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What To Do When You Notice A Drop In Your SEO Rankings

By Paul Woods
In September 27, 2021
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Every business wants to be ranked at the top because enough studies have proven that customers rarely scroll past the first page of any search engine. More importantly, customers are more likely to choose local SEO services from businesses right at the top. So what happens when your SEO rankings drop? You could risk losing out on certain business. This could hurt your short and long-term profits, which is why you’ll want to do something about it as quickly as possible.

Why have your rankings dropped?

First thing’s first, you need to know why your rankings dropped in the first place. Did someone unintentionally hurt your link equity? Did you lose links? Did an algorithm update cause something to go wrong? Is your site structure awry? Think about everything that has changed on your website so you could pinpoint the reason. Consider the following:

Was there a Google algorithm update?

Google rolls out new updates regularly. Most of the time you wouldn’t even know about it. But sometimes these algorithm updates are documented online.

  • Find out whether there were any recent updates that could have caused your ranking drop.
  • What has Google penalised in this update?
  • What are the specific changes Google has made?

You cannot change your SEO strategy until you understand the changes Google wants made. Consider all these points before you put together a strategy to boost your rankings once again.

Did you lose links to your website?

A good way to check this is to get a lost links report so you know whether something has gone wrong here. Consider the following:

  • Has there been any link drops to your website?
  • Have sites that link to your page have their own rankings drop?
  • Are sites that link to your pages no longer existent or have they changed anything? Were the links accidentally removed when the site was updated?
  • Did you make any changes to the affected pages?

Check all your affected pages and link counts and find the sites that link to your pages. You may be able to regain your links if you know exactly where you lost them from and why.

Did you change the URL or any other important SEO element on your web page?

If you made any changes to the URL or another SEO element, you may have caused the drop in your ranking. Consider the following:

  • URL’s are unique identifiers for search engines like Google. Any changes may hurt your ranking for the keyword. See if you can change it back to what it was.
  • Have you removed the target keyword from your headers? You may need to reinstate the keywords in your heading.
  • Is the keyword density too low? You may need to increase the keywords as organically as possible keeping your readers in mind.

If you’ve made any changes to your web pages, you may need to undo them to get back your higher SEO ranking.

Are your pages failing on performance?

Man offering local SEO services

Google determines ranks in multiple ways, including the number of people that click through to your website and how long they stay on it before moving on to another page. Consider the following:

  • Did you do something recently to a webpage that has increased your bounce rate?
  • Are your pages taking longer to load? Does the page have too many videos and images?
  • Are your servers taking longer to respond?
  • Are there too many messages and calls to action on the same page? This could easily confuse your readers and they may go elsewhere.

SEO performance is important so make sure you take a look at all these aspects as quickly as possible after a ranking drop.

Has your competition done something different?

So maybe it isn’t you but your competition that has done something different – causing them to move up and you down. Consider the following:

  • Has your competition gained more inbound links?
  • Has your competition made changes to the structure of their internal links?
  • Has your competition managed to get more people to spend more time on their pages with different content?

Do enough research to find out what the competition has done differently and try implementing this on your own site.

A ranking drop can hurt your business tremendously, which is why you’ll want to take immediate action when something like this happens. It’s important that you don’t take this lightly as it could affect your long-term gains.

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