Tips For Recovering Website From Google SEO Penalty

When it comes to online traffic, Google is where everything is at. After all, if your website is not ranking on Google for search terms related to your business, you’re unlikely to get much organic traffic. If you have optimized your website and achieved good rankings for various search terms but suddenly, your website seems to have lost all its rankings and your traffic is down big time, it’s possible that your website has suffered a Google SEO penalty.

Now, Google SEO penalties can happen for a variety of reasons such as the use of duplicate content, having spam on your site, having malware on your site, a hacked site, keyword stuffing, broken URLs, use of bought links and other reasons.

Simply put, your website can be penalized for several reasons and the first thing you need to do in order to even think about lifting Google’s penalty from a website is to know the exact reason for which your website has been penalized.

Another important thing you need to understand is that sometimes, Google penalizes websites even when site owners are engaged in activities they think are legit but Google thinks differently.

Sometimes, a website gets hacked and there is malware on the website which leads to a Google penalty. In other words, it is not always the fault of the site owner if their website gets penalized.

Here is a quick guide on what you need to do if you are facing a Google SEO penalty.

Checking for Google Penalty

The very first thing you need to do is find out whether your website has been penalized by Google. While you can find several online tools that can give an idea of whether your website has been penalized or not, the best way to check the penalty status is to log into Google’s Webmaster Tools and find out whether Google has taken any action against your website.

You will find a link inside the search console for manual actions report. In this report, you will find everything related to your website and why your website has been penalized (if it has been).

There are also some links in the sidebar you can open to check whether your website has been determined by Google to be spam and actions you can take in order to lift the penalty.

In case you haven’t set up your Webmaster Tools account, it is the first thing you need to do. Sign up for it and verify your website. Once you have done that, log into your Webmaster Tools account and check the messages section. If any messages require attention, go through those messages to discover the exact cause of the penalty.

Once you open the manual actions report, you will find several links that will tell you why your website has been penalized. It can be for a hacked site, cloaking, unnatural links, blocked images, keyword stuffing, user-generated spam or a variety of other reasons.

Once you find the root cause of the penalty, you need to take manual corrective action to fix the problem. If you are well versed in the technical side of things, you should try to do it on your own. In case you don’t have the required technical skills or SEO skills, it is recommended to hire the services of a company specializing in recovery from Google SEO penalty to help you get back on track.

As far as hiring a company specializing in lifting a Google penalty is concerned, you should do your homework before partnering with someone. While you can easily find a multitude of companies claiming to be the experts in lifting Google penalties, you’ll find that most are just looking to make a quick buck. Therefore, you need to be smart and check their credentials thoroughly including the work they have done for other clients before allowing them to work on your site.

In case you decide to do all the work on your own, and you have taken the required corrective action, you should resubmit the site map again in Webmaster Tools. If you have signed up for Webmaster Tools, you will get an email from Google where they will ask you to make certain changes in order to fix the penalty. In this message, you will also find a link wherein you can tell them about the fixes you have made. You can also wait for Google to re-crawl the page when they want to but if you message them, things will move quickly.

Simply put, this is what you need to do in order to lift the Google SEO penalty. However, the tough part is taking the corrective actions as required by Google. In case you don’t have the skills, always partner with an expert to lift the penalty and get back that organic traffic.

Important Things You Should Ask Before Choosing An SEO Company

What is SEO?

Search engine optimization (SEO) is an umbrella term for the process of helping people find and discover content on the web.

Search engines use algorithms to determine what is relevant, useful and interesting to their users, and how to present it to them. These algorithms are often used to create and display the best possible search results and serve up information people want to see.

Google and the other search engines, as well as other online marketing tools, are built to work together to help people discover, learn and find information, and to deliver the best possible search results to them.

Hiring A Company To Handle Your SEO

The digital marketing landscape has expanded a lot over the years but the fact is that search engines still remain the driving force behind online success.

While social media and email marketing have the potential to bring a lot of traffic, no business can survive by ignoring their presence on the search engine. A strong first-page presence on the search engine result pages is essential to get highly targeted traffic actively looking for the products or services you are selling.

