It’s every business’s worst nightmare: You’re seeing steady improvements in your search engine rankings, and then, boom, suddenly your rankings have declined, and you have no idea why. Search engine rankings matter, especially in the world of B2B Internet marketing. Research clearly shows that the higher a website ranks, the more traffic it will receive, so declining rankings can easily hurt your bottom line.
So, what should you do when your rankings slip? Well, first things first: You need to figure out what is causing the drop in your rankings. From there, you can adjust your SEO strategy accordingly or seek out the help of a B2B Internet marketing firm. So let’s take an in-depth look at the reasons why your rankings may have dropped.
A competitor is outranking you. If you see a slight drop in your SEO rankings, a competitor has probably outranked you. Keep in mind that if your competitors are consistently outranking you, it is probably time to get professional advice from a B2B marketing agency.
A Google update is affecting your rankings. Google is constantly making changes to its algorithms. Some of these changes are just simple tweaks. Others significantly change the ranking process. Fluctuations in rankings — both big and small — can be the result. Keep in mind that significant Google algorithm updates, such as the Penguin and Panda updates, may actually require a shift in SEO strategy.
You’ve been demoted because of on-page issues. If your site is struggling to grow in rankings or has recently seen a substantial drop in rankings, it could be the result of on-page optimization issues, such as broken links or a poor internal linking scheme. In some cases, a spam attack could cause on-page issues. Your best bet is to conduct a comprehensive audit of your site for any on-page optimization issues.
You’ve been demoted because of lost links. Search engines heavily weigh a site’s link profile when ranking, so if you’re losing traction in SEO rankings, lost links could be the reason why. Luckily, this is a fairly easy problem to detect. Be on the lookout for significant drops in link velocity, as this is a sign that inbound links are disappearing from your link profile.
You’ve been hit with a Google penalty. If you see a significant drop in your SEO rankings, you’ve probably been hit with a Google penalty. A Google penalty will often produce substantial drops in rankings (more than 10 positions) for a number of keywords pretty much overnight. Although your rankings on Google will drop because of the penalty, your rankings on other search engine sites, such as Yahoo and Bing, will likely remain the same. To identify exactly what has happened, you will need to check your Google Webmaster Tools account, where you will be able to see notifications from Google notifying you of manual actions that it has taken against your website, including penalties.
In conclusion, you should never let drops in SEO rankings go without investigating a bit. You need to figure out the reason for your drop and adjust accordingly. Remember, when you’re struggling with declining rankings, it always an advantageous idea to seek out the expertise of a professional B2B Internet marketing firm.