Let’s start at the beginning; we shall assume that you have a website? Just a little joke!
Was your website performing well in the past or have you just launched it? Another common situation is when a website has been out there on the internet for a long time but has never really performed well.
Let’s take the first point, if your website has been performing well in the past but has now dropped away into the abyss, you have either changed something on your website that the search engines don’t like. Or the search engines have changed something at their end which has found something on your site that they don’t like. Either way you have been penalised or given a Google spank! Talk to your web developer or whoever is looking after your website and ask them if they have made any changes recently, especially if they have been involved with buying links to generate traffic. Get a health check done on your website and make sure it conforms with all the search engine recommendations.
Here is a short video from Matt Cutts of Google that explains what their penalties are and how they get resolved.
If you have just launched your website there can be a multitude of things to check. Have you or your web developer taken off all the stops and actually allowed the search engine robots to index your website? You will be amazed at how many times we have come across code on a website that still says ‘no index’ ‘no follow’ on just about everything. These instructions work well if used for simply limiting the robots from indexing content that may be detrimental to your rankings but make sure they are not stopping your website from being seen. Is your website optimised for search engines does it comply with their recommendations, has your site been submitted to the search engines? A lot if, not all of this stuff should have been part of a pre-launch check but it’s worth checking again.
When you have a site that has been hanging around for some time and has never really performed, the chances are that you have neglected it. Every website has a place in the natural order of things known as an organic place. This is where a website finds itself without any input, SEO, SEM, content changes etc.
Imagine when you launch a website and you have submitted it to the search engines, they will come like a pack of hounds, sniffing around and indexing your pages, looking at your content, links and how wonderful the whole experience is. The robots will keep coming to see how many changes have been made since the last visit, finding no change the frantic flurry of robot activity will eventually decline into an occasional glance. If All the search engines are actively looking for up-to-date, relevant and good quality content to present to their audience and your website hasn’t really changed over the last year or so, why would you expect it to perform well in the SERP’ (Search Engine Results Pages). If you were to invest in a sales person, you wouldn’t just give them a car, a map and send them out into the big wide world without targets or any way of measuring results. If you want your website to perform you have to invest in it, set targets for it and then measure the results.