When your website ranks dips in the search engine results pages (SERPs), it is nightmare for marketers and online business owners. It could be a few ranks down or a significant push deeper down in Google’s search results. It means that your website traffic goes down too, which is detrimental to your business, lead generation, and eventually sales. As far ranking fluctuations are concerned, they are unavoidable, but if you notice that your web pages fail to rank for several days to months, it is a cause of concern.
According to an article published on Entrepreneur, there are some ways to optimize your business website and improve rankings. These include focusing on market business assessment, researching keywords and development, optimization of content, and regular testing and monitoring to name a few.
In any case, if you notice that your website rankings are dipping consistently, do not panic. Here are four things you can do to improve rankings to make your SEO run on the right track:
1. Do not forget the SEO fundamentals
While understanding and keeping track of keyword (KW) performance, you tend to focus on the advanced SEO tactics, but end up ignoring the significance of the basics of on-page SEO. There is no point in fretting over link speed, anchor text ratio, or for that matter, citation improvement when the solution to poor rankings is a simple fix right on your business website.
If your web pages are returning the 200-status code, what are you supposed to do? Again, the usual 200 OK status code means that there is an unbeaten HTTP request. You need to use a tool such as HTTP Status Code Checker, which is a free tool, to ensure that your website is showing a successful request. If that is not the case, you need to troubleshoot depending on the failed status code such as 404, which means page not found, and 410, indicating page removed permanently.
When it comes to Robots.txt, it’s a text-based file in the top-rank web server directory that tells bots about how to interact with your site. In the file, you may define guidelines as well as exclusions as you like. For example, indexing duplicate web pages or disapproving bots to crawl a dev site. Make sure you do not define the limitations too rigidly that stops the search bots to crawl any of your key web pages.
You need to check and recheck the robots.txt file with Google’s Robots Testing Tool if you notice anything wrong and upload a more lenient file to the server.
2. Stay updated with Google algorithm updates
You already know about the Penguin and Panda updates, implemented the guidelines to stay relevant in the SERPs. Then, that does not mean that you will not pay attention to the other smaller changes that Google has recommended, of late. Even small tweaks can affect your website rankings considerably.
You need to read a lot and follow Barry Schwartz and Danny Goodwin, both influencers, to stay updated about the latest developments related to SEO. Even read what Gary Illyes has to say, who is associated with Google. You may also read and get loads of information on social media sites like Twitter.
Make your SEO right, focus on in-depth, long-form content, intuitive and uncluttered website design, page load speed, and do not panic when rankings fluctuate a little. Sometimes, rankings vary due to algorithm updates. If your SEO is right and adheres to Google guidelines, your website will rank high in the SERPs.
3. Focus on quality content
Content is king and it is has become all the more important, of late. Do a reality check of website copy to determine whether the information is unique, engaging, and beneficial to your target audience. If the content is stale, thin, and of poor quality, you need to upload new, informative content that resonates with your customers. Poor content has adverse effects on website rankings in the search results.
You need to answer your audience’s questions with more clarity and answer more of their questions. You need to take some time out of your busy schedule and research what your closest competitors are doing. If they are doing better than you are, take inspiration from their strategies and improve your website rankings in the SERPs.
Remember that people do not relate to thin, poor-quality content. It is true indeed that the value of your website or blog content is subjective; a couple of metrics you need to consider. For example, if your visitors are not staying on your web pages for a long time, or leaving your site soon without navigating the other pages, it indicates that your content is poor and connecting with your audience.
Besides the manual evaluation of your content, Siteliner and Copyscape are effective tools to determine whether your web copy is unique or not. If you find any issues with external or internal content, and your website is flagged, you will need to write fresh, unique content or rewriting it in detail.
4. Focus on web page loading speed
If your website is taking over three seconds to load, it has issues and affects your rankings in the SERPs. When it comes to mobile SEO, speed is an essential factor you need to consider. Use free tools such as PageSpeed Insights from Google to figure out your page load speed and implements the right solutions to improve page speed. The online audience has a limited attention span and if they find that your website is taking more time to load, they will click away. It will lead to higher bounce rates that harm your site’s rankings in the search results.
You will also find the Core Web Vitals report in the Search Console. Here, you can look at the metrics like First Input Delay and Largest Contentful Paint. You can improve your page speed significantly by using browser caching, optimizing the site images, reducing code, and implementing resource compression.
When you notice dips in your website rankings, address the problem quickly with simple, small SEO methods. Keep these tips in mind to improve page speed, improve content quality, and most importantly, stay updated with Google algorithm updates.