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Your SEO rankings have dropped? Don’t panic – here’s what to do now

If you have noticed a drop in your SEO rankings, it is easy to start panicking – and we don’t blame you, we have all been there!

It might be that your rankings have dropped suddenly, or it could be that it has been more gradual but you have only noticed it now.

If you rely on organic search marketing for new leads, a drop in your SEO rankings can have a real negative effect on your website performance and lead generation, so you need to diagnose the issue quickly and get your SEO back on track.

If your SEO rankings have dropped, the first thing to do is stay calm! The second is to read this article to understand why your rankings have dropped and what you can do to bring them back.

How many keyword rankings have dropped?

It is important to know how many keyword rankings have dropped. One or a couple of keyword falling in the rank is an entirely different matter to several dropping in a similar time period.

Here’s why several keywords may have dropped at once

  • You haven’t recently published any blog posts or content supporting the keywords that have dropped
  • You haven’t recently added any backlinks or updated the content on pages supporting the keywords
  • If it was a  cluster of competitive keywords, one of your competitors may have ranked above you with a more aggressive SEO strategy
  • You lost a powerful backlink from another website
  • Something is broken on the web page supporting the keyword
  • You have built a new webpage which is now competing with the previous one for the same keyword

When did the drop in your keywords happen?

Was it a sudden drop in a normally upward trend? Or was the drop more gradual and predictable based on historical patterns?

If it was a sudden drop in a keyword you normally rank well for, it is likely a technical issue that caused it. For example, you may have been penalised by Google if your website is slow-loading, a page is poorly built, non-optimised HTML tags, or a dodgy backlink.

If the drop has been more gradual over time, then it is likely because of an on-page or strategic issue. For example, you haven’t been publishing fresh content around a keyword, or you haven’t been building backlinks between cornerstone pages.

How can I increase my SEO rankings?

Once you have gotten to the bottom of the problem, the fix might become clear. For example, you might need to add or fix an optimised HTML tag or re-optimise your pages so that more than one isn’t competing for the same keyword.

If it is a bigger issue, you will need to go back to square one and follow some SEO best practices.

Some SEO best practices for sitewide increase in SEO rankings

  • Create an ongoing content marketing strategy that targets particular keywords across your site
  • Regularly audit your site to find and fix problems before they become a big issue – such as broken links, bad backlinks, or slow loading times on pages.
  • Keep up-to-date with Google Webmaster news. SEO is constantly changing, and you need to keep up!
  • Keep your website in good shape by doing things to reduce loading times, such as reducing image sizes, minimise the amount of Javascript elements and optimise your site for mobile.
  • Create links between your website pages so that you are sending links to the right keyword pages.
  • Keep your robots.txt file SEO-compliant, so Google spiders can crawl your website properly
  • Keyword targets can become saturated or irrelevant, so keep looking for new keyword targets

By following these best practices and getting to the centre of any SEO issues you detect, you can keep your website constantly performing well in search engine rankings.

Author

James O'Connell

Date

30th November 2018

Reading Time

3 minutes

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