One day, your usually free-flowing organic traffic stops its incoming signal and your website’s performance starts taking the downward direction. Since Google has somewhat beaten other search engines like Bing, in the race, due to its efficiency and productivity levels, you must have integrated it in the coding of your website. Along with other browsers, of course.
You might, out of confusion and frustration, start blaming Google for its “incompetence”. Why isn’t it bringing in any traffic?
A plethora of questions must be racing in your mind – did I do something wrong? Did Google do something wrong? Where has all the traffic disappeared? There’s no use in blaming Google. The problem lies somewhere else, so does its solution.
Also, did you know we have the most experienced experts to handle such issues? If you are facing these issues, our team of SEO experts would love to help you out.
Without any further ado, let’s evaluate 7 elements you need to check when your organic traffic suddenly drops.
1. Did you get a Google Penalty?
One of the main reasons that your traffic has witnessed a downfall might be penalties issued by Google. There are two categories of Google penalties:
- Manual Penalty: If any website goes against Google’s quality guidelines, this will be issued by an employee of Google. Its profile will not be seen on SERPs, in this case.
- Algorithmic Penalty: If a website contains plagiarized content, Google’s algorithm will detect it and issue the penalty. Mostly it will lose its hold in the top ranks on Google.
To check if you are in trouble, go to the Google Search Console (GSC).In your account, go to the Search Traffic, then to the Manual Actions section. If you have been shown the red card, a statement showcasing the reason behind the penalty and specifying the affected aspect will be displayed. Some common reasons might be :
- Plagiarized content.
- Keywords haphazardly placed in on-pages and the meta titles.
- Redirecting users to irrelevant content links.
- Spamming links to other websites, hoarding harmful content on the pages of your website.
Image source: linkresearchtools.com
The above picture is an example of a manual penalty dealt by Google, citing the reason “user-generated spam”.
The only way to fix this by asking for a review. You can do this by clicking “Request Review” in GSC. Once it gets reviewed and you take the necessary steps to eliminate the reasons, you will see your organic traffic gradually climbing up the ladder.
If your ranking position has taken hit, you have definitely been hit by an algorithm update.
Image source: sistrix.com
This is an example of a Panda Update which has adversely affected the visibility and ranking position of the website.
You can fix it by identifying the type of update you have been hit with and its target areas. Once you rectify these issues, your rankings will see a consistent rise. Take the best possible measures to avoid being hit like a meteorite. This list consists of a few:
- Remove excess keywords from the site.
- Do not plagiarize content and place it on the website.
- Maximize the loading speed of the website.
- Avoid spamming links.
- Stop redirecting users to unnecessary and irrelevant content.
- Improve the quality of your content.
- Keep your focus on efficient user experience.
2. Market and Seasonal Trends’ affect
You must have occasionally seen an “On Sale” frenzy at a supermarket. Everyone goes crazy for a certain duration. This is somewhat similar to what happens to your site’s organic traffic during market and seasonal trends.
Market trends can do wonders for your traffic, but only for a definite period of time. There is no guarantee or certainty that it will give you the same results next year as well. A befitting example would be the Bell Bottom Jeans. It recently came back into the fashion arena after many years, and e-commerce businesses like Myntra witnessed a booming increase in their traffic. But, like any other market trend, the buzz died down after sometime.
Unfortunately, there is no way to fix such drops. The best option is to catch up with new market trends and utilize those opportunities. As far as the subject of seasonal trends is concerned, you should adapt to the current seasonal trend in the industry to gain consistent organic traffic throughout the year.
Your site should possess adequate longevity in the SERPS to escape a massive downfall after market and seasonal trends activity. Hence, you do not have to rely on these categories to improve your organic traffic.
Image source: authoritylabs.com
Google Trends shows the comparison of the popularity of Pumpkin Spice Latte and Iced Coffee across 5 years. For example, In May 2015, the popularity of Iced Coffee rose, mainly due to the fact that it is summer and Pumpkin Spiced Latte saw a drop. It also provides an average of the two.
You can keep track of these trends using a tool like Google Trends. Enter your highest-ranking and highest-traffic-driving keywords during the period of these trends. If you see a large dip in one or many, it’s likely a contributing factor to your drop in traffic. Thus, the key to gaining consistent organic traffic to your site is adaptation.
3. Zero-click searches.
This is an event which results in drastic traffic drop. A zero-click search takes place when a user types a word or term in the search engine and the results that get displayed are a featured snippet, an information card or an FAQ card. Since the user’s query has been answered by either of these, they will not enter the website link. This adversely impacts your organic traffic.
Image source: google.in
Here, by searching for the “synonyms of famous”, Google displays the meaning and the synonyms in a featured snippet. Unless the viewer is not satisfied, he will not bother to explore more website links by scrolling down and exit the page.
Statistically, nearly 49% of searches and queries end up in zero-clicks. This means that nearly 49% of the traffic is not getting directed to websites. One of the main reasons for zero-searches is an increase in voice-activated searches on devices such as Alexa.
