|By Farzin Andrew Espahani | Solution21 | VP of Growth and Marketing|
Search engine optimization can be a confusing field of marketing. There are so many factors that are considered when determining how a website such as Google or Yahoo! ranks a website in terms of search results. These factors are ever changing, and it can be practically impossible for the average entrepreneur to stay up-to-date and keep up on these variables.
It’s definitely disheartening when companies try their best to adhere to best practices in search engine optimization and there is a large setback in marketing progression. Many business owners are confused as to what has caused their strategy to no longer work in providing results. Campaigns can change from one day to the next. This is why Solution21 encourages companies to consider these seven common SEO mysteries and provide insight into why these issues are occurring.
- Why is there a sudden drop in website traffic?
If you’ve been seeing steady traffic results for quite some time and notice a large drop in organic traffic, it may be difficult to determine the reason. It does depend on the severity of the drop. Drops of ten percent or less are natural and should be expected, often caused by fluctuations in competitors, new factors, and index reflexes. However, if your traffic drops to practically nothing, there is a serious problem. Your site may have been penalized by Google or your website is down entirely. Traffic declines in the mid-range may be a result of poor inbound links that Google may have considered spam, changes to page URLS, or recent Google updates which may have changed your rankings.
- Why are my pages not showing up in search engine results?
New sites take some time to be indexed by search engines such as Google. Indexing doesn’t happen overnight. In fact, it can take up to 28 days for a search engine to crawl and index new internet content. If you need faster indexing due to time-sensitive information on your site, it may be a good idea to manually submit a site map through the search console. Ensure that your robots.txt file is updated and is not accidentally blocking any search robots from scanning the pages. Additionally, consider using the Google Search Console to scope out any possible crawl errors which may be causing the issue as well.
- Where did my link go?
If you created a specific link that was designed to direct to your website but it has suddenly disappeared, this is a result of a site host that removed it. The site may have decided that the link was not relevant or may have considered it a “nofollow” link. Contact the publisher of the site and build a replacement link elsewhere on the internet.
- Why are my rankings constantly changing?
It is perfectly normal for rankings to have some volatility. It would actually be unusual if there were no ups and downs in search engine rankings. Avoid checking rankings daily and instead spot-check once a week or once a month. Search engine rankings are a lot like the stock market. While the rankings will bob up and down, you want to look for an overall upward trend. However, if drastic volatility is occurring, there may be something wrong with your strategy. Issues may include alternations between black and white hat techniques, or inconsistent content quality.
- Why am I not seeing better results from my SEO campaign?
Remember, campaigns take time to get rolling. SEO in and of itself is considered a long-term strategy. There are several factors that can affect a strategy as well, including budget, local competition, and the niche in which you are advertising. However, if you have gone a few months without any satisfactory results, it may be time to invest more in your strategy. Spending more money to outbid your competitions may be enough to give your site the momentum it needs.
- Why is there such volatility in my traffic?
The answer to this relates to that in the fourth point made in this article. Volatility is not directly related to just rankings, but to traffic. Traffic is the natural ebb and flow of a business. However, your specific industry may have a season in which traffic peaks. For instance, during the summer months, an air condition repair company will have much more traffic than in the winter months.
- Why is my website slow to load?
It is essential for business owners to understand how site speed impacts traffic, rankings, and overall performance. Slow-loading websites can be a problem. There are several ways to fix this. Reduce the images from the site, eliminate plugins not being used, delete unneeded meta information, and optimize your caching plugins to load the site faster from a potential customer’s previous visit. The problem may also lie with the host provider.
While these aren’t the only issues that are seen while strategically building an SEO campaign, they are the most common. Solutions may not always be black and white, but in most cases, with a little digging and research, most business owners are able to find the root of the problem and reverse the issue. However, if you are struggling with your SEO campaign or are interested in building an SEO-friendly website with a professional, consider working with a firm such as Solution21 to handle all your website and marketing needs.