Learn how to recover positions you lost on Google and how to never lose them again! – WAU
Lost positions on Google? In this guide you will learn how to diagnose your problems and recover your positions!
More difficult than reaching the top of Google, is staying there!
Many believe that reaching the first position on the search engine’s pages is fulfilling its great goal. Ledo mistake.
The impact that a good positioning in the SERPs brings to your website / blog is directly related to the time that it stays there.
If you have been following the blog for a while you must have seen me saying that Google is a real battleground.
And one thing you can be sure of is that everyone below you is eager to take your place.
In addition, the results pages are constantly changing and the positions alternate widely.
Therefore, having a position recovery strategy is essential for you to succeed in your SEO strategy.
In today’s content I will explain how I do it here at WAU to ensure that our eventual falls are always momentary.
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How big is your problem
This content could easily be divided into two. But I’m not the type of person who likes to ask a question and leave you with another one.
So in this post I will highlight the two common situations in which you will need to recover positions on Google.
- You lose position for one or more key keywords for you;
- Your page has disappeared from Google. It is not appearing even on the third page (also applicable to one or more pages).
The first situation is a little easier to solve.
The second already requires a more complete diagnosis to identify the root of the problem. The page may have disappeared for several reasons.
I will first teach you how to act in situation 1. And then I will explain how to deal with situation 2.
This is because, after diagnosing the problem in 2, the 1 plan will be for you to apply and recover the positions you lost.
I lost positions! And now?
As I said, the war is constant and the variations are absolutely normal.
It has happened many times with us here at WAU. We have already lost positions and we had to recover, just as we have stolen many people’s positions as well.
We currently have a very positive balance.
We have even lost position for our main keyword: “Digital Marketing”.
One of those times was at the time of our classic case “Thanks Neil Patel”, when he stole our position and we ranked first for his name.
The GIF below represents what it was like during the period that Patel and other competitors that reached the top for this keyword:
Therefore this variation is normal. It was not the first time we lost, nor will it be the last.
And to be honest, I think it’s good when it happens.
Losing positions takes us out of the commonplace, makes us realize that what took us to the top is not enough to keep us there.
Generates learning and growth. And for sure, losing positions made me a much better professional.
Besides, beating anyone is no fun!
It is amazing to look at SERP and see that we are ahead of strong (keyword) competitors like Digital Results or Neil Patel.
Therefore, the risk of having to recover positions on Google constantly is great!
The most important is know exactly how to react when these situations happen. So let’s go on step by step on how you should act when you lose your beloved position.
1. Understand “what does he have that I don’t have”?
The first thing I do when I lose a position is to understand why.
What does my competitor have that I don’t have? What did Google see in it? Why is he more worthy of earning that position of honor than I am?
Some of the reasons that may have directly influenced:
It is important that you make a very critical comparison to identify the main points for improvement.
If you can identify any major points, run to improve it. The important thing here is to understand that in the first moment, before applying the following practices, you must make a diagnosis of your problem.
This diagnosis will even be essential for you to determine which practices you should prioritize.
That said, as of now, they are not in a mandatory sequence of execution.
2. Update the content
If you lost positions, it is possible that this loss happened because your competitor responds better to the user’s search than your content.
Therefore, the update is necessary.
At this point, a new diagnosis should be made, which should not be limited only to the competitors in front of it.
Ideally, you should review all the content on the first page. Watch:
- Competitors’ titles;
- Meta Description;
- Topics covered within the content;
- Content Size;
- Use of media (videos, images, infographics);
- Information that may be out of date in its content;
- Post structure.
Another tip is to use Google’s advanced search to check the contents that rank for this search in other languages, creating more ideas on how to optimize your content:
Just access the settings and select a language and even a country to make a benchmark.
Want to learn all about updating content? Download our complete guide on the subject!
I wrote content with the Guide with (almost) everything I do when I want to rank first for a word head tail.
Responding to user intent is probably the main factor within content.
To identify the intention behind a search you need to watch the results pageafter all, if the contents are on the first page, Google considers that they respond to the search made.
Two examples I like a lot:
Repair the results page for the “Inbound Marketing” search
All content that ranks in the top 5 positions are focused on explaining what Inbound is and how to apply the strategy.
That is, if a person wants to rank for Inbound Marketing, the content needs to answer these questions for the reader.
Now for another example, what do you think a person looking for “cute dogs” wants to find on Google?
Note that Google already responds to the search with images. That is, it would be practically impossible for you to rank for this search with content that does not have videos or images of cute puppies.
This may be the problem that caused your loss of positions. So identify whether you respond to the reader’s intention.
Other important factors for you to update your content are some writing techniques, which help optimize and keep the reader longer within your post.
This is one of the main signs of the quality of your content for Google.
Among the good writing practices to improve the evaluation of your posts are:
- Connection Phrases (Bucket Brigade): these are phrases that encourage readers to remain engaged in the content such as: “and it’s not just that”, “let’s go to the best part” etc;
- Intertitles that present clear benefits to the reader;
- APP formula: make a complete introduction that convinces the user to read all the content. You agree with his pain (Agree), promise the benefits of reading the content (Promise) and give a preview of how he will achieve this (Preview).
