If you are one of those people that gives your site more traffic from conducting searches hundreds of times a day for your main keywords, just to see how many positions your pages have risen or fallen? Then realize, you are not alone.
In fact, many of us are our own best customers and critics for search popularity (do it enough and you can toggle the auto suggest in search engines). Aside from the fact that this behavior can throw a monkey wrench on your website analytics when attempting to determine who clicked what, why and how long they stayed on a page. Being your own best virtual customer & critic is all a part of keeping a vigil eye on your search engine optimization efforts.
Are your penalizing your own website accidentally?
Here are a few tips to consider about your content and your theme that could be holding you back from hitting top 10 gold with your pages.
1. Is you content stale?, freshen it up!
Make changes, search engine spiders like change, but make sure you add value. Try adding a blog and making at least 3-5 posts with relevant content per week. This will unleash the spiders to check out all of the pages they can crawl which can adversely improve your search engine rankings across the board.
2. Do you have multiple pages with similar titles or on page content?
If you have multiple pages that essentially say the same thing, this also can affect dilute your authority for the keywords in question. If you have pages that have more than one topic per page then group them on their own page and name that page with the title of the main keywords. If they have page rank, then you can implement a 301 redirect to a new page that is more in line with the new keyword rich page to get a good running start for those terms.
Another method is, choose one page that has the most content for conversion and relevance and then link from all supporting pages to the new page you want to rank the highest.
3. Are your site maps current?
If search engines can’t get to the pages deep in your site, then chances are they are dormant or rarely see the light of spiders. Once again, adding a blog or revising your content on those pages to be more relevant can pull lackluster pages with lackluster rankings into blockbusters if you perfect your make over skills.
4. Do you have an HTACCESS file to eliminate duplicate content on your own pages?
Using an HTACCESS file can ensure that your site is not penalizing itself as a result of the http version and www versions of your pages. It is rather easy to implement and is well worth the investment in time. You can also use an HTACCESS file if you are creating sub folders in your site and wish the index page to be something else other than index.html or whichever extension your site uses.
5. Is your site over optimized?
Sometimes a simple blog post is enough to hit and maintain a top 10 ranking, on the other hand if you prepare an elaborate plan to build 200 links to a new page, cross link it with other pertinent parts of your site, publish the page through 4 social book mark sites that will stream your content and constantly tweak the page in question, you may in fact be going too far.
Each industry is unique, the search engine optimization community for example is fierce with the more competitive terms, here today gone tomorrow is nothing new in SEO, as rising to the top is one thing, but staying there with SEO Defense is another.
The point being, each industry has a unique barrier to entry, some require links from authority sites to crack the top 10, others require aged links or older posts before the search engine gives it the OK to land in the top 10, but without looking at each industry in detail it is better not to make random assumptions.
One method is, take a look at the top 5 sites for a search on your favorite search engine, if the results are from sites that appear to have diverse results from newer sites (check the cache before clicking) you may in fact be able to determine just how long that page has been at the top of the food chain. If you see mostly fresh blogs and posts at the top, chances are you could do the same since older more established pages aren’t present for those terms.
Make sure you don’t overuse things like bold keywords, excessive keywords in the h1, h2, h3 tags, super long titles or descriptions or excessive keyword stuffing for your main terms. Less is more nowadays as search engine algorithms have evolved, tricking them with simply on page inflation techniques only pushes you further away from the top 10.
More and more pages are rising to the top with 1-3% keyword density (keywords used 1-3 times per 1000 words, for the total word count of the page), so no need to go overboard.
So, sometimes it’s not one thing or another specifically, but rather a combination of sorts that can essentially be holding your pages back from hitting their true SEO ceiling.
Remove the obstructing element in question and sky is the limit, but first you have to have a good idea of where to start. This is a quick top 5 SEO Checklist, but in reality there are over 100 of such criteria that determine ranking, relevance and organic search engine positioning. If you have any other topics you would like to see, or would like to add to the list, leave a comment and we will incorporate it into a future post.