Limited space on the first page of search results means extremely high competition and you need to hire the services of a professional and experienced SEO company to get your website ranked only on the first page of search results for terms related to your business.

However, not all the SEO companies are the same and here is a list of some of the important questions you need to ask before hiring them to get the best value for your money.

Techniques They Use

The first question you should ask them should be about the techniques they use to achieve rankings for their clients. As a business owner, it is important for you to understand that search engine optimization is a double-edged sword. It can do a lot of good for your business by achieving high rankings for your website but partnering with the wrong company can do a lot more harm.

There are all kinds of SEO techniques. Some companies use outdated techniques that provide a ranking boost in the short-term but does a lot more harm in the long term. If search engines discover these techniques being used on your website, your website will be punished in the rankings.

There have been cases where websites have been completely removed from the index by search engines. Therefore, you need to make sure that they only use legitimate techniques that are approved by the search engines.

The industry term for approved & legitimate strategies is white hat SEO. It simply means they won’t indulge in any practices that are likely to get your website penalized. It is also important to realize that white hat SEO takes time to deliver results.

In-house Work or Outsourced

Some SEO companies outsource various aspects of their business due to lack of staff or other reasons. This is typical of web design companies that also offer search engine optimization services to their clients. Since they do not have any optimization experts in their staff, they tend to outsource everything.

You need to know whether the staff working on your website is someone who is aware of the latest techniques. Simply put, you want to know whether the person working on your website knows what they’re doing and whether they follow the best SEO practices.

Result Tracking

Professional agencies understand the importance of keeping their clients aware of the changes they have made and the results they have obtained through their efforts. They constantly communicate with the clients to keep them aware of the things they are doing to achieve higher rankings. In other words, they closely track their efforts and the results achieved through those efforts.

You should ask the prospective SEO partner about how they track results and what kind of reports they are going to share with you regularly to allow you to keep track of their work.

If a company does not want to share reports or shies away from communicating with you, stay away from such companies and start looking for another one.

Existing Clients

Ask them about some of the other clients they have. It will tell you a lot about their experience, especially when it comes to your industry.

SEO also varies by industry and industry knowledge is extremely important as things work differently in each industry. Successful SEO companies typically work with businesses across various industries which gives them the necessary experience to achieve success for clients in a completely different industry.

Simply put, you should ask them to share the results they have obtained for other clients, especially in your industry to make sure that they can deliver on their promises.

Conclusion

Overall, search engine optimization is dynamic. Things keep changing every other day. Therefore, you need to do your homework and spend some time researching various SEO companies before choosing to partner with the right one. Make use of the above-mentioned tips in order to choose the right SEO company.

The Best Online Tools For Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization is without a shadow of a doubt more crucial today than ever before. New trends in the industry like the AI revolution and the rise of voice search mean that you if you want to stay competitive, then you need to top up your game. If you want to get started with search engine optimization or just want to get better results, you may want to try out the following popular SEO tools.

Google Keyword Planner

There is no denying that SEO analysis has become more important for the App Store, YouTube, and Amazon. However, most online business owners are more interested in how their content appears on the search giant Google.

To access all Google Keyword Planner’s capabilities, you’ll need a Google AdWords account, but the tool is actually free to anyone with a Google Account. This tool has two primary capabilities, discovering keywords as well as looking at keyword metrics.

For the former, you enter phrases that are connected to your niche and then it gives you a list of suggested keywords. This includes an estimate of monthly search results, cost per click estimations as well as competition.

In the latter, you can utilize the tool to compare the analytics of the keyword. It reveals the number of clicks and impressions a monthly ad targeting a specific keyphrase. It ideally shows how much it would all cost.

SEMrush

This is another popular keyword research tool that among many other things makes it easy to find out what keywords any page on the internet is ranking for. It gives you detailed information regarding those phrases including their position in the search engine results pages, the URLs to which they drive traffic and trends in the last 12 months.

With this feature-rich SEO tool, it’s easy to find out what phrases your competitors are ranking for and create great content around those keywords. It ideally offers more features and while it does not come cheap, the company offers a 14-day free trial if you want to test it out.

