, right where  the label reads, “Compare to Advil™.”  When it came to solving the maddening issue of not being able to use the one keyword our client’s web-traffic relied on, using the brand comparatively turned out to be the no-brainer we needed.

How it turned out

With a simple redesign, content adjustments, and a simple solution to our copyright conundrum, PWC’s site benefited on every front.

With a new approach to content, more users spent more time on site, leading to more conversions.

With a new approach to content, users spent more time on site, leading to more conversions.

With a new design, users viewed more pages of the site, instead of leaving from the home-page.

With a newly implemented keyword strategy, PWC regained traffic they'd been missing out on.

With a new keyword strategy, PWC regained traffic they’d been missing out on.

Whether your website needs a similar treatment or you have a question for our team, feel free to get in touch!
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3DL Industries A Family Tradition

With 30 years of experience in the panel instruments industry, 3DL Industries has the expertise to help you with your needs no matter if you’re a business, OEM or hobbyist. 3DL is committed to finding the right solution for your project the first time. With a drive to provide more for their customers they are on a mission to be your expert when it comes to digital panel meters, data loggers, and or smart display modules. With decades of industry knowledge they are capable of giving you the personal service you are looking for. The team at Industrial Traffic has built 3DL an ecommerce site with a custom product selector so consumers can quickly find what they are looking for. The site is also fully responsive so you have ease of use whether you are on a desktop, tablet or cell phone. The easy checkout and payments service feature helps you quickly and efficiently purchase products from their SSL secured shopping cart. Here at Industrial Traffic we are excited that 3DL Industries has chosen us as their digital marketing agency and we look forward to bringing them more exposure. Check out the site by clicking the image below.

3dl-industries

 

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New Site Launch: TopShelfTattooGallery.com

Hot off the press! Check out our latest web design for a local Tattoo Shop by the name of Top Shelf Tattoo Gallery. The ladies and gents at Top Shelf Tattoo Gallery want their tattoo shop to be unique, so naturally we wanted to help reflect that in their website. With its fully responsive design and parallax scrolling for some cool effects, we’re pumped on the end-result. So check out the Manchester NH Tattoo Parlor that is on the fast track to being the best spot in town for not just tattoos, but piercings, local art, and even special events.

Visit http://www.TopShelfTattooGallery.com or take a look below
manchester nh tattoo
manchester nh tattoo
nh tattoo
manchester nh tattoo

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Effective Social Media Always Needs a Strong Strategy

Your message, delivery and design play a key role in your businesses social strategy. Let this Fridays video explain, as we use a day at the office to explain how to successfully market a strong social media strategy.

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At Industrial Traffic Custom Websites are Music to our Ears

Are you sick of the same old songs? The same can be said for websites. We build our websites from the ground up to give each client a unique and identifiable website to market their product or service. Happy Friday everyone!

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Outsourcing SEO and Design Services: You get What You Pay For

We are big supporters of local business. When it comes to web design, development, and SEO we do it all in house. Why? Because it gives you the best result. Whether you’re outsourcing SEO to a family friend or overseas….the local alternative is your best bet. This week’s video demonstrates why. Happy Friday!

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Is your Internet Marketing Data Driven?

For every website, data driven decisions make for the best results. That’s why you need a good data guy. Check out this Friday’s video to see why.

For our SEO and internet marketing services, visit Industrial Traffic

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