A consistent amount of traffic is vital for building a profitable and sustainable online business. However, the amount of traffic that your website receives does not always remain the same.
There are almost always some ups and downs.
The key thing, however, is to identify the real reasons why your website traffic might be down so that you can fix it. Without knowing the problem, you cannot take full control of your traffic. And your website’s revenues and sales would be dependent on things that are out of your control.
That’s not a good place to be in.
If you are experiencing any noticeable dips in traffic, here are a few reasons why that could be the case.
You may have lost important backlinks
One of the reasons why you may have lost some traffic is that you have lost links. You can identify if that’s the case by checking all the links that you have lost over a period of the last 2 to 3 months.
Sometimes, powerful backlinks from well-established websites not only help you improve your website’s search engine rankings (which results in free organic traffic) but also sends you referral traffic when other people click on those links and land your website.
Therefore, losing such backlinks may have a dual negative effect on your site’s traffic.
If there’s a particular web page that has seen a big drop in traffic, see if that particular page has lost any backlinks.
If losing backlinks is indeed the reason, you should consider updating your web page with the latest information and content and start a manual outreach program to gain more backlinks.
Seasonal traffic changes
Often, you lose traffic despite doing nothing wrong in particular.
Websites that have seasonal products (for example, Valentine or Christmas gifts) may see this phenomenon several times. Although you cannot do much in this situation, it is still important to know the reason why you may have lost traffic, so you don’t do anything drastic.
First, identify if you have a business or niche that may be affected by seasonality. For example, if you only sell Christmas gifts, it is normal to see a drop in traffic at the start of the year.
If you have been in business for multiple years, check your traffic data for previous years in Google Analytics. Unless you do not see similar patterns, consider that everything is normal.
Website security — HTTP vs. HTTPS
In the last year or so, Google has put a lot more focus on secure websites. If your website does not have an SSL certificate, Google Chrome will show a warning to whoever visits your site. That warning highlights that your website may not be 100% secure and that users should quit browsing it.
That could be a big blow for you.
If your website isn’t entirely secure, this may be one of the reasons why you see a drop in traffic.
HTTPS is here to stay, so there is no point in delaying installing an SSL certificate. The only way to fix this is to make your website more secure by installing an SSL certificate.
If that’s the reason, you may see traffic rolling back to normal once you shift to HTTPS.
Google algorithm update
Google often updates its algorithm. Because of that, some websites often lose search engine rankings and, therefore, website traffic.
During the first week of August 2018, Google rolled out a core algorithm update that affected several websites. It is possible that your website also got affected.
The core algorithm update has no particular fix, as Google also suggested. However, it is about pushing more relevant content to online searchers. So if your website was affected because of this algorithm update, you should revisit your web pages and make them more relevant for your target audience and the keywords that they search for.
Use Google’s guidelines for creating a high-quality page to improve those web pages that may have lost traffic because of Google’s core algorithm update in August.
The organic click-through rate may also have caused a drop in traffic. This is something that most SEO experts totally forget about, while they remain obsessed about backlinks, page speed, keywords, and other major factors. But CTR can be a big reason why some websites lose traffic.
Dive into your Google Search Console account and analyze data over the past 60-90 days and see if there is a significant change in the CTR.
If CTR is indeed an issue, consider tweaking the titles and meta description of your web pages. Meta descriptions, in particular, can have a significant impact on your organic click-through rate.
There could be many reasons for a drop in traffic. However, you won’t be able to fix the issue unless you can successfully identify it.
Evaluate your website on the basis of these five possible reasons and take appropriate steps to fix the problem and recover your website traffic. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.
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