Many times you wake up to a serp showing multiple rankings have dropped or Ranking Poorly and you don’t know why… Maybe your analytics reporting shows a drop in traffic as well, or just a specific category of your site has lost rankings. It’s time sensitive and often complex mystery to correct. Don’t be scared it happens quite frequently when you are trying to rely on Yoast or entry level SEO knowledge to solve. There are a number of items to check off while you investigate your website.
Uncover the Core Problem
Our first step is diving into the code and uncovering the problem or finding whether there is “Actually” a problem. A solid approach is outlined below whether you have a fairly large or small website.
A. look at YOUR CATEGORIES or SECTIONS individually.
Let’s take a look exclusively at the /blog or /shop or /custom-url section. Did those rankings fall entirely? Did they only fall in search traffic? Was it /cities where your listing a massive amount of geo specific locations, for example, if your dealing with data about the sale of plastic cups in different cities. So your target is product type queries in these cities, and you find your ranking for fewer of them, and these pages are poorly performing in comparison to where they were a few months ago or the same time from last year.
B. Check traffic from search over time.
Now navigate to your Google Analytics account or your preferred analytics software, and you might see that you fell off like a cliff for these particular pages. This can seem overwhelming, always remember there could be a simple solution so keep diving in! This data could be hiding inside your analytics hidden by the rest of your site’s performance, make sure to utilize your filters to specify the exact pages and sections to run your reporting for.
From here, I’m going to urge you to search under Google Trends https://trends.google.com/trends/. You may ask “Why would I go to Google Trends?” because by looking at some of your big “money” keywords and topics in Google Trends you can find serious declines in search volume. If search demand has been rising or staying stable where you have lost traffic, it’s almost 100% something you’ve done, not a blatant algo update. You can also check out http://mozcast.com this will show you a creative bar graph with the volatility of the search engine in the recent past.
Let’s get back to your website, if you see that traffic has declined dramatically, for example, maybe you were ranking really well for “plastic cups” data from 2015. It turns out people are now looking for “eco friendly cups”. Maybe that is part of the problem, that search demand has fallen and your curve matches that. However, if your noticing that the google trends are stable, mozcast is stable, and your rankings are falling, this could be more than just a demand of a keyword phrase among the searchers.
C. Perform some queries or use your rank tracking data TOOL.
This is one of the reasons we always to track historical & present rank data, even these types of queries that don’t get a lot of traffic can help in figuring out larger issues.
1. Targeted SEO Keywords. In this case, it might be “plastic cup distributor orlando,” maybe that’s one of your keywords. You would see if your currently rank for this or am I ranking more poorly than I used to for these phrases?
2. Check Main Domain plus Targeted Keyword. In this case, it would be EarthPlastic plus the above here plus “plastic cup distributor orlando,” so Earth Plastic or EarthPlastic.com plastic cup distributor orlando. NOTE: If you’re not currently ranking for that search phrase, it’s a big indication of a more serious problem, potentially a domain penalty or some type of dampening that’s happening around your “brand name” or around your website as a whole. Did you have a huge drop in your Domain Authority or Page Authority?
D. Check your ONLINE SEO tools.
1. Google Search Console. This will list any notifications from google in regards to your website property and their current guidelines.
2. Check your SEO rank tracker or whatever SEO tool you are currently using.
3. On-page and crawl monitoring. Hopefully you have something like this and understand the reasons to monitor your crawl rates and content. It could be through Moz or OnPage.org as well, they have a really good one.
4. Site uptime could be a factor. I always check load times via Pingdom or other things that alert me like, “Oh man, wait a second, my site was down for a few days a week ago. That is obviously why organic traffic has fallen,” those types of things are common sense items to keep in mind.
E. STILL UNSURE OF THE SOLUTION.
Contact a reputable SEO Firm for a complete Website Audit. If you are finding it hard to pin point the source, don’t waist valuable time. Especially if you may have made the changes, and are unsure of the solution. Every crawl by the search engine will hinder your ranking abilities. Click Here to submit your details and receive a call from us at SEO Gazelle!