Search engine optimization is no longer solely about keywords. It encompasses several areas of expertise, which often require a full-fledged SEO team in your corner to address the ins and outs of Google’s constantly evolving algorithm. It’s no secret that SEO is complicated. When you’re ranking well, things are great, but if you begin to see your rankings decline, you may find yourself panicking.

But one is for certain: the first and only way to get to the bottom of your declining rankings is to eliminate further setbacks by addressing the issue head-on.  Having a backup plan is hugely valuable in times of crisis and can save you plenty of money in the short-term and long-term. Ultimately, SEO is a long-term game, and if you’re scrambling to get your rankings back into tip-top shape, you’ll need a bulletproof strategy. That’s where we step in.

Using this guide, we’ll walk you through the five tips you need to know to combat declining SEO rankings and restore your site’s former ranking glory.

Tip #1: Optimize Page Speed for High-Traffic Pages

Page speed has always been a vital component of SEO analysis, and as an increasing number of businesses shift toward online platform operations, SEO grows more important than ever before. In the most straightforward meaning of the term, page speed refers to how quickly the content on a website loads. You can describe page speed in one of two ways: “page load time” or “time to first byte.”

To measure your website’s PageSpeed score, Google fetches your URL twice—once with a mobile device and once with a desktop computer. Then, it analyzes two parameters: the time it takes to load all content above the fold, and the time it takes to load the entirety of the page.

Images often contribute to the majority of the data usage on any given webpage. As a result, it’s an appropriate approach to optimize them to minimize the volume of downloaded bytes and improve the speed of the website.

Tip #2: Create More Comprehensive and Authoritative Content

Authoritative content accomplishes two primary objectives: it pushes more organic web traffic and also helps to establish trust between readers and writers. When online visitors consume your content and begin to understand more about you, they feel like they are forming a relationship with you, too. In other words, they begin to trust the words you say.

Take a look at this blog post from Time Trade to see how trust is earned through written copy:

Among the many great obstacles faced by writers and web marketers is the feat of creating unique material that shines and resonates with readers. Although it is a popular belief that you need to be an expert within your field to begin sizing up to your competitors, Google trends have shown otherwise. What makes content marketing so ceaselessly challenging is that it’s not enough to simply create great content once. To maintain good rankings, you must be able to create amazing content on a continuous basis.

High quality and interesting content is not always the end-all-be-all to your visitors. Google is well beyond the days of tallying keywords on a page— today, coherent, succinct, and easy-to-read website content is a key component of SEO. Focus on readability and content freshness to ensure your pieces are gold in the eyes of Google.

Tip #3: Refresh Content with Declining Traffic

Your website’s content is like any other good or service and thus has a finite lifespan. At some point, the content becomes less effective at garnering interest and converting. This is precisely what happens when you start to notice SEO declines. This should prompt you to audit your content and see where you can make significant changes to raise your rankings back up and generate new interest. Through refreshing and upgrading content, you can reap a range of SEO advantages.

Another way to refresh content is to turn old content into an evergreen resource. An evergreen resource is a page that throughout time will still be valuable to a visitor and still promote users to click on a page. An example of an evergreen resource is this reverse mortgage calculator from GoodLife Home Loans.

In order to remain at the cutting edge of the SEO game, staying on top of your content freshness is always critical. Managing a content inventory and setting up regular reports to audit website material and media files make a massive difference not only to your site ranking but also to your online visitors too.

Tip #4: Fix Broken or Unsafe Links

Broken links are terrible not only for user experience, but they can also be detrimental to your website’s Google rankings. Beyond the scope of your SEO, your site visitors despite broken links too. 

In fact, when visitors come across a broken link, they likely won’t want to continue navigating through your site simply because they can’t. When things are difficult or roadblocks are presented, users don’t want to take the time to figure it out, they want an easy, user-friendly experience. Ultimately, if users spend less time on your blog, search engines will safely assume that your website does not offer a pleasant user interface. This eventually leads to declined rankings due to heightened bounce rates.

But what is a broken link? Broken links are links that present users with a warning that the website no longer exists, causing a 404 error page. Broken links can be both internal and external.

The easiest way to keep a close watch on the status of your site’s links is by regularly tracking the website. If you see shifts in conversion frequency, bounce rates, or traffic, there may be trouble. In most situations, these obstacles are generally linked to broken connections on the web.

Tip #5: Hire an SEO firm

There are many outstanding advantages to contracting your SEO to an expert team of Google search engine pros.  In the long run, these benefits vastly outweigh the monetary savings that you may encounter by attempting to tackle your declining SEO rankings yourself, particularly if you’re strapped for time or untrained in SEO.

When is the most opportune time to employ an SEO agency? Ultimately, that answer is subjective – but when your business has the money to afford a great firm and can plan for long-term strategies across multiple media channels, you may find yourself in the best position to outsource your SEO auditing and strategizing.

With a refreshed understanding of what you can do to deal with SEO declines, it’s your turn to respond. Always keep in mind that SEO is built upon a number of variables, and even the most minute specifics can affect your website rankings.  Make an effort to constantly research new patterns and stay in the know about algorithms to make sure your SEO strategy is sharp.

Author Bio

Samantha Rupp holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and is the managing editor for 365businesstips.com. She lives in San Diego, California and enjoys spending time on the beach, reading up on current industry trends, and traveling.