As an SEO Specialist, I am sharing my method of finding issues for my clients when their Google rankings begin to drop. In Part 1, we discussed the calendar’s influence and possible technical issues. Once those issues are ruled out, I move on to evaluate the web pages for content issues and finally algorithm updates. Today’s blog will help you to do the same!

Content Issues Causing Google Ranking Declines

So once I have established that my decline in rankings is not due to the calendar or a technical issue, I then begin to dig into the content on the pages I want to rank. I evaluate them by asking the questions listed below. These are especially applicable to a page that has previously ranked well for a long time and has been steadily losing rank. 

Is the content fresh and current or could it use a refresh? Refreshing old content is known as historical optimization and is a great way to keep rankings holding strong or possibly improve rankings that have dropped. Be sure to visit the link on historical optimization for best practices. 

What kind of content is outranking me for this keyword? Are they video-driven? Do they have lots of images? Are they list-based? Do they include more text than mine? Top-ranking pages are pages that people like to visit and spend time learning. Looking at the format style of popular pages gives clues to what content visitors like most. Don’t copy their style exactly but take cues from it and make it your own such as adding more images or including a video in your content. 

Do I have long paragraphs that could be broken up into smaller easier-to-read portions? Google defines a long paragraph as 10 sentences or more. Some paragraphs can be long but it’s best practice to have shorter, more concise paragraphs. You don’t want a “too long; didn’t read” situation with your visitors. 

Am I utilizing best SEO practices by including my keyword naturally within the content and using headings that help structure the content? For more information on SEO best practices- visit the following blog posts: Dogwood’s Guide to SEO and Blog Writing with SEO 

All of the answers to these questions are clues on the best ways I can refresh this content to hopefully improve its ranking.

What is Good Content According to Google?

Google evaluates content and ranks it based on the abbreviation E-E-A-T. (read as “Double E A T) From a content perspective, I focus on the first 2 E’s- Experience and Expertise. The A is for Authority and the T is for Trustworthiness.

To add experience to your content writing, make it personal. Show your experience. Give insights that only you would know because of your time spent in the industry.  Also, show your expertise. Answer the questions your customers ask and let them know you know what you are doing!

Once you write content showing experience and expertise that A (authority) and T (trustworthiness) should happen over time. 

The Dreaded Algorithm Updates that Impact Google Rankings

Google is constantly releasing updates to its search algorithm to help serve up the best answers to user’s queries. Sometimes they are small and go unnoticed by website owners but other times large-scale core updates are released. While many SEO Specialists overuse the “algorithm update” reason for a decline in rankings (in my humble opinion) there are times when the algorithm updates simply wreak havoc on rankings and there is nothing to do but wait it out. 

Some updates seem to affect different industries more than others but I have seen algorithm updates affect even the smallest of businesses. The good news is that usually, the rankings come back quickly. 

My Personal Philosophy on SEO & Algorithm Updates

The late pastor Adrian Rogers wrote in one of his many books “If you are doing what you ought to be doing then you don’t have time to be doing what you ought NOT to be doing” While his statement was in regard to sin in the lives of Christians, I feel the same way about my SEO strategy and my clients. 

I just keep doing what I am supposed to be doing and don’t worry about all the rest happening around me. I am not naive to algorithm updates but I am also not the first to blame them when Google rankings drop. What does it mean to “keep doing what you ought to be doing” in regard to web content and rankings? It means writing good content, following SEO best practices, and making sure your sites are functioning the best way they can. 

This is why I do not get overly stressed about algorithm updates for the sites that I manage. I just keep doing what I ought to be doing- providing great content that adds value to visitors and making sure search engines can best understand what that content is about. 

Dogwood Media Solutions: SEO, Content Writing and So Much More

I hope you have enjoyed this series on troubleshooting why Google rankings drop. Dogwood Media Solutions is a full-scale marketing agency that can help with these issues and so much more. From technical issues to content writing, we are here to partner with you. Contact us to learn more. 

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