Every business that has a website understands just how important their Google ranking is. The goal is to rank high on the Google search page so that your site gets noticed, and it pushes traffic to your company. As soon as you are bumped out of those top positions, or even worse, off the first page of results, you’ll start to see a dramatic decrease in your website’s traffic. Once you get to this point, it can feel as though the website is in free fall with no signs of stopping.
So, what is a business to do? How can it recover organic traffic after such a substantial rank drop? Is it even possible? The good news is that there are measures you can take to first of all stabilize your rank drop, and then start working to recover that organic traffic. Here’s a closer look at what you can start to do right now.
Ensure Your Site Hasn’t Been Hacked
While there are all kinds of reasons you may have experienced a ranking drop, the first you will want to investigate is hacking. You want to be absolutely sure that your site hasn’t been hacked and that it is secure. Malicious attacks can have a massive effect on websites, so if anything, it’s good to have that peace of mind. If you site was indeed hacked, the company and every person that visits the site is vulnerable and can have their information stolen.
Look into the Google Algorithm – Have There Been Changes?
The next thing to do is to look into the Google algorithm and see if there have been any changes. Changes can negatively affect your ranking if you don’t respond to them properly. On average, the algorithm changes hundreds of times per year, which means there are all kinds of times you can suddenly drop in the rankings.
Look to Improve the Website Experience
Now is also the time to look at your website with a critical eye. Is it providing the kind of user-experience that you set out to achieve? Are there ways you could improve upon that experience? An effective website is one that provides useful information to visitors, is easy to use and navigate, is smooth and loads quickly, and offers visitors the highest security features.
What this means is that it may be necessary to undertake a website re-design and improve the experience. This is especially the case for sites that haven’t been touched in years, and are looking and feeling stagnant.
Start Posting Better Content
Content will also help to drive your Google ranking, so you want to be sure you are posting relevant, interesting, unique, and informative content on a regular basis. You want to give people a reason to visit your website not just once, but on a regular basis in order to stay up-to-date on all you post.
Of course, any of the content you’re posting should also take full advantage of SEO tools like keywords and backlinks. This will not only better the user experience, but also help you to climb in the Google rankings.
If you already have links on your website, this is a great opportunity to ensure they all work and none are broken. A broken link is one that leads to an empty page. Visitors will get quite frustrated very quickly with broken links.
Ensure the Site Is Optimized for Various Uses
Optimization of your site is another way to not only attract people to the site, but work your way up the rankings in an organic manner. You’ll want to optimize it for mobile device use, voice search capabilities, and for local searches. Each of these is its own beast, if you will, and each will make the site stronger and more appealing to visitors.
Use Social Networks to Drive Traffic to the Site
If your company also uses various social network platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, you’ll want to get into the habit of linking back to the website. You can post content in your social networks that directs people to your website, and you can also converse with people in real-time on social network platforms regarding the website.
Take a Look at the Site Speed
Did you know that your site speed can also affect your Google rankings? Sites that have slow speeds will have a very hard time ranking high on the Google search page. Speeding up the site and really improving its performance will make it possible for you to climb up the ranking list.
And what’s the best way to test the site speed? You can run a speed test. There are all kinds of tools that offer this feature and are relatively fast in giving you results.
Ensure There is No Duplicate Content
Another thing to be looking for is duplicate content on the site. These tend to happen thanks to technical issues and result in various versions of the exact same webpage. Google will recognize duplicate content and you will be penalized because of it.
Make Sure Each Page is Clear and Concise for Google
Google also needs to understand what each page is about in order to rank it. This means all your pages should be structured with clear data.
Patience and Consistent Effort is Key
Keep in mind that at the end of the day, you likely won’t see overnight results. Instead, it’s about being patient and staying consistent with your efforts. You may also find it helpful to use a combination of the tips and advice listed above, as one technique isn’t usually enough to raise your ranking, and certainly not in a fast manner.
The Organic Traffic Will Start to Return
Over time, and with effort on your part, that organic traffic will start to return. Of course, you don’t want to risk losing it again, which is why companies are encouraged to keep up with these measures even if their traffic and Google ranking is healthy and strong at the moment.