Woorank

This is a handy site analysis tool that gives useful insights that help you improve your websites search engine optimization. It generates a search engine optimization score for your website as well as a Marketing Checklist which outlines the steps you should take to fix any issues with your website’s SEO.

Another appealing feature of Woorank is the social shareability pane. This is a section that provides social media data like the number of comments, likes, shares, bookmarks, and backlinks.

Ideally, it has an excellent mobile section where you will find information on how your web pages render on mobile devices as well as how fast they load.

Keyword.Io

This is a tool used to conducting keyword research on an array of platforms including YouTube, Amazon, Google, Wikipedia, etc. If you are on the search for keywords beyond Google, this is an ideal starting point.

Once you type in a keyword and pick your region, the tool will create a list of numerous long-tail keywords that are related to your entry. For example, you can look specifically at Amazon keywords and filter them or search through those of any of the platforms they support.

BROWSEO

This is a tool that allows you to see how your site looks to search engines. Simply put, it strips your webpage and reveals the underlying structure. This is a handy feature as it helps you know whether search engine bots are having a hard time accessing important information on your website. The SERP feature is perhaps the neatest feature of this free tool. It shows a preview of how your website appears in the search results.

Ubersuggest

This is another handy SEO tool that scrapes data from Keyword Planner for phrase ideas based on the term you type in. Ubersuggest ideally returns helpful data for every keyword including the level of competition, CPC, and search volume.

An appealing feature of this SEO tool is the ability to filter out keywords that you are not interested in from search results. With the recently updated version, it is now possible to enter URLs and get metrics on domains.

These are some of the most popular and handy tools that you should consider for your SEO efforts.

What Is On-Page SEO?

Each search engine optimization strategy is centered on ranking a website in the highest possible positions in the search results. To do so, most of us attempt to create and produce a web site that Google’s ranking algorithm will like. That is essentially what SEO (search engine optimization) is really about.

Google’s algorithm factors can be split into two classes. Based on the factors in those classes will end up determining the rank of your site.

These 2 classes are on-page and off-page SEO.

Here, I will explore the variations between both, describe the value of search-engine SEO and discuss the primary on-page search engine optimization factors.

Off-Page and On-Page SEO

On-page variables are related to components that make up your website.

On-page factors include how it is set up, the actual make-up of the code, visual and textual content, and whether your website is user-friendliness or not.

The other class is made up of factors off-page, or not directly on your website, such as links to your website coming from other websites and your social media engagement, along with other advertising activities out of your own site.

The better quality links you receive has a direct correlation to ranking better in Google.

On-Page SEO Relevance

On-page SEO is made up of all of the components of search engine optimization that you have the most control over.

If you have a web site, you can directly address the technical problems and make sure your website’s content is of high quality. The first place to start in your SEO campaign will be addressing and fixing all on-page optimization issues as these are the easiest and quickest to resolve.

If you make a wonderful site, it will eventually begin ranking.

Putting your focus onto your on-page SEO can also raise the probability your off-page search engine optimization strategy will succeed. Since off-page SEO is primarily made up of backlinks, you’re not very likely to get good quality backlinks if you have a bad website. People are just less motivated to share or reference your website if it has low-quality content, doesn’t add any unique value or has a bad UX.

Critical On-Page Search Engine Optimization Factors

In our opinion, there are 3 primary on-page search engine optimization factors.

Quality Code

Your website should be designed and developed using quality code and you shouldn’t be cutting any corners.

Check if you are not unintentionally preventing crawlers (search engine bots that search your website looking over your content) from indexing/visiting your site (this still happens a lot!).

Many people use WordPress to build their websites. It is a pretty friendly platform when it comes to SEO as there are some good SEO plugins available to easily install. Yoast SEO and All In One SEO are both great plugins to install. They will easily address some of the underlying code issues that many people might not know how to fix otherwise.

Amazing content

You find a website through a search engine because it has information on it related to what you were searching for. Thus you should write really good content. Search engines such as Google read the text on your website. A large portion of a website’s rankings has to due with the content that is on that website.

You want the content to be straight forward, unique and highly relevant to what your website is about. You want it to add value when a visitor comes to your website and reads it. Since Google monitors website activity it can analyze how engaging your content is based on a visitor interacts with your site.

