Why Your Client's Search Rankings are Dropping

BY Rachel Cagle
Featured image for “Why Your Client's Search Rankings are Dropping”

Remember what Yoda said, “SEO leads to visibility, visibility leads to website traffic, and traffic leads to increased sales.” Okay, maybe he did not say exactly that, but the point still stands. If your client’s search rankings fall, so in turn, will their sales. That is why it is crucial to monitor search rankings and, if you encounter a problem, to fix whatever the problem may be as soon as you possibly can. Here are a few common reasons rankings decline, according to George Nguyen, writing for Search Engine Land.

Your Client’s Website Changed

Nguyen quotes Holly Miller Anderson, a former search engine optimization (SEO) product manager for Macy’s, on how even the slightest change in a website can stunt rankings. “This can take the form of a folder getting moved, code was updated or pushed live that broke something, your dev teams unknowingly created redirects, Googlebot is being blocked from crawling and indexing important pages or parts of your site because there was a change to the robot.txt file, maybe something happened to the site map.” Going forward, make sure to have your client contact you each time their website is updated so that you know to keep a closer eye on how their search rankings are affected by the change. You can use the latest search engine marketing tools to track what's happening.

The Search Engine Changed Something

If your client’s search rankings fall, it may not end up being the result of a change they made to their website, but an algorithm update for the search engine itself. “If you notice a sharp decline in your rankings and traffic,” says Miller Anderson, “it’s a good indicator that you need to dig in and find out where Google feels your site is falling short of expectations.” Nguyen says that the Google Search Liaison Twitter account is a good place to start your research.

Competitors or Related Breaking News is Trending

If neither your client’s website nor the search engine has made any changes, it’s likely your client’s search rankings have dropped because of an external factor. “These factors can range from competitors launching content that is more authoritative or comprehensive than yours to breaking news shaking up the search results for a given term to search behavior swings due to COVID-​19, for example,” says Nguyen. If this is the case, you simply need to revisit the SEO content and make improvements. Of course, you also need to use a range of search engine marketing tools to be sure you're staying up to day with what's happening in this rapidly changing ecosystem.

An easy way to gauge your client’s online visibility is to run a Digital Audit on them, available on AdMall by SalesFuel. The Digital Audit report will show you which online components are influencing your client’s target customers and how well your client is responding. Based on your findings, you can pitch your expertise with search engine marketing tools, including SEO website traffic monitoring, to your client.