March 4, 2024

How Do You Diagnose A Drop In Keyword Rankings?

When you’ve dedicated time and effort to thorough keyword research and optimisations, it can feel discouraging to review your progress and notice a notable drop in keyword rankings. It can be confusing to establish what might have gone wrong or what external factors may have influenced the situation, making it challenging to pinpoint the cause. So, how can you effectively diagnose a decline in keyword rankings?

A technical issue on the back end, a UX analysis of your website, and monitoring your competitors are all ways to identify why your keywords have dropped. You can better understand any changes that could impact your ranking by being vigilant and monitoring your performance frequently.

To find out the 5 main reasons why keyword rankings drop, how to recover, and why keywords fluctuate – continue reading.

Why Do Keyword Rankings Drop?

Why do keyword rankings drop? Wildcat Digital helps you to diagnose a drop in keyword rankings.

Many factors can cause keyword rankings to drop. Minor fluctuations in keyword rankings, typically within a range of 1 to 5 positions, are considered normal and not cause for alarm. However, substantial drops in keyword positions, spanning 10 to 30 places, call for closer attention and concern. So, why do keyword rankings drop? 

Google Algorithm Update

A Google algorithm update is carried out to improve results and keep users satisfied with the results that show up on Google SERPs (search engine result pages). Therefore, Google will often update or tweak its algorithm to change what the SERP shows. For example, Google can decide that they want to prioritise SERP results from websites that have a certain amount of reviews. This would therefore impact the keyword rankings of smaller businesses that have not received a lot of reviews yet. 

Changes Competitors Have Made

When you carry out keyword research and identify missing or weak keywords, you consistently monitor your competitors. Therefore, if your competitors make changes that go unnoticed by you, your keyword rankings will inevitably decline. Ultimately, nothing may be wrong with your website, it might just be that your competitors improved theirs. This is where you would evaluate your website and take a look at what could be improved, for instance: 

Technical Issues

Another reason why your keyword rankings can drop is because of technical issues. If there are technical problems with your site, Google will not be able to crawl and index it smoothly. You should double-check that search engines are still crawling and indexing your site. Check for changes in your canonical URLs, robots.txt, meta robots tag, and HTTP status codes

Recent Website Changes

Making changes to your website, such as a redesign, will inevitably affect your rankings. Even a minor oversight could lead to significant repercussions for your SEO performance, potentially resulting in a noticeable decline in keyword rankings. Therefore, it’s reasonable to anticipate drops in Google rankings following major overhauls like altering the URL structure or migrating the website.

User Behaviour Changes

Simply put, if a website fails to meet user expectations, their behavior will indicate it. For example, if visitors quickly return to Google after only briefly viewing your page for a few seconds, it implies they didn’t find what they were looking for, impacting user experience (UX). Consequently, such pages are unlikely to maintain high rankings over time. 

Why Do Keyword Rankings Fluctuate?

As mentioned above, keyword rankings can fluctuate for various reasons. These fluctuations may stem from changes in user behavior, algorithm changes, or technical issues. While it’s often challenging to pinpoint an exact cause, it underscores the significance of understanding quality SEO practices. Understanding the importance of SEO for your business and choosing the right SEO agency is crucial. By doing so, you ensure the application of best practices and utilise the expertise of professionals to address issues efficiently.

What Do You Check First When You See A Drop In Keyword Rankings?

There are a few things you can check when you see a drop in your rankings, this includes:

How Do You Recover When Serp Rankings Suddenly Drop?

Recovering from a sudden drop in SERP (Search Engine Results Page) rankings requires a systematic approach. First, conduct a thorough analysis to identify potential causes such as algorithm updates, technical issues, or changes in competitors’ strategies. As soon as the root cause is identified, correct it as soon as possible.

Additionally, focus on enhancing user experience and engagement metrics, such as reducing page load times and improving mobile responsiveness. Continuously monitor rankings, adapt strategies accordingly, and stay informed about industry trends to maintain long-term visibility and competitiveness in search engine results.

SEO Services at Wildcat Digital

Struggling to maintain your keyword rankings? At Wildcat Digital we have a reputation for high-quality content through our award-winning services. To get in touch, fill out our contact form and a member of our team will be happy to help.

Post by

Emily Fletcher

More blogs.

View all