Keyword rankings and optimization are a focal point for most search engine marketers and digital marketing teams. Capturing high keyword spots are the bread and butter of any successful SEO campaign since the objective is to highlight users’ main search queries on Google and other search engines. However, building cornerstone content and keyword-friendly content is only one part of maintaining those coveted first results on Google.
Websites that may have ranked in the top keyword spots in their industry for several years could lose those spots, even though there hasn’t been a major change. According to John Mueller, Senior Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google, a lack of updates, changes, and website upgrades are most likely the cause of these lost rankings.
In a YouTube Weekly Chat for Google Webmaster office hours, Mueller went into detail about some of the primary factors that cause websites to gradually lose their rankings. The full chat is available to watch and weekly chats are there to help provide new context on previous topics. The main reasons that websites are likely to lose keyword rankings are as follows:
Top search rankings as a whole are temporary
Mueller explained that for the most part top keyword rankings for a website are temporary. He outlined that the algorithmic processes Google and other search engines use to rank websites and content are constantly changing. Even though many businesses and websites continue to have their keyword rankings, which could be based on paid and constant updates to websites, most small to mid-size businesses will experience a drop every now and then.
Dynamic changes on Google Search, including mobile-first indexing, UI emphasis on website ranking, and similar updates could suddenly drop rankings.
Competition combined with dynamic search updates lose rankings
Another reason that a website loses keyword rankings on search engines is because of a mix of dynamic search updates and the rise of competition. Mueller stated that many of the ever-changing elements of SEO, such as loss of external off-page links, as well as a rise in competitors impact keyword spots for a business.
For example, a new competitor with a more modernized website, stronger and more frequent content creation, along with a mix of paid and organic search campaigns could bump down your keyword rankings. Mueller emphasized that the adoption of digital marketing continues to create a more competitive landscape where the businesses with greater digital marketing investment will come out on top
Consumer behaviors and needs also change
Mueller made it clear that a major impact in search engine rankings includes new variations of keywords, website usability, mobile-friendliness, and other factors that encourage users to visit. Consumer-friendly sites that optimize for Google’s search algorithms and UI factors are going to ranking higher than competitors.
As consumers want easier and more efficient ways to purchase goods and services, new keywords will rise to top spots for ideal consumers. This means that your previous keywords may need to be overhauled in order to capture your largest possible audience. Interactive and easy-to-use websites are also more likely to earn top ranks on Google.
Consistent optimization is the key to maintaining search results
Consistent content creation, website redesign, and search optimization site is the only way maintain your keyword rankings. Mueller states that constant technical updates, content creation, and optimization helps businesses stay at the top of search results with minimal drop in rankings.
Digital marketing specialists, like the team at Boston Web Marketing, can help your website improve and stay atop of Google’s organic results. If you want a free website audit, then contact us today!