Check Website for SEO errors
1) People tend to take their Google rankings for granted until they lose them
Too often, people mistakenly believe their search engine rankings are much more automatic than they actually are. In fact, SEO can be a "One strike you're out" environment! You can do a hundred things right - but get one crucial element wrong and it can undo everything else you do.
Google publishes its Webmaster Guidelines to help people build websites that work for both human visitors and search engine spiders like the GoogleBot robot that crawls sites for rankings. It comes as a complete shock to most people however, that the overwhelming majority of web developers have never read them - and fewer still follow them.
Ignore Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and Google will ignore you. It’s just that simple!
Unlike print publishing which is “distributed” Internet publishing is “found” as a result of a web search. That means you have to jump over someone to get their spot in the rankings.
You can’t just “do your own thing” with web publishing and still get noticed like you can with print publishing. Internet publishing means out-algorithming the competition to get their spot in the rankings to meet the most basic criteria of even being seen!
Effective marketing requires starting with your ideal customer and working backwards to develop and effective strategy to reach them. For Internet marketing, that means first identifying and actually clicking on the top ranked sites Google is rewarding with top results for the searches you want to compete for - the sites your customers are actually clicking on in the real world - and working backwards from there.
This means first studying the onsite factors that are easy to see on these websites. Like how their, meta descriptions and URLs display in search results – as well as the text length of the pages you arrive at when clicking on these results which is an important ranking factor along with keywords and keyword position, quantity and density.
To get a more complete picture of how these top rankings were actually achieved, you also need to consider the offsite factors contributing to their rankings. The Link Authority of links pointing from other websites to the site which can be studied at MajesticSEO.com is important to understand why certain sites may be able achieve rankings that other sites with fewer links may not be able to do and achieve those same rankings with on-site factors such as shorter text length.
The definition of professional is “Getting predictable results.” If this essential market research is not done studying the sites that are achieving top results for the searches you want to compete for, you are simply shooting in the dark whether your site will be able to outrank them and get their spot in the rankings.
The biggest enemy of maintaining existing Google rankings are web developers who take a "Code it and forget it" attitude and don't feel they have to actually check their work to see how it is performing on search engines. Humans are extremely limited in how much of the SEO environment they can see that spiders see and compute for your rankings, and it simply is not possible using human eyes alone on a website to know if it will work on search engines or not.
One of Google’s most important guidelines is “Know how your content management system (CMS) is actually performing on search engines” - because CMS do all kinds of things humans don’t even see which greatly influence spiders crawling your site and can have a major impact on search rankings.
Critical search rankings can be lost very quickly not taking fifteen seconds to spider test redirects with a redirect checker like the InternetOfficer.com to see if they actually work as expected, checking Google Webmaster Tools to see if issues are arising such as a sharp increase in nofounds or messages from Google saying the site isn't working, or doing a simple diagnostic search like a site:yoururl search and clicking Google's "cached" link to see if the website is still being crawled properly can easily knock a website right out of the rankings if the work is not checked religiously.
You have to actually look at Google's index and study how your pages are displaying in search engine results to see if changes to the site are working as expected. According to Google’s Matt Cutts the number one SEO mistake he sees are pages not being crawlable and indexed properly - and the site owners are not aware of the problem because they haven't looked.
Unless search engine results are actually checked to see pages are crawlable and being indexed properly - not just looking at a third party ranking report showing ranking position - there is no way of knowing if search engines are able to crawl a page as hoped and traffic is not being lost, which happens far more often the people realize!
If you don’t check your work by actually looking at Google’s index, how would you know if it works? Although that seems obvious and simple, far more often than not people don't seem to feel they have to actually look at Google to confirm their assumptions things are working as expected - and make very expensive SEO mistakes not doing so!
The costs of SEO website redesign mistakes are extremely high. The difference between being number one or number two for a search is the loss of half the click through traffic. The difference between being the top of page one on Google or the top of page two is thirty five times the traffic!
This steep fall off in click through rates can make your Google Analytics traffic reports look like your traffic has driven off a cliff if certain key ranking elements are lost in the site redesign - and you inadvertently move backwards in search results.
You want to track your search engine rankings closely before the new site goes live so you have a clear baseline for comparison with your rankings after the site launch. Checking your rankings in the first 18 hours after a major change on the site is crucial as Google will give you a temporary boost...