About Kalena Jordan

In my day job, I'm Director of Studies and tutor at the online training institution Search Engine College. In my spare time, I'm a search engine agony aunt and SEO to global clients. I've been marketing websites online since 1996 and blogging about search since 2002. To learn more, visit

Q and A: Why Doesn’t Google Rank My Site Higher?

QuestionHi Kalena,

My website has been up and running since 2008.

I regularly add new content & update my blog & facebook pages and yet 5 years on, I am still only attracting 30-40 visits per day and it has remained at this level for 5 years.

I believe my website is user friendly, visually pleasing & provides useful information for the visitor looking for the product I offer, so why doesn’t google rank it higher? I only have 83 pages indexed out of 1,400 – please help!

Natalie

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Hi Natalie

Assuming the website you are referring to is the one associated with your email address, I can provide a few recommendations immediately:

1) I couldn’t find a XML sitemap in the expected location of http://www.[brandwitheld].co.uk/sitemap.xml. Now maybe you have one in a different location, but if not, you’ll want to create one as soon as possible.  An XML sitemap is a file that contains a full list of indexable pages on your web site. It is the preferred method of lettting search engines know about all pages on your site that you want indexed. More information about the protocol and format required is available at Sitemaps.org. You can upload your sitemap via your Google Webmaster Tools account. Haven’t got one of those either? Read on…

2) If your site doesn’t seem to be as visible as you’d like in Google or large chunks of it are not getting indexed, make sure you create a Google Webmaster Tools account and check it for any obvious issues. Google provides an exhaustive amount of insight and advice in Webmaster Tools in terms of technical issues, indexing issues, SEO issues and visitor activity related to your site. If there seems to be something wrong, that should be your first stop.

3) Check your site against these 10 Most Common SEO Mistakes to see if you’re guilty of any of them and address the issues quickly.

4) You claim your site has 1,400 pages, but most of those are product and category pages consisting of dynamically generated versions of the same URL, plus a huge number of pop-ups. The site only has a small number of static HTML pages and therefore only a small amount of content that is visible to search engines.

For example: http://www.[brandwitheld].co.uk/fabrics.html is your main curtain category and then you have 11 different sub-categories under that, such as:

a) http://www.[brandwitheld].co.uk/fabrics.html?cat=browns

b) http://www.[brandwitheld].co.uk/fabrics.html?cat=reds

c) http://www.[brandwitheld].co.uk/fabrics.html?cat=golds

However, the content for each sub-category is dynamically generated from a product database, based on the category parameter indicated after the *?*.  To a search engine, a), b) and c) are seen as the same, single, page, with everything following the *?* generally ignored or treated as duplicate content.

Even worse, those sub-categories then break down into individual styles, but the style information is presented as a javascript pop-up dialogs, which can cause their own issues.

I’d put money on your URL structure being the spanner in the works preventing most of your content from being indexed. No wonder you see so few pages ranking well! I would suggest learning more about how Google treats URL parameters and reworking your site content to create flat, indexable HTML pages for each product, category and style.

Natalie, without having access to your Webmaster Tools account, I can’t really give you more advice at this point. However, if you’d like to invest in a full web site audit, I can certainly take a much closer look. Just contact me to get started.

Hope this helps!

 

Fast Five in Search – Week 9, 2014

fast-five

 

In recent discussions with my SEO workshop attendees, it seems clear that link audits are a challenge for a lot of people. But they’re not as scary as they sound.

A link audit is simply conducting research into the number of links pointing to and from a web site, as well as the quality and trust-rank of those links. The audit can also include researching competitor sites to determine their link profiles and – as a result – determining the estimated amount of link building required in order to out-perform them.

To help demystify the process, I’ve decided to dedicate this week’s Fast Five to helpful articles and resources for anyone conducting a link audit.

Here’s this week’s Fast Five:

1) How to Conduct a Link Audit by Chuck Price. You don’t necessarily need to use any clever tools or software to conduct a link audit. In this article, Chuck shows you how to do a deep dive into the link profile of a web site using your Google Webmaster Tools account.

2) Raven Tools SEO Software by Raven Tools. If you want a little turbo help for your link audit, Raven’s Backlink Explorer gathers all the backlinks for a domain or URL, including source URL, Citation Flow and even no-follow status. Raven’s Site Finder tool reverse engineers the ranking results using Bing data to identify the best linking opportunities that you may not have capitalized on.

3) How to Conduct a Link Audit by Julie Joyce. While this is a slightly older post, the content is still very applicable. Julie runs through her comprehensive link audit process, listing several very useful 3rd party tools in the process. My link audits tend to follow a similar path to this one.

4) Open Site Explorer by Moz.com. Moz’s Open Site Explorer Tool enables you to research the link profile of your site and your competitor’s sites in the one interface. You can see the backlinks of up to 5 sites at once and compare page authority, domain authority, linking root domains, total links, Facebook shares, Facebook likes, tweets, and Google +1s

and finally…

5) How to Conduct a Link Audit Like Sherlock Holmes by Chris Kilbourn. In this very recent article about conducting a link audit, Chris looks at how to identify and get rid of *bad links* pointing to your site in the wake of Google’s Hummingbird algorithm.
He also lists a range of useful link audit tools.

