Website traffic refers to the amount of visitors visiting your website. The more the traffic, the more revenue your site is likely to generate. A decline in website traffic can be very scary as it tends to go hand in hand with revenue decline. Whether it’s a sudden drop or a consistent one, don’t panic! Every business website experiences that at some point. It’s important to first understand the root cause of the problem so you can find the best possible solution. Here are a few possible reasons and how to tackle them:
Problem with Google Analytics
Sometimes, the reason there’s a drop in site traffic is a simple case of unreliable data. Maybe you are not actually losing traffic, rather there’s an issue with Google Analytics (an online tool used to keep track of a site’s visitors). This can easily happen with new site sections, new/updated templates, new or updated plugins, and so on. It’s worth checking if the analytics code is indeed on every page of your site.
Google Algorithm Changes
Search engines are always looking for ways to improve user experience, which is why they are always updating their algorithm. Reports say that Google does this more than once a day. These updates are related to the way search engines rank content and how a website is indexed to bring in organic traffic. Following a new algorithm update, several sites will experience a change in their Google SERP position. While a decline in the ranking isn’t the same as falling website traffic, the two are closely related. After all, top rankings make it possible for potential customers to find your site/business.
Look for information like why Google has made such changes, what exactly are they penalizing, and how to stay on their good side. Use this information to make potential fixes that will improve your ranking on Google’s new algorithm.
You also need a cross-channel marketing strategy to help your site earn traffic from multiple sources. This includes paid ads, email marketing, social media presence, and so on.
Problem with Site SEO
Search Engine Optimization is what helps websites to rank higher in SERP. And, sites with the highest rankings get the most visitors. Needless to say, poor SEO can immensely affect your web traffic. For instance, if you recently removed top-performing content or stopped sharing on social media, the drop in traffic might be coming from those sources. The solution here is long-term. You have to invest in high-quality material that Google can show in SERP, as well as resume the promotion to get your audience engaged again.
Another SEO issue is website speed. Online users will quickly abandon a page that’s taking too long to load. Luckily, there are many ways to speed up your website and improve UX, which, in turn, increases conversion rates.
You may also have lost backlinks, particularly those that used to drive a lot of traffic, or you aren’t earning backlinks anymore. Start by contacting those who used to link to you and see if you can regain the lost links. You also have to constantly reach out to authoritative sites and get them to link to your site. This is only possible if you’re creating quality content that offers more value to visitors.
Check for a Manual Penalty
If you are facing a manual penalty from Google, you’ll lose your rankings and some of your Google trust. This, in turn, causes your website traffic to drop steeply and instantly. You’ll receive a notification on Google Search Console stating that you have been penalized.
Also, check your Google Webmaster Tools Account, which is where you’ll find notifications concerning the manual penalties that have been taken against your websites. Some of the reasons your site could be penalized include using black-hat SEO tactics, spammy or plagiarized content, etc. Be sure to correct all the mistakes with content, backlinks, and social sharing so as to remove the penalty and regain your lost traffic.
Users May Have Changed Their Behavior
There are some reasons for losing website traffic that are beyond your control. It’s easy to overlook seasonal patterns and economic trends (both locally and internationally), but these also affect website traffic. For example, traffic is usually high during the holidays but drops significantly in the summer.
Some social trends can also influence people to choose one type of business/product/service over another. The best way to fix this is to monitor trends and changes. You can search Google trends, as well as social media to see topics that are trending and how they can affect your business. Be sure to tailor your marketing strategies towards these trends and changes to get more traffic back to your site.
About the Author
This post was written by Martin O’Callaghan, founder of Wood Flooring Ireland. Martin has been in business for over 30 years gaining vast experience in the online marketing. They specialise in handmade bespoke wood flooring.