Beyond Search Engine Rankings Covering Your Bases
Having your site rank high for a particular valued key phrase is something we all strive towards. You may get comfortable seeing your site rank highly for your most coveted keyword phrases, but it is a mistake to assume it will remain there forever. Search engine rankings (and the traffic they may bring) are not static.
Other than deliberately trying to deceive search engines and getting penalized by them, if your site is suddenly gone, it's most likely because of a major algorithm shift. Search engines are constantly tweaking their algorithms, and new sites are always being created, so ranking fluctuations are part of the normal course of business.
Since search engine optimization is an ongoing, organic and competitive process, placement can also be affected by SEO strategies employed by your competition. Some common factors that can account for a sites fluctuating rankings within a particular search engine include updates or changes to the following components:
- Meta tag information, such a keywords, description and page title
- Relevant content
- Frequency or keyword density
- Location of key phrases
- Link popularity
- Traffic to the site
Because of this, it is crucial to optimize your site for a number of related phrases. This will ensure that when some phrases go AWOL, the others will perform well for you. It is important to realize that this fluctuation is a naturally occurring phenomenon. Yes, it's great to rank highly for the most coveted phrases, but from time to time the ranking will fluctuate. If there are one or two phrases that are very important to you, then you should also consider purchasing PPC ads that are triggered by them. A Pay Per Click campaign is commonly used by many companies as a strategic part of their SEO campaigns. It is virtually the only way to maintain constant exposure on the first page of the major search engines for your site for a particular key phrase. Depending upon the competitive nature of the phrase, you may have to have very deep pockets to maintain such a campaign.
The best advice may be to concentrate more on "targeted traffic and conversions" rather than "rankings." As you work harder at making your site better and better, with enriched and relevant content, as well as attracting quality links back to your website, you will begin to build more qualified traffic. But there are also other ways to generate web traffic. Consider implementing a newsletter campaign or a blog to direct even more targeted traffic to your site. While your various keyword phrases are on a roller coaster ride at Google, you won't even notice a blip in your traffic or sales if you've got all your bases covered.