In the last two years Google came up with many new updates to improve search engine results. Their goal was to reduce spam and make search results better for the end users. But website owners and bloggers can take advantage of the new changes and implement them to bring more traffic from existing content.
So here are few things you can and should do to get more traffic for your old content.
Fixing Crawl Errors and Doing HTML Improvements
If you want to move up the rankings for individual keywords one of the most important things is to have a top notch website with minimal crawl and HTML errors. Site quality is very important for Google and this alone can hold many websites from getting the rankings they deserve. With Google listing them down in webmaster tools you have absolutely no excuse not to fix them.
There are two sections in webmaster tools that lists these down. You can go to them via
- Webmaster tools -> Search Appearance -> HTML Improvements
- Webmaster tools -> Crawl -> Crawl Errors
Most of these errors are very easy to fix. For example errors like duplicate meta descriptions, short meta descriptions, missing title tags are just a matter of editing the page and adding the necessary content. If you’re familiar with the site and know exactly why the page is made then modifying a single page will take only a few minutes. Unless you have a very large site this should take very little time.
Crawl errors are also fairly easy to fix. The most common error is “page not found” errors. This mostly comes when you delete a page or change the URL but still leave links in the site pointing to the older page. This is not good for search engines but a poor user experience for your visitors too. A simple fix is changing the old URL to point to the correct page.
Now you have an error free site and that increases your chances of ranking higher for necessary keywords.
Adding Rich Snippets
This is another great way to increase traffic without doing lots of hard work. If you’re not familiar with rich snippets I encourage you to read this article by Google. It explains what rich snippets are and types of rich snippets supported in search engines. Basically it provides webmasters with a way to tell search engines more about a specific page so they can showcase those date in the search results.
For example see how this page about flowchart software displays in the search engines. You can see the rating of the product, how many reviewed it and the price range you can expect. And more importantly it helps you stand out from rest of the search results.
If you search for recipes you can see how long it takes to prepare the recipe and how many people rated it. Do not abuse this and try to game search engine. Your competitors might report you and you might get penalized by search engines. Just add them if it’s relevant for your page.
Adding Authorship / Publisher Markup
Implementing Google authorship is important for many reasons. It helps you to increase your authority about a certain topic and when your authority increases your content has a better chance of ranking high in search engines. Additionally having your face next to a search results helps it stand out from the rest.
There are quite a few articles written about Google+ authorship in TweakYourBiz so I won’t go into detail. But do check out some of these articles for further reading.
- Author rank and how to claim your content
- How Google+ can help entrepreneurs
- Using Google+ for marketing your business
Increase Overall Domain Authority
This is really important if you have multiple pages that you want to rank for different keywords. Around 2-3 years ago if you wanted to rank for all these keywords you needed to build links to all of these pages with the proper anchor text as the keywords. Links are still important but not as they used to be. Do a search for anything and you’ll find top brands dominating search results. Top publications like Inc and Forbes can write about pretty much everything and they’ll usually rank in the first page even without a single link.
Fortunately for us they don’t write about everything. Unfortunately increasing domain authority is no easy task. Think of it as a long term project that will bring great results. Check out this article about 50 ways to increase domain authority.
50 might look overwhelming but if you go through them you’ll see that most of them are basic common sense things that any webmaster should implement.
Think Queries Instead of Keywords
This is probably the most important thing when it comes to increasing traffic to existing content. Before the latest changes most well optimized pages tended to rank well in search engine results for particular keywords. The pages that had the right keyword density, nice image with proper alt tags, keywords in H1 tags etc. Again these things are still important but not as important as it used to be.
Instead think whether the current page is the best result for what users are looking for and understand what users are looking for. For example it’s more likely that someone will search for “how to increase Twitter followers” instead of “increase Twitter followers”. Adding those words to the title alone can bring in more traffic from search engines. As with most things in digital it’s a matter of testing and finding the best method.
This post was a bit longer than I expected but hopefully you gained something important from it. Just by implementing a few of the things mentioned above you’re sure to get more traffic to your existing content so don’t hesitate to implement them. Of course if you have any questions do ask them in the comments section.
Images: ”A road turning into an arrow rising upward symbolizing growth and improvement of web traffic / Shutterstock.com“
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