I would consider myself pretty laid back. I’m not into recreational competition as much as just having fun. However, when it comes to organic search rankings, I get motivated. Wait a minute, if I remember correctly, I did enjoy playing “King of the Hill” as a kid.
Wanting to get your site ranked higher is a normal, rational goal. You find who is above you, find out how they are put together, do one better and rise up. There are times that I have had to compose myself and not fly off the handle. There are things that happen that are more of a damage to pride issue rather than a loss of business issue. There are some signs that you need to start taking your SEO very seriously and figure out what is going on and a plan to fix it.
1. Your site drops below the fold on the 1st page.
If you are climbing your way to the first page, you are on your way. That’s fine. An SEO campaign takes time. The problem is when you start to lose your footing. Trading off the first and second positions is normal for many sites. If you drop further and even below the fold, you need to pay attention to what it going on. If you research a little, you’ll find a lot of people who like to vent. Look at the sites that are outranking you. Check how many sites link to you and how many link to your competitors. A quick way to check is to use the link: operator in google - link: www.mysite.com Try to gain as much of an understanding of why some one’s site is preferred over yours.
2. Your time on site drops
Depending on what you have as far as content on your site, your measurement of people’s time on your site will be different. If you’ve been enjoying a two minutes and 30 seconds average time for your site and your site suddenly drops to 30 seconds, you have an issue to address quickly. Are you keywords no longer relevant? Are people being misled by your content? Have you updated your site in awhile?
3. Your conversions drop below 1%
Conversion rates are fun to compare and brag about and argue over. The conversion rates of direct mail pieces are considered good if you achieve 1%. I think online SEO conversion rates should aim for 5-8%. Your website should always consider the types of customers you have and create strong calls to action. If your conversions drop in proportion to your unique visitors, you need to see how people are using your site. The mindset has changed, the offer is not compelling anymore, the language is not answering their need, you are not presented as a solution provider.
4. Negative Reviews Increase … Quickly
There are negative people out there. It’s also easier to write a bad review than a good one. Your SEO efforts will bring this negative review to everyone. Your online reputation management needs someone work. You may need to take some time and review the procedures in your company. If you have a good BBB rating, put that on your website near the top. The BBB rating that links to your profile is more powerful than an anonymous review from Redbaron69.