Ten Things To Do If Your Rankings Have Dropped
Nobody likes to see a drop in their rankings, however small that drop may be. We are all fully aware that fluctuations are inevitable, after all you are not the only person doing some sort of SEO on your website. But nevertheless, if your rankings are trending downwards it is something you must address.
The first thing you must understand is the downward trend just a blip, or is it something far more serious? You really need to look at every area of your site, perhaps through analytics and do the relevant troubleshooting.
In this blog we look at ten areas that will help you get your SEO back on track.
Check Your Basic SEO
The basic elements that make up your SEO might not be as important as they once were, but they still do have an influence on your ranking.
Make sure the home page title and meta tags are fully optimised and that they appear in any search results. The home page title tag is a simple but very important factor in SEO, it lets readers know what your site is all about. So if you have a misleading title tag or an ambiguous one, it will confuse visitors and effect your ranking.
Meta descriptions are different, they do not have a direct correlation to your rankings, but a good leading meta description can enhance click-through rates.
Check Your Basics
On-page SEO basics are often overlooked, and are simply ignored in favour of more advanced strategies. But these basics are the building blocks for all SEO on your site.
Look out for 200 status codes, these mean that your site is not easy to communicate with. If you have an “OK” 200 Status it means that a HTTP request has been successful.
There are tools you can use to see if your site is returning OK 200 Status and there are tools also to help investigate failed status codes such as 410 (page removed) and 404 (page not found).
Look For Algorithm Updates on Google
Google have new algorithms that are updated in real time and can affect even the smallest tweaks you are making on your site. Penguin and Panda are two of these algorithms so it is important you keep track of Google’s ever changing requirements.
A good way of doing this is keep tabs on SEO news sites, and see what Google is up to. Another good resource is social media, normally there are a lot of tweets and posts amongst web custodians when something new comes out.
Keep Abreast of Google Search Console
It is important that you keep the right side of all Google’s guidelines and always follow their advice for improving search performance.
Google offers “Google Search Console” as a free service that will assist you to optimise, maintain and check your site’s visibility in any searches.
You can check “Google Search Console” for things like crawl errors, server errors or DNS errors. Through this service you can submit an XML sitemap what will chart the structure of your site.
Use Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a powerful tool that can help indicate if there is a drop of traffic to your site. It also investigates deeply items like, bounce rate and time spent on pages.
You need to consider the data returned to any recent changes that you have made on your site, did you change functionality? Or perhaps your content? Perhaps reversing you changes will be a simple remedy but you might have to change your strategy to get your site back on the right track.
Google Analytics can analyse all manner of data concerned with your site from how people find it, what they do when they visit it, and why they may leave in a hurry.
Always Check Your Site’s Content
It has long been known that quality content is of the utmost value to your site. After all, it is what constitutes the real meat of your business, what your site is about and what goods or service you are selling.
Your content must be unique and above all interesting and relevant to your core business of what you are doing. The content must be easy to understand and importantly it must be relevant.
If you wish to check your content for originality then tools like Copyscape and Siteliner are really useful.
Check Your Site Speed
Is your site slow to load? If so, then there is a problem that needs to be addressed urgently. Visitors will not hang around while your site loads, they will simply move on to the next site.
Once again Google provides a free tool that lets you know just how fast your site is. “PageSpeed Insights” will give you accurate data and also give valuable advice how to improve the speed of the load times.
Sites that have good speeds can also improve by reducing code, optimizing images and helping browser caching.
Is Your Site Mobile Friendly
A continuing increase of visitors searching on mobile devices has driven Google to shift it emphasis on mobile friendly sites. It has even been muted that the “Mobile-First Index” by Google is fast approaching.
This means that it is of vital importance that your site is fully compatible to mobile devices, and provides value to visitors with such devices.
Use Google’s “Mobile-Friendly Test” to help analyse just how friendly your own site is to mobile devices. If it is not then the tool will dispense advice what to do about it. It could be something like removing unplayable content or getting rid of annoying pop-ups.
Look At Your Backlink Profile
Backlinks are getting increasingly popular and are a way of linking another site to a page. In a way backlinks tell Google that your site matters, and most of all it is trusted by others.
If your site does not include links for reputable authority type sites then it might degrade your rankings. By the same token if your site is full up to the brim with links from spammy sites it does not reflect well in the rankings.
If you find your ranking is dropping, good advice is to check your backlink profile and investigate to see if all is OK or not. There are tools available that will help you to do this: Majestic, Ahrefs, and Open Site Explorer will indicate what sites are linking to your own and what pages they have used together with what anchor text.
Revisit Your Keyword List
The original keyword list you made up when first building your site may no longer be appropriate with what your site is all about today.
Correct KeyWords are the words that are most searched for by the audience you have targeted, they are realistic in terms of achieving high ranking and they are most likely to lead in a conversion.
If you do not add and delete KeyWords on an ongoing basis then your site will truly not reflect what your site is currently about, this will directly affect your rankings.
In conclusion if you do find your site’s ranking gradually going down then don’t panic. There are remedial actions that you can put in place to reverse the trend. The ten pieces of advice highlighted above is a great way to start, and will definitely make a big difference.
If you are having problems with your rankings then a good piece of advice is to contact a reputable digital marketing company such as Voova Digital, they will give you sound advice to follow and also remedies how to arrest your problems.