I know that A decrease in website traffic is terrible for business, and it is a nightmare for any website owner. Don’t worry; the information I listed below will help you, and answer your question.
why my web traffic dropped?
Many things could lead to a sudden decrease in web traffic. It could be a recent site change, technical problem, poor optimization, Google algorithm update, and more. So, why your website traffic dropped? Why has my website traffic dropped? Here are some of the reasons for low website traffic and why you have been experiencing a decrease in your website traffic.
Website traffic loss checklist
Here is a list of 22 things to check if you noticed a traffic drop on your website:
- You Are Not Targeting The Right Keywords
- Google Algorithm Updates
- Site Migration or Code Changes
- Content Quality
- Lack of Search Engine Optimization
- Lost Backlinks
- Redirec Errors
- Human Error
- Losing Rankings
- Low-Quality Website
- Google Analytics Tracking Erorr
- Your Website Is Not Using HTTPS
- Search Engine Penalty
- Your Competitors Might Be Doing Better than You
- Load Time and General Page Speed
- Server-Related Problems
- Domain Name Server, Name Server, or Domain Structure
- Overloaded Web Servers
- Broken Links
- No Mobile Optimization
1. You Are Not Targeting The Right Keywords
One of the primary reasons why many websites experience a decrease in their search engine traffic is that they are not tracking the right keywords. If you have very old content on your site, chances are your keywords have lost their relevance.
The terminologies, keywords, and phrases that worked for you years ago might no longer be working because many things have changed. Search engines such as Google have optimized their algorithms to be friendlier to searches. This means people are now searching for things with a more natural language, which Google and other search engines now understand better.
Moreover, according to our recent study, after analyzing and monitoring 15,000 keywords in a specific niche from 2020 to 2022, one of the founding of this study was that search engine users have developed new keywords to use when searching in Google! this means our keyword research must be updated. and our content also needs to be updated to target the new keywords.
To remain relevant and keep holding your rankings and earning new ranking on new search terms, you need to update your keywords and target the right keywords. Search engines are no longer rank only keywords but also entire sentences and phrases. Hence, you will experience a massive website traffic drop if you do not follow the trend.
2. Google Algorithm Updates
google rankings dropped overnight? it could be because of Google algorithm update.
It is not unusual for Google to update its algorithm whenever it wants. In fact, Google releases multiple updates across the year. Some of the updates are minor, while some are major. The most recent algorithm updates come with functionality changes, which help Google index bugs, better understand and process natural language, and mark all websites without HTTPS certification as “not secure.”
However, Google does not always announce the new changes that the update comes with. It is almost impossible to get details of the changes. Nevertheless, there are a few ways you can determine if your website is a victim of Google’s algorithm update, with the easiest being to analyze your site traffic and check if your traffic has reduced.
3. Site Migration or Code Changes
People often change their websites for business, and search engine optimization (SEO) is not the top priority. If you recently migrated your website or changed the design and started experiencing a decrease in your traffic, you should check to see if you mistakenly de-optimized or broke something on your site.
For instance, Google uses many things to rank websites, with page speed being one of the most important factors. Hence, if you migrated your site or redesigned it and it becomes too slow due to your new server or poor design, chances are the traffic to your site will drop significantly. Changes in the site’s code can cause it to crawl, and a slower website means less ranking and less traffic.
Site migrations and redesigns are very tricky and can introduce many issues. To avoid these issues, you need to plan the migration carefully. You can work with your developer to troubleshoot and resolve any issue, reducing the speed of your website.
4. Content Quality
One of the major causes of slow traffic to a website is poor quality content? The quality of content you publish on your website has a key role in attracting people to your site. Low-quality content can hardly make it through search engines like Google, as its recent update comes with new features that handle the issues of poor quality content on sites. The latest update is designed to stop websites with poor or low-quality content from making search results.
This means your website might not appear on search results, which can result in a massive decline in the traffic to your site. The new algorithm intends to reward websites with high-quality content. Some of the best ways you can create high-quality content include:
- Using high-resolution pictures in your content
- Deleting, enhancing, or deindexing doorway pages.
- Creating longer and valuable content, up to 2,000 words and more.
- Reducing pop-ups and ads that can affect the experience of the user.
- High responsive and mobile-friendly pages.
5. Lack of Search Engine Optimization
One of the major causes of a drop in website traffic is the lack of search engine optimization. Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most important factors of a website’s success and growth. Your website and great content can be online but unfindable without the right SEO.
It would be difficult for your potential audience to find your website if your content is not SEO-friendly. You need to adopt the best SEO practices to make your content stand out. It would be best if you learned how to use keywords and keyword phrases and how to position them strategically in your content. If you are not good with SEO, you can handle this part of your website to an SEO agency, as they know how to optimize your content and website to help boost your web traffic.