If a searcher goes to your website from a search engine and then immediately presses the back button. Well, that gives the search engine good data regarding the website that was visited. Since they were only there a couple of seconds, maybe the website is broken, has a virus, has horrible content, a bad UX or is not relevant to what was being searched for.

Regardless of why none of these are good things, and a quick abandon rate like that can be pretty bad for your SEO.

So make sure that your content rocks and that it is focused on your target market.

Easy to follow UX

The final item in your on-page SEO is to make sure that your website is easy to use and navigate. Users will need to readily understand your site. They ought to have the ability to obtain what they need as quickly as they arrive. They should be able to easily tell where they need to click and how to browse through your website. Plus it ought to be fast!

I great looking design for your website is well and good, but your highest priority should be to make your website as a user-friendly as possible!

If you would like to find out more about blending SEO into your UX and transformation we would suggest that you read the other posts on our website to learn more!

How To Optimize Your Blog Posts For SEO

Writing a captivating blog, SEO requires not only skills but also creativity. You need to properly structure your post to keep your reader interested and glued on your article. Some of the simple techniques you can use to captivate your audience effectively are using clear paragraphs, subheadings, and using captivating titles. Consequently, your article will be ranked higher if your readers are inclined to link, share, and tweet about the piece. Here are some tips that will guide you on how to optimize your blog SEO posts:

1. Optimize the Length of Your Article

When it comes to blog posts, the length is a crucial ingredient. To effectively optimize your blogs, ensure they are a minimum of 300 words. Google prefers articles that are of proper length and informative. However, you should also exercise caution not to write extremely long pieces that could scare away your readers.

2. Link to Previous Content

Make it a habit to link your previous work that is related to the current piece you’re writing. Doing so indicates that you are knowledgeable on the subject and well informed. Most importantly, your Google rank is also dependent on your link structure. In addition to that, your potential readers may also be interested in reading your previous related post.

3. Devise a Proper Structure for your Article

Concise writing is key to optimizing your blog SEO. Firstly, ensure that your article has a clear introduction where you introduce your topic, a body which contains the main message and finally a conclusion. The latter summarizes the most important ideas within your work. Start by jotting the main ideas on a piece of paper to freshen your mind before you start writing.

4. Bring in the Opinion of Another Person

You can do so by allowing someone else to read your work before publishing it. While at it, inquire from the person proofreading the post whether he/she understands the main subject of your work. Indeed, it is during such moments that the proofreader can notice any typos, grammatical errors, and unnecessary words or phrases.

5. Use Signal Words

Certain words and phrases easily capture the attention of the reader. Such words assist your audience in grasping the main ideas as they go through your article. Some of the best signal words to use are ‘finally,’ ‘secondly,’ and ‘first of all.’ Furthermore, words such as ‘indeed,’ ‘surely’ and ‘nevertheless’ assist greatly in giving your readers a distinct signal. These words play a crucial role in adding structure to your text.

6. Find Semantic Keywords for Your Focus Keyword

Always ensure that you pick the keywords that have the least competition and the highest search volume. This is, of course, after you have carried out your keyword research and found out keyword ideas. The phrase will be your focus keyword. Often, your readers will most likely look for that word.

Consequently, you will need to look for the Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) keywords. They are searches that are closely related to your keyword and are listed at the bottom of your search engine as ‘related searches.’

7. Incorporate Videos and Images to Your Blog Posts

Adding videos and images makes your text more engaging as compared to plain text. In most circumstances, search engines have a way of ranking content that is more engaging higher in the search results. Therefore, make it a habit of adding images or videos, in-between paragraphs.

While at it, ensure that you adhere to image copyrights. Exercise caution not to infringe on other websites’ image copyrights. Carry out a proper search and find royalty-free images that you can add to your blog posts.

8. Use Tags and Categories to Organize Content

Tags and categories go a long way in sorting out content not only for you but also for the search engines and readers as well. Tags are usually the subjects discussed in the individual blog post, whereas categories come in handy in dividing your content into main themes highlighted on your blog SEO.

