8 Steps to Take When Your SEO Tanks “Overnight”

Posted - April 14, 2023
dropping stats

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is crucial for businesses that want to be visible online. The goal of SEO is to increase the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results, and when you get your strategy right, the results can be fabulous.

However, sometimes your SEO rankings can take a slight dip (or more) overnight. Not only can waking up to tanked rankings alarm you, but it can also impact your business when you aren’t showing up in the top spots for valuable keywords.

If you’ve awakened to a nasty rankings surprise, we’re here to say don’t fear; it happens to all of us. The good news is you can recover from these situations with the right processes in place.

Let’s examine what could cause plummeting rankings and the eight steps you can take to bring your website back to page 1!

Could Your Rankings Plummet Overnight?

Sudden ranking drops are never fun, and the immediate shock can leave you scrambling to figure out why your rankings fell overnight.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a single answer, as there are several reasons for overnight drops. Some of the most common we’ve seen in clients who come to us for help include the following:

  • Google found something wrong with your site that went against its guidelines and issued a manual penalty. These are some of the most straightforward problems to fix because the penalty will display the exact reason for the penalty. You can correct the issue and resubmit your site for indexing.
  • Algorithm updates
  • Your competitors simply started outranking you for your top keywords
  • You’ve lost high-quality backlinks
  • You’ve changed your Content Management System (CMS)
  • Paid ad keyword cannibalization
  • User behavior changes, and more!

8 Steps to Take to Start Repairing Your Rankings

While it may be easy to look up a manual penalty and get your wheels in motion, if you don’t have this issue on your hands, you may need to take some deeper steps toward solving your problem.

Let’s get into nine things you can do today to start making strides toward repairing your rankings.

Check for Algorithm Updates

One of the first things to check when your SEO rankings tank overnight is whether Google or other search engines have rolled out a new algorithm update. Algorithm updates can cause significant changes to search results and may be the reason for your drop in rankings. 

While these updates are rarely announced beforehand, keeping a finger on the pulse of SEO can help you recognize the signs that an update is on the horizon.

Following industry experts on social media, reading SEO blogs, and checking Google’s official updates page can give you the best answers about algorithm updates, predictions, and what you can do to mitigate any negative impact.

Check for Technical Issues

Another reason for a sudden drop in SEO rankings could be technical issues on your website. These issues can include broken links, slow loading speeds, server errors, or other user experience problems. 

The bottom line is that if your site isn’t working correctly, visitors could quickly leave for other sites or gain no access at all in the event of server problems.

Tools like Google Search Console or other online software like SEMRush can give you instant insight into website errors and other technical problems.

From there, all you have to do is reach out to your dedicated SEO team for quick problem resolution.

Check for Content Issues

Creating relevant content for industry buzz topics is a crucial factor in SEO rankings, and if your content needs updating or is irrelevant, these issues could be the root of your dip. 

We suggest running a technical content audit that can uncover keywords, relevance, and quality issues.

If your content is coming up low-quality or even plagiarized, it’s time to get to work and start grinding out some useful original text.

Creating fresh and relevant content is an effective way to improve your SEO rankings. Fresh content can attract new visitors to your website, improve user engagement, and provide value to your audience. 

You can create fresh content by writing blog posts, creating infographics, producing videos, or sharing industry news and updates. The best part is, if you don’t have the time to dedicate towards consistent content creation, a local SEO team can help you get your content development on schedule with their expert content creation services.

Check for Backlink Issues

Backlinks are links from other websites that point to your website and encourage better rankings. Backlinks are a key factor in SEO rankings, and if you have a lot of low-quality or spammy backlinks, your rankings can suffer. 

You can check for backlink issues using tools like SEMRush, Ahrefs, or Moz to analyze your backlinks for quality and relevance. Once you find backlink issues, move on to our next step: recovering your ranking dip!

Build High-Quality Backlinks

This recovery step takes time and effort, but we promise it’s worth it. Building high-quality backlinks is another effective way to improve your SEO rankings. 

High-quality backlinks come from reputable websites and can provide valuable referral traffic to your website. Remember, a single high-quality backlink is worth more than a few crummy ones. 

You can build high-quality backlinks by creating shareable content, reaching out to influencers in your industry, or partnering with other websites in your niche.

Reoptimize Your Website

Identifying the problem with your website is the first step, with the final move for recovery being optimization. When reoptimizing your website, you want to approach it from all SEO angles and ensure you don’t miss a thing. 

This can involve fixing technical issues, updating content, optimizing meta tags and descriptions, and removing or disavowing low-quality backlinks. 

Monitor Your SEO Performance

Once you have reoptimized your website and implemented new SEO strategies, monitoring your SEO performance is important. You can use Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and other paid software we’ve mentioned to track your website’s traffic, ranking, and engagement metrics. Regular monitoring can help you identify any further issues and adjust your SEO strategy as the playing field evolves.

Don’t Panic!

Finally, if you notice business slowing down and find your site is the problem, don’t panic. This isn’t a direct reflection of your business’s reputation, only a sign that it’s time to shift your SEO approach.

Take a deep breath, review our steps, and start rebuilding your rankings. If you need extra help, remember we’re always here!

Save Your Rankings Today with Dallas SEO Dogs

As we’ve shown, a sudden drop in SEO rankings can be alarming, but there are steps you can take to address the issue. However, taking necessary action to improve your SEO performance can help numb the pain of temporarily losing your coveted top spot. Reoptimizing your website, creating fresh content, building high-quality backlinks, and monitoring your SEO performance can be complex tasks when you have the weight of the situation and your daily responsibilities on your shoulders.

The experienced team at Dallas SEO Dogs is available to help and can give you the action you need to start digging your rankings out of a hole.

From original content to thorough on and off-site optimization, our team has you covered.

Schedule your free consultation today to learn more about our services and how we can help!