Movements in your search engine ranking positions (SERPS) can certainly cause a panic. However, they are in fact normal in marketing for accountants.
In this post we’re going to look at why SERP fluctuations happen, why you should keep cool when they do, and how to know when these changes in search position should be a cause for concern.
Many accountants monitor their ranking positions daily, whilst others opt for weekly or monthly check ins (the latter is pushing it, in our view). If you belong to the first group, then you probably will have observed something like this:
This is actually a screenshot of our AccountantLift website, which shows a slight decrease in search engine rankings for our keywords towards the end of May. However, they pick up again at the beginning of June.
In some instances, marketing for accountants can show dramatic changes in SERPS even over the course of four or five days. You might jump from position 5, to 21, to 18, to 7 and then to 9. It’s all over the place! This is actually quite normal.
When people see this, they often ask us: “Is this bad?” Usually, the answer is no. Rankings can fluctuate like this quite a lot in search engines, particularly if you are at the bottom of page 1 of Google, and even more so if you are on page 2, 3, 4 or 5.
It is actually quite rare to see SERPs stay in position 1, 2 or 3 for prolonged periods of time. In fact, it’s probably safe to say that websites never maintain their exact position in Google over months or years.
What To Expect With SEO Fluctuations
Some things to state right off the bat:
#1 Usually you see more flux with SERPS lower down the search results, than you do higher up.
This does not mean, however, that if you get to the top you will see no change whatsoever. If there’s one thing marketing for accountants cannot promise, it’s continued, indefinite fixed SERPS!
#2 When you first start to hit the top spots in Google, you will tend to see more flux than someone who’s been there for a longer time.
So, what would be unusual is to see considerable ranking fluctuation for a website link that’s been in position 1, 2 or 3 for a long time. That doesn’t tend to happen. The URL might move 1 or 2 places, but you wouldn’t normally see it move 5 or 6.
#3 Expect more flux when dealing with temporal topics, even in top positions.
You can see this if you look at the search results in Google see gray text that says 3 hours ago, or 2 days ago, or a specific date when it emerged. If the search results page has lots of results like this, expect lots of SERP fluctuation.
What You Should Do
So what should you do if you encounter this in marketing for accountants?
#1 Don’t panic
Be careful not to lose your cool with yourself, your internal marketing team, or your SEO partner. Do not suddenly change your tactics. If you’re seeing the patterns I’ve described above, it’s alright. Usually, it doesn’t mean something is going wrong.
#2 Use weeks instead of days as your measurement period.
This gives you a much better picture of what’s really going on.
#3 Compare your competitors’ fluctuations with your own
If everyone else is fluctuating as well as you for a particular keyword, then guess what. It’s not you, it’s probably the SERP. When we do marketing for accountants, we always take this into consideration when identifying flux in our clients’ campaigns.
#4 Compare your traffic to your rankings
Has there been a notably drop in traffic to your web pages, which has corresponded to a decline in your SERPS during a given time period? Check your Google Analytics to find out the situation. If not, then there’s no reason to panic just yet.
Marketing For Accountants – When Should You Be Concerned?
The time to raise eyebrows should happen if you ever see a precipitous fall in your SERPS during a short period of time. If your website suddenly plummeted in Google yesterday, then that’s a real problem that needs fixing right away.
The next step in this scenario would be to do some investigating. Were you doing anything wrong with your SEO that Google might have finally caught out? Did you have site problems, or link issues?
If you’re experiencing any problems like this in your marketing for accountants, we’d be delighted to help. Just get in touch using the form here.