Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is the process by which your website is built with the goal of having it appear higher in search results. This criterion is always changing to keep up with searchers’ needs and expectations, so your approach to your site design must change to keep up with them.

If it has been a few years, or even months, since your site was updated, you may notice your conversion rate dropping off. To help you judge your site’s SEO effectiveness, these are 3 signs that your SEO is failing.

Phone Calls Slow Down

When your website is left to fend for itself, it quickly becomes out of date. Search engines like Google look at the last time your site was updated and use that as part of their ranking criteria. Sites that are updated often are ranked higher, thereby generating more top hits and, as a result, more conversion from search results to customer contact. When your SEO is out of date, you will notice a market decline in customer contacts, including phone calls, over the course of a couple months.

Decline in Organic Website Traffic

Organic traffic is one of the most reliable ways to measure the effectiveness of your SEO, as it refers to the people who found your website through a search engine. If you log into the Google Analytics tool then click on “Acquisitions,” you will see a breakdown of where the traffic to your site is coming from, including searches, social media, direct visits, and referrals. This is something you want to keep an eye on monthly, if not weekly, to look for any drops and where they are coming from.

Drop in Keyword Rankings

While keywords are not as major a factor in search rankings as they once were, they still count toward the way Google views your website. Keywords now play a role more aligned with the intent of the person searching. This means building higher quality, more relevant content features into your content rather than strictly building it around specific keywords. By using a half a dozen or so keywords as your reference point, you can watch their performance to determine how they affect your rankings.

Oversaturating your website with keywords is another way to lose rank in the Google search algorithm. If you are overusing keywords and clumping them all together at the top of your page, Google will look at this as spam and will drop your ranking accordingly. Keeping an eye on keyword performance can be tedious, but it can provide a good deal of information about your rankings.

So, how do you address these problems? The key is to stay updated on the criteria the major search engines use to determine how your website fits into the searches being conducted. Spread out your keyword usage throughout the page with no more than a 3 percent ratio of keywords to content. Keep your site updated regularly, ultimately weekly, so Google knows is it not abandoned. Most importantly, make use of Google’s reporting features to learn where improvements are necessary, and your site will remain on top.

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