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6 Proven Steps to Get Your Website Ranking on Google Again

6 Proven Steps to Get Your Website Ranking on Google Again

You already know the importance of having a strong online presence. But with Google's constantly changing algorithms and fierce competition, it can be a struggle to maintain your website's rankings. And this can lead to a decrease in leads. I understand the pain points of business owners and the challenges they face in the digital landscape. That's why I've put together a 6-step strategy to help you reclaim your keyword rankings and boost your online visibility.

Understanding Why Your Keyword Rankings Dropped

Search engine optimization (SEO) is an intricate and ever-evolving field. Here’s some factors that might be causing a drop in keyword rankings:

Algorithm Updates: Google frequently updates its search algorithms, aiming to enhance the relevance and quality of search results.

Competition: Your competitors' optimization efforts and high-quality content may cause their rankings to rise, subsequently pushing yours down.

Users: Shifts in user behavior, trends, and seasonality can impact keyword popularity and search rankings.

Website Alterations: Changes on your website, such as content updates, backlink changes, or website restructuring, can affect your standings.

Technical Issues: Redundant coding, broken links, site downtime, slow loading speed, or mobile unfriendliness, are also notorious culprits for ranking drops.

Geographical Factors: Search engines consider the searcher's location, resulting in different rankings for the same keywords in various regions.

Having a firm grasp on these elements can help you decipher why your keyword rankings may have dropped and empower you to take appropriate remedial actions. Now, let’s get started on the steps you can take.

Step 1: Recognize the Drop

First and foremost, don't be quick to hit the panic button when you see a slight shift in your keyword ranking. It's important to remember that the landscape of search algorithms is ever-changing, and small fluctuations are part of the game.

If your rankings drop one or two spots, keep an eye on them but don't worry. They might rebound to their original position in a few days. However, if you witness a significant drop of five or more spots, that calls for immediate attention.

For monitoring these changes, you'll find a myriad of SEO tools invaluable. They enable you to track the performance of your keywords over time. We've covered how to track keyword rankings in a previous post. If you notice a severe drop, it's time to put on your detective hat and dig deeper to uncover possible reasons for this sudden change.

Step 2: Identify Guideline Violations

Google's Search Essentials offer comprehensive best practices for optimizing your website for Google's search results. Violations of these guidelines can result in ranking drops or even removal from search results. The guidelines cover three key areas: technical requirements, spam policies and key best practices.

You can use Google Search Console and reliable SEO tools to conduct a self-audit and spot any on-page, off-page, and technical SEO issues. Fixing these swiftly not only aids in reclaiming your rankings but also prevents further drops. Remember, aligning with Google's guidelines is a preventive measure against unnecessary ranking declines in the future.

Step 3: Being Aware of Algorithm Updates

Google regularly updates its search algorithm in an effort to improve search results. These updates can range from minor tweaks to significant shake-ups that can greatly affect your rankings.

For instance, the September 2023 Helpful Content Update focused on rewarding high-quality, user-centric content, while the November 2023 Core Update introduced broader changes in the ranking process. Staying informed about these updates is crucial in maintaining your website's ranking.

By proactively monitoring these updates, you can better understand and respond to changes that could potentially affect your rankings.

Step 4: Check and Rebuild your Backlinks

Backlinks, or links from other websites that point to your site, play a significant role in Google's search algorithm. They essentially act as a vote of confidence, signaling to Google that your site provides valuable content.

Earning high-quality and relevant backlinks can greatly boost your site's credibility and rankings. However, it's critical to regularly review your backlink profile. Links from malicious or spammy sites can harm your SEO, so it's wise to disavow these undesirable links. While disavowing links previously helped counteract negative SEO, Google's evolved algorithm now has the ability to devalue such links.

Lost backlinks, particularly those from authoritative sites, can lead to a drop in your keyword rankings. Therefore, it's crucial to address these losses and strive to regain or replace these valuable links. So, identify lost backlinks, reach out to the respective site owners, and offer relevant, high-quality content they might find valuable enough to link to.

With a vigilant eye on your backlink profile and a proactive approach to building high-quality links, you'll be well on your way to recovering your Google rankings.

Step 5: Conduct a Website Audit

An essential step towards reclaiming your Google rankings is conducting a comprehensive website audit. This deep dive uncovers areas that could be hindering your visibility in search engines.

1. Identify Technical Issues: Search for errors like broken links, 404 pages, or slow loading times that can affect user experience and search engine crawlability.

2. Check Content Relevance and Quality: Evaluate your content to ensure it's useful, engaging, and relevant to your target audience. It's not just about having content; it's about having content that matters.

3. Ensure Mobile Optimization: With Google’s mobile-first indexing, ensure your website performs seamlessly on all devices, especially mobile.

4. Evaluate Page/URL Structure: A well-structured page with a clean and descriptive URL is easier to crawl, understand, and index by search engines.

5. Review Metadata: Examine your meta titles and descriptions. They should be succinct, keyword-rich, and compelling to attract clicks from the search results page.

6. Assess Site Navigation: A clear, logical navigation structure improves usability, encouraging visitors to stay longer, and making it easier for search engines to crawl your site.

A meticulous audit lays bare the obstacles obstructing your website's success, paving the way for efficient remedial actions.

Step 6: Clean Up Your Content

High-quality, relevant, and engaging content is the cornerstone of your website. This kind of content attracts users, keeps them on your site longer, and encourages backlinks. Cleaning up and optimizing your content starts with a thorough review.

  • Identify and update out-of-date information, be it facts, figures, or entire posts.
  • Get rid of 'thin' content or pages that lack substantive information.
  • You can enhance these pages by adding valuable content or merging them with similar ones.
  • Regularly refreshing internal links within your content can provide additional SEO benefits.

This cleanup isn't merely a cosmetic enhancement; it directly impacts your search engine rankings by ensuring the relevance and usefulness of your content. High-quality, engaging content not only appeals to search engines but also promotes user engagement, driving your website’s success.

Get Started

A sudden drop in your SEO keyword rankings shouldn't discourage you. Instead, view it as a call to action. Recovering your Google rankings requires a strategic approach, one that is neither rushed nor impulsive. You now have a 6-step strategy at your disposal, aimed at guiding you through the process of identifying, addressing, and preventing drops in rankings.

It's important to understand that recovery may take time. But with patience, persistent monitoring, you're on your way to reclaiming your standings in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).

So, stay focused, keep refining your SEO strategy based on algorithm updates, and maintain your commitment to providing valuable content and a great user experience. The path to reclaiming and improving your Google rankings begins now.

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