Recently I released this site live, which is a small brochure site for a local catering company.

I took the time to add a canonical <link> tag and also verify the site with Google, so the googleXXXXXXX.html file is sitting in the root of the site alongside the index.php file. The site has very little in the way of overheads and, although it is built with PHP has no database back-end.

However, I am finding that a search for the site is showing it falling down the Google rankings and off the first page.

I have <meta> descriptions and keywords for all 5 pages, although the keywords and descriptions are always the same, the <title> does differ slightly.

The domain is new (weeks old), but I see no reason for it dropping so badly. Is there something that I have missed or is there something I can do to boost it back up? I have no AdWords budget, so unfortunately this is not possible.


New sites often do drop in rank

Sadly, the chances are that Google is repositioning to where it believes you should be. Most often, new sites and pages get temporary boosts to allow them to catch on, so to speak. I've seen what you're experiencing hundreds of times and can assure you what you're seeing is most likely out of your control until your site becomes more established (trusted) by Google.

Having correct Metas, Title, Canonical doesn't mean your necessary rank straight away, which in your case you have but now it's re-adjusting you.

Looking at your front page only and not going any further, I can see that the title can be improved since it's too long and you're diluting your keywords. Personally I aim for 60-69 characters but it can be longer. Google uses pixels in width on the title, so depending on the screen size, if they have large screens, it'll display most if not cut. 60-69 characters works on iPads and that's generally what I use.

Currently you're using the title tag:

The Bakery Box - Catering - Quality Homemade Produce,  Ayrshire - Baking, Buffet Selection, Hot Dishes, 3 Course Meals and Tray Bakes

It's too long and will be chopped and it looks a bit spammy. If you want your site to rank for lots and lots of things then break this down by making additional pages. Pages that try to rank for far too much are diluted and hardly ever work unless you have a good AdWords campaign and content that people will link to. I'd opt to use something like:

The Bakery Box - Catering Quality Home Produce in Ayrshire since 1958

Meta Descriptions and Titles should be unique

Also, every page should have a unique title and meta description, if you don't then you're not describing your pages very well and Google will adjust your rankings even more. I suggest you make your titles and meta descriptions unique and make the meta descriptions no longer than 157 characters. Check this little serps emulator out.

Rich Snippets

I noticed that you have menus for some of your dishes, you should get some rich snippets on there so they are displayed in the right format. Check out Googles Rich Snippets.

Lots of text content is Great! But Text and Images is even GREATER!

I noticed that a lot of the deeper pages have a lot of text with not a lot of images. Google loves rewarding sites that offer a good experience, and imagine by only having text, you're limiting your experience you offer. Try to use more images on the deeper pages. Having a nice front page is important but the inner pages should not go ignored. In fact, I find it easier to rank my inner pages on all of my sites than I do the front page. Also, images that include things such as alt tags can strength your authority in your niche.

Try to read more sites

From what I can see looking at your site is that it could do with some more SEO work, but with this said, you are on the right track and the fact you're asking on here is a great start, but Webmasters Stack, as helpful as a lot of people are on here, won't be able to provide you all the advice you need in one single post, and you can see from what I've wrote, it's already dragging on already. I suggest you look at as many sites as you can and learn the ins and outs. Avoid anything black hat as much as it's tempting to get quick results, it's not worth it and it'll only come back and slap you in the face where it hurts...

A few useful sites

  1. Local Rankings - Answer by Me
  2. Matt Cutts
  3. Seomoz - Beginners Guide to SEO
  4. Search Engine Land SEO Guide

Once your on Page SEO is done, then it's all off Page SEO

Once you have these elements fixed, it's all down to off page SEO. Since your business is in Ayrshire, you want to work on your local rankings which will also help your national rankings as well. There are many guides on the net how to get better local rankings so I won't bore you too much. Oh also, there is a lot on here too (Local Citations).

  • 2
    bybe is right on. Google rankings take up to a year to stabilize. In the first year, you should work on getting a site's content up to snuff and getting exposure from other sites. Google rankings will come, but they take a little while. Feb 24 '13 at 23:59

One important thing that you should fix is your keywords and description. Each page of your site must have a unique title, description and keywords to avoid duplicate or keyword cannibalization.

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