6. Lost Backlinks
Backlinks play a key role in many websites, as they help to drive more traffic to the site. In addition to encouraging people to visit your website, backlinks help to enhance your organic search engine optimization, making sure that your site always makes a first-page appearance on search engine results. Seeing how important they are, backlinks are one thing that you cannot afford to lose on your website, as this would reduce your site traffic drastically.
There are a couple of reasons why a website can lose backlinks. One of the most common reasons is changing or modifying the URL of the web page without telling the backlink provider. If you notice that your backlinks are missing, you should contact the backlink providers, as the problem might be from their end. The backlink provider might have taken down the page hosting the backlink or removed it mistakenly.
Another possible reason for missing backlinks is that your content is no longer relevant or worth linking to anymore. This is why it is important to update your content regularly. If your content is time or season-related, you need to update it regularly so that your backlink providers will not remove it because it is no longer relevant.
7. Redirec Errors
Another possible reason for a decline in your website traffic could be broken redirects. Redirects help to point search engines and users to updated web pages. Your website can have redirect errors if you just migrated to another server, changed the code or structure of the site, as well as launching it newly. If you did any of the aforementioned and your website traffic start dropping, the best solution is using 301 redirects.
A 301 redirect will inform search engines such as Google that you have moved the web page permanently. With this, Google will use the ranking metrics of the old page for the new page. This redirect is like informing the web that you have changed your address. It is like asking search engines to direct your visitors to the new address rather than the old one.
When your redirect is broken, your visitors will not be able to locate your new address, and this would result in a massive decline in your website traffic. If your website is WordPress-based, there are many WordPress plugins that you can use to redirect your site. Redirecting your site properly will ensure you do not lose your rankings, traffic, and not get penalized for duplicate content.
Do you know you can also lose traffic to your website because of the robot.txt file? You could have blocked search engines from crawling your website or accidentally removed popular posts or pages. An entire domain can go missing on search engine results if a line of code in the robot.txt file is altered. Many people moving their site from hidden staging domains to the main domain usually experience this incident.
Taking a post or page that draws a lot of traffic to your website accidentally or unknowingly can also cause this issue. If you suspect this to be the issue, you should check if any of your popular posts is missing. If you have accidentally removed any of them, you should republish them to restore traffic to your website. And consider doing a backup for your website on a daily or weekly basis.
9. Losing Rankings
google ranking dropped dramatically? Losses in organic rankings can also cause website traffic to drop significantly. If you are using a rank tracker to track the performance of your website, then it would be easy for you to troubleshoot this. However, if you are not using a rank tracker, you can use data from your Google Search Console account. You can also use Google Analytics to get an idea of any changes in your site’s ranking.
Using any of these tools, export your ranking data, both before and after the traffic decline. Create a table in word or excel and post the two results side by side. This way, you would be able to see the performance of your keywords, both before and after the decline in traffic. This will show you the keywords that have plunged on search results. You need to update your keywords and apply SEO to your content and pages to resolve this issue.
10. Low-Quality Website
The quality of your website can also affect your traffic. There are different aspects of a website’s quality, including the experience, usability, content, visual design, information architecture, and more. The quality of your website impacts several things, including your rankings, SEO, Google traffic, and conversation rate.
If users find it difficult to navigate or interact with your website, they will not stay long on your site, and chances are they will not return. A low-quality website will lead to a higher bounce rate, which means visitors spend very little to no time on your site before leaving. If your bounce rate is high, Google will see your site as irrelevant, and this would affect your rankings, hence the traffic to your site.
To avoid web traffic decline due to poor design, you want to make sure your website is professionally designed. It should be well optimized and load super quickly. It should be easy to navigate, with appealing visuals. In addition to being easy to use, you should have authoritative content as well.
11. Google Analytics Tracking Erorr
If you notice a sudden decline in your website traffic, your Google Analytics account is one of the first and easiest things you should check. If your Google Analytics no longer records any session or a Tag is not firing as expected, chances are there is an error in your tracking code, or it has been removed completely.
To know if it has been removed from Google Analytics, view the source of your site content and check the footer and header area for your Google Analytics Code. If the code is missing, you should consult your developers to help restore it.
12. Your Website Is Not Using HTTPS
If your website is using HTTP and not using HTTPS, you will likely experience a massive decline in your website traffic. If your website is HTTP, it means that it is not secured, and many people are running away from insecure websites. Online security is very important, and visitors can only trust your website if you use Secure HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTPS).
HTTPS ensures the safety of users’ data and personal information such as credit card details. Google also uses HTTPS as ranking metrics, which means HTTPS sites will rank higher than HTTP sites. Browsers such as Google Chrome now warn users about HTTP sites, marking them as insecure. Hence, if your website is HTTP instead of HTTPS, you could be experiencing a massive plunge in your traffic.
