Ranking on Google is not down to doing one thing and hoping that you will be found. Even once you are there and are being indexed by Google, they will up and down your website depending on how it perceives your website. Here are ten possible reasons why your website might have dropped.
Google’s Algorithm has changed
Google recently changed its algorithm at the end of 2019. It has become more focused on voice recognition and complete questions and sentences as well as keywords. So if your website cannot be found by answering a question then it is possible that you will struggle to be found. A simple tip is to ensure you have a FAQ page on your website for Google to find so that full questions can be answered.
If you are copying content off of other websites then Google will find out and penalise you for using older content from other websites. You also put yourself at risk of plagiarism.
Google will also get fed up with looking at duplicate pages on your website. It will pick the one that is most popular and drive traffic to that page and reduce the rankings of the other pages.
Website not secure
Google has warned people that your website will be penalised if it is not secure. In fact, in October 2017, Google rolled out a “not secure” warning in Chrome every time a web user lands on an HTTP site. Chrome is currently the leading internet explorer, so if people are put off by your unsecured website, you will notice this by an increased bounce rate which Google will also penalise you for.
To find out if your website is secure is simple. Instead of http:// you will have https://
You will also see a little locked padlock in the search bar, or have the https highlighted in green.
Slow page speed
If your website takes longer than 3 seconds to load then people are more likely to leave your website. Google will also penalise you and drop your rank. Images are often the last thing to load on your website and are around 78% of page load problems. If they don’t need to be high resolution then ensure they are not. You can use plugins on your website to optimise your images and reduce their size. Also ensure your alt tags on each image are done so if there is a loading difficulty, people can still see what you are trying to display.
Not enough users
Google may or may not penalise you for not having enough users. It does depend on your competition. If, for example, you are a plumber and you get 50 users and your competition only gets 40, then it is more likely that you will be ranked higher. It’s important you check your competition and how they present themselves online to ensure you can also rank in their keywords. This is usually only a small part of the problem, however, if previously being found for a keyword and nobody is clicking on to your website then Google will assume that your website is not relevant to this keyword and reduce your rank.
High bounce rate
Similar to not enough users, if your website is being found for a certain keyword, being clicked on, then people coming straight back off, Google will again assume that your website is not associated with that keyword and reduce your rank.
If people are clicking on your website then coming straight back off then this increases your bounce rate which google does not like so will be penalised. Check where you are being found by looking at your google search console keywords. Try to reduce your rank in keywords that are getting high bounce rates.
Other high bounce rate problems include:-
- Poorly built or bad looking website
- No content or unrelated content
- Bad load speed
- No video
- Poor quality images
- No links to other pages on your website
No fresh content
A stagnant website is just as bad as no website. If your website has remained unchanged for long periods then people get bored with it and do not go back to it. For example, you may have a testimonials page or a gallery of recent work that has not been updated then people may assume you are no longer in business or may think that your recent work is poor. If you have these sort of pages, ensure you update them regularly. Another idea is to add a blog regularly. This provides fresh content and also allows you to meet the demand of answering up to date questions that people may be asking about your business. If your website isn’t up to date then Google will also assume it is no longer being used and it will eventually begin to drop in rankings.
No social media
Just as bad as not having fresh content is not having a social media presence. You might have created that facebook page 3 years ago and never used it. People are put off companies and businesses that do not interact socially online. Over 58% of customers are put off by an outdated website and no social media presence.
Being social can take as much or as little time as you need as a business. A quick snap of your latest stock, a quick selfie of you completing a tiled wall or a daft joke two or three times a week can be enough to show that your business is still booming.
Adding your website to each post can also help with backlinking and encourage followers or users to access your website. Google has said social media is a contributing factor to your rankings so make sure you get people accessing your website via your social media portals.
Not mobile responsive
Mobile has now taken over as the most used device to search the internet. Since 2017 more than half of all searches are performed on a mobile device. This might be more prominent in more rural parts of the UK. Mobile data covers the UK more than broadband, therefore for some people, mobile is the only option to connect online. If your website looks poor on mobile then it will have a detrimental effect on your website. Google’s bot now checks for mobile usability, so ensure that your website is mobile-friendly.
Google likes it when other people recommend you or you are also found on other peoples websites. That doesn’t mean any website, they need to be related. This will again be noticeable by the bounce rate from that website. You can ask any SEO expert and they will tell you that white-hat backlinks are still the most important part of your website ranking.
Overall Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) should never stop. You should always be do something on your website at the very least once a month. It is why our company offers monthly management packages so you can update the content and we also offer Lead Generation packages where we provide an hour of SEO a month and 8 posts a month.
Have any more questions? feel free to leave a comment and we will answer the best we can.
Pink Square Media is a marketing company that specialises in online marketing. The information provided is correct on the date of publishing.