The ways of SEO are undoubtedly mysterious almost for everybody in the trade.  Even the most seasoned professional in the field is often left confused, as it was difficult to figure out the reasons for changes in search rankings.  Countless reasons contribute to search rankings, and it is almost impossible to find the exact cause. The problem is further compounded because the factors that are responsible for search rankings keep changing frequently often without any warning or notification. One beautiful morning you might be entirely surprised to see that the ranking has slipped below a few rungs and you are left extremely frustrated. This can happen despite following the best strategy to rank high in search results.

The feeling of disgust is quite natural because you must be practicing the best methods of the industry to keep your SEO campaign ahead of others yet face the disappointment. Almost every other person implementing SEO, experiences what has happened to you, so take heart from the fact that you are not alone.  Instead of being disheartened, be ready to counter the unexpected disruption in progress by taking it in your stride and staying prepared to overcome it.  As you go through this article, you will come to know about the ways of fighting the setback to regain the lost rank. In the process, you will come to know about the factors that must be checked to stage a quick recovery and what had appeared to be mysterious will now be looked upon as something not really so strange.

Pages not appearing in search results

This is a problem mostly encountered when you are setting out on a new SEO campaign. There is no certainty that your pages will show up in search results immediately.  If you know of the way search engines work, you must be aware that unless the new content is indexed by search engines, it will not show up in search results. Usually, for Google, the time for indexing new content can vary between 4 to 28 days. However, you can expedite the process to some extent by submitting an XML sitemap through the search console. In fact, doing this without waiting is what any SEO agency will advise you. However, you might still find that some pages are still not visible and if it happens, then you must scan the Google Search Console for crawl errors and make sure that you have not accidentally blocked search bots that are unable to see the pages.

Dip in traffic flow

It is natural that traffic flow might drop sometimes and you must not be worried about it as long as it is within the manageable range of 10 percent. Be alert that the drop does not increase and keep a close watch on the traffic changes that happen. If you ever find a sharp decline in traffic and the trend persists then it is a sign that something is grossly wrong and you must pull up your socks to prepare for a hard pitched battle. When traffic dwindles to almost nothing, it means that either your website is down or hit by Google penalty. If you find that none of these exists then poor links could be the cause why Google has turned away from your website and resulted in reduced traffic. Another possibility for low traffic is that a new Google update you are not aware has affected the site.  Sometimes, you might have changed the URL of a page when refreshing content, and it has affected traffic flow.

Rankings are volatile

The fluctuating nature of rankings is something that you have to accept in SEO. The rank that you earn now can change soon after because search engine rankings are too much volatile. Do not be perturbed to see your rank changing as long as the shift is not something drastic. Rankings keep jumping up and down like something you see in the stock market. Monitor the ranking at regular intervals to ascertain the trend and as long as the fluctuations are within expected levels, work on the long-term strategy of the campaign to push the ranks up once again. However, if the fluctuation is very erratic and you encounter it regularly, it means that there is something wrong in your strategy that has made the campaign inconsistent.

Consider the nature of your business for evaluating the nature of traffic flow to your website. If your industry has any seasonal impact, traffic might be low in off seasons and peak in favorable times.  Specific events can even affect traffic flow depending on the nature of business and industry.

Missing links

When building links make sure that you gain the confidence of the publisher of the website where you place your link. The site you target must find your link relevant and useful or else they might just remove it without even informing you. Even if the link remains in place but marking it as the no-follow link will render it useless. Link building is an exercise based on mutual understanding and making it one- sided can harm your interest. If you find your link removed, you can take it up with the publisher for reinstatement and in case it does not work, you must find a new website to host your link.

Site speed

The speed of your website does affect rankings. Sites that load faster tend to earn better rankings. The web design must facilitate speedy page opening, and you must pay attention to this aspect. The speed of websites can be increased by limiting the size of image files and doing away with some plugins that are seldom used. Streamline the meta-information for better speed and another way of doing it is by optimizing caching plugins. Often, the host provider is also a cause of poor speed and changing the host can solve the problem.

Have the patience to sustain the campaign because it takes time for SEO to give results. There will be ups and downs, but you must work diligently to achieve the goals that can take some months.

About the author – Nick Barnes has authored a few books on SEO and is currently heading an SEO agency. Having more than two decades of experience in internet marketing, he is a moderate voice in the industry. He is very fond of gardening.