Possible reasons why your website dropped in SERP position and how to possibly fix it.
Obtaining a higher rank on Google needs a lot of hard work, and when you finally get there, there is no guarantee that you will remain there as your competitors are also putting their best effort to take a position ahead of you.
In this post, we will discuss different factors that could cause a sudden drop in SERP (search engine results page) and possible ways to address the issues.
Understanding how ranking works…
SEO can be implemented on any website. however, Google decides how to rank each website according to different factors. Dean Brain on his earlier post listed Google’s 200 Ranking Factors in 2019
Reasons why your website dropped in SERP
Website Ranking is determined by many factors, if you don’t follow the trends, you will suffer a drop in SERP and of course drop in traffic. The thing is that; most times, even if you keep up to trends, you still need to put in more effort to remain at the top of the page.
Here are the reasons why your website dropped in SERP rank
1. Targeting Wrong Keywords
Keywords are used by search engines to understand a web page. Trying to rank your website for a wrong keyword will be the beginning of your downfall. Even if your website was ranked for such key terms, Google could have changed how it understands your website.
If you are ranking a website for a keyword NOT related to your business, simply because such keywords have a high search volume, you are not helping matters.
Google frequently updated their algorithm. Each time they do, they change how they determine the best content to serve for a query. In that case, your rank will drop.
2. Poor User Experience
If Google ranks your website high and later noticed that your site is not user-friendly, your ranking will have to suffer it.
Google wants to serve all the audience with the best solution to their problems. So, if your website user experience is not encouraging, Google won’t take it likely with you. Tips: how to improve user experience
Use Clear navigation – if you have a website with awesome content, yet people are finding it difficult to navigate through your pages, something is not right.
Avoid many pop-ups – content is not the only thing people look at, Site behavior matters. The majority will bounce out because of annoying windows, fonts animations, complicated design, including color, etc.
Provide relevant metadata – if your metadata(meta title, meta descriptions, etc.) aren’t engaging enough, users won’t want to click through them and land on your website. Again, if your snippets provide false promises or misleading users, the bounce rate will increase.
3. Technical Issue
Technical issues such as server overload, downtime, and load time can also affect your website rank. If your server continues to experience technical challenges that prevent your site from loading, your rank will drop. Tip: how to avoid technical issues
Use a trusted web server – although no server is 100% trusted. Though they may promise you 100% up-time, but trust me, There is downtime on all servers, but how it is been solved differs from server to server.
Recommend server: Bluehost
4. Your website takes much time to load
Website speed is very important for ranking. Research says that 85% of potential customers leave your website if it takes more than 3secs to load. In other words, your bounce rate will increase and your rank drops when your site takes a long time to load. Tips: how to increase page speed
Use Google page insights to learn about your website load time. Then, look into the tips below
- Reduce the size of images
- Enable lazy loading
- Remove plugins you don’t use from your site
5. You moved your website to another domain
One of the most common causes of a rank drop is this! When you move your site from a server to another, or to another domain without setting up a proper 301 redirection.
This can cause a massive drop in SERP and you could be penalized for duplicate content too.
When you migrate your website to another domain, be sure to set up a proper 301 redirect. Read Harsh Argawal’s guide to website migration.
6. Contents are out of date
If you don’t update your website contents to fit with the latest trends, people will not stay long on your website.
Outdated content is like a mud house in the midst of mansions. Nobody wants to have a second look at it! Even if they look at it, they laugh.
For you to keep up to trends, you need to keep updating your content from time to time. Make it fresh and more attractive.
If you have a guide on a particular topic, instead of publishing a new guide, update the ones you already have and add more information to them. Tips: how to prevent your contents from running out of date.
Use the Search Console to monitor your site performance – Google’s free tool for webmasters enables you to monitor your website contents, list of posts that do well and those that don’t.
You will need to start with those with bad performance. Update them and give them a brand new look.
7. Your Competitors are doing it better than you.
You cannot have a website without having people to compete with. Competitors are everywhere! The good thing is; you need them for you to grow… But don’t allow them to outshine you!
If your competitor’s contents are performing better than yours, your rank will drop, and you lose a lot of traffic and potential customers. So, do not allow that to happen. Spend more time studying the industry and figure out opportunities to get better. Tips: how to do better than your competitors
You can analyze your competitors’ strategies with:
With the above tools, you can discover your competitor’s backlinks sources, the keywords they rank for, their top contents, and more. This step will help you come up with ideas of how you could improve your own strategy.
8. You were caught by Google’s Algorithm Update
Google keeps updating its Algorithm from time to time. Each time they do, they introduce a new way they understand the content of a website.
But… How can that bring down your ranking?
Google updates their system to fish out websites trying to cheat the system. so, If your site uses legitimate SEO techniques NOT “Black-Hat” SEO methods, your website should not have been negatively affected by any of Google’s algorithm updates.
9. Duplicate Content
Duplicate content is blocks of content that appear more than once across or within the same domains. they can either be similar or completely the same.
This doesn’t always mean that the copy will be penalized by dropped SERP rank. BUT… When contents are intentionally copied to trick search engines or manipulate rankings to increase traffic, I’m afraid, your site will get penalized.
At worst, your site may be removed from Google’s index and will no longer be displayed in SERP.
10. You are too busy
Yes! they can also bring down your rank on SERP! Being too busy not to monitor the performance of your website is one of the worst things that can ever happen to any website owner.
Create more time to monitor your site’s performance, Link profile, page speed, etc.
We all know how hard it is to be on the first page of Google. If you’ve already got there, you need extra effort to remain there!
If you think there are factors affecting your Page Rank that is not listed here, please use the comment section to notify us.
- 6 Ways To Effortlessly Rank A Website On Google
- 17 proven strategies to drive targeted traffic to your website.
- Advanced SEO tactics to outperform your competitors on SERP