After months or even years of hard work, you are able to get your website on the top of the search rankings. Now, what- obviously, you would want to retain your position up there! But a ranking drop is like a nightmare that always keeps you awake. Since it may happen anytime, it is always better to be aware. Your first question would be why it has happened in the first place? Is it due to your own mistake or a competitor’s action or some other reason? The idea is to understand the real reason behind the ranking drop so that you can address the root of the problem. Here are some possible reasons why your website may experience a ranking drop at any point in time.
A common reason for websites falling in their SERP rankings is sudden changes in Google’s search algorithm. To make things worse, this happens silently and suddenly. You wake up one morning and realize that Google has simply changed its metrics for ranking websites. All the good work that you may have done suddenly becomes useless.
Even worse is the fact that there is no notification about the change of algorithm anywhere. The only solution here for SEO experts is that they need to do extensive research to find out how Google has altered its search algorithm and what they need to do to realign their approach accordingly.
The most widely prevalent reason for the loss of rankings is a Google penalty. It may happen out of the blue and leave you completely helpless, with your website hitting rock bottom when you least expect it to happen. Still, Google will penalize you only if it has good reasons for doing so.
At the same time, you may face an unexpected penalty if your website does not comply with algorithmic changes. But this will probably not happen as long as you are consistently publishing great content, building backlinks from trustworthy sources and ensuring smooth and seamless performance for your website.
Wrong backlinking practices
Following wrong backlinking practices could get you into deep trouble. If Google discovers that you are building unnatural, irrelevant and spammy backlinks, your website will definitely witness a massive ranking loss. Further, you may be penalized for following spammy techniques that violate Google’s quality guidelines.
When it comes to looking for a solution, the best approach is to use a legitimate link building practices. According to Adam White, founder of SEOJet.net, if your website is dropping in Google rankings a great way to recover is to build a steady flow of branded backlinks to your homepage. Building quality backlinks with great content and authoritative sources are the only way you can convince Google about your good intentions.
Negative user experience
The user matters the most to Google and any website that does not cater to a great UX is most likely to experience a ranking loss. Simply speaking, your ranking will fall if your site does not provide value to the users. The term “value” can be understood in the form of a combination of different parameters such as content, design, loading speed and navigation.
Addressing this problem is really easy if you understand the intent and expectations of prospective buyers. Make sure that the content on your website matches the buyer intent. The design and navigation should be simple, with clear CTAs. Mobile-friendliness and excellent loading speed are some other factors that can influence your site’s ranking.
Technical SEO issues
There are several elements that control how your website is crawled or indexed by Google. A glitch in one or more of these can cause a decline in search rankings. These technical issues SEO issues may range from no index tags to incorrect canonical tags, contents that cannot be rendered, and more.
If you want to prevent ranking loss due to such issues, you need to conduct technical SEO audits on a regular basis. Check your account on a regular basis because Google will send across error reports to Search Console as and when it encounters roadblocks while accessing your site. The sooner you are able to detect these issues, the faster you can resolve them.
Being outranked by competitors
Another reason why your website may experience a ranking loss is being outranked by competitors. Google is like a big competition and every website would want to come ahead of others. In the end, only the best websites are able to make it to the top and get the maximum number of users landing on them. The higher you rank, the better are your chances of getting traffic and conversions.
Obviously, you would not want to be pushed down by a rival. Sustaining your position up there means a lot of work. You need to understand what your competitors are doing better than you. Moreover, you should realign your content, design and SEO strategies to stay ahead and beat the competitors for a higher ranking.
Not following the search trends
Without any doubt, ranking on top of searches depends on how searchable your website is. It is not just about catering top-notch quality content or building quality backlinks for your site. You should also understand the significance of keeping pace with the prevailing search trends. If you are not following the latest search trends, you will not be able to make your site searchable.
The idea is to anticipate the search queries of the users and answer them in your content through relevant keywords. The advent and popularity of voice searches have changed the entire ranking scenario. So you cannot expect to stay on the top unless your website is fresh and keyword-optimized.
It is clear that a fall in your website’s ranking is something that you can expect to happen once or more. The key lies in being prepared. The first thing that you need to do for addressing a ranking loss is to identify the exact reason behind it. Once done, the next obvious step is to resolve the issue. The best approach would be to have an SEO specialist handling things end-to-end.