Google and other search engines are increasingly becoming sharper to detect top quality pages to rank at top positions in search results. The SEO has a lot to do with user experience (UX) now than ever before.
The game has changed now, a website is more likely to face search penalties for low quality content, too much ads and backlinks. But it has been found that even after working and sorting of all such issues the problem of low ranking persists and that could be due to one of the following causes!
Causes Of Low Search Rankings
Not Optimized For Keywords
There is a difference between optimized and maximized, trying to have too many keywords of high traffic may reduce the actual keyword value. Stuffing site with popular keywords doesn’t guarantee high rankings, proper optimization does guarantee to a certain extent. The important areas such as page title, H1 and H2 header tags, content and meta description should contain your top keyword. The keywords also need to be present in the content with same meaning words, such as laptop repair specialist, computer maintenance facility etc. it is a new fact that Google loves the key meanings rather than keywords.
Less Frequent Site Crawling
It is important that search engines frequently crawl your site. The Google bots are good at their work of downloading million GB volumes every day but they may be not be perfect. Sites which see less crawling activity loose search rankings as well. Its not a good omen for your SERPs that Google cant notice the new content on your site immediately.
This can be solved by getting spiders to your site through different ways. Most of the times slow server functions cause the less crawling activity and also SEO penalties. The less updated site or blog, low number of links to site or an old sitemap that is not updated may also cause the reduced crawling.
Tip; you can use fetch as Google tool in the webmaster tools to push Google for manual crawling.
Panda or Penguin
The Google panda or penguin updates are most common causes which have been keeping low quality sites at lower search rankings. Websites loose a great number of traffic due to these penalties. Google Panda which is as much disastrous for sites rankings as much Google penguin, is hit to the sites with low quality thin content on their sites which is either duplicate or is less valuable to the users. Penguin is directed towards the sites involved in link farming, purchasing links, link exchanging and other backlink related scams to rank higher in the search results.
These penalties may or not be notified to the webmasters, the site wide fall of organic traffic are the main indications that your site is undergoing a search penalty. To avoid such penalties it is important to produce high quality content that is much valuable in user perspective and avoid link building activities which challenge webmaster guidelines by Google and other search engines.
Site Not Mobile Friendly
One of the top sources of web traffic come through mobile devices. Sites like YouTube also get half of their traffic from mobile devices. The sites with less mobile friendly theme structure are hard to browse on small screens that’s why the sites with responsive themes and mobile friendly structure are preferred in the search results dumping down the irresponsive theme sites. This could be a top reason why you are not getting due share of organic traffic from top search engines. Since mobile friendliness test tool is available through Google webmaster tools you can easily check if you site passes through the mobile friendliness test.
Going for a mobile friendly theme should be your first task in the To Do list if diagnosed with less mobile friendly site structure.
Other than these common causes of the lower search rankings what is another important but underrated reason, may be that Google staff has checked and imposed a manual penalty on your site. The low quality site structure and thin content if missed by the panda can be noticed by the Googlers. The main triggers for a manual penalty by Google staff could be the spun content, low quality guest posts or scraped content. Improving site for these errors an revoke the manual penalty on your site in no time.
It needs proper SEO audit of a site for hunting down what has caused the low search rankings. It can be the copy content, design or links. May be one or all, the best practice would be to avoid anything contradicting the Google webmaster guidelines.