SEO is a complicated topic to fully grasp. Sometimes it can be downright frustrating. At one point, your website can be the top-ranked one among all the relevant search engines. And tomorrow, your ranking has dropped noticeably. We can tribute this to a couple of things.
The first one is the plethora of fluctuations in the SEO realm. The other one is the one that most businesses tend to neglect. And that is investing the time and effort to build up an effective SEO strategy.
Not only that, but you also need to be consistent with it. That means providing your customers with valuable content on a regular basis over a lengthy period of time.
So, let us go over the most common issues that an unstable search engine ranking is suffering from. More importantly, we will also cover the basics of how to stop and overcome these common mistakes.
#1. How search engines rank websites
First things first. We need to understand how to tackle this subject before we commit. Just how do search engine giants like Google actually rank websites on their results pages? Google indexes and ranks websites based on many variables. A website creator has many things to consider when designing it.
Also, the content that is put into it is the bread and butter of an effective SEO campaign. The Googlebot Persona analyse the websites and indexes them. Some sites are outright removed from the search results page. Websites need to have authority, trust from the public and be relevant in comparison to their competition.
It is, after all, a market like any else. Websites are competing with each other for the attention of the public. All the factors that we will go through form a synergistic effect that gives the website its advantage. These do not exist in a vacuum.
#2. Tracking the right rankings
Your site is most likely up for a while now. The problem could arise that the keywords may not be relevant today as they used to be. Put a little thought into your website with today’s frame of reference. Are you using obsolete data or old terminology? This is easy to fix.
Go over your existing content and make these, mostly cosmetic changes. The content you post on your website is not set in stone. You are allowed to make the necessary changes. That is, as long as you remain on the subject. Does the terminology align with what your industry and niche expect?
Potential customers will use the most modern expressions when they search for what they need. You need to reflect that. Meet them halfway. Not many people will have much patience and search for multiple variations of the same question.
#3. Delivery speed
Your site speed could be too slow. Yes, search engine algorithms account for that too. The attention span of an average person is much lower online compared to real-life. Pages tend to load in about five to six seconds on mobile devices.
The average attention span of someone browsing the internet for answers is approximately two seconds. Potential customers are not getting what they want fast enough. You need to account for that. The issue is simple. If you are not providing them with fast information, there are plenty of others that do it faster.
Even if it means for a fraction of a second, they have an advantage over you. This usually comes down to two factors. Either your website is poorly written, or your hosting plan is lacking. The latter is easy to fix. Just upgrade to a more comprehensive hosting plan, or ditch your current provider altogether.
#4. Broken and lost links
This is another very common reason that your traffic and rankings are tanking. Some of your links will get broken sooner or later. Luckily for us, there are many online tools to check for just that. Check your website for any lost links over the last ninety days. Broken links are links that do not lead anywhere.
Maybe the site they lead to changed its address or is simply not existent anymore. Ask yourself the following questions. Is that particular link down on your entire site? Or maybe, it is just that one instance. Are those broken links on the same page that are experiencing drops in rankings?
Check each link to determine the best course of action. Some links are removed intentionally. These are usually not organic and could already be flagged and penalized by the search engine algorithms. Drop, repair or modify all your broken links.
#5. Insufficient trust in your content
A business is successful only if the people trust it. You need to generate trust in order for people to turn into paying customers. For them to buy your products, customers need to have confidence in what you are offering. Trust is something that takes a lot of time to build.
On the other hand, you can lose their trust in an instant. One mistake is all it takes to seriously damage your reputation with the general public. So, how does one build trust through their website? You need to provide your prospects with valuable, helpful information.
Also, your present and potential customers need to feel heard and understood. They need answers to their key questions and concerns. Take a look at your entire content portfolio. Do you provide your audience with what they need? If not, rethink your content strategy and adapt. Modify old content if necessary.
#6. Targeting the right keywords
The keywords you choose need to match the topic and questions you are trying to answer. It needs to be clear to the search engines what you are trying to achieve. Only then can they easily give you a favourable ranking.
Your content needs to be clear enough for the audience to understand it. The faster they grasp your meaning, the better. They need to be quickly aware of what you are offering to the public. Doing keyword research is key for an effective SEO strategy. Make sure that you target the right keywords for your business and niche.
Include popular jargon and most used phrases for your topic. All keywords are not created equal. This is why researching the optimal ones behoves everyone. Lastly, the more specific your keywords are, the more you will distinguish yourself from the competition. Try and create those for maximum effect.
#7. Consistency in publishing schedules
The quality of content published is a given. You cannot post just anything without substance, meaning or value. The frequency and consistency of posting is another huge factor the search engines are accounting for. People are creatures of habit.
Habits also build trust, we touched upon that earlier in this article. Your audience needs to know when you will publish new content. They will learn to count on you providing them with the answers to their questions on a regular basis.
Think about the last time you visited a site that has not been updated for a few months. It does not inspire much confidence, does it? A fresh and regular stream of content indicates that a site is still alive and relevant.
Slip up and you will fall into irrelevancy. Your content has a compound effect. So, make sure you are delivering in quality and quantity as well.
#8. Algorithm changes
Search engines are always changing and adapting to the online market. Google, Yahoo and others are constantly improving their marketing strategies. SEO is in a constant state of shift. You need to keep up with it. It is not something you can really directly influence.
You can only adapt, or even better, be proactive about it if you can. The truth is, anytime such a change in the algorithms occurs, many sites suffer. This is expressed in lower site rankings. To avoid this use effective marketing and traffic strategies. This means utilize as many channels as possible. Leverage as many platforms as possible.
Influencers, multimedia content such as video and audio are all very powerful tools for staying relevant. For example, everyone is using social media. Make your presence known on as many of these platforms as you can. It is marketing with the least amount of overhead.
#9. Duplicate content
Content that is largely appearing across or within domains and has similar enough characteristics is considered a duplicate. These are always penalized by search engines. Although, not all of it is considered deceptive or malicious.
With the amount of content online, perceived duplicates are bound to occur spontaneously. This is where originality really shines. Make your content stand out by being unique. That is what will really separate you from the competition.
Increasing website traffic is a long and arduous process. there are no cheat codes or shortcuts. The search engine algorithms have matured enough to account for all of those. Sketchy strategies are generally frowned upon because you are not plating the game that the rest of the market is playing.
Make your own SEO strategy today and make sure to follow these tips and tricks for the optimal effect.
About the Author!
Nick Brown is a blogger and a marketing expert currently engaged in projects for SEO Sydney Experts. He is an aspiring street artist and does Audio/Video editing as a hobby.