The core business of any website comes from the leads and sales it attracts. This can only be achieved when a website attracts enough traffic. Over the internet, competition is stiff, and a drop in the number of visitors that a website attracts could have a huge impact on its overall success. Website owners and managers employ various techniques to have their websites remain relevant and keep ranking high on search engines.
If you notice a drop in your site’s ranking, there are several things you can look into and find out what’s causing the downfall. The reasons for this decline may range from poor content, slow loading speeds, to unfriendly website configuration. In the discussion that follows, we look into some of the causes of the decline in website rankings on search engines.
1. Algorithm Changes
If Google has been consistent on one element, it is the frequent changes in the algorithm used to rank websites. While some of them happen swiftly, with almost no one taking note, some are very conspicuous and influence website performance significantly.
To avoid getting hurt by such changes, use several marketing channels for your content. This approach ensures that your content will be visible around the web on different platforms.
2. Difference in Geolocation searches
A drop in website ranking may also be a result of different search results in different locations. You can test this by searching your website from different areas. This may also be experienced while searching for different computers. In some cases, the results you get when you are logged in with a Google account may differ from what you have when you are logged out.
3. Changes by competitors
While you work on your website, your competitors too are busy finding ways of getting better. Improvements to the functionalities of their website and content could easily cause a drop in the ranking of your website. Changes in website design, content on their site, and better customer experiences are some of the experiences that could help improve competitor ranking and cause a drop on your website.
Check out how your competitors are doing to improve their websites through social media platforms, link building, and other marketing strategies.
4. Website load speeds
How long does your website take to load? Website visitors highly value sites that respond quickly. Experts say that any website taking more than four seconds has the potential to turn off visitors. On the other hand, your website visitors have several options to run to at the slightest turn-off. Check out for causes of slow load speeds such as too many plugins or poor web design, among others. Improve on how fast your website responds to queries to avoid a drop in ranking.
5. Technical issues with the server
Server problems could be caused by both hardware and software challenges. Attacks by malware and software, too much traffic as well as server crashes could all have an effect on your website. As a result of these issues, your website may experience longer downtime or slower load speeds.
If there is a recurrence of such challenges on your website, check with your web hosting company to have it resolved and get your site working better and faster.
6. Low quality of links
Google says that if the quality of links is affecting the performance of your website, you should make an effort to improve on them. Website owners quite often fall into the trap of having links simply for the sake of it and not to improve the performance of their website.
Outbound links have the greatest potential to cost your website for poor performance. Be keen on evaluating where your links point to. All links should add value to the content and your website. Some search engines, too, have policies guiding the use of affiliates. Carefully learn how to implement them.
7. Broken links and redirects
A website redesign is one of the major causes of poor web ranking. It could be as a result of migrating to a new server or even structural changes to the website.
Redirects point your web visitors to a different address altogether. It’s similar to changing your home or office address. The best you can do not to lose prospective customers is to make it smooth and seamless. When redirects are done correctly, you don’t necessarily lose your rankings. While at it, avoid penalties brought by broken links. Broken links refer to links that direct visitors to blank pages or to other unwanted pages.
8. Malware attack
Malware attack on both hardware and software is one of the most common means of cyber attack and a huge challenge to businesses today. Such attacks pose a risk to your data and that of your web visitors, change the appearance of your site, and alter content among other effects.
There are various ways of protecting against malware attacks, including security plugins. Importantly, ensure that you have a quick response to malware attacks to avoid loss of important data, including content. Constantly check the security features of your site and keep them up to date.
9. Poor User Experience/ High Bounce Rate/Complex internal navigation
Every website exists to serve its visitors, build prospects and do better business. Customer experience is, therefore, key to the success of the website and ultimately to that of any other business. With this in mind, you must endeavor to give your customers the best level of customer experience.
Make your website easy to navigate and put up the kind of content they are looking for. If you run an eCommerce site or one where payments have to be done, make payment methods easy, and make a few options for your customers.
10. Wrong choice/ placement of keywords
Keywords are still relevant and crucial to the success of websites today. However, the wrong choice of keywords or placing them poorly within your content may cause a significant drop in ranking. To avoid this, research your keywords properly for any content you put out. Keyword mapping is an essential activity in determining where, when, and which keywords to place within your content. Better choice of keywords translates to more traffic and better performance on your site. Talk to your SEO Agency in Sydney or around the globe for guidance on keyword choice and placement
11. Duplicate content/ Poor Content
Search engines have very strict policies against duplicate content. It will cost you hefty fines and poor ranking. The secret to producing great content is understanding your audience and carrying out proper research to give them the right kind of content.
Search engines such as Google are able to detect and determine duplicate content. When content is deliberately duplicated for the purposes of ranking better or increasing traffic, you suffer stiff penalties. In the worst case, your content may be removed entirely from search engines.
12. Missing Indexed pages
You may find that not all content you put onto your website appears on search results. This means that your content won’t be available for prospective website visitors. No matter how good your content might be, if it’s not indexed to make it easy to search, it will not contribute to a better ranking for your site.
You have the ability to influence how search engines index your content by putting up content. Make it audience-friendly, include infographics, high-quality content as well as inbound and outbound links, among other actions.
13. Recent changes in web design
When you carry out any structural change on your website, you need to be careful not to lose content or affect website navigability. Whatever changes you effect onto the site, let them have a positive impact by improving user experience.
Changes on the site, including server and hosting plans, can all contribute to poor ranking if not handled carefully.
Listen to your audience before making overwhelming changes to your website. Know what they want and respond appropriately. If your website has a complex configuration, you can gradually implement changes and test them at every step.
14. Natural Changes in Search Matrix
In some cases, a drop in search engine rankings may not have a direct cause or explanation. It could result from changes by the search engine, which is not necessarily explained to website managers. Google, for instance, makes several updates frequently without necessarily explaining. Such actions may result in lower rankings, either temporary or for an extended period of time.
For instance, when a certain subject receives increased queries, Google brings up newer results first, pushing static content to lower pages. When the USA holds elections, for example, search engines deliberately show results that are most recent and updated.
Putting up a website that rankings high is a dream for many businesses. It takes time, effort, and resources. A drop in rankings may occur even when you have done everything the right way on your website. This notwithstanding, it’s critical to maintain a high level of customer experience and playing within the standards set out by search engines. By all means possible, avoid being penalized by search engines for violating particular regulations.