Having unrealistic expectations when it comes to a website’s SEO will always lead to disappointment. Unfortunately, SEO can’t do the impossible. When a website is filled with irrelevant content or isn’t functioning correctly on a technical level, search engine optimisation can only do so much. In order to rank high in the search results, a better approach is needed.
Great SEO requires having relevant content combined with a well-functioning website to create a great user experience. This is extremely important because Google’s primary focus when ranking websites is largely based on their user experience.
At Newpath Web, we have helped many websites correctly navigate through this issue and come out on top. This means we helped maintain them on a technical level while ensuring content was always topically relevant to the industry they operated within and more.
In today’s highly competitive landscape, these survival tactics are crucial.
The dangers of an unmaintained website
When ranking websites, Google has a sharp eye for determining just how well a webpage actually achieves its purpose. Page quality is key to this. According to the Google SQE (Search Quality Evaluator) Guidelines, an unmaintained website is a website that is destined to fail.
‘Abandoned’ websites are sites that aren’t cared for or maintained at all by their webmaster. They fail to achieve their purpose due to site content becoming less relevant and outdated or the website ceasing to function due to compatibility issues with newer browser versions. Abandoned websites get penalised by Google with the lowest rating because of failing to achieve their purpose due to a lack of maintenance.
Webpages and sites that lack some sort of beneficial purpose such as causing harm, deceiving its users with misinformation, spreading hate or have been created with no attempt to help its users, get penalised with the lowest rating.
Having the lowest rating means Google will work to ensure that the website is weeded out of the search results as best it can. In a world where landing on Page 1 of the SERP (Search Engine Results Pages) requires competing against over 6 billion indexed websites, this can be devasting for a business.
Once a website’s rankings start to fall, its user traffic will disappear as well. When we notice a gradual traffic decline on a website, our first tactic is to investigate any site maintenance issues. Do any webpages that once had high traffic now report a decline in rankings? Maybe the technology needs an upgrade?
However, updating a website takes time, and having Google crawl all the new updates will take even more time. This means you may continue to notice your user traffic disappear before it can pick back up again.
A smarter approach
Of course, the smarter approach is to just avoid traffic problems and ranking issues altogether. This is why we always investigate and inspect the technical aspects of the websites we manage. Is it creating a good user experience? Are the loading times fast enough? The website may be creating content, but is it ignoring old content?
A tip for every business is to allocate half of its content budget into maintaining their existing content – not solely creating new webpages. This is also true for core webpage strategies such as ‘siloing’. In today’s current SEO landscape, quality rules over quantity.
At Newpath Web, having these in-depth discussions with our clients is crucial. Not only will it point our clients in the right direction in terms of their SEO, but it also establishes realistic expectations. There are times when we will say that a website won’t rank if site maintenance is ignored or if the website requires a redesign.
These discussions can be difficult, but it’s important to always remember that SEO cannot do the impossible and therefore we must acknowledge what other changes are required in order to allow SEO to perform well.
Newpath Web is an innovative and ambitious full-service digital agency with offices in the UK and our head office in Melbourne, Australia. Since being founded in 2008, our team has grown to over 350+ global tribe members, working with companies such as Choices Flooring, Porsche, TPG, Mercedes Benz and many other exciting brands. Browse through our website or call 1300 761 806 today for a chat on how our experts can help you succeed online.