Happy auditing!

*Image courtesy of Threadless.

Google AdWords Promotional Credits for AU/NZ

advertising creditsFancy $100 worth of free AdWords advertising?

As members of the AU/NZ Google Partners program, our consulting agency – Jordan Consulting Group Ltd – is regularly given access to certain resources and exclusive benefits to help our clients gain the most from their search marketing efforts.

Our latest perk is a stack of email vouchers each worth AU $100 in AdWords advertising credits. If you are based in Australia or New Zealand and would like to test drive Google AdWords or kick-start a new AdWords campaign, I’d be happy to hook you up with one of these vouchers.

But WAIT! There are a few conditions:

1) The credit can only be applied to AdWords accounts that are no more than 14 days old.

2) You must have a billing address in Australia or New Zealand to be eligible.

3) You need to allow Jordan Consulting Group agency access to the account for the first 30 days via our My Client Center account. This blog post explains the process. This is to allow us to monitor and track the account spend without needing your login credentials. You retain exclusive control over the account and the level of access we have to it. It also ensures Google can reconcile the voucher code with our agency account. You can terminate our agency access to your account at any time after 30 days.

4) There are specific terms and conditions for the use of these codes in each country:

Still keen? Please contact me via this form or via my Twitter account @kalena. and I will get you set up.

Here’s to free advertising!

Fast Five in Search – Week 8, 2014

fast-five

 

Howdy search fans! I’ve been busy researching lots of new juicy links for your viewing pleasure this week. The theme for the week is social, social and yet more social.

Here’s this week’s Fast Five:

1) Social Media Stats Update 2013 by PewResearch. If you’re like me, you’re always chasing the latest Internet usage stats for an article, post or presentation. While looking for stats on social media last week, I found PewResearch had the most up to date data I could find, plus a free detailed downloadable report. For example, did you know that 73 percent of online adults now use a social networking site of some kind?

2) Free Social Media Analytics Reports by Simply Measured. Speaking of free data, if you like number crunching and deep social data analysis, check out Simply Measured’s free Social Media Analytics reports for Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Their Twitter Follower Report will download data on up to 10,000 followers of any public Twitter account. You can then import the data into Excel and do a deep dive into the current extent of your social reach and engagement – and better still – the untapped potential you have to grow it.

3) Social Media / Digital Stats by Digital Marketing Ramblings. Keeping with our theme of social stats, I stumbled upon this little gem of a blog while yak shaving. Editor Craig Smith pulls together original and curated news, tips and stats in the social media and digital space. If you’re looking for some offbeat stories in social, this is a great starting point.

4) Twitter Search by Topsy. We all died a little inside when Twitter and Google announced the end of their search relationship in 2011, signalling the end of Google’s Real Time search and the ability to search the full historical Twitter archive.  But did you realize that Topsy has always had this privilege? Apart from giving you the ability to search all public tweets since 2006, Topsy indexes and ranks search results from various social networks, based upon the most influential conversations about specific terms, topics, pages or domains queried. If that’s not enough to convince you, think about this: Apple acquired Topsy for over $200 million late last year.

and finally…

5) Beginner’s Guide to Social Media by Moz. Whether you’re a social media newbie or just looking to brush up on your social skills, this Moz Guide will teach you a thing or two. You can download it as a PDF or view it all online.

See you next week!

Happy reading!

*Image courtesy of Threadless.

Where to Find the Best SEO and SEM Training Videos on YouTube

SEO and SEM as seen on TVIn my recent search for relevant videos to accompany our training material at Search Engine College, I trawled through my Evernote bookmarks and stockpiled a number of helpful YouTube channels that hold huge collections of training videos on the subjects of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and SEM (Search Engine Marketing).

As I was collating these, my first thought was “I wonder how many webmasters even know all these exist?”. My second thought was “That would make a great blog post!”. So here they are. You’re welcome.

Google Webmasters YouTube Channel

Bing Webmaster Tools YouTube Channel

Moz YouTube Channel

Google AdWords Channel

Bing Ads YouTube Channel

SiteProNews YouTube Channel

WebProNews YouTube Channel

Search Engine Land YouTube Channel

SES Conference and Expo YouTube Channel

Search Engine Watch YouTube Channel

Google Analytics YouTube Channel

Raven Tools YouTube Channel

Rusty Brick YouTube Channel

Search Engine Journal YouTube Channel

I’ve probably missed some important ones, but these are the ones I had saved to Evernote. If you want to add some of your favorites in the comments, I’ll be sure to add them to the list.

Post Script – I remembered last night that apart from their YouTube channel, SiteProNews publishes a large collection of marketing videos from across the web, collated into 40 different topic channels. Be sure to check it out.