In the past, you had awesome rankings for your site, with all that traffic generating leads, emails, phone calls, and tons of sales. But then... It all dried up. Why did this happen? Where are all your visitors? How do you get your leads back so that you can get those sales flowing again?
Here are 10 reasons why your SEO rankings may have dropped, and how to get back in the game:
1. The wrong rankings are being tracked
Your keyword strategy may be out dated. Nowadays, people are typing complete sentences into search engines (not just a couple keywords). If you’re only tracking generic keywords, you’re way out of date and could be wasting precious ad dollars on keywords that are just way too competitive. The people looking for you are using new phrases - it's time to update your keyword strategy and keep up with the times as your target demographic ages.
2. Google is doing the “cha cha”
Rankings commonly fluctuate – not just from one day to the next but from one computer, location or host to another. Google is always testing every variable it can by changing the algorithm of their search results. Don’t focus too heavily on specific rankings. Your ranking report might not be the same as it is on your laptop because it was done for you on a different computer (or because the rankings have changed in the last hour). When there’s a small dip in your rankings, the Google “cha-cha” is usually at the bottom of it and it's not truly a telling sign of dramatic change.
3. You have a new website
If you've recently launch a new design for a site that you’ve had for a while, expect your rankings to drop. Make sure your new site is optimized well (prior to the launch) and be prepared for the drop. Why does your site drop? Because your new site, isn't just new to your audience, it's new to Google too. You’ll recover in 1 or 2 months if you maintain everything that you were doing before. It just takes Google a little time to re-read all of your content to know how to rank you again.
4. The “new-ness” of your website wears off
You may have launched a new website to replace your retro style or old fashioned platform, and after a momentary dip, your rankings soared to the top! But then... They may have dropped: Heartbreaking, right? Don’t worry... This is common. Just stick to your guns, and in invest in good SEO practices and new content creation. Long-term rankings require a long-term commitment to the work it takes to keep them there.
5. You have low-quality links
If you were one of the companies that submitted to an offer of thousands of links for a low price a couple years ago, then you’re probably left with huge quantities of links now considered to be “search engine spam.” This is not good! You rankings are probably dropping or disappearing entirely. If your site is being harmed by links you don’t control directly, clean up those unnatural connections. Click every external link on you website - If it leads to a dead end or to something that doesn't relate to your business, dump it.
6. You are losing good links
Maybe some websites or web pages disappeared that were really helpful in directing people to your site. Maybe your links have been taken down. Whatever the reason, your overall solution should be to build high-quality links. This is as simple as attracting them. Create amazing, helpful content and people will find it interesting enough to share on social media sites to create those links for you.
7. You haven't added any new content to your website in eons
Can't remember the last time you added anything new to your website, updated your blog or revised your FAQ page? Then it's time to get writing. Google is a big fan of websites that offer helpful, topical information to their viewers. Think of the most common questions you are asked about your product or services and answer them online in your blog posts on a regular basis. Not only will your local viewers start seeing your expertise but Google will too.
8. You’re using incorrect robots.txt files
This has to do with blogging. If you make mistakes in the robots.txt files, search engines will ignore your site completely. Make sure you employ the best practices – and avoid typos, using ampersands (&), etc.
9. You’re not watching your competitors
SEO services are ongoing and old fashion keyword stuffing is obsolete. SEO is a marathon and services are never provided just once for long term results. This is because when one ranking goes up, another must inevitably go down. Your website is never perfectly optimized because your competitors are constantly improving their sites as well! It’s an infinite game of “King of the Castle” and the only way to stay on top of things is through continual effort.
10. The Google update will get you
Hundreds of thousands of brainiacs are employed to improve Google’s search algorithm on a daily basis. The algorithm is updated hundreds of times a year. Some updates are large and disruptive, while others only pack a little punch. The large updates are given deceptively friendly animal names: Penguin, Hummingbird…Panda. No matter how fuzzy the creature, the bottom line is that these big updates will have extreme impact for websites that aren’t in compliance with their standards.
Here is a great resource to check in on from time to time to keep on Google's good side:
Try to engage in “white hat” SEO tactics, and follow the path to rankings that will generate high traffic now – and three years from now. Google has clients to keep happy just like you do. They want to make sure every person searching for your product or services is given the most helpful information, in the most direct way as efficiently as possible. Ask us how we can help you get back in the game and turn that sales tap back to maximum flow.