The Verdict

Gone are the days when you could use a few tricks to give your website an excellent ranking on Google. In the contemporary age, quality and well-thought-out content is king. The tips highlighted above will be essential in optimizing your blog SEO and taking it to the next level.

Local Search Engine Optimization Tactics For Your Business

Are you new to local search and you don’t know what to do?

Do not fret.

It is possible to use local Search Engine Optimization to build your brand and expand your local business.

With the changing times, it becomes prudent for you to embrace online marketing. Most consumers have embraced technology, and most of them now spend a lot of their time on their devices.

For you to reach your target market, it is crucial to learn several tactics that will increase traffic to your website, and increase your customer base.

One thing that you need to know is that SEO strategies change all the time such that new strategies have now replaced the old techniques that used to work. You, therefore, need to maximize your on-site and off-site SEO techniques to attract clients who might be searching for your local business.

The other reason you need to embrace local SEO is that competition gets stiff by the day. If you aren’t on top of your game, it goes without saying that your competitors are.

You, therefore, need to play smart. Below are some of the local SEO tactics that will help your business rank better in local search.

You Need Great Online Reviews

The new generation values online reviews and greatly rely on them. Businesses, therefore, need to ensure that they have great reviews on online platforms because any negative remarks about their product may discourage potential customers from engaging with them.

Since most people trust online reviews, you have to ensure that you find a reputable marketing software to help you track, manage, and seek reviews from clients.

Besides, several social media platforms enable you to get alerts any time your product or brand is mentioned anywhere.

Ensure you respond to all reviews on your page, whether negative or positive. Responding to reviews shows the online customers that you value what they think and this motivates them to engage with you.

By responding to negative reviews, you can showcase yourself as the hero of the situation. Be kind in your response to negative reviews and patiently explain the whole situation. Don’t try to make yourself look good and don’t try to make the other person look bad. Just thoroughly explain. If there was an error on you or your businesses side, publicly apologize and let them and the world know the steps you’ve taken to resolve the issue.

The awesome thing about reviews is that ultimately you get the last word on the review so you can turn a good review into a great one or a bad review into an amazing one! It just all depends on your response.

Some of the platforms you should focus on getting reviews on include Facebook and Google My Business Page. This is because most people are on Facebook, and they depend on their friends’ opinion, to determine whether a particular brand is good or not. Also, having positive reviews on Google My Business Page is vital because the reviews tend to show up on google when people search for your product or service. Remember, if your online review volume is low, you will not have a high ranking.

Add Local Structured Data Markup To Your Site

Use of structured data markup will help you attract more local customers. It enhances the search experience such that it tags specific details about your business such as the products you sell, the services you offer and displays reviews from your clients, allowing the potential customers to know a lot about your business, within a short time.

You are therefore required to add the markup to your site if you want to increase the visibility of your business as well as conversion.

Some of the other structured data you could include are the types of payment you accept, the cost of your products, business hours, and customer ratings.

Also, Google wants businesses to use this structured data markup because it enables its spiders to determine the content of your site. It provides you with a testing tool to check whether your data markup is functioning. Also, it shows you any errors that are on your structured data and allows you to fix them.

Create A Mobile Friendly Website

Since most people use a mobile phone for their day to day activities, you have to ensure that you create a mobile friendly website. If potential customers can easily access your site without having to deal with slow loading time, you will be able to increase traffic to your page and engage more with your customers.

Ensure that your page loading speed is high to avoid losing potential customers.

Some of the ways to deal with slow loading time are to optimize your images such that they are not very large. Large images tend to increase the loading time of your page.

The other ways to optimize your website for mobile users is by using bigger fonts that are easy to read. If you find that your website is not responding well to mobile phones, you should consider doing a website redesign or using page speed tools that are provided by Google developers.

Do not dismiss these tips to help optimize your website for mobile phone users. Remember, most clients do local searches using their phones.

Local SEO is crucial if you want your business to do well. Without it, you lose the opportunity to expand your customer base. If you wish to optimize your business, it is good to embrace the current SEO strategies that are being used by your competitors.

Work on creating a mobile-friendly website, getting positive reviews from customers, and using structured data markup to expand your business.