What Could Be The Case Of Performance Drops & What To Do About It
Your organic search performance can suffer when you become complacent and decide to take the easy way. Everyone talks about tactics and strategies, but in this article, there are a few SEO tactics you simply must avoid.
There are several SEO strategies that can hurt your long-term performance, the reason for this is that sometimes these strategies are too easy to actually be good for you and your organic search performance can suffer when you only take the easy way out.
SEO Strategies You Might Want To Avoid For The Health Of Your Performance
Putting Performance Drop Blame On The Algorithm Without Proof
Just as sudden as algorithm updates happen, so can a drop in performance, depending on the website of course. Due to frequent algorithm updates, it’s very easy to point a finger at Google when you experience a drop in performance and organic traffic.
It can be true sometimes, however, a drop in performance can happen due to a variety of reasons, and a few common reasons this can happen include:
- Technical issues on your site/page
- A crucial change in content
- Change in competitors
- Manual actions
It’s very important not to take the easy way out and blame the algorithm update, so keep these possibilities in mind. Don’t panic if your website took a hit recently, your traffic will return on its own. You also shouldn’t start making big changes to your site as it can add more complications to your organic traffic.
What You Can Do
A few quick tips to find out if your site truly was hit by an algorithm. A site’s performance may drop due to technical issues, this is one of the most common reasons for it. This can happen when an admin unknowingly does updates to certain parts of the site, resulting in technical issues.
You can investigate this by checking the following:
- Google search console coverage report
- Running a crawl to look for structural changes on the website
- In your SEO tool, you can run an automated audit to look for hidden errors
- To see how Google is rendering your site, you can run a fetch and render
A Crucial Change In Content
Another common cause of performance drops. A variety of sites sometimes regularly change their content. If your site experiences a drop in rankings or organic traffic, but you rarely change your content you can inspect to see whether your client or admin made unexpected changes.
Ways to investigate site changes may include:
- In the Wayback machine, check the changes
- Track your activity changes by installing an activity log plugin
- Analyze the pages that took the biggest hit by investigating the pages in Google Analytics
Finding a site that doesn’t get affected by some kind of seasonality is very rare, so check your year-over-year benchmarks whenever you experience site performance dips. These dips might be unusual, so always compare quarterly trend lines on top of each other.
Change In Competitors
When a competitor improves its organic strategy, it’s possible for changes in traffic to occur. However, it’s unusual to occur with a sharp drop in performance. This will typically be indicated by a decline in organic performance steadily.
Don’t panic if you suspect that your competitors are stealing your rankings from under your nose. There’s a Python script that allows you to spy on your competitors and see who is ranking for your topic keywords.
Manual actions still happen, but they’re not as frequent as the used to be. Check for any manual actions by using the Google search console if your site is experiencing a drastic drop in traffic.
Some changes in performance can also occur due to relying on automated tools in order to drive your organic strategy. Many new SEO experts use automated tools to conduct their initial SEO audits, allowing it to guide their global SEO strategy.
These tools don’t ask questions, and in most cases, this is the problem. The key to a good SEO is to ask a few questions like these examples:
- What information does my audience need to take action and who is my target audience?
- When Google crawls my site, are there any obstacles?
Ensure that your technical structure is sound and look for any opportunities for content gaps.