Samples From SEO Analysis Reports
Following are several samples from Manual SEO Audits performed by Lori's Web Design, looking for design flaws, bad backlinks, misuse of the title tag, duplicate content issues, lack of description tags, over optimization and improper use of the nofollow tag, all of which can affect ranking in search engines.
Paid Traffic and Link Gathering Penalty
You mentioned you posted articles to multiple sites, self-submitted 100 links to directories per month, secured 200 social backlinks, paid for submission to 500 directories, self-published to multiple blogs plus paid for traffic. All of these together would have drawn a big red flag to Google, as it knows how to detect when the owner of a site is the only one gathering links. This is likely what dropped your rank and it usually results in a penalty lasting several months. Just keep adding pages to your site and it should eventually improve in ranking.
Title Tag is Most Important
Your titles contain numbers instead of keywords. Unless your most important keywords are placed in the title tag there is very little chance you will rank well for those keywords. Every page's title should reflect the contents of that page. Your most important keywords for that page should be first in the title and then other keyword phrases. Using your business name in the title on every page is not needed if it is in your domain name as you will always rank #1 for your business name unless others are using the same name with hyphens, etc. You can fit 64 characters in a title tag so choose them wisely. If you change a title allow a few days after search engines spider or cache it again for a change in rank to take effect.
All Files Names Changed
I checked archive.org which keeps a record of all updates on a website and I can see that all your pages used to be set up with .asp files, i.e., on a Windows server. Your site is now on an apache server and the pages now show .html as the extension on all files. Unless the designer had an htaccess file redirecting all the old files to the new extension this would have caused a serious duplication problem for all pages, and even so, it would still cause a delay in ranking while search engines figure it all out. Check to see if there is an htaccess file redirecting all the old pages to the new ones. If not, you'll need to set one up.
No Description Tag
There is no description tag on your page so the search engines will pick up the first text they see on the page, which is often the menu. A menu usually doesn't adequately describe the contents of the page. All description tags should be filled in describing that particular page's contents.
Keyword Over Optimization
Be careful that you don't over optimize your main keywords in the text of your pages as this can cause a penalty by search engines. Keyword density used to improve keyword ranking but not any more. The text should look normal to read and not stuffed with keywords.
You have "nofollow" on links to your home page from your product pages as well as your About, Contact and FAQ pages. The old theory that adding "nofollow" to sculpt PR is no longer a good idea unless they are truly junk pages. Every page on your website should link back to the home page to increase your link count for the home page. It's ok to put "nofollow" on a policy page but that is also another page that can be counted as a link to home page so I wouldn't do it to any important pages on your site. Make sure you search your whole site and remove all such nofollows.
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