Making SEO Lemonade: Moving the Needle on Missed Opportunities

Making SEO Lemonade: Moving the Needle on Missed OpportunitiesLoren Baker Loren Baker ‘);
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Are you scratching your head, thinking why your page isn’t ranking? You might have errors that are causing ranking issues. You may even be ignoring small ones which, when taken as a whole, can cause significant problems.

But how do you pinpoint these errors? And how can you minimize these errors to ensure correct ranking of your page?

This post will help you show you some methods to find all those tiny errors that, when combined, cause big SEO issues.

How to Make the Most of Missed SEO Opportunities

1. Understand the Importance of Indexability

If your pages aren’t indexed, they can’t be scored. And if your pages can’t be scored, then they can’t rank. Ensuring that pages are indexed can lead to an increase in traffic from organic search.

So how do you maximize your inclusion rate to make sure that most — if not all — of your pages are indexed? The answer: minimize XML errors.

Every time we feed XML errors into search engines, we give them junk such as broken pages and redirects. All of these are wasted resources for the search engine.

Sure, Google, Bing, Yandex, and all other search engines have the horsepower to do just that. But why do they need to?

Use Google Search Console to check your index rates and look at what Google is telling you. By fixing any XML errors you have, you get more pages indexed.

Other errors worth looking into include crawl block issues such as a simple copy and paste left off Googlebot, web application exceptions, and blocking all website crawlers with this directive in your robots.txt file:

User-agent: *
Disallow: /

2. Don’t Forget About Global Opportunity

For those with international pages, aligning to the correct country is essential. Use hreflang to make sure the right page is ranking.

Here are some things you can fix:

  • Wrong canonical tags.
  • Missing bi-directional links.
  • Canonical set to global home page (this can cause a drop in traffic due to deindexed pages).

If search engines can’t point to the XML sitemap for the correct country version of your page, then they obviously can’t map it. Fixing indexing and mapping drives traffic.

3. Accept That Searcher Intent Is Critical to Success

What are people looking for and how do we match them to that particular query? By matching searcher intent, you can achieve an increase in organic traffic which can lead to an increase in leads.

So how do you match searcher intent? Here are some steps to take:

  1. Create a keyword target or content matrix and identify which group of words to focus your efforts on.
  2. Based on the keyword target or content matrix you created, prioritize what you need to focus on.
  3. Look into low-hanging fruit — those keywords that get you to rank in the top three positions but get a relatively low click-through rate for that ranking.
  4. Optimize your meta descriptions based on what the searcher wants. How do you find meta descriptions to optimize? Go to Google Search Console and go into Search Metrics. Sort by impressions and go down the list. Does the meta description match the searcher intent?

By going through these steps, you can see an increase in your click-through rate. This approach also works with answer boxes.

Root Cause Identification Is a Critical Skill

If you know how to spot tiny errors that altogether result in big issues, then you can understand why these errors are happening and how to minimize them. By understanding SEO through missed opportunities, you can improve your performance and maximize profitability.

Video Recap of the #SEJThinkTank Webinar on Making SEO Lemonade

This post is based on an SEJ Think Tank webinar about making the most of missed SEO opportunities, with expert advice from Bill Hunt, president of Back Azimuth Consulting.

Here’s a video recap of that webinar, which includes a QA session:

Here’s the SlideShare of the presentation as well.

Featured image by Paulo Bobita

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