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You have a great website, you love it, and you think your potential new customers would, too, but if only they could find it. Even worse is finding a sudden drop in your SEO rankings and all your hard work is gone!

Ranking in Google’s results is easier said than done. There are millions of different websites trying to steal your rankings and, in most cases, those competitors succeed. Of course, you don’t want them to. But beating their ranking isn’t a matter of simply publishing content and hoping for the best.

Appearing on the first page of search results, among millions of websites, puts your site in a reasonable position of being visited by users. Therefore, you just can’t afford to ignore this. 

There are a variety of reasons why your site can face a drop in ranking. This article has put together a list of the most common reasons why you are not ranking. Let’s check them out.

Duplicate Content

If you have recently updated content on your site and a substantial amount of content is duplicated, it can negatively affect your site rankings. 

According to Google Search Central, Duplicate content generally refers to substantive blocks of content within or across domains that either completely match other content or are appreciably similar.

You don’t want to create content, publish the content, and then find out that your SEO juice is getting split between the original page you created, and an unintended duplicate page. That would cause both pages to rank meagrely instead of just having only one page that is ranking exceptionally well.  

If you have created a new page and it has blocks of content that are similar to other pages on your site including titles and tags, then that might also be considered as duplicate content.

Solution

Fortunately, there is a solution to this issue. Before you upload content, use a site audit tool to find pages containing any duplicate content. If any, you can use 301 redirects so that the old pages aren’t accessible by search engines or users.

Lack of Consistency

If you write and publish a blog every now and then, you better think again. If you only record and publish a video when you are in the mood, that’s just not good enough. ‘Every now and then’ and ‘when you are in the mood’ are not doing you any good in your search for high website rankings.

For the vast majority of marketers, creating consistent content is a challenge. Many argue that it takes a lot of time to write, record, and edit content. It is even harder if you don’t get the results you hoped for immediately.

Solution

For a committed content creator, there is a dire need to have, and adhere to, a strict content marketing calendar and a practical growth strategy. Add due dates to your content and this will help keep you on schedule. 

Frankly speaking, the more content you create, the better you become at what you do, and the more your site will rank. So long as the content is high quality.

Not Mobile Friendly

According to a Hitwise study, nearly 60 percent of all Online Searches are now carried out on a mobile device, with some sectors, like Food and Beverage, reaching 72 percent.

Maybe you are doing everything else right, but if your site doesn’t have a layout or easy functions for use on a phone or tablet, you will not rank. This is because Search Engines are all about improving the user experience, and a responsive website is the first step in improving user experience.

Google was the first engine to move to the mobile-first index, that’s why a site that isn’t mobile-optimized will be severely penalized and will have trouble showing up in ANY search.

Solution

Google automatically suggests the changes that you need to implement on your website when you take Google’s mobile-friendly test. Afterwards, ask your developer to implement the changes or make your website completely responsive. This is necessary to ensure that it can be accessed by users irrespective of the device they are using.

Poor Linking

Respectable websites linking to your site increases your digital profile and raises your website in the rankings. However, the wrong links do the exact opposite. Links from disreputable sites can easily earn your site a penalty and hurt your otherwise solid rankings.

The same applies to low-quality links. These are links created or purchased with the intention of manipulating the PageRank that directly impacts a site’s ranking in the search results.

To identify low-quality links, look for site messages under Search Console. If you have lots of unnatural links pointing to your site, the chances are high that Google will directly send you a message asking you to fix those links.

Solution

After identifying the list of URLs pointing to your site that are of low quality, try and remove them by sending an email to the webmaster and ask them to remove your link. It might take time, so please give the process at least 6-8 weeks to send and get responses to emails.

Increased Local Competition

A rise in local competition can negatively affect your site rankings. Local competition is often fueled by the rise of multiple websites publishing similar content in the niche that you specialize. This subsequently leads to the emergence of more competitive keywords.

So, how do you identify competition? easy. Just enter your main business keywords directly in the Google search and identify your competitors. You can also use SEMrush to find your new online competitors, discover what keywords they rank for, and also track your rankings, so you know when a competitor overtakes your rankings.

Solution

Just because you have stiff competition doesn’t mean that it’s the end of the road for your content. As long as the competition is healthy, you have nothing to worry about.  Rather, it is time to monitor your competitors’ strategies using a competitive analysis tool to find what is missing in your SEO strategy.

Up your game by creating engaging content, and most of all, adhering to your SEO strategy. This way, your local competitors will have nothing on you.

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