Solving complex SEO problems require a new ‘discovery’ approach
Most of the time running your site is not a demanding process, but you need to be aware of that there is always a chance of something happening to your site and leaving you puzzled about what the actual problem is. Even if you are cautious, in some cases you won’t be able to prevent your site’s funny behavior. Precisely for that Google released new updates along with diagnostics and tools to get your site back on track. Here are key learnings about how to solve complex SEO problems when standard fixes can’t help you:
There can be four causes of failure for audits:
How can you get better audits? It’s all about your focus. Think about these things:
Be smart about your structured content
You need to make it easier for users to find out what they want. Here’s an intelligent way to think about formatting your content:
Basically, the main point (answer the question) needs to be in the first four lines of the content. Elaborate upon that with examples, and then comment on that.
The particular way of how you format the content also matters. Some basic ideas on how to achieve this are:
Be the best in your own area
This is important if you want to succeed in today’s world. However, it doesn’t imply that you must be the best at everything, but secure your space and then make it yours.
This starts by knowing where the user is on their journey when they get to your site. What do they need at the moment when they arrive on your web page? Understand all the possible situations that took the visitors to your page, and then come up with a strategy to approach with the best mix of those situations possible.
Have in mind that Google is focusing on its users, not websites. You also need to focus on your target users.
Learn how to evaluate SEO problems and what tools can help you get back on track
This year was significant for Google updates, and that rapidly brought changes in traffic for many sites.
Look at this summary of the updates that took place:
For some of those sites, the impact of this was quite significant. Once you have combated with significant traffic loss, it’s time for SEO triage. The first step is to detect what caused that.
It’s also helpful to create a timeline.
Once this primary research is complete, it’s time to do some diagnostics. It’s helpful to start by eliminating as many potential causes as possible. You should check some of those things:
If the symptoms are chronic, check historic ranking fluctuations and match them up with GA data.
It’s also helpful to see what’s being affected. Is it the whole site or only a few pages? You should also check to see if your competitors are affected as well.
Further investigation can involve analyzing which queries lost clicks (or rankings). You can also use third-party devices such as SEMRush to check out your diagnosis. Make sure go through the URL inspection reporting in the new GSC to see if Google sees any problems there. Go over to see if the SERPs themselves had some change. You should also check the index coverage report, and search for URLs that are indexed but not in the sitemap.
Reviewing coverage reporting is also a great thought. Some things to research for there include:
Search Console is truly a treasure house of diagnostics, and let me show you some more things you can look into:
Another profitable field of information is your web server logs. Those files are kept by your web hosting company, and they contain much info in search and every single person who visits your website. Things to look for here include:
Don’t forget to check your backlinks, as you may find problems there that impact the entire site. Use a crawler tool like Screaming Frog or DeepCrawl. Find and fix all the issues you encounter there, and look for pages that are not being crawled by your crawler and make out the exact reason.
With given information and updates, you should be able to detect and solve all problems that have affected your site. Always check for new updates and solutions that can help you manage your site correctly, without losing significant rankings.