Organizations, both for-profit and not-for-profit must be diligent in optimizing their website’s search results to ensure that their website is consistently ranked high in search results. There few reasons for website ranking drop in search results. A drop in the search engine results position (SERP) of for a website is one of the most feared situations. Unfortunately, this situation happens quite often, but it is often rather easy for an online marketing agency to pinpoint the reason why.
If the SERP of your company’s business website has experienced a significant drop, there is a good chance that it is due to at least one of the five problems listed below. When you work with an experienced online marketing agency, most of these problems can be fixed rather easily.
No Internal Link Strategy
In online marketing, internal linking is the practice of linking web pages to each other within the context of a single website. For search engines, internal linking can increase the authority of the pages that receive the links, and thus helps to give the pages a higher position in search results.
Because search engines can detect when a web page receives an unnaturally high number of internal links — a situation that could hurt the SERP of a website instead of helping it — it is important to build internal links gradually, just as you would do when building external links.
Slow Page Loading Speed
In 2010, Google announced that it would use the page loading speed as an authority factor that impacted the SERP of websites. Google found that sites that load slowly create a bad search engine user experience. Consequently, listing the sites high in search results can cause search users to defect from Google and use other search engines to perform the same search queries.
Thankfully, slow page loading speed is usually an easy problem to correct. You can have an online marketing firm that specializes in website development handle the issue, or you can handle it on your own by using the resources found in Google Page Speed, a resource that contains analytical capabilities and solutions that can be used and understood by non-experts.
Website Infrequently Updated
Google also uses website updates as an authority factor for determining the SERP of a site. This is because the company considers “fresh” sites to be more appealing than websites that are “old and stale” due to receiving infrequent updates. There are various types of updates that you can implement to refresh your website, including:
- New blogs,
- New images, and
- New videos.
No Mobile Optimization Strategy
As search queries are increasingly performed using mobile smart devices, Google places a greater emphasis on mobile web design as an authority factor for determining the SERP of a website. Because sites that lack a mobile optimization solution create a bad user experience when they are accessed using mobile devices, Google rarely gives these sites a high SERP.
The easiest way to ensure that your website is optimized for mobile consumption is to implement responsive design, a website development strategy that automatically resizes the site to fit perfectly on the screens of mobile smart devices. In addition to improving the SERP of your website, implementing responsive design can have a positive impact on your site’s bounce rate.
Black Hat SEO Strategies
In some cases, a low SERP is simply the result of using “black hat” search engine optimization (SEO) strategies — as opposed to “white hat” strategies — that are designed to “game” the search engine results system to quickly achieve a high SERP. However, while these strategies can indeed improve a website’s position in search results, the effect is typically short-lived.
Common examples of black hat SEO techniques include:
- keyword stuffing, invisible text,
- doorway pages, and
If you have used any of these strategies to optimize your site, replacing them with white hat optimization techniques is an essential measure for improving the SERP of the site, and helping to ensure that it maintains an attractive position in search results.
Need to Increase Your SERP?
The problems above are just some of the issues that could cause a website to have a poor SERP. To ensure that these and any other problems are properly identified and corrected, having an experienced online marketing agency perform a free evaluation of your site and suggest strategies for improving its SERP is a great option.