Hitting the Search Engine Ranking Plateau: Recognize These Signs
Have you been doing SEO (search engine optimization) for years but just can’t get past that seemingly impossible competitor? Hitting that wall is known as the dreaded search engine ranking plateau. Have you experienced looking at the same old search rankings or analytics week after week? If your website has been stuck at #5 for months or even years and you have done every SEO technique, recommendation, and website fix then try the techniques here.
Keep in Mind to Overcome the Search Plateau…
You should be tracking at least 100 keywords or keyword phrases on a weekly or monthly basis. If you have multiple main keywords that you want to see higher, you can get there using a combination of the right techniques and low competition.
3 Steps To Beating Long Time Competitors
- Ignite Your Content
- Expand Your Reach
- Recycle Good SEO Habits
1) Ignite Your Content For Higher Rankings
Keep your content fresh. Newspapers and magazines do this all the time: the archive collection. If you have years of past work, articles, blogs, .PDFs, and old content that is not relevant to your current audience, then there are a few things you should consider. What is the cost of keeping this old content on the site? What will keep your audience on the site for longer or will it decrease site time? Try deindexing pages that have thin or older content. Trim down content that is not relevant or continually update the pages. Google likes updated pages and it is also possible that Google will crawl your site more often if you update pages often.
Do not fear: you can in fact delete dead content off your site AND actually benefit from it. An example of updated content would be the CDC website. The Center for Disease Control updates a map and web page with new content on the Zika virus almost daily, ranking it super high on Google. site:cdc.gov/zika
Here is a great video explaining how you can go to the extreme to make your content even better than anything else that exists Google, hence, igniting your content!
2) Expand Your Reach: Use Creativity to Boost Position
Creative and original content can be a wide number of items. For example, if you are a law firm, every law firm will have a description of the type of law they do and list out descriptions of the services they provide. However, to make your real estate law firm stand out – why not provide something different? A tax appeal attorney can try and rank for “real estate attorney” or “tax appeal attorney” but every other lawyer in town is going to try and rank for the same thing. Try a unique piece of content that competitors don’t have and rank for “what is the tax deadline in lake county?” By providing an up to date chart on your site, you now can get more of your target audience to your site.
To reach your target audience, get creative and think to yourself, what do my consumers really want? Wayfair is a site that sells furniture. What makes them stand out against every other furniture online retailer? A unique piece of content. They have a “how to build a fort” illustration with different ways to use your sofa as a fort. Completely original and interesting – keeping your customers engaged and on the page longer and thinking about the product in a different light hearted way. Most people looking for couches are in the beginning stages of buying. It’s basically exposing potential customers to your products without having to do a hard sell.
Here’s an example of using Reddit for your business:
Reddit for Business
3) Recycle Good SEO Habits To Beat Search Engine Ranking Plateau
Practice good SEO habits like checking to make sure your sitemap is updated. Keep up with the technical aspects like your site speed, Google Analytics blips, Google Search Console e-mails, and the basics of maintaining a clean and fresh website. Try not to overuse code and plugins, especially if they slow down your website and do just one small thing that you really don’t need. Backlink basics, strong internal linking, great site map and navigation and great content go a long way.
Measure your competitors with Spider Tools:
As part of recycling good SEO habits, here are some spider tools you can use to measure your competitors. If you’re always at #5 and can’t seem to get past competitors to that #1 spot, try taking a look and analyzing what those top 4 websites are doing that you are not doing. For example, measure their words on page, where their pictures are located, how many pictures, file sizes, alt tags, meta data, and more using these simple spider tools. Once you recognize patterns, like everyone beating you out has an average of 845 words on their page and you have an average of 600 per page, then you know what you need to do to rank above them.
SEOTools for Excel (windows only) https://seotoolsforexcel.com/
Screaming Frog https://www.screamingfrog.co.uk/seo-spider/