We all know how important SEO is to our overall marketing strategy. It is one of the best ways to get the required traffic to our websites without spending a lot of money. But it is easier said than done. According to Google, up to 200 different factors can affect your website’s ranking, and there is no way that anyone can handle all 200 of them. So, generally, marketers and SEO experts try to take care of as many factors as possible. People work day and night. Yet still, their website gets ranked in the first SERP. Here is where it gets complicated. A lot of companies have experienced this, and it is a painful experience to go through.
We are talking about declining Google rankings.One day you are at the top, and the next day, not anymore! It’s a dreadful feeling to watchyour rankings plummet. This is when almost all of us go into panic mode. We start doing everything and anything that we can think of to make sure that we bring back the ranking we had not so long ago. But like mentioned earlier, there are around 200 factors, and anyone of those factors could have been responsible for this decline. It could have been due to low-quality content, a Google penalty, a Google algorithm update, or your website’s low performance. Maybe it was because you only did your keyword research when you started with your business and haven’t found the time to revisit your keyword strategy. In fact, this is one of the most significant reasons why a lot of websites see a downward trend in their ranking. The keywords they used to rank for are not seeing a lot of traffic, so the rankings start dropping. Pro tip: always ensure that you have a keyword checker handy, and keep optimizing your keywords according to the latest trends to remain relevant on search engines.
Here are some other things we think you can do if you ever encounter a downward trend in your search engine rankings.
The first and foremost thing is to keep your cool. Panic creates confusion, and confusion can hurt you more than your declining ranking. Don’t just start shouting! Calm down, breathe, and try to see what this is all about. Remember that this is all part of SEO. No one, literally, no one is safe, and everyone has faced this problemat least once in their career. Instead of panicking, start trying to identify what could have been the reason and what steps to take next.
So, what should be your next course of action?
Conduct And SEO Audit
Like we said earlier, there is a wide range of factors that affect your ranking. From the wrong keywords to low-quality content, low website loading speeds to Google update leading to a penalty, and everything in between! Yes, you need to conduct a thorough SEO audit of your website to begin identifying potential factors that led to your search engine rankings coming down. And we literally do mean a THOROUGH audit!
And if that wasn’t enough, you also should consider understanding Google’salgorithm and how it ranks websites on the internet. Take care of your website and pay attention to all the little details. It could give you a massive advantage over your competitors. It will also help you recover your lost rankings.
Fix Duplicate Content
What is duplicate content? According to Google, chunks of content that either match entirely or are ‘appreciably similar’ across multiple websites or within the same webpage are flagged as duplicate content. Duplicate content is by far one of the worst ways to tarnish your website’s online authority and also to get slapped with a Google penalty – both of which severely affect search rankings. We 10/10 DO NOT recommend doing this! If you take care of the duplicate content on your website, it could give you the leverage you need and help you pull your ranking back up.
Optimize For Mobile
One of the most important things you need to do is make sure that your website is mobile-Friendly. Believe it or not, this is another very common mistake that many online brands and companies still make! Ever since Google rolled out the mobile-first index, mobile responsiveness has stopped being ‘just another’ featurebut is nownecessary. If you see a considerable drop in your ranking, immediately run your website through a mobile-friendly test to make sure that it isoptimized to run on mobile devices. In a tech-savvy world, most of your online traffic will be coming from mobile devices, and you wouldn’t want to miss out.
Does your website load without a considerable delay? Are images taking too long to open? What is your page load speed? Can you believe that the Google benchmark speed is 0.2 seconds? Whew! You’ve got your work cut out for you in that department. High bounce rates generaly cause search engine rankings to go down!
We all know that backlinks, whether internal or external, have a huge part to play in diverting traffic to your website, and thus it’s overall ranking. Always go for high-quality content and backlinks to build online authority. Make sure that you don’t have any broken links. Run a link checker on your website to spot 404 errors before they become a problem for you. Create a Google Alert for your site’s mention and turn them into links.
If you are worried about your website’s slipping Google rankings, just taking care of the basics will, more often than not, do the job for you. If you need help, Google has a starter guide that you can use for your benefit. Remember, the most essential thing that you can do is NOT to PANIC! So stay calm and take it in your stride.