Often you can be working on a site, or release a new web build and see that some pages are not doing as well as they used to. Or perhaps your page is dropping without you making any significant changes whatsoever.
To help diagnose any problems with your search rankings, here is a checklist of things to check before calling in the professionals.
- Has Google Updated Their Algorithm?
Before jumping to any conclusions check around to see if Google has updated their algorithm. If they have you’ll need to change your approach to SEO based in the new changes.
The first step is to identify the changes that are causing you to lose your position in the results, ask yourself why these changes have been made (to gain a bigger understanding of how google works) and then put together a strategy to protect your site from this new change and then make the necessaries.
- Have You Lost Links?
Gaining links to your site is a sure way of improving your rankings, so losing them could have the opposite effect.
Pull a lost links report from Ahrefs of Majestic; they’re reliable and proven sources for this information.
Here are some things to look for:
- Significant Site-Wide Link Drop
- Significant Specific Page / Groups of Pages Link Drops
- Loss of Inbound Links.
Find out if you can get any of these links back by reaching out to site owners and ask them to replace them with working links. If you don’t have relationships with these linkers, you may need to update your content to make it better than the content sites are now linking to instead of yours, and then reach out to them.
You could also invest in new links (buy them) to replace the old ones and build a strategy to build more long-term links, perhaps using an outsourced company to help with this.
- Have You Changed The Affected Page(s)?
If you’ve recently changed or updated the affected page, Google may not deem the changes to be as relevant to a keyword as what it used to be.
Here are some changes that could affect the ranking of your page:
- URL changes – Do not change URLS, they trick Google into believing you’ve created a new page even if you haven’t changed the content. If you’ve changed the URL, change it back or redirect the old URL via a 301.
- Target Keyword Removal – If you’ve removed your target keyword from the title, H1 or H2’s this could harm your rankings. Add the keywords back in to these places.
- Have You Changed The Main Body Text? If you have, you may have lowered the keyword density, try reverting to the old text and see if this puts your rankings up. Then change the text with keyword density in mind
- Is Your Content Readable? Check the cache of your page and see if Google can read the content of your page. If not, this will seriously affect your rankings. Get in touch with your developers to see how they can fix this issue.
If all of the above stages don’t work, the issue could be related to many other things. Get in contact with a trusted digital agency and have them take a look at your site and see how they can help improve your rankings.