Unfortunately for many etailers, Google doesn’t operate like the NHL. When you do something wrong, they don’t stop the game, put you in the penalty box, set a timer, and then let you go back in after a while.
Many etailers just find themselves in the penalty box without having any idea what they did to get there. Even worse, they don’t have any idea how to get out.
It’s important to know where you stand in Google’s eyes in terms of SEO. Here are a few steps you can take to make sure you and your etailer clients are staying out of Google’s penalty box.
1) Keep An Eye On Organic Traffic
If something suddenly happens to your rank in the results, you can expect to see a dip in organic traffic. If you keep a close eye on your organic traffic metrics, you should be able to catch a small SEO issue before it starts costing you a lot of money in lost sales. Monitoring these metrics is your first line of defense.
Using other tools like SearchMetrics search visibility report regularly will also help you monitor your performance beyond Google Analytics.
2) Understand Algorithm Changes
Big changes like Panda and Penguin are highly publicized, but Google is changing their algorithm more often than you think. Luckily, Moz keeps track of every one of these changes for you.
Understanding how these changes affect your website can help you prepare your site to avoid losing traffic, or it can explain why you’ve already seen a decrease in traffic.
It’s important to know the rules of the game you’re playing in.
3) Check Your Webmaster Tools
Google Webmaster Tools are available for free to the site's webmasters and provide useful insights into the health of your website. If something is wrong, this will help you find out what and how to deal with it.
If you’re worried you’re already in the penalty box, go to the Webmaster Tools and under “Manual Actions” you can check to see if you have any messages. If you don’t, you’re in the clear and it’s probably just an algorithm change affecting traffic.
Even if you’re not actively investing in an SEO strategy, it’s important to make sure you’re still not getting penalized and losing traffic.
Are you using data to track website performance and increase sales? See how data can be leveraged to help your company!