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7 SEO Issues That Cause Search Rankings to Decrease

7 SEO Issues That Cause Search Rankings to Decrease

If you find your website dropping in search rankings, it can be frustrating. There are many reasons that a website ranking could decrease over time, including changes to the Google algorithm, links that were sending traffic no longer doing so and various other reasons. At Gauge Digital Media, we work hard to ensure that our clients have search engine-optimized websites that perform well. Here’s what every business owner should know about the common SEO issues that can lead to their search rankings decreasing.

1.     A Site That Hasn’t Been Updated

Regular updates to your website, whether they are in the form of new blog posts or other updated content, are critical to showing Google that your website is still active and helpful. If your site is completely stagnant, it is very hard to stay at the top of search results. We can design a dynamic digital marketing plan for you that incorporates regular blog and site updates to prevent SEO issues as a result of inactivity.

2.     Your Site Has a New Design

It’s important to note that a new website does not necessarily mean your rankings will decrease, but you can see a drop due to issues on the new website. Issues that prevent search engines from properly crawling the site and indexing it can prevent them from boosting your new site in search. For example, a site theme that is heavily JavaScript-based can prevent seamless crawling and indexing. When search engines can’t see what is on your website and determine how helpful it is, they are not very likely to give it a great ranking. Our SEO professionals can comb through your site to ensure there are no problems behind the scenes that might be interfering with proper indexing and be onboard during your new site launch to ensure everything goes smoothly.

3.     You Removed Content

Old content can still get fantastic engagement numbers, and some websites find out the hard way that removing old content can dramatically decrease their search ranking. These SEO issues often arise when a content audit focuses merely on the quality of the pages instead of the traffic volume of the pages. Search engines care about quality, but it’s also important to note that deleting high-traffic pages without replacing them with something new and high-quality can decrease your ranking.

4.     Improperly Configured Robots.txt

Another one of the most common SEO issues arises when you have accidentally or intentionally disallowed crawling for all folders and pages as a result of robots.txt issues. The robots.txt file is critical to the search engine success of your website, and many people who are not quite sure what it does make mistakes that lead to their site not displaying properly on search engines.

5.     Off-Site Issues

While many SEO issues arise as a direct result of what is or isn’t on your website, there are some off-site reasons that can lead to a decrease in rankings. We can work to evaluate what happened and perform a complete analysis to determine the best path forward. Webmasters will routinely re-evaluate and clean up links, and your website might suffer as a result. Something like losing a link from a high-volume site could lead to a decline in your traffic and in search engine ranking, and it takes experience to know the best way to respond. Another common off-site issue is a site that links to your website going down permanently, which could be caused by anything from another business going out of business to a domain expiring without renewal.

6.     Changes in Your Audience Behavior

Your website was initially designed to meet the needs of your target audience, but what if your target audience has changed or what they are looking for has shifted? Changes in audience search behavior can result in less traffic to pages that were once performing well. These SEO issues can happen naturally due to changes in consumer demand and unforeseen events, or they could just be the result of other products being more trendy than yours. Consumers will always be changing their interests and preferences, and new site copy or blogs that address the current needs and interests of your target audience can help refresh your site. Gauge Digital Media can assess whether this is one of the SEO issues that might be happening on your website and suggest the best path forward.

7.     Your Analytics Tags Are Not Properly Embedded

Without the correct data, it’s very difficult to determine how your website is performing. If the Google Analytics tags have not been properly embedded in your website, it could be causing inaccurate or inconsistent reporting that makes it look like something is wrong. This is particularly common if you notice a drop in traffic but there has not been a significant change to your rankings.

Another common Google Analytics issue is not using the right Google Tag Manager account when setting up the reporting process. This will also show decreased traffic without real changes to your Google ranking. The opposite can also occur if you add too many GTM tags and are seeing over-reporting instead of under-reporting. We will evaluate your Google Analytics setup and make any recommendations if it seems like the data it is telling you is not accurate. Before you panic over a dramatic drop in traffic or other issues, call Gauge Digital Media for help.

Are You Experiencing Any of the SEO Issues Above or Something Else?

Working with a professional digital marketing company is the best way to make the most of your website and all that Facebook Pixel, LinkedIn ads, Google Analytics and other digital advertising platforms have to offer. We can troubleshoot any SEO issues you are experiencing and come up with effective solutions. To learn more about the best digital marketing strategies for your company and reach a bigger audience than ever before, work with Gauge Digital Media. For a quote or to schedule a call, contact us at 443-952-4060.

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