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Why ranking has dropped recently, why is this and what can I do about it?

Scenario


Your rankings on Google have dropped recently either through no apparent change to your website, or after you've made adjustments to your website.

(by "adjustments" we mean changing theme, re-arranging categories, etc... not implementing a whole brand new website eg if you've moved website from another provider over to us)


What to do

1) Quantify!!

We sometimes get clients telling us that their rankings have dropped after they've changed something on their website but they can't actually quantify how much they've dropped or for which search terms.

If you think your rankings have dropped you need to be sure which search term(s) they've dropped on and by how much.

eg, "my rankings for the term 'antique furniture' have dropped from page 1 position 4, to page 2 position 3"

Something as specific as that you can work to resolve, but without specifics or quantifying exactly what's dropped you're just stabbing in the dark.



2) Check using private / incognito mode

Google search results are not the same for everybody. For instance, the rankings will be different depending which country you're in (and which part of that country you're in) and will differ if you've visited particular websites before or if Google thinks you have particular preferences or interests.

You can't easily get around the regional differences (unless you use a VPN connected to a different country) but you can perform a more unbiased search to get a better idea of what other people are seeing by opening an Incognito window (if using Chrome) or Private window (if using Safari/Firefox etc) and doing the search again.



3) Make sure the search term you want to rank for is on the relevant page on the website


Google is all about providing relevant results to visitors. The majority of people use Google as their choice of search engine because most of the time it finds what they're looking for. If Google always brought up irrelevant results then people would get fed up and use something other than Google.

So how can you make sure that your web page is relevant to the search term you want to appear under?

a) Make sure you have a page for that search term on your website
eg if you want to appear under the term "antique dining chairs" then you need to make sure you have a page by that name on your website

b) Make sure that this page also has lots of relevant content relating to the search term
eg if all the items in this category are just called "oak chair" or "nice chair" and don't feature words like "antique", "dining", and "chairs" then that's not going to do you any favours! The content on this page needs to be relevant. We'd strongly recommend having a read through our article on how to best name your items and descriptions for SEO purposes.

c) Ensure you have text on the page relating to that term
As well as making sure that the products on this page are relevant to that term, make sure you have a few sentences of text relating to that topic, and featuring the search term. If this is a category on your website you can add category text which will appear at the top of the page (this can be done in your website manager).



4) Ensure you Domain Authority (DA) is strong by getting good quality inbound links

There are hundreds of metrics which Google uses to work out where to place websites in a search, but one of the major ones is based on inbound links.

An inbound link is a link from somebody else's website to your website.

The more links you have to your website, the better.

BUT...

a) You need to make sure those links are from credible websites
If you get lots of links from poor reputation websites (or if you buy spammy links) then it'll do you more harm than good. If you get an email out of the blue from a "search engine specialist" promising to get you to the top of Google or provide you good quality links then avoid it like the plague!

b) You need to make sure a decent amount of those links contain the search term you want to appear under.
For example if you want to appear under "antique dining chairs" then if the Telegraph or Independent was writing an article on furnishing your home and there was a paragraph about dining rooms and a link on the word "antique dining chairs" to the antique dining chairs page on your website then that would be a massive win. Google can see that a relevant article on a credible website is linking to the antique dining chairs page on your website for exactly that search term.

Your Domain Authority (DA) is measured on a scale of 1 to 100. You can check what your current Domain Authority is by visiting:-

Note that most small businesses won't see anywhere close to 100 but if you can get yourself to 25 or so that would make a massive difference.

For more information on building links please see our article we wrote on building links to your website.



5) Use Google Adwords and Google Shopping


For product related searches, eg "antique dining chairs", Google Adwords and Google Shopping prevalent than traditional (organic) search listings and you can achieve much quicker (and measurable) results.

For more information please see our article
How to rank in Google; a guide for Antiques, Art & Vintage dealers


I still need help, what should I do?


We don't provide tailored SEO advice as part of our service but we do provide a Google Adwords service. Prices start from £999/month.

If that's outside of your budget (we appreciate it is expensive) then please take a read through the following articles we have written:-


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