It can be alarming to see your website’s traffic take a sudden nosedive. If your marketing strategy, whether it’s lead based or sales based, is dependent on a steady stream of traffic coming in from organic search engine results pages (SERPs), seeing a drop in traffic can make it tempting to hit the panic button.
Here’s what any search engine optimization (SEO) professional should tell you to do first in response to a drop in website traffic: Take a deep breath. The good news is that many of the causes for this are easy to address. Before making a drastic change to your overall SEO strategy, read over this quick guide to the most likely causes and how to respond to them.
Why did my website traffic drop? Check for these likely causes first
Common reasons for a sudden drop in site traffic can include:
- Search algorithm changes — Google is constantly changing its ranking algorithm that determines where pages end up on the results pages. In some cases, these changes can cause a bump or decline in rankings that lead to a corresponding change in traffic. This is a standard part of SEO practice, and Google’s advice to webmasters is to not overrespond to these adjustments and focus on web fundamentals.
- Redirect errors — Webmasters redirect pages to new destinations for a number of reasons, such as when an old page is taken down. It’s critical to test any redirects before moving them to a live environment, as an error can very likely lead to a loss in traffic if the old page saw a large volume of clicks.
- Penalties — Search engines and human reviewers are constantly looking at site content to ensure that it is within the guidelines of proper practice. If your site has been flagged for bad linking practices or duplicate content, for example, your domain may be penalized in the SERPs.
- Tracking problems — From removing Google Analytics trackers to issues with the Robots.txt file that tells search engines to crawl your site, making changes can lead to your site becoming essentially invisible to Google.
It’s important to have a standard checklist of these and other issues in place so you can respond calmly and quickly to any change in traffic. Working with a seasoned SEO expert can help you establish best practices that help identify the problem and also prevent the likelihood of it occurring in the first place.
SEO expertise you can count on
At Burg & Co. Marketing, we have decades of combined experience in the SEO world. We know how to build high-performing websites and develop high-quality content that drives consistent and high-converting traffic. We also know how to respond to the ever-changing and fast-paced world of SEO to keep your marketing efforts running smoothly.
To learn more about how we can help you drive traffic while keeping the focus on your brand strength and larger business goals, contact us today to schedule a free marketing consultation.