What To Do After You Google Ranking Drops - Important Tips From Semalt
This is something we all must deal with at one point or the other. It is natural for your Google ranking to drop a couple of points every once in a while. What isn't natural is for you to leave it that way. In this article, we will be showing you how Semalt returns its client to the top of their ranking whenever they lose a couple of points.
These steps will help identify what caused the site or page to lose ranking, and then we can get busy fixing the issue.
Losing your ranking can be nerve-racking. It could be on just a few of your best-performing pages or maybe a massive drop in your ranking across your entire website. Either way, a decrease in the ranking is a drop in traffic, so we would need to fix that asap.
What to do?
SEO is very complicated, and fluctuation occurs due to several reasons. In a way, we believe that this is one of Google's strategies to inform SEO experts like Semalt that they are always updating their search engine, and they do this to keep us on our toes. However, we never get used to our client's websites start trending in the wrong direction.
Whenever someone walks into our doors with worry on their faces regarding a dive in their ranking, the first thing we do is calm them down. This could be with a glass of water, coffee, or assurances that it's going to be OK. We understand that your website means a lot to you, but panicking gets in the way of us fixing your site.
Here is how we get your website back on track.
Ways to fix your ranking issues
1. Take care of the website's basics.
The first thing we do is to make sure that the basics have been properly looked after. In deploying and monitoring keyword performance, it's common to skip the basic stuff and look for problems in only the more advanced aspects. Unknowingly, the problem could rest in the on-page SEO ABCs. Sometimes, we look for challenging problems and complicated solutions, while the solution is something that wouldn't take up to 10 minutes to fix.
Some of the basic issues that cause a site to lose rank are:
- Can bots crawl your site?
Robot.txt is a text file you will find in the top-level directory of your web server. Its function is to inform search engine bots on how they should interact with your website. Within this file lies the constitution of your website. It dictates the dos and don'ts of your site what search engine bots can and shouldn't crawl. Hence, you determine which pages on your website get indexed.
Some websites make the mistake of setting their bot restrictions too high and accidentally instruct the bots not to index or crawl any of their main pages.
To fix this, we double-check the robot.txt file with Google's Robot testing tool. If we discover any anomalies, we correct and upload a more permissive file to your server.
- The status code
Another simple but important possibility to consider is if the pages on a site return a 200 status code. A 200-series status code is an indication that a site communicates successfully. When you have a standard 200 OK status code, we know that your website has a successful HTTP request.
We can check to see if your 200-series status code is OK or not using the HTTP Status Code Checker. The results from a test show whether or not your site is returning a successful request. If it isn't, we can troubleshoot the problem based on failed status codes like 404 or 410 errors.
2. Checking the SEO basics
SEO basics are nothing but basics. Doing them won't necessarily guarantee you first place in SERP. However, without them, you are definitely not making it to the first position in SERP either. Little things like your title tag may not be considered as a search engine ranking factor, but they still influence your rank. To ensure we have all the SEO basics in order, we ensure that you have things like the title tag, meta descriptions, headings, and other things in place.
3. Checking for Google algorithm updates
Since the link algorithm, Penguin, and quality algorithm Panda have become parts of Google's core algorithm, and we have to be on our toes about how small updates influence rankings. Every day, dozens of algorithms receive updates. To stay on track with these updates, we not only follow Google and every one of their publications, but we also follow influencers that have a great deal of respect in the SEO universe.
Twitter is another source of vital information concerning the latest updates on Google. Once we notice another webmaster panicking, we get the hint that something is up. We may not have to panic as much since we do things the right way, but that doesn't stop us from studying these updates and optimizing them for our clients' benefit.
4. Regular checks on Google Search Console
While algorithms are quite opaque, Google is very clear on its expectations from websites. For websites to continue gaining ranks, they must follow these guidelines and act on their feedback for improved search performance.
Google Search Console is a free service created by Google to help webmasters and owners monitor, maintain and optimize the visibility of a site in SERP. Anyone can check GSC to see if they are having any issues with crawl errors, which interferes with their site's visibility or indexing.
To see the errors that are currently affecting a site, we navigate to the index coverage report and take note of the areas where things aren't as they should be. With GSC, anyone can submit an XML sitemap showing the structure of their site.
Once loaded, we can compare several URLs submitted for discrepancies with the number of URLs indexed by Google. If the numbers do not add up, we begin to consider the possibility that some of the main pages of that site haven't been indexed by Google.
We can crawl the site with scanning software such as Screaming Frog to pinpoint the issue and have it fixed.
- Checking Google Analytics
Google Analytics is also another source of important data. We use it to identify any drop in traffic. It also provides information on other user metrics such as time on page, bounce rate, and pages per session. Sometimes, we realize a decline in rank due to changes or modifications in a site's content, design, or functionality that doesn't sit well with Google. If that's the case, a simple solution would be to revert these changes or tweak these chances to see your rank bounce back.
Google Analytics is a treasure trove of information and ideas on how your site functions as a whole. It tells us how people find sites, their behavior on the site, and what are the likely factors that cause them to leave. To get better and more specific data, we can segment the audience into mobile and desktop users. That is because the two classes of visitors have different ways of interacting with the same site.
5. Check content
Having quality content is clearly a good reason for Google to boost the ranking of any given site. When a website losses ranking, it is important to check and see if they have unique, rich, and interesting content. Or is it that they have low value, thin and duplicate content.
The nature of the content on a website can have a major effect on its ranking. If your competitors provide more useful and answering more questions that users appreciate, Google automatically ranks them better or above you.
To find out if your content is the reason why you're losing traffic, we look through the website of your competition, and take note of what they are doing better than you. We also take track of their bad habits and avoid them.
While the value of content is largely subjective, we ensure we follow a template that makes your content presentable to a large audience. Metrics such as dwell time and bounce rates indicate how well visitors connect to the content on the page.
Also, tools such as CopyScape, Grammarly, and Siteliner are important when checking the quality and uniqueness of the content on a page.
As a website and company dedicated to ensuring that every of its client websites reaches the first page of SERP, ranking is one are we pay a great deal of attention to. Many factors influence just how well a website ranks. Our objective is not only to return websites to their past ranking glory but to make them No1.
Our team of professionals is constantly updating their knowledge archives on the latest happenings in the SEO universe. This guarantees that your websites are kept in prime condition 24/7.