January 29, 2013 at 7:13 pm #16227
I've been a long standing user of the Studiopress lineup of themes and I've always been very happy with not only their style but also their functionality. This is my first post on the new forum and I wasn't exactly sure if this was the correct place to post my question but I figure if it's not someone will be kind enough to relocate it.
Anyways cutting to the chase. One of my longest running sites is based off of the original Studiopress Executive theme and I have been very happy with my work customizing the theme but also optimizing so that it ranks well to promote my business. But here's the issue I have only just started to realize that my posts do actually seem to be ranking with google!
Here is a link to my site: http://www.headsupmotors.com
My site has approximately 50 published pages and 74 published posts and it would appear that the pages on the site are the only reason that my site ranks well and considering how much time and enough I put into updating the site with new posts including text and images this is a little disappointing!
As I said the site is based off of the Studiopress Executive theme and I am also running All In One SEO Pack Plugin along with the Google XML Sitemaps Plugin.
Now based on my website site map (sitemap) all of pages and posts are listed and updated so I can't figure out why my posts aren't being ranked and working for the site!
As a side note I always try and use the All In One SEO Pack plugin to optimize each posts title, keywords etc... even though by default a lot of the blog post are titled as "Daily Grind" they are actually optimized with a custom title such as " The Daily Grind | BMW Servicing | Jaguar Repairs | Spartanburg, SC | Heads Up Motorsport".
As an additional side note if you actually google the above custom blog post title "The Daily Grind | BMW Servicing | Jaguar Repairs | Spartanburg, SC | Heads Up Motorsport" my site does come up but every possible link to a blog post actually links to a thumbnail image from that blog post on my site which I find a little odd!
Anyways, I was hoping one some of the more veteran members of the forum could chime in to offer my a little advice and maybe point me in the right direction to what could be going wrong?
Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.
Chris.January 29, 2013 at 7:52 pm #16237
Have you checked your Privacy settings? Go to Settings > Privacy and make sure the items is marked that you want the search engines to crawl your website.January 29, 2013 at 8:01 pm #16243
Yes just checked and it is set to allow site to be indexed. So this shouldn't be the issue.January 29, 2013 at 8:04 pm #16246
How long have you been "blogging". When I type in BMW SERVICING SPARTANBURG in Google Search, you are actually the first one that comes up. What makes you think you aren't showing up?January 29, 2013 at 8:28 pm #16255
Anitac, we've been "blogging" / writing posts for this site for several years now and the site does rank well which I'm very pleased about but as I stated above I've only just started to realize that the site has been ranking well because of it's pages not actually because of the posts.
My first concern of-course is "what is wrong with the site, that none of the post are been indexed and ranked with google correctly" the second concern is that if the site is doing so well with just the pages how much better could it be doing if the posts were actually being ranked by the search engines!
Another interesting note is that even though the posts do not seem to be being found on the search engines the images "which are optimized" within the posts are actually ranking really well if you do an google image search.January 29, 2013 at 8:45 pm #16261
Where are your "share buttons"? I don't see any on your blogs. That can also assist in page rank... allowing others to share.
Your blog titles are not really titles. They are repetitive. You should probably set up categories for The Daily Grind, Still Grinding, write your blogs for each category which will in turn allow you to Title each blog differently. Search engines crawl the titles of each blog.January 30, 2013 at 12:24 am #16335
The problem isn't with your pages as you can see here all your urls are indexed:
The problem is with your Domain Authority (16) and Page Rank (1/10) caused by a low amount of quality links.
Quality content is one thing, but promotion is important and increase links, Domain Authority and PR.
Brad Dalton has written 1000 + Genesis tutorials & 4000+ Code Snippets .January 30, 2013 at 12:50 am #16339
Here's 2 excellent beginners guides to SEO.
Brad Dalton has written 1000 + Genesis tutorials & 4000+ Code Snippets .January 30, 2013 at 10:07 am #16395
@chris2four - Beyond what braddalton & anitac have already mentioned, you have some basic SEO issues on your site. Keep in mind I looked at 1 post, so these observations might not be indicative of every post.
1) Your posts don't seem to be outputting a robots meta tag. Open a post, click Ctrl U in your browser to view the source, and search for robots. Open another site and do the same. Your SEO plugin ought to be outputting that tag.
2) You appear to have your archives tagged index, which is why your archives appear on a SERP. Generally, that's not recommended.
3) Remember that sites don't rank, URL's do. If you want your posts to rank, you have to decide WHAT you want them to rank for. Your posts aren't well designed to rank for things you might want to rank for. As anitac pointed out, your titles are repetitive and there's little to distinguish one post from another. In my quick look, I didn't see much internal linking.
4) Your meta descriptions appear to be too long and uninviting. Meta descriptions only help encourage searchers to click through to your URL. If click through rate influences where you URL's rank on a SERP and your poor meta descriptions lead to a lower CTR, you will get lower placement on a SERP and thus lower organic search traffic.
Hope that helps.