If you want to apply these techniques, check out my other complete post where I teach and show each one applied to you to make excellent blog content!
3. Improve your titles
How long have you been reviewing your content titles?
Have you been testing changes and comparing the clickthrough rate (CTR) between them?
Well, here’s a piece of advice needed to recover positions: optimize your SEO Title!
We often create our content, choose a title and leave it forever the same way.
Which is a serious mistake.
Firstly, because CTR is an important ranking factor, after all, if people do not click on your title, they send the message that it does not respond to the intention of their search.
If your content does not have a good clickthrough rate for the position it is in, the tendency is for it to lose positions.
Second, SEO Title is the first impression a person will have when they find your content.
You definitely want this first meeting to pique the reader’s interest in getting to know your content better and reading what you have to say.
Anyway, I wanted to show initially the importance of CTR, now I will show you how to optimize it:
Improving CTR with Google Search Console
This is one of my favorite functions of the GSC. The tool allows you to identify exactly what searches were done when people clicked on your content.
For this you need to access Search Console and select the Performance part:
You will have the following options to perform an analysis within your website / blog:
At first, we will select the “Pages” tab to choose a specific page that you want to optimize the CTR.
In case, the content you need to retrieve positions.
This time I will use the post “Digital Marketing” as an example.
My favorite case with this Hack is the “4 Ps of Marketing” that you can check in my content with Advanced Content Hacks!
As I already used it as an example, I opted for other content now.
After selecting the chosen page, return to the queries tab:
Queries show users’ search intent, and you can use elements in your headline to encourage clicks and expand your CTR.
In addition, using these terms can improve your ranking for that specific query.
I used the “all about” and “online marketing” elements in my title to encourage more clicks and rank for those specific queries.
Now see SERP for the search “Digital Marketing”:
Notice how many of those content also uses “Online Marketing” in its title.
But let’s go to the best part.
Now let’s look at the results page for the “Online Marketing” search
Realize that the only equal result is the first! In this case, ours.
Although Neil Patel is still second, he is ranking with a different post. I honestly don’t see the need for two pieces of content when I can rank 1 for both SERPs.
Of course, it was not the only factor to rank first for both searches. However, as is clear in this example, the title had a great influence.
Did you see the importance that the titles have for the ranking of a post?
Now, when you lose positions, you can be sure that this is one of the main factors for you to recover them.
Note: this is one of the advanced Hacks that I teach in other content. If you want to know tricks to optimize your results check out the full post: Advanced Hacks for Content Marketing and SEO!
4. Review your internal link
A good job of internal linking is essential to show Google the relevance of your content.
Search for the keyword internally on your blog and find content where you missed the opportunity.
In the internal link it is essential that you also think about the next steps that your reader will take. So make strategic links.
Another interesting factor is to remember that the anchor text is not so relevant when it comes to internal links. Then you can use creativity and make links that are eye-catching and that attract clicks.
For example: learn about best ranking practices on Google
This link goes to our SEO page. If it were external, I would prefer the anchor to be direct. But, as it is internal, I prefer to convince the reader to click, strengthening the target content.
Another initial tip is to make a direct link from “Home” to your most important pages.
The “Home” is the most important page on your site and the shorter the path for a person to reach your most relevant pages, Google will understand as more valuable pages.
Digital Results does this very well in your Home:
5. Satellite Posts
Directly linked to the previous practice of internal linking, is the production of new satellite posts.
Satellite posts are content related to a main topic, usually focused on a long tail keyword and that strengthens a head tail word.
For example: Digital Marketing.
This is a KW with a very high search volume and a huge competitiveness on the page.
In addition to creating complete content, it is essential that you create content on directly related topics to strengthen the main post, for example:
- Digital Marketing Courses;
- Digital Marketing Plan;
- Digital Marketing Books.
Finding those long tails that you haven’t explored yet, can be a great way to recover positions on Google that you’ve lost. Once these satellite posts, properly linked, strengthen your pillar content.
To identify these opportunities, you can check the queries on that specific page through Google Search Console (same process we did to improve CTR) or use a keyword tool.
For example, using the SEMrush KW Magic Tool I found the following content opportunities:
You can use a free tool like Ubersuggest. We have content with the best keyword tools, check it out!
When you find these opportunities that you haven’t explored yet, create content and link directly (preferably the first post link) for the pillar post.
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6. Prioritize backlinks to that specific page
If you’ve been playing a content strategy long enough to worry about losing positions, you most likely already have a backlink strategy.
If you haven’t already, you need to start one.
When you lose a position, especially of keywords for your business (adjective, I didn’t write without a hyphen, hehe), you need to prioritize that term in your link building campaigns.
For example, you will exchange 5 guest-posts that month, make sure that the word you need to retrieve will receive a link in each of these contents.
And most importantly, prioritize so that it is the first link to appear