Google’s algorithm updates, big SEO (search engine optimization) uh-ohs, performance analysis, and the timelessness–or lack thereof–of SEO. These are all topics Dave covered in the August episodes of SEO Climb, and you won’t want to miss out on any of this information. If you did happen to miss an episode or two, though, you’re in luck because I put together a comprehensive summary of all things August SEO Climb. Check it out.
How Do Google Algorithm Updates Impact My Website?
Every once in a while, the internet goes wild talking about Google’s latest algorithm update. But what most people tend not to talk about is how this will directly affect your website’s performance. In SEO Climb Episode 4, Dave finally addresses the elephant in the room: it’s possible for these updates to not impact your website at all. In fact, if your website has high-quality white hat (the rule-following kind) SEO implemented, you should mostly see a positive impact from the updates. This isn’t necessarily you being rewarded, though.
Many of Google’s algorithm updates are put into existence to correct what should’ve already been true, and most are simply penalizing sites with poor user experience or black hat (the manipulation kind) SEO. This means that the updates frequently correct sites that are ranking and shouldn’t be, which can leave room for those rule-following websites to move up on the search engine results page (SERP). Pretty much, their penalization is your reward for following the rules, implementing an SEO strategy that follows along with that, and for offering useful content to users.
All in all, Google algorithm updates will rarely impact your site’s performance or ranking, so long as you are following the general guidelines for user experience, content, and optimization. And if they do have an impact, it will likely be positive.
What’s the #1 Mistake People Make When Working on SEO?
A commonly asked question by those looking to better understand SEO is, “What’s the number one mistake people make?” In SEO Climb Episode 5, Dave gave an answer to this question that might have surprised some viewers. There are a plethora of mistakes made by people attempting to execute SEO on their website; from keyword stuffing in content to disorganized internal linking, there was a lot to choose from when it came down to answering this question. But the actual top mistake made? Not owning your data or analytics.
As Dave discussed, many dealerships rely on their marketing company to report on their online performance. But when it comes down to it, the only way to know what’s really happening, what’s really working, and what may need to change in terms of marketing budget, time, and efforts is to get a full understanding of the analytics on your own. You need to be able to gut-check the data you’re being fed and know whether the reported data is indicative of growth or decline. Having a relationship with your digital marketing analytics is the only way to truly know what direction it needs to go in going forward.
How Do I Determine Whether or Not a Page on My Site is Performing Well?
Part of getting to know your analytics is being able to determine whether or not a page on your website is performing well, which is why Dave covered how to do so in SEO Climb Episode 6. Making it as easy as possible for you, he actually went step-by-step so that you can follow along and learn how to do it yourself. Here are those steps:
- Grab your laptop and open your Google Analytics 4 account.
- Open “Reports” and navigate to “Engagement,” then “Pages and Screens.”
- Hover above the list of all pages on your site, click into the search bar, and paste the end of the URL string for the page you want to learn more about.
- Now, you can look at a number of KPIs (key performance indicators) to get a better understanding of how your page is performing.
There are various KPIs listed here. You will see “users” (the number of visitors to your page), “views” (the number of visits your page has had; users can visit more than once), and more. An especially important KPI to look at is called “average engagement time.” This measures how long users remain on the page, so if you have an article that should take about 10 minutes to read and the average engagement time is 1 minute, there may be room for improvement in your content OR the user followed through toward a conversion page.
To identify whether your average engagement time is indicative of content in need of improvement or a healthy through-traffic stream, you can look at “event count.” Are people following through and completing events from this page? If your website and tools are optimized with the Automotive Standards Council’s standardized event names, it will be easy to see and understand which events are being completed through this page. And seeing these event completions is a great sign that this page is actually performing well.
All in all, if you are seeing a nice number of users, views, views per user, and event counts, along with an average engagement time of over a minute, congratulations! Your page is doing what it should be. If one or more of these areas seems to be lacking, there may be room for improvement.
How Will Your Content Stand to the Test of Time?
“It depends.” Yup, Dave used that answer again in SEO Climb Episode 7 when addressing whether or not your content will hold up to the test of time. This is a challenging question to answer because some of your content could be set up to perform well for a very long time while other content’s success may be more temporary.
This is where evergreen content comes into play. What is evergreen content? Dave explained it perfectly when he said, “If you’re not familiar with the term, think of the tree that it’s named after. It never sheds its leaves, so it looks green all the time. That means it stands the test of time.” Examples of this type of content would address things like your dealership’s history, services, and product offerings. Anything that isn’t likely to change is perfect for evergreen content.
You can also create semi-evergreen content when you want to focus on specific models you offer at your dealership. While year-specific content is likely to perform well at first and become outdated relatively quickly due to the fast-paced nature of the automotive industry, you can approach model-specific content in a way that will make it last longer. By writing about the general facts about a vehicle and approaching it in a way that would be useful over a number of years, the content will remain relevant for years to come.
Non-evergreen content, content that will likely become outdated quickly, focuses on things that change often. This could be a piece about the technology features of a specific vehicle or the color choices a manufacturer is offering. There is no denying the fact that details like those change frequently; content about them will be susceptible to a quick loss in relevancy. Typically, when you want content that will stand the test of time, it is important to focus on more evergreen topics and encourage potential customers to reach out to your knowledgeable staff for more fine-tuned, always-changing details.
September SEO Climb Episodes Coming Soon!
That’s a wrap on the August episodes of SEO Climb. Now, next time Google announces an algorithm update, don’t panic. If you have high-quality content on your site and are following the white hat SEO practices, these updates should typically only have a positive impact on your site, if any at all. Remember, it’s important to keep track of your own data and digital marketing analytics to ensure you have a handle on your budget and time allocation; try using the steps Dave outlined to look at page-specific data! Finally, if you want content that stands to the test of time, focus on evergreen topics that will stay relevant over the years.
All of this great information and advice was given this month, but it’s not over yet. Dave is returning next month for the final episodes of SEO Climb, where he will address even more topics that you may have been wondering about yourself. So make sure to follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube; you don’t want to miss the new episodes, which air on each platform every Tuesday!