5 Steps to Pleasing the Panda in Under 2 Hours

Aug 31, 2011   //   by Ty Banfield   //   Google, SEO, SEO Blog  //  5 Comments

Panda

Are you still struggling to regain your pre-Panda traffic levels? Then following these five steps may be just what you need to get back on track:

Understand That The Panda is a Different Kind of Animal

Many of Google’s big algorithmic changes are related to off-page elements. When a site is impacted by one of these changes, they can commonly fix it by attracting more quality links. From holding a blog contest to putting real effort into guest blogging, there are plenty of ways to tackle this challenge.

But the Panda update does not fit into this mold. This change is about the content and structure of your website. It’s also different because any changes you make may not have an immediate impact on your rankings. Although Google has rolled out at least 5 versions of Panda, it can take some time for any changes you make to be registered.

The good news is while you may have to wait for any changes you implement to sway Google’s opinion of your site, the improvements themselves don’t have to take a long time to make.

Find Where People are Leaving

Although there are shortcomings to using bounce rate as a metric, it can provide valuable insight into areas of your site that are falling short.

You should pull up your analytics data and sort your content by bounce rate. For your pages with the highest bounce rate, you need to ask yourself whether or not people should be leaving that page.

For example, a landing page that sends visitors to a third-party payment processor probably won’t have a low bounce rate. However, if it’s an article or blog post, you want people to engage with it and then continue exploring your site.

Bring in Visitors with the Right Headline

A strong headline is an extremely powerful tool. In addition to including your keyword phrase so Google knows what a page is about, you want to grab searchers’ attention when they see your listing on a SERP.

In addition to not being dull, you also want to ensure your page delivers what the headline promises. If you have a killer headline but lackluster content, people are going to hit the back button, which is not something Google wants to see.

By sharpening the headlines of your worst performers and adding any needed polish to the content of those pages, you can provide users with a top notch experience.

Add Related Links

Have you ever gone to Wikipedia to look up a single fact, only to then glance at your clock and realize you’ve been on the site for over half an hour?

The reason it’s so easy to get sucked into Wikipedia is the site does an excellent job of interlinking. You should do the same with your own content. One reason people may be quickly leaving your blog posts or articles is because you don’t give them anywhere interesting to go.

Look at your pages that are performing the worst and make them more interesting by adding relevant links in their body or at the end. If you’re using WordPress, the Related Posts plugin can help make this change extremely easy to implement.

Add Relevant Videos

There’s no value into pulling a bunch of random videos onto your site. However, a video that relates to the topic of a post or article can make that content much more engaging.

By browsing around YouTube for just a few minutes, you should be able to find at least a couple of videos that will increase visitors’ engagement with your content.

If you or your clients were impacted by Panda but have since recovered, let us know what change(s) were most effective!

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Ty Banfield

Ty Banfield is a freelance writer. Over the past five years, he's written on almost every topic under the sun. While variety is the spice of writing life, marketing and fitness are the two topics he never grows tired of exploring. He also provides business website development, marketing and conversion consulting that helps businesses attract more customers.

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  • Ana
    Twitter:
    says:

    Interesting points about Panda, Ty.

    Reader engagement definitely signifies quality content, which in turn should satisfy Google and why Panda updates were needed to begin with.

  • Tobi
    Twitter:
    says:

    Hi Ty.
    I’ve been testing wpclicks and plan on reviewing it soon.
    It allows you to see what your sites visitors are doing real time.
    That would be a great tool to know where your visitors go,
    Don’t you agree?

  • Ling says:

    I keep building healthy links and adding contents to one of my blogs. And surprisingly, one of them got a PR increase after Panda. It has been a month now..

  • I just thought I’d comment and let you know you guys have some fantastic posts on this blog. It’s been a real find and I honestly appreciate it.