Recently I was asked a question about Search Engine Rankings and SEO Optimization that I thought I would share. The question was something like this (paraphrased):Our website had recently jumped to the first page of Google, yesterday was on the second page and today has dropped to the third page. What’s up with the website going up and then falling down in Google rankings? Did we do something wrong?
One thing to remember with search engines, particularly Google… we can only guess at what happened, but I have some ideas. Let’s walk through them…
Immediate Search Engine Rankings Rise
In many cases, a new website can quickly rise to the top. Usually this is because the new website will have new, relevant information which is typically added very regularly. This can be “exciting” to the search engines, especially if the content is unique to the website and relevant to the search. In most cases, it is the new content that makes the quick jump.
The Keyword Search Phrase
Another factor is the phrase in which you searched for your ranking. If your phrase has little competition, you can quickly jump up to the top with very little effort. Of course, if you are typing in your own website’s name, you should be at or near the top (if not, you have serious problems!) However, search phrases that relate to your website’s content are what you are targeting, so the competition of the phrase makes a difference on how quickly or slowly you rise.
Basic SEO Optimization
After reviewing the website, I was able to conclude that very little focus was placed on search engine optimization, particularly in some of the basics. There was no optimized Title, no optimized Description and no optimized Keywords. All of the META tags need to be optimized properly for better search engine placement. With the right tweaks, this website should begin an upward trend again.
A great steak isn’t just thrown on the grill. It is seasoned, marinated and prepared, all of which can take extra time. The same applies to websites. Time is a factor that does play in. Most websites don’t just overtake the #1 position in Google and keep it right off the bat. (rare occasions do happen)
Google is searching for the best results to provide its users. This keeps users coming back and allows Google to keep selling the Adwords which is their bread and butter. So when a new website pops up, Google will consider it but will also look at how long the site has been up, how much longer the domain has before expiration, how much content is on the site and how frequently that content is updated. This is called seasoning… you must give it time to grow and it will overtake the top rankings. (Our clients are seeing a 90 day average for top rankings!)
Incoming Back Links
One part of SEO that is generally overlooked (many times due to laziness) is incoming links. The number of quality websites that link to your site will have an impact on the ranking of your website. Again, Google looks for the most relevant site to include in its results… the more popular your page is, the more relevant it is considered to be. So the right linking strategy can make a huge difference!
The bottom line…
SEO is a long term thing and takes the right focus and direction. At the least, stick to the basics and you will see an improvement. Or, even better, become a Found By Design client… Found By Design clients are given the road map and clear directions on how to accomplish this, along with unique tools to expedite the process and secure the top positions!