If you are involved in an SEO marketing strategy then you are probably concerned with your website’s rank and check it on a regular basis. Your rank helps you determine if your SEO efforts are working and tells you how your website is fairing in a specific marketing. It is common for your rank to switch back and forth between a few numbers in the same range but if it is fluctuating all over the place then this can be a problem.
In order for your SEO rankings to work well there has to be some type of consistency. It can be frustrating for business owners to see their search results page rise one day and then have trouble locating it just a week later with the same keywords. Ranking fluctuations are a part of Google’s algorithm so it is important to do all you can to protect your page rankings.
What Causes Fluctuations
Before you can learn how to minimize rank fluctuations, you need to understand why they happen. There a few different factors that can go into causing a rank change but they tend to occur more often on pages that are lower down on the results page. Higher ranking pages might have smaller fluctuations but they also happen more often.
One of the reasons fluctuations occur is due to search engine algorithm updates which can cause your rank to increase or drop for a few weeks temporarily. Sometimes smaller updates go unannounced so you might not understand why your rank changed. Updating your own content and making major changes can also cause your rank to fluctuate as search engines crawl your new content.
If your website is having certain technical issues it also might affect your search rank and cause it to fluctuate. If you have implemented new strategies or incorporated some complicated code which is slowing down your site speed it could drop your rank due to lack of accessibility to crawlers. Other changes such as new inbound link strategies can cause a fluctuation because of the sudden influx of links which will cause your rank to rise dramatically.
How to React to Fluctuations
When you experience a serious fluctuation in your search engine ranking, you should avoid panicking and making more changes right away to combat the fluctuation. Since the rank drop may be due to recent changes to your site, going back and changing more tactics will not help the situation in the long run. Instead you can decide to wait and see if any negative fluctuation will bounce back on its own once it has adjusted to recent changes.
If you are really concerned about your site’s fluctuations it can also be a good idea to watch your competitors’ sites and see if they are experiencing similar changes in their rank. If this is the case then it might be due to the search terms being used. You should always make sure that keywords and tags are placed properly in order to help the situation.
Internal Linking and Site Speed
To help avoid rank fluctuations there are a few strategies that can allow you to keep a more consistently rising rank overall. One tactic is to use internal linking to help leverage keyword targeting in your own site. You should try to diversify and avoid using rich anchor text to prevent rank changes.
Another thing to keep in mind is that your site speed is included in Google’s search ranking algorithm. This has to do with the user experience because if a site loads too slowly, people are more likely to close your site and move onto something else. Always make sure that your site is loading quickly and efficiently to avoid any problems with your ranking.
Link Building Strategies
If you build a lot of links too quickly, search engines will recognize your site as gaining links at an unnatural rate especially when they are only to one page. This type of link building will set off red flags and might lead to even more ranking drops in the end.
A better strategy is to build links to a variety of different pages without using any rich anchor text. Using links to different pages can help stabilize and ultimately increase your search rankings without setting of any red flags. This type of link building will contribute to the authority of your site as a whole and boost your keywords at a site wide level.
Any time you notice search rank fluctuations, you can wait it out before making any changes or eventually start using more careful strategies to ensure that your page has a consistent rank. Being cautious about the strategies you use and keeping your page up to date can help you prevent any further fluctuations and allow your rank to steadily rise.
Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.