Unfortunately, it’s not an easy task to detect the reason of your website ranking drop so here is a simple guide of 10 steps.
Here is a guide to analyze your ranking drop in 10 simple steps?
The first thing to check your google search console if there is any notification for manual action or google penalty and act accordingly.
Check if Google made any algorithm change or Broad update ( Here is the most updated website with google algorithm changes http://bit.ly/2CpyzKo – i’ll share a guide soon how to recover from google algorithm changes.
Did you make any mega changes on the website like url re structure, http to https migration etc, in this case, experiencing some ranking drop is normal as it will recover soon as long as you implemented it in the right way.
Check google search console for any crawling or indexation errors like servers error, pages not found, blocked resources, sitemap errors, etc..
Crawl the website using Screamingfrog to find out if there are any other issues that google search console has not reported yet.
Check if there are any changes in the website UX which made the users unhappy with the website and increased the bounce rate
Make an ON-Page SEO Audit, check if there are any changes in the affected pages like content, titles, meta title, meta description, etc using screamingfrog also.
Make an Off-page SEO Audit, Check your backlink profile if you missed your backlinks
Check if there is any negative SEO attack like spammy backlinks and disavow them.
If you are fine with all the above, Check the changes that your competitor has made to outrank you as below:
Check if he has implemented any of google recommendations that you didn’t prioritize yet like migration from http to https, Implemented AMP or structured data, etc..
Enhanced the mobile load speed which became a very strong ranking factor due to it’s effect on the user experience and here is a tool to test it http://bit.ly/2Aa8oWD
Made any changes in the page content, titles or meta description, etc.. which increased the CTR.
Check their backlink profile if they made any backlink building campaign and earned high authority and relevant backlinks which is still one of the top ranking factors.
Evaluate the brand it self if they made any PR campaigns which made their brand more famous and trustworthy so people started searching for it (use google trends)
I hope this checklist help you to know the reason behind your ranking drop and act accordingly.