To fix this, you would need the help of a website developer. Updating your site to HTTPS will help to restore your traffic quickly.
13. Search Engine Penalty
Another possible reason why you are experiencing a website traffic drop could be a search engine penalty. Many website owners do all they can to make their websites appear on search engine results. They try out different things to beat their competitors to the ranking, and sometimes they do this in dishonest, unethical, and devious ways.
Unfortunately for such websites, search engines such as Google, Bing, and others have updated their algorithm to fish out such websites. If you have been ranking before with un-natural SEO techniques, you will start losing traffic after the recent updates. Search engines such as Google will penalize your website if you have been using backlink spam or other sneaky ways to make the rankings.
Other things that could result in search engine penalties include keyword spamming within the content, duplicated, auto-generated, or poor content, redirecting users to other webpages different from what appears on the search engine results.
You should undo your backlink spam, provide quality and relevant content, avoid content duplication, and practice natural SEO techniques to resolve this issue.
14. Your Competitors Might Be Doing Better than You
Why my web traffic dropped? If your website is in perfect shape and you are doing everything right and following the rule but still experiencing a decline in your web traffic, chances are your competitors doing something you are not doing. If your competitors are ranking better than you despite doing everything right, they may be doing better than you.
They might be working with the best SEO agency to provide them with high-quality, SEO-friendly, and well-optimized content. They might also be more active than you on social media, engaging and interacting with their audience and attracting new visitors to their site. You should closely monitor and analyze your competitors to learn one or two things from them.
Most times, this happens when they are running an SEO campaign. The best way to beat such a competition is to create an SEO campaign that is better than your competitors. Working with the best SEO company might be the only, best option you have if you want to beat your competitors to the ranking.
15. Load Time and General Page Speed
We earlier in this post mentioned how the speed of a page could affect its traffic flow. If you noticed a sudden decline in your website traffic, chances are you have done one or more things that have affected the speed of your website. These days, no one spends an awfully long time waiting for a website to load. Once a visitor clicks on your link and your site takes more than 3 to 5 seconds to load, chances are they will run to your competitor’s website.
To avoid this, you should make sure that the load-time of your website is very short. All your content should load immediately after a user clicks on your link. Accessing other pages should also be very fast. If your website takes time to load, it will affect your ranking, and reduce traffic to your site.
16. Server-Related Problems
A wide range of things could cause your website to lose traffic, and server-related problems are one of them. If your website has any server issues, your site may be down or difficult to access, and this would affect your traffic. Server problems could be as a result of empty markups served to Googlebot or a broken caching function. If you notice that your website is encountering any server problems, you should fix them immediately.
17. Domain Name Server, Name Server, or Domain Structure
If the structure of your domain, Name Server (NS), or Domain Name Server (DNS) is not in place, you could experience a plunge in your website traffic. After checking if Google has released new algorithm updates and there is no major update, you should consider the technical aspect of your site. You should check to see if there are any changes to your NS, DNS, or domain structure.
18. Overloaded Web Servers
Your website traffic can also drop due to server overload. When you start noticing a decline in your traffic, this is one of the first things you should look into. It is easy for web servers to be overloaded, and when they do, your website will become very slow, which can affect your traffic. This issue can also result in periodic downtimes, which means your website is sometimes inaccessible.
If your website cannot handle high traffic or demands from visitors, you should consider expanding your bandwidth and optimizing your site. If you notice your site crawls due to server overload, do not expect much traffic, as this can affect your rankings, which would affect your traffic.
19. Broken Links
You should always check your website to ensure that there are no broken links. If you have a broken link, users will get the “Error 404: Page Not Found” message whenever they try to access a page on your site. This error can be a nightmare, as it can cause a massive website traffic drop.
Once this error pops up, the visitor will immediately close the tab and look for an alternative. Only a few users will reload to see if they can access the site. To avoid losing traffic this way, you should always make sure you monitor your website for broken links and fix it immediately when you find any.
20. No Mobile Optimization
Many people today access the web with their smartphones. In Google’s recent updates, it listed mobile optimization and friendliness as one of the key factors for its rankings. This means if your website is not optimized for mobile devices, you will not make Google rankings, which can result in a decrease in traffic. Your website should load and display perfectly on both desktops and mobile devices.
Traffic is very important for many websites, especially for business websites. Without sufficient traffic, many businesses will not exist anymore. If your website is beginning to lose traffic, you should take it seriously and act on it immediately.
If it is a technical problem from your site, you should contact your developers to fix it. However, if it has to do with your content, then you should contact us immediately. We are SEO experts, and we know how best to optimize your content and attract more traffic to your website.
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