Your site’s rankings can be tricky. One day, you get high rankings on search engines and drive highly qualified traffic to your site. Other times, your rankings may start dropping all of a sudden.
Once they have dropped dramatically, you’ll lose traffic, sales, new clients, and business opportunities. All of this will eventually affect your revenue negatively.
Just because you own the best-designed website that is visually appealing, that doesn’t mean it will rank high in search results.
Perhaps you have put a lot of time and effort into optimizing your website, but you aren’t ranking well for the requested keywords. So, it’s little wonder that people cannot find you online.
There is a whole suite of things that can hold back your rankings and cause website traffic to drop suddenly. It is imperative to identify ranking issues and keep your website on track.
1. Your Website is New
Let’s say you’ve recently created a new site. Google should find your website and index it after 2 weeks or so. This means it exists in Google’s search engine results. Don’t expect high rankings, though. Remember that it may take a few months for websites to get ranked for desired keywords.
2. Your Site Isn’t Mobile Friendly and Responsive
Mobile usage tends to overtake desktop nowadays. That’s why you should aim to develop a mobile-friendly site. Otherwise, your Google mobile rankings will suffer and you will lose traffic.
It is also critical to make your site responsive. That’s important for both user experience and SEO. Whether your website is viewed on an iPad or a cell phone, it is supposed to look good on that mobile device.
It should not require any pinching and dragging. This is something you need to work on with the web designer who has created your site.
3. Title Tag & Meta Tag Issues
The title tag is one of the first things people see before visiting your site. That said, be sure to get it right.
There are a plethora of issues associated with title tags which can impact SEO and your rankings as well. Just to mention a few:
- Too short or too long title tags
- Missing title tags
- Duplicate tags
Make sure that your meta tags are optimized. Each page on your website must have proper meta tags. They should clearly describe and summarize the content on a particular page. This will help both search engines and users determine quickly what the webpage is about.
4. H1 Tag Issues
H1(header) tag is an on-page SEO component that also has an influence on site rankings. Unlike title tags, H1 tags don’t appear in Google search results. Your users can see them when they visit your page.
Despite the fact that Google says it’s just fine to have a few header tags per page, it’s not advisable to multiple them. Having one H1 per page is still considered the best practice.
5. Lack of High-Quality Backlinks
The volume and quality of backlinks can show whether a website is reliable or not. Pay particular attention to the quality. It can help you gain backlinks from relevant websites and improve your rankings. That’s something search engines reckon with when listing a website in Google search results.
6. Broken Internal and External Links
While a broken link is sometimes inevitable, make sure there are no lots of broken links on your site. Nobody wants to continually encounter 404 error pages. It leads to high bounce rates and traffic drops.
Broken external links can also affect your rankings. Instead of sending visitors to your webpage, a broken inbound link leads to a 404 error page. Try to determine where these links come from. If you don’t want to remove your broken links, aim to replace them with new ones.
7. Algorithm Changes
Google is constantly making some algorithm changes with the goal of improving their strategies and results. These updates often hurt many websites and result in lower rankings.
So, how to deal with these changes? An effective traffic strategy combined with cross-channel marketing that comprises multiple marketing channels can do the trick.
8. Page Load Time
Speed is a killer. Your web pages must load quickly in order to keep your visitors satisfied. A page shouldn’t take longer than five seconds to load. Aside from affecting user experience, this can put you at risk of being penalized by Google.
9. Poor Content Optimization
Have you optimized content on your website for search engines? If not, that could be the reason why your traffic and ranking have dropped.
There is a large number of indicators (more than 200) that Google uses when ranking your site in search results. It is possible to improve most of these indicators by editing and adding various on-page elements like meta tags among others.
You should consider everything from internal links, titles, the page headings, and names of image files if you want to increase your rankings.
10. A Formal Penalty
You have been hit with a formal Google penalty. What does it mean? This means that there is a conflict between your website content and Google marketing practices. So, stay away from black hat SEO practices. Google will recognize them sooner or later and issue a formal penalty.
Two Most Common Ways of Getting Your Site Penalized by Google:
- Unnatural link building – Unnatural anchor text, poor-quality links, swapping links, and buying links are some of the ways to get your website penalized.
- Over optimization: Avoid cramming keywords into just about every Heading, URL, Alt Text, Title tags, and so on. This tactic does not work anymore.
We hope this article gave you a better idea of why your website is not ranking in search yet. While the issues listed above are the culprits in most cases, there are many other things that can cause your rankings to drop.
Pull out all the stops and pinpoint the causes. Once you eliminate everything that holds back your rankings, you will improve your online visibility and start growing your business.