If you have started to notice either a staggering decline or a gradual drop in the efficacy of your automotive SEO, this might be due to a number of reasons.
From looking at the wrong metrics to being hit by an update to Google’s algorithm, your drop in rankings might not be your fault, but that doesn’t mean that there is nothing that you can do about it.
Here are a few things that you can do if you want to recover your rankings:
1. Take a look at your link profile.
One of the most common reasons that rankings drop is an update to how Google looks at your backlinks. If they have culled a number of low quality links, you might see your standing drop.
Take a look at your profile and carefully evaluate the links there.
Are they really worth having?
Are they on high-quality, relevant webpages that are actually lending you good juice?
Remember that quality is far more important than quantity.
A few good links can do a lot more for your website than hundreds of poor quality ones.
The first thing you should do when you see your rankings drop is to look at your links.
2. Keep track of your competitors.
If you were the first in an area to start an automotive SEO campaign, you might have instantly jumped to the top of the search results and then held your position for months or even years, without really having to do any serious work on your optimization.
This kind of complacency usually means that once your competitors do start aggressively optimizing their own websites, you will start to see a drop in your own rankings.
It’s important not to become satisfied with the state of your website, especially when your competitors are starting to creep up in rankings.
You could lose the progress that you’ve worked hard for if you don’t keep working hard.
3. Research the latest update.
Google does very little to publicize the updates to their search algorithm.
Sometimes, they will come out of left field and you will find yourself with a penalty or a decrease in rankings, without any visible cause.
What should you do?
Start looking around for any and all information you can find about the latest update to the search engine algorithm.
You need to figure out what has been updated and how it might have affected your website.
For example, there was recently a significant update to Google’s local search algorithm that removed some people from their search results entirely, based on what keywords they were using and the structure of their SEO campaign.
4. Speed up your website.
One of the biggest reasons you might see a drop in rankings is because your website has started to slow down.
Over time, as you expand your website to accommodate more content and more visitors, you might be experiencing a slowdown.
And while this might not appear to be a serious issue, search engines care about how quickly your website load and how easy it is for someone to navigate once they are on that page.
If your website is slow, it provides the visitor with a negative experience, making it not a good option for the top of the search results.
You can easily regain lost ground in the search results by improving your speed—and this goes double if you are having speed problems when it comes to mobile devices.
5. Update your content.
Old content might be just as relevant to your visitors as brand new content, but search engines always prefer newer content over older content.
Google will put an emphasis on content that is fresh, rather than continuing to boost old content that might no longer be relevant to the reader.
A blog is a good way to keep your content fresh, but the actual content of your website is going to need regular updates, too.
This means reading over your homepage and its branches to make sure that the information there is still correct.
There’s nothing wrong with a quick rewrite, just to refresh the words and prevent the browsing experience from becoming stale.
6. Invest in a new design.
If you have seen a serious decline in visitors, it might be because your website no longer appears fresh and appealing.
You can quickly regain some of those visitors by making sure that your design is revamped.
While you might not need an entirely new website, you might want to have your designer look at your current website and make adjustments to its appearance, so that it actually fits in with current design trends.
A refresh can be a welcome surprise for repeat visitors and can ensure that Google sees your website as fresh and relevant to searchers.
7. Start sharing on social media.
Whether you have a social media campaign or not, if you have seen a decrease in ranking and in visitors, it might be because your social campaign is not aggressive enough.
You can improve your ranking simply by ensuring that your social media campaign and SEO campaigns are linked.
Search engines do look at your social mojo when determining where to rank your website, which means that you need to have the most robust social media campaign you can muster.
Luckily, most dealerships have plenty of ways for filling out a social media campaign, which can ultimately boost your rankings, even if you have seen them falling.