What do blogs, e-commerce sites, and company websites want? They might not have any particular objectives, but their common goal is to increase sales and traffic. Google is the search engine king every site wants to please. Research shows that Google's market share has touched 90.46% as of July 2018. Unless you have some tricks to lure the search engine bots to crawl your site, it will be difficult for you to climb the ranks of the SRLs. These "tricks" are ranking signals that all websites require; without these, they lose business, traffic, and conversion rates.

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Have you ever suffered from a sudden loss of organic traffic? Has that resulted in a drop in revenue? Have you found out the exact events that led to the sudden drop? Today, we will explore the top 10 reasons all websites face the threat of ebbing footfall in 2018.

i. Changes in Google algorithms

Evolution is the only truth about Google algorithms. Instead of focusing on the big names like Penguin and Panda, you need to focus on the daily changes they roll out. Reports state that Google rolls out about two algorithm changes per day. These changes might be minute, but they can result in sharp drops in website visits.

So, unless we are speaking about the significant shifts in search algorithms, we know by the names of Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird (or the massive core algorithm update, March 2018), the reason for the drop-in ranks is not another update.

ii. Google is penalizing you for manual actions

We love to blame Google and its somewhat unpredictable algorithm changes for the loss of traffic and revenue. However, in 2018, most sites were facing trouble due to manual actions rather than changes in the algorithm. An easy way to understand this is to see if there were implementations of any manual activities before the ranks started plummeting. The end goal of the search engine is to reward all sites that adhere to the best standards.

Any employee actions reinforcing sneaky redirects, cloaking, keyword stuffing, hidden texts, free hosting, spammy mark-up, flimsy content, and unscrupulous links to the site can cause a sharp drop in traffic. Blindly blaming the search engine algorithm updates for the changes in footfall will only do you good if you can rule manual penalties out. Google wants to provide the best experiences to the users, and including dubious structures and links to your site inevitably reduces the quality of user experience. That prompts a penalty for manual actions from the king!
correct ranking

iii. Are you tracking the correct rankings?

Has your website been online for a long time? Then, the chances are that you have been using several sets of keywords and key phrases that are now irrelevant. The keyword requirements for SEO have evolved in the last decade from multiple exact word matches to synonymous and nuanced matches. You could say that the search engine has become "humanized" and "intelligent" when looking for texts depending on user demand. After Hummingbird, people are more likely to find what they are looking for because the search engine "understands" the search intent using complete sentences rather than isolated words.

iv. Missing links

That is a problem for all sites that have been around for a while. Old sites lose their relationships due to the migration of content or shutting down of the authority sites. Sometimes, these changes remain under the radar. It is easy to overlook all missing links if you don't have tools like Ahrefs or Majestic. Backlink checkers offer services that allow you to check the link profiles in real time.

You need to explore the reasons your website has been losing links. There can be multiple reasons, but here are some of the most common ones –

  • Links can change during a site update.
  • The internal links now link to new sources and not the original content you picked.
  • The linking website removed the links intentionally.
The reasons for the loss can determine the subsequent action of the site owner. Moreover, a site link monitoring service can help you track the links in almost real-time.

v. A confusion of redirects

Too many broken redirects will always take a toll on your traffic profile. When working on a new site or migrating to a new server, you need a working 301 redirect plan. While updating the 301 redirects, always ensure you have the canonical tags, XML sitemaps, and links to the content up-to-date. Since Google now pays more attention to user experience and satisfaction than ever, its emphasis on up-to-date redirects is understandable.

You can think of the 301 updates as the notice of change of address to the web. It tells Google that your page or site has migrated from one location to another. Then, the search engine knows to send your visitors to the new address instead of the older one. You must do this correctly to avoid your old traffic and incur a penalty from Google.

vi. Discrepancies in geolocation

For a location-dependent business or service, related search results differ based on the geographic location. It is interesting to see that even for the 30 top websites, rankings change depending on the area of the search. For example, if you are in Singleton and looking for the best fast food joints in the neighborhood, you might come across A, B, and C in the order. When you go to Two Rocks and enter the same search terms, the results might be X, Y, and C. While it is possible to have expected consequences, it is also possible for Google to show you new businesses for the exact searches upon changing locations altogether. Research shows that 67% of the time, the rankings will always be different across various areas.

vii. What's your speed?

Were you aware that the loading speed of your webpage affects your ranks? Your website's speed will determine how your visitors feel. If it takes less time to load, visitors are more likely to return to the main search result page and find a competitor site with similar services/products. If your bounce rates are incredibly high, check your page loading properties. Google Page Speed Tool can help you monitor your website speed. Visit https://r1seo.com to find out what factors are slowing your site down.

viii. Changes in Click-through-Rates (CTR)

Once your bounce rates are high enough, it is possible that people are not happy with what you have on offer. You need to maintain your CTR to keep regular traffic flow. CTR refers to click-through rates determining the price at which people click a site's link on the SRL. Better CTR comes from a better meta description of the pages. Page speed, pop-up messages, changes in page titles, visual hierarchy, and mismatching meta descriptions of pages often contribute to a lower-than-usual CTR. A sudden drop in the CTR leads to a sharp plummet in the website's ranks.

ix. The internal structure of the site and navigation options

Internal navigation will determine website performance significantly. The ideal structure should be flat and narrow, with two or three levels. Make sure your visitors click only a few times. We love to think that we love options and we love to make our own decisions, but in truth, most visitors (including us) do not like making tough choices. Keep their navigation options simple, transparent, and easy to retrace.

You will also need a robust internal linking strategy to take care of the search engine optimization. Using text-rich and keyword-rich anchor texts can make the site navigation simpler than it is right now. Moreover, it is one of the most effective ways to impress search engines that are partial to specificity and fair play.

x. Meta-information optimization

As mentioned in (viii), meta descriptions of pages and posts can determine the CTR, rank, and traffic check traffic-masters.net. Meta information contains information about a piece of information. For example – you have a post on 'caring for puppies.' The meta description of this post and page should speak about the page's content along the lines of "find out everything a new owner has to know to care for their two-month-old puppy at home."

Every bit of content, including the media on the page, should have content that describes the purpose of it. The title tag is the most critical part of all meta descriptions that will help improve your SEO. On the search result page, people will get a glimpse of the content and quality of your pages from the meta-information. If you already have meta info in place, it is time to revisit them. If you don't, it is time to invest in getting them up and working.

These are the top ten reasons that can pull a site down to lower ranks in the SRL. The web can be confusing if you need to know where to look for the mistakes and what to do with them. It might seem a lot for the SEO newbie, but these points touch on the main reasons your site might lose traffic and favorable rankings.