Since Google changed their search parameters, traffic to my website has gone down to almost nothing. It seems as though all the work I've put into my site and the time I've spent trying to establish relevant links has become all for nothing. I've tried to do some research on just what's happened, but I'm not a techno geek. Can anybody explain what's happened in plain English and what a small, independent business can do about it?
(Business and Management Forum)
From contributor M:
Active links on high traffic sites with relevant content can improve rankings dramatically. This is the easiest approach you can take.
How your site appears to a search engine is very important. A search engine needs to be able to navigate through the pages on your site and understand the content. Otherwise it won't be able to match your site with relevant searches.
Be careful with services offering search engine optimization for existing sites, and/or guaranteed traffic. What they are really selling much of the time is, at best, spam.
Keep in mind it's not about the quantity of traffic, but quality. Many hits are often from bots and crawlers. By some estimates 1/3 of average traffic fits this bill. You want traffic that is looking for the products and services you have to offer.
The easiest thing you can do yourself is get people to link to your site. Beyond that SEO (search engine optimization) can become very technical and is something best left to a professional developer.
I don't know whether these issues are significant enough to cause the problem you're seeing, but you should probably stay on top of stuff like this. Beyond that, you may have to hire a techno geek. Your site seems very simple, so having a pro help you may not be a major expense.
Advertising is a lot like tennis and golf; I basically suck, but every outing yields at least one sweet shot that keeps me coming back.
How many sales have you received solely based on someone finding your website? I have none. My website is more like an extension of my business card. The goal is to help me sell my product to people who are already interested in my company. But if I can attract new clients solely from the website, that would be nice.
You're better off promoting your website by other means then an internet search engine. Target people that are local to your area and not halfway across the country looking at pictures to get design ideas.
My website is informational on what I have to offer but mainly it's my online photo gallery, something I can point people to that are interested in seeing my work. I also have a brochure that I built through an online website, vistaprint. I send the brochures to builders and general contractors which also point back to my website.
If you look at my site, you will see I talk about "curved mouldings" again and again in text on the home page and all other pages on the site. I get those words, and any other phrase I can think of that someone would type into a search engine, in as many spelling variations as might come up, on the webpage again and again. I am not a professional search engine optimizer but common sense (and experience) tell me that if someone is looking for curved mouldings, I need the search engines to find those words on my webpages.
I use meta names and tags as well in the coding but quite frankly I've found that just using the appropriate words in the text on my pages does far more. If you doubt this just type "curved mouldings" into Google and see where we come up. Then try other combinations such as "radius millwork," "curved molding," "arched casings," etc. and see what you get.
Like you, I've spent a lot of time refining our website and it is a constant work in progress. My latest changes are to now have individual webpages dedicated to a given phrase that I think someone might use in a search. On one page all the descriptions of what we do will say "arched millwork" and on another they will all say "curved casings" etc. Even though these dedicated phrase pages have only been up a few weeks I am already seeing results when I do the test searches.