February 5, 2013 at 8:38 pm #18366
Thanks everyone for the feedback so far.
@Bill Murray I'm working through your suggestions, one thing I can't quite get my head around is your comment "Your posts don’t seem to be outputting a robots meta tag." this is correct and I took a look at one of my posts and then compared to a post on the Studiopress site but what I can't figure out is how to correct this?
As mentioned I am using the All In SEO plugin and there doesn't seem to be an option for Robot Meta Tags?
Chris.February 5, 2013 at 9:48 pm #18372
@chris2four - I don't use that plugin regularly, so I can't say. One common cause of this type of error is a plugin conflict, so you can consider deactivating plugins one by one, refreshing the page, and checking your page source. If that fails, your best bet is to check with the plugin author, or try the support forum for the plugin in the WP repo.
I prefer Yoast's WordPress SEO. If you don't have a compelling reason to stick with AIOSEO or you don't get a satisfactory answer as to why no robots meta tag is in your source, you can use the SEO Data Transporter plugin to convert your AIOSEO settings to WordPress SEO settings. WordPress SEO definitely should output a robots meta tag, assuming no other plugins are causing a conflict.
February 8, 2013 at 1:21 pm #19008
This highlights what is a common fallacy about SEO. High Page Rank and high rankings in search engines are mostly not the efforts of bells and whistles. Keywords, tags, social buttons, keyword density, plugins, and all the other items commonly used in blogs these days probably don't amount to 5-percent of what causes a site to get a good ranking, and, therefore, more search engine referral traffic.
It's back links.
Rankings come from sites with relevant content that link back to your site. Without those in a sufficient number there's not likely to be much search engine referral traffic.
The HeadsUpMotors site has a Google Page Rank of 1/10. That's not much and not likely to help generate much referral traffic because rankings in search engines will be low and limited. The Alexa Ranking is around 12-million or so; again, low, and the result of not many visitors coming to the site because there are few back links.
For example, HeadsUpMotors' pages are being indexed by Bing, Google, and Yahoo! But indexing content is not the same a high ranking, or back links. Alexa lists 7 back links, while Bing has 25, but Google lists zero. While it's important to use at least some of the basic SEO bells and whistles (keywords, tags, density, social, et al), what's most important, by probably 20 to 1, is relevant content back links.
Cultivating back links results in higher rankings and more traffic. Cultivating bells and whistles, not so much.
February 8, 2013 at 2:42 pm #19051
@ronnymac - All of that is great advice. Unfortunately, it comes with some important clarifications. First, on page SEO and fixing one's own content is often easier to do compared to getting links, and it's a necessary first step. After all, if a URL doesn't have great content, why would someone want to link to it? If you chase backlinks but have a bad site, you'll likely face more work with fewer rewards. Second, while links are extremely important, their importance diminishes for long tail searches in less competitive niches. For these searches, often all it takes is good on page SEO to dominate a SERP. The organic traffic from a number of these long tail keywords is small, but added together, can be a lot of visitors. Lastly, in some industries and at certain business sizes, getting back links from good sites with relevant content isn't easy. On a very basic level, the OP has an auto repair business in a small town in a rural state. Chasing backlinks from high ranking sites using white hat methods is going to be a grind. There are many ways for the OP to get backlinks (forums, guest posting, manufacturer affiliations, encouraging customers to link, partnering with other popular local businesses to name just a few), but it is a LOT easier to get backlinks in the global WordPress community compared to a local auto repair biz.
That's not to say the OP shouldn't pursue backlinks, because you're 100% right that he should. He should get his on page SEO and content right, and then he should pursue them persistently. He has to set realistic goals for getting backlinks and be prepared for a long term effort. The long term payoff will be higher ranking on SERP's for more competitive, shorter phrases, and that ranking position will be more defensible.
February 8, 2013 at 2:50 pm #19055
Bill, I'm in total agreement. Back links are where the true value is in SEO, and it's not an overnight solution. It requires the most effort by far (both from creating content, to cultivating links). The rest of SEO is diminishing returns but is, obviously, the easiest to accomplish.
The problem with SEO often has to do with expectations. There are plenty of SEO solutions that work on the 5-percent bells and whistles portion, but few that actually work toward the back link portion, which offers the highest return. Yet, many site operators expect instant search engine rankings based only on the 5-percent portion.
If only there was someone I could pay to give my site plenty of back links, higher search engine rankings, and more referral traffic.
February 8, 2013 at 3:10 pm #19066
Since we're rambling about the challenges of backlinks, here's an interesting article on how folks get tons of backlinks the wrong way, but their bad methods don't stop them from getting to the top of a SERP. I'm not endorsing this at all, just pointing out that the tech savvy can get oodles of backlinks in a blink.
And let's not forget how the Penguin update hit WPMU.org because it had a lot of backlinks on low quality sites with identical anchor text.
Backlinks are powerful but sometimes Google might say "you've got a lot of backlinks, but even though we adored them yesterday, unfortunately we don't like them anymore."
I guess we all have to work at this stuff every day
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