Google’s Panda update has taken quite a few sites for a ride in the rankings – and if you’re still feeling the impact, it’s time to take a look at your website’s content. Even if you didn’t get dinged by the update, the writing on Google’s wall is clear: great content and social activity are playing a big part in your website’s rankings.
The update is attempting to remove thin affiliate sites and “content farm” pages, but even legitimate companies can feel the impact. It’s all about being helpful to searchers. If your software site is nothing more than an image-heavy salespage, it’s not helpful and won’t rise up in the SERPs. If you haven’t taken the time to develop content assets through blogging, services pages or news sections on your website, you may be at risk.
But knowing thin content is a bad idea and actually doing something about it are two very different things. Here’s how to evaluate your site, get your content pumped up and avoid penalties.
1. Look at your analytics.
Using a platform like Hubspot makes this easy, but any analytics tool will do. You’ll want to look at your all time page visits for your website pages. Rank them from lowest to highest and then review the pages that haven’t seen much action.
2. Determine whether to delete or rewrite.
If you’ve got a lot of pages without many views, take a look at them. Ask the following questions:
• Is this long enough? (500 words per page should be your minimum)
• Is it valuable? (Look at the page from your visitor’s point of view)
• Is it unique to my site? (If you’ve reposted or rewritten from another site, it’s a big red flag)
Once you’ve evaluated the content, its decision time. If you’ve got a great page is that is just a little too short, take some time to pad it out with some more helpful information. It will give you an opportunity to use more of your important keywords and be helpful to searchers.
If your content isn’t unique, ditch it! There’s no reason that duplicate content should be on your site to begin with. If it’s a case where you’ve got an ecommerce site with the same basic content on multiple pages, then find a way to say the same thing in unique ways. An SEO copywriter can help refresh your content and make it unique.
Value is in the eye of the beholder – and the eyes you should be looking through belong to your customers. If you’ve got a page that has been on your website for a year and it hasn’t gotten any views, it may not be as valuable as you thought. Rewrite the page or delete if your business focus has changed a lot.
3. Revisit your pages on a regular schedule.
Updates like Google Panda don’t have to be a shock if you make it a point to review your content regularly. Create a quarterly review of your pages and repeat the process above. Look at your web page “winners” and use the same style, approach, formatting and length on your thin pages.
In no time, your website will be Panda-proof and safe from any other black and white animal updates Google throws your way.
Image Courtesy: mozzercork/Flickr