Are you experiencing a sudden drop in website traffic? Search engines such as Google use many techniques to control the quality of search results, including manual penalties, algorithm penalties and ranking algorithms.
They have the ability to do great damage, causing your organic traffic to drop significantly, with a huge chunk of traffic (and potential customers) being lost. This devastating blow can spell disaster for any business online.
Why Did My Traffic Drop?
If your web traffic is sinking faster than the Titanic – don’t jump deck just yet. With a bit of time and investigation, you can determine the cause of this quick drop.
The first step to increasing web traffic, is to take an in-depth look at your website analytics. Analysing your web analytics will give you a much better idea on why your website suddenly dropped.
Which traffic sources have been lost? Have you lost organic traffic? A lot of questions need to be answered to help you determine whether your website was hit by a Google berg (google penalty) or whether you’ve just neglected your SEO.
If you haven’t been asking the right questions, Search Engine Watch give you the ultimate 6 question checklist.
10 Reasons You’re Experiencing A Sudden Drop In Website Traffic
If your lack of web traffic is now a major cause of concern, (and opening your Google Analytics sends your stomach into a whirling pit of despair), then read on to find out why your website traffic rankings could be down.
Why Is My Website Traffic Dropping?
1. You’re Relying On Organic SEO Traffic
Many of us are guilty of it. Ranking high in organic search traffic, nestling into the first page of Google and rising above website competitors has become the holy grail of organic SEO.
However, don’t be blinded by the need to achieve Google glory because it’s far too easy to become reliant on this influx of traffic.
A Sudden Fall – Lookout!
Relying purely on organic traffic is seriously risky business – don’t cut it loose with Tom Cruise. A dependency on one source of web traffic will not sustain a websites success.
Especially if you experience a sudden drop in website traffic.
If you are solely dependent on organic traffic and your website gets hit with an algorithm change…. well, as the age old saying goes, don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
Diversify Your Traffic
No one wants to experience a sudden drop in website traffic but SEO is always changing. You will want to be prepared for any outcome.
This is why you diversify your website traffic. Referral traffic can include links from other websites, directories, forums, email newsletters, guest blogs, comments and social media.
As long as you don’t become Spammy Mc Spammerson, then you should have a healthy and steady stream of alternative web traffic.
2. You’ve Been Hit By A Google Algorithm
Google has rolled out many algorithm changes, with more no doubt on the horizon. They are always looking at ways to improve end results for the user and to keep those ‘black hat SEO’ strategists in line – cheating the search engines can only get you so far.
The first step in identifying if your website has been sunk by a Google iceberg, is by checking your web traffic to see the exact date on which your traffic significantly dropped. You then want to see if that date correlates to a Google algorithm change.
You can view a timeline of Google’s major algorithm releases and up-to-date changes at SEO Moz.
3. You Have Poor Quality Content
The first official hit on content quality was rolled out in 2011 through Panda, Google’s algorithm change. A lot of websites were penalised for their lack of quality content – this went for any content which was poorly assembled.
So, if your web content is filled with poor grammar, lots of spelling mistakes and serves no use to the end user, then Google could be whipping out its school cane.
Does your website have any of the following?
- Little / No Content: any page which has very little information filled in.
- Duplicate Content: this goes for any content which has been copied from another website or has even been slightly re-written – Google knows. Even if your website has a very small number of these pages, you still might be impacted.
- Thin Slicing: This is where many articles are published on the same topic – a popular tactic used by ‘content farms.’ If you have lots of articles that are titled in a similar fashion to: “singing schools”, “singing education” and “singing courses” then you may want to start differentiating your content.
4. You Don’t Have Fresh Content
There’s that ‘C’ word again. Google loves fresh content. It likes to see you are updating your website with relevant and useful articles for your user. If your last blog was over a year ago, you will want to get typing.
The more fresh, quality content you have on your website – the more authority it will gain. The more words you have on page, the more opportunities you will have to include those ever so important keywords – without having to keyword stuff.
5. You’re Using Hidden Text & Keyword Stuffing
Another reason why you could be experiencing a sudden drop in website traffic? Keyword stuffing.
Easy to do – a pain to fix.
If you are placing lots of keywords into your pages (purely for the purposes of manipulating search results), then beware. A result of the Penguin update in 2011, Google penalises websites which are guilty of keyword stuffing. This also goes for hidden content – any text which is on page but invisible to the user.
6. Your Domain Authority
If your website has indeed been hit by a Google penalty or algorithm change, then your role authority can either save you or leave you in the Google pits of rank despair.
Very high-authority websites are often favoured by Google, with looser criteria being applied. This is because reputation and authority are a massive factor.
For example, “How To Make Pancakes” is going to be an article which appears on thousands of sites across the web. It’s not particularly unique.
Now, if a low authority website was to feature many articles of this type, then the search engines aren’t going to be so kind.
If a high authority website like the BBC, posted the same article in their Food section, even though the content isn’t unique, more users are likely to respond to it.
7. You’re Using Excessive Rich Anchor Text
Over using key anchor text? This could be another reason why your website may have been penalised. If you have lots of the same anchor text going to URL’s on your site, then Google sees it as spam.
This doesn’t mean you have to change all anchors to say, “ click here.” Just be aware that Google does not like it when keyword-rich anchor text is used a lot.
8. You Comment Spam
If you are over doing it in the comments section on other people’s websites, forums or blog posts then call it quits. Excessively implementing links everywhere will only pull you up on Google’s radar. Hint: Penguin (the Google algorithm) doesn’t like it.
9. You Adopt Poor Link Building
There are link directories all over the internet but many will be considered spam. If you have unnatural links from your site, Google will think you are selling links to third parties.
Simply remove any links on your website which look like paid links or add a nofollow to those links.
Try and go with quality directories such as Yahoo! Directory and don’t forget about local business directories-these can be invaluable to your business.
10. You Have Poor Usability
If there are parts of your website which are poorly integrated into the rest of your site then get re-designing.
You need to create a way for the user to easily go from one page to another – how good is your main navigation?
Fix any pages of your site which appear to be isolated from the rest as this may be the reason you’re experiencing a sudden drop in website traffic.
Do You Know How To Generate Web Traffic? Increase Web Traffic With ICAAL
If you have experienced a sudden drop in website traffic, then contact us today to get your website back on track.blog comments powered by Disqus