You Ask, We Answer: April 25, 2014

 QT-Local-QA

Organic rankings stagnation – is this a temporary thing?

Hi everyone, in this week’s Q&A series we will take a peek at the movie industry. Stanley Meytin from True Film Production contacted us and asked us to shed some light on why his organic rankings fail to improve lately despite his company’s constant SEO efforts.  We have listed some interesting insights that he and some of you could take advantage of and change the online visibility of your business for the better.

If you’re also facing some kind of ranking hardships or your online presence suffers a setback, let us know. We’ll feature the most interesting questions in our weekly Q&A series  and will show you an easy-to-follow way to resolve your problem on your own.

Enough for the intro. Let’s move on to the heart of our Q&A post as Stanley might be growing really impatient now. The question he sent us goes as follows:

Q: “Here at True Film Production organic search traffic usually gives us many solid leads because those who come across our business via search tend to be more educated in knowing what work goes in to video production. As a result, we have been focusing heavily on proper SEO techniques (white-hat) but aren’t seeing many results for all the efforts we are putting in. A competitive analysis would point towards us spending far more time and effort in proper SEO and social media tactics than many of our competitors but we aren’t ranking as high as we would like to. Is this just a gradual change that we are being impatient about? It’s getting hard to justify the time, effort and money without seeing results for all the work.

A: Thanks for your question Stanley,

It really shows that you’ve taken some extra efforts to keep your website in perfect shape. At first glance there are no alarming issues that would result in bad user or search engine experience. You have prepared a nice xml sitemap, your website is well indexed in Google, you have unique (yet a bit lengthy) title tags, h1 and h2 heading tags and your meta descriptions do not have duplicates even though you have a lot of missing ones (having missing meta descriptions and leaving Google to create their own content for the rich snippets in the search results is a much better approach than copying and pasting one and the same meta description and thus having countless duplicate descriptions on your site) .

You have adopted a curious approach in your robots.txt file that drew my attention – you use the directive “Crawl-delay: 30” and while this command is actually ignored by Google, it does seem strange to try to limit the search engines’ crawling process. This method is adopted by websites with constantly updating content like Twitter, but your site is hardly updated on the same scale. You might have had a reason for using that, but if you didn’t, you might consider leaving it aside. Setting custom crawl rate is advised to be set only if you facing high traffic issues with your server and I doubt that you have such.

You use schema.org to markup your testimonials, but you have omitted marking your NAP. In your Contact Us page you have not embedded properly the map to your local listing – which is quite an important thing to keep in mind.

The onsite content is a very important element affecting your rankings and from what I see – you have already put a huge accent on it. Last year you used to post an article each month, but starting this year you are regularly publishing fresh content which is a great step ahead. Your articles are really informative, relevant and entertaining so the only thing you should do is try to popularize them.

The social aspect of your online presence is lagging behind. It’s absolutely crucial that you build your own community on the social network where the majority of your targeted audience spend their time. Be present, be engaging, be easy to outreach to and show/share your content, expertise, work. Word of mouth is the strongest way to attract new customers, so motivate people to talk about you and your brand.

Finally let’s go over your inbound link profile.

In February and March this year there was a steep rise in the referring domains to your site, however, the Trust Flow – the overall authority of the linking domains is not high. You should avoid getting associated with low quality web directories like http://alive-directory.com/, http://seooptimizationdirectory.com/, http://aquarius-dir.com/, http://interesting-dir.com/, http://bing-directory.com/, http://afunnydir.com/, http://b-my.com/, http://wowzers.us/, http://directoryanalytic.com/, http://addnewlink.com.ar/, etc.  – some of which  strangely seem to share the same design as well (they might be simply using the same template but it’s also possible that they are owned by the same company. We posted a post about a similar topic about business directories which you can find here).  Spammy dofollow comment links on irrelevant sites won’t help also (http://www.avengedsevenfold.com/albums/city-evil). You have 226 links from that site, which are completely irrelevant to your business.  On another note it is pretty interesting how on a completely German Press News site from 2012 (see the footer) an article on your company gets published in English. If you skim through the site you can see several other articles in English as well, but if you ask me – this website no longer serves its original purpose but it has turned into a poor article directory for SEO purposes. I’d strongly recommend staying away from such websites and even if now it is still marked as PR4 site – it will crash and burn. Of course that should not be worrying you unless you are associated with it.

I am not sure about the backlink campaign that you have adopted but you have to put some limits to what is acceptable and what is not. Otherwise your approach can backfire in the near future.

I won’t go further into your link profile in this article (if you wish, we could discuss this further, just drop me a line), but from the examples mentioned above I would advise you to check in details your backlinks. Use your Webmaster Tools account and download all your backlinks, then analyze them and try to get rid of the inappropriate/bad ones by contacting the respective webmasters. If that turns out to be a fruitless effort – disavow the bad links altogether.

I hope the above mentioned tips prove to be useful to you and they gave you fresh ideas on what your next move towards online popularization of your brand should be.