What are Google Rankings?
As of August 2020, there are over 1.79 billion websites on the internet. When you type in a search query, Google will sift through to find the needle in the haystack, trying to find the most useful piece of information and return it to you at the top of the results page. There are a whole host of algorithms happening in the background of Google which determines where a webpage lies in the search engine results pages.
Why is ranking highly in Google important?
People want information fast. Over 75% of people won’t go past the first page of Google search results, and the number of people who will see your webpage will only get smaller and smaller the further into the search results pages your webpage lies. The higher you can get your webpage to rank, the more people will see your relevant content. This can lead to increasing traffic to your website and thus converting more potential customers, ultimately resulting in increased sales.
How can I find out where my website ranks in Google?
Your website will rank in different positions depending on what you type into the search bar. These search terms that you type in are known as ‘keywords’. Your website will change in the rankings depending on a user's location and their previous searches; therefore it is best to monitor your average rankings over time, as opposed to paying too much attention about why people in New York won’t see your business page based in Newcastle. You can check where your website ranks in Google through Google’s free tool: Google Search Console.
If you have already been monitoring this for a while, you might have noticed your rankings have gone down for certain keywords. So your most important question now is how can I get my website to show up on Google?
5 Reasons why your rankings might have dropped
- Google Changed Its Algorithm
- You’ve Changed Something On Your Website
- A Competitor Is Making Marketing Moves
- Your Content Is Not Cutting It
- You’re Experiencing The “Google Dance”
1. Google Changed Its Algorithm
There are thousands of Google algorithm updates every year, however most of these will go unnoticed as the changes are so small they tend not to cause too much uproar. However, every so often the major updates can create chaos for search rankings.
How to fix it: While there is not a lot that can be done in the immediate aftermath of the algorithm update, SEO experts usually begin investigating what the update was about and how to remedy the rankings. Once the algorithm changes have been sussed out there will be news sources such as Search Engine Land that share knowledge on how to overcome update issues.
2. You’ve Changed Something On Your Website
It comes as no surprise that it’s important to keep your website updated and make sure it’s performing the way it should. If you make some essential changes to the website such as a redesign or moving it on to HTTPS for increased security, it’s likely Google will initially get confused with the changes and the rankings may drop.
How to fix it: By logging in to Google Search console you will be able to see any issues or error warnings on the website. If there are spikes in errors when you updated your site, it’s highly likely that that is what is causing the errors. Thankfully Google maps out these errors and they are easily fixed within Google Search Console so you can get your site higher up in the rankings once more.
3. A Competitor Is Making Marketing Moves
You’ll already know that you aren’t the only one in your industry who wants to reach the top of Google. You’ll know the competitors in your industry better than anyone, but do you know what they are doing behind the scenes? COVID-19 has shown the importance of being able to adapt and as a result, marketing your business online has never been of higher importance. You might not have done one specific thing that has led to a drop in your rankings, but there is one very real possibility: your competitors are investing in their marketing strategies and overtaking your business online.
How to fix it: Look at your competitors online, if you can see that they have got a new website or improved on an existing one, this may be why Google is ranking them more favourably than yours. Similarly if they have launched a fantastic new content strategy (see more on that below), then it is worthwhile that you step up to the plate and surpass your competitors strategies and do what they do, but better. It could be a good time to look at investing in online advertising.
4. The Content Is Not Cutting It
Pieces of content on your website are usually referred to as blogs or news articles, and can be a great way for users to land on your website. If a user spends a long time reading your content, this allows Google to recognise that it’s of high-quality. Your customers will associate you as a reliable source of information, and it’ll improve your Google rankings. Having great content is a win win.
Google will rank content based on its length, level of detail and readability. It will also recognise your posting schedule, and if this is reduced from once a week to once a month, Google will read this change and assume you aren’t as reliable as you once were and push your website down the rankings.
How to fix it: Make sure your content is of high quality, relevant to your business, and posted as regularly as you can. Tip: Remember the ‘keywords’ from earlier? Make sure you’re creating keyword optimised content so it is more likely to show up in Google. It would also be a great idea to look at creating custom content for your brand.
5. You’re Experiencing The “Google Dance”
Now whilst this might sound like a really bad version of Strictly Come Dancing, it’s a very real phenomenon. The Google Dance occurs when your website appears to be jumping up and down the Search Engine results pages. At any given time the rankings are either soaring or plummeting and will not level out - sound confusing and frustrating? It is!
How to fix it: Thankfully, a lot of the steps we’ve already covered will aid in making your rankings more stable, and hopefully on the higher end of the search results! If you keep your website fresh and up to date, create hyperlinks between existing pieces of content on your website and reputable external websites, this will all aid Google in being able to understand your website and push it to the top of the rankings.
You don’t have to do it on your own
It’s important to keep an eye out for changes in Google rankings as it can have a huge impact on your overall business performance. It’s not always easy to understand why these rankings drop and how to fix them. At Wriggle Marketing, we look at these rankings everyday, and so we would consider ourselves the experts! If you would like to find out more about how we can help boost your website traffic, contact us today for a chat.