Losing SEO ranking can be a nerve-racking experience, but it can happen for a variety of reasons. Don’t panic immediately though. As long as a search term isn’t losing traffic in general, then there are some tactics for fixing blog posts that are going down in ranking. Once you’ve identified the problem, then you can use some strategies to try to get your ranking back and make sure your blogs are still getting results. Read on to learn more about how to manage blog posts when your SEO ranking is dropping.
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Reasons Your SEO Ranking May Have Dropped
The first step to addressing the drop in SEO ranking is to diagnose the problem. The following are some possible reasons for the changes you are seeing.
- Google Algorithm Change / Google Penalties: You may be able to relate to the nail-biting that the Google algorithm can induce. When the Google algorithm changes, bloggers often notice changes in their rankings. Sometimes, this is due to Google penalizing websites for practices that may be considered unethical strategies for gaining improved rankings. Other times, the drop in ranking may just be a side effect of the new algorithm changes.
- Lost Backlinks: Quality backlinks are one of the most important variables that go into SEO rankings. The number and quality of backlinks determine the PageRank of a blog post, and the algorithm is designed to treat this as a measure for credibility. Sometimes, due to changes on your website or on the linking website, you may unexpectedly lose backlinks, and your rankings may suffer as a result.
- Seasonal Changes in Traffic: There’s a time for everything. For example, during the holidays, “cookie recipes” are a popular topic. Similarly, during the summer, flights and vacation packages may be trending topics. If your blog post is losing ranking, it may be because visitors are more attracted to seasonal blog posts at the time. If this is the case, you may want to target the different seasons with your blog posts.
- Featured Snippets: You know those answers that appear at the top of Google inside of a text box? These are known as featured snippets, and they may be the reason your ranking is dropping. The reason is that the websites featured in the snippet are not always in the first position on the first page of Google. They can be any website from the first ten rankings.
- Competitor Activity: What your competitors are doing online will affect your website. There’s a variety of things a competitor or multiple competitors may be doing if they have taken your spot in the rankings or your position in the SERPs. For example, your competitor may have a blog post that is targeting and attracting organic traffic for the same keyword you were ranking for.
- Changes to Your Website: A website update may inadvertently damage your ranking. Have you recently made any updates, or have you recently been experiencing some technical issues that are leading to a loss of SEO visibility? Look for changes such as these:
- URLs: Bloggers are finding that changing URLs can harm rankings.
- Titles: Are keywords missing from your blog titles?
- Page Content: Did you change something recently in the content to an older post?
- Loading time: If your webpage is taking too long to load, visitors are more likely to lose patience and click away.
- New website ads: Have you recently added websites to your ads? If a website ad pops up or distracts a visitor from the content, they may decide to click away and possibly stop visiting.
- Mobile: Is your website optimized for smaller mobile screens?
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How to Fix a Damaged SEO Ranking
Don’t lose hope yet! It is possible that you’ll be able to undo some of the damage.
- How will you know if Google implemented an algorithm change? Do some research to see if there is any buzz out there about an algorithm change. Chances are that other bloggers are speaking out, and they may be experiencing similar problems. If there was an algorithm change, you’ll need to decide how to move forward. How will you revise and tweak your strategies and your blog content to deal with the update?
- You may suspect that the featured snippets are the reason you are losing your ranking, but you can’t control which website Google is featuring. However, you can try to optimize your blog posts to increase your chances of being featured in the snippets. To do this, update your blog post to appeal to visitors searching the questions being answered in the snippets.
- Did you recently make a change to your website that may have led to a change in rankings? You may want to revert your website back to remove the changes.
- Do you need to update your website design for mobile? If it’s frustrating to navigate your website on mobile devices, then visitors may be leaving your website and increasing your bounce rate. Remember, many visitors are on mobile more often than not these days.
- If an older blog post that was once successful isn’t attracting organic traffic anymore, then you need to try to pinpoint where and when the drop happened.
- Find the time periods where your blog post got the most traffic and the least traffic. Investigate each point you find where there’s a drop in the ranking. To really pinpoint any changes in the ranking that aren’t within the normal pattern, you have to compare the weekly numbers.
- Check the last three months of numbers for the keywords you were ranking for on Google Search Console, including position, clicks, clicks divided by impressions, and impressions.
- Another way to get your ranking back is to implement SEO strategies that encourage traffic to your website. One ethical strategy is to up your email marketing game. Feature past blog posts in your email newsletter to encourage new traffic.
- Check your website analytics every month to keep an eye on which blog posts are falling in the rankings. Try as best as you can to catch a falling ranking before big damage happens.
- If you find that you have lost important backlinks on your page during your investigation, you’ll have to try to regain those links or get other high quality links to your website. You can try reaching out to the websites that were linking to you and ask them to restore the links.
- Refresh your older blog posts that were once ranking. Update your blog post with new content, update the links in the post, and add visual content like videos and infographics.
- You can’t control your competitors, but you can work on figuring out what happened. Competitor research is important in any business goal, and blogging is no different. Wayback Machine is a great tool for investigating competitor activity. Once you’ve figured out the strategies that are working for your competitors, then it’s time to try out the same strategies. Be sure that your attempts do a better job than the competition.
SEO isn’t a perfect science and this process is going to involve some trial and error. Regardless, the effort is worth the pay off if you can get your rankings back.
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