“I’ve often said there’s never one smoking gun… Instead, there’s usually a number of things that can be improved across a site, from content quality to user experience to aggressive and disruptive ads to technical SEO problems causing quality problems, and more.”
“My advice has always been to thoroughly analyze your site through the lens of quality, which can mean several things. Don’t just cherry pick a few things to improve. Instead, improve the site overall.”
Gabe calls this the “kitchen sink” approach and provides many examples of how businesses increased their traffic significantly by taking a look at the quality of their sites as a whole.
Do you have technical issues that are making it difficult for search bots to crawl and index your site?
Do you have low-quality pages (created intentionally or unintentionally) that are making search engines perceive your site as lower-quality overall?
Do you have auto-playing videos? Do visitors have to close a series of pop-ups to view your content? Can people easily find what they’re looking for?
These are all questions you should be asking about your site regularly. Waiting for your site to suffer from an algorithmic penalty to start considering these things is the wrong time to do it.
In many companies, content marketers are the only people focused on SEO. If you’re in that situation, you have to consider more than just getting your keywords, intent, and quality right for the next post you’re publishing. It’s important to take time to consider the overall quality of your site.