Once again, there is no guarantee that you will be able to retrieve this traffic but what you can do to ensure that you keep receiving traffic is optimize your website to rank higher for featured snippets. When you make the necessary changes, you are ensuring that users can see your website link in the SERPs.
Additionally, you can use site links to direct traffic to your website.
Although zero-click searches negatively impact incoming traffic, taking the necessary steps to resolve these issues is important and should be done at the latest.
4. Keep an eye out for your competition.
Let’s face the facts. You are running an e-commerce business and every other person doing the same is doing his best to create a mark in the industry. You are bound to have fierce competition. Your focus has to be on making your business the best, and drive as much organic traffic to your website as possible, adopting the best strategies available.
You have to primarily focus on the maximum utilization of SEOs and enhance it to capture better traffic. Here are a few tips to increase your website’s traffic:
- Create content that is unique and more effective than your competitor’s. The audience in your industry wants information that is different whilst being relevant. Ensure that your website becomes the platform that delivers it. Modify your landing page content, the product page content, the check-out page content, etc.
- Analyze your keyword set. Make it unique.
- To raise your domain authority’s position, construct quality relevant links.
- Keep updating your content regularly. Stay ahead of everyone in this race.
- Keep a lookout for your competitors’ SEO efforts. Update your title tags and meta descriptions regularly.
Following these simple tips will make you witness a significant increase in your organic traffic.
5. You might have lost links.
This can also be one of the reasons for a drop in organic traffic to your website. In the absence of inbound links or backlinks to your website, Google perceives the event as the loss of your site’s authoritative position. As a result, it leads to lower search rankings. The consequences can be seen in the drop in the traffic. A lower search ranking represents the shortage of people viewing your website.
In order to check whether you have lost links, you can use a link counter tool like Majestic to verify and find relevant data like :
- A possible decline in site link.
- A link decline to a particular page.
- A decline in the link to a specific page which links to an adversely affected page on your site.
- A link decline in any external pages that direct links to a particular page on your site.
To resolve these issues, you can get in touch with the sites which removed your backlinks and ask them politely to restore them.
The other option is to update your link build-ups by writing guest blogs or posts on sites with commendable domain authority. You can also use social marketing strategies to get backlinks from influencers or prominent personalities in the industry.
All in all, ensure that you fix the root cause to gain more website traffic via search engines.
6. Track Analytics
Google Analytics aid in tracking the incoming organic traffic. If a problem arises in your analytics, you could check the channels, referrals and other parts of the website. In case you encounter any of the above with low traffic, it might be the culprit.
Image source: neilpatel.com
The above is a visual representation of the layout of the page of an element of Google Analytics. It shows the number of sessions, users, page views, average session duration etc.
In order to get the flow of traffic back on track, you have to double-check your website’s tracking code. Ensure that it is correctly installed.
- You simply have to go to the Admin section, enter the Tracking Info segment and check the Tracking Code’s status at the top of the page.
- You will be able to confirm whether your code is working properly or not, and your data being read correctly by the software.
- Create a checklist to make the process efficient.
Image source: analytics-toolkit.com
Here, the tracking ID along with the status and the tracking code is displayed. You are able to receive the complete piece of information.
If you encounter any problems, browse Google’s Analytics Help page or coordinate with your site’s developer to resolve the issue.
7. Mobile-first Indexing.
Gone are those days when consumers used to visit websites and open online portals only on laptops and computers. The only ones who do use them on a regular basis are those whose work solely depends on a laptop’s interface.
Consumers, on the other hand, rely heavily on using mobile interfaces because, well, it’s much easier and efficient to use. If you haven’t developed a mobile-friendly website redesign or still using an old one, you are in trouble. If yours is not a mobile-friendly site, it will negatively affect your organic traffic as you will have a lower search ranking.
That’s where Google’s Mobile-First Index comes into play. It analyzes your ranking by indexing the mobile version of your website. In order to gain the maximum benefits out of this, ensure:
- The mobile version has the same content, tags, meta-title and description tags, as those present on the desktop version.
- The sitemaps and data have to be identical on both the versions and should be accessible from mobile.
- Claim and verify the mobile version of your website in GSC.
- Utilize the Google Mobile-Friendly Test Tool to check the responsiveness of the mobile interface and resolve any problems.
- Integrate a responsive web design for the mobile version. The layout adapts itself based on the user’s screen size- ranging from smartphones to tablets.
You will see a gradual increase in your organic traffic once you implement these steps to utilize Mobile-First Index.
Be ready to bring the change.
A business thrives on the revenues generated. Low organic traffic will act as a hindrance in the growth of your business. Yes, it’s possible that you will not receive consistent organic traffic to your website throughout the year. But you have to ensure that you implement every strategy and technique to increase the chances of receiving it.
By keeping a constant check on the possible causes of a drop in your organic traffic, you will be able to resolve any issues, if any, as soon as they crop us. Your audience will have an enhanced and efficient experience, catering to their needs, leading to a higher revenue generation.
Trust me, get on it right away. You might come across a few of the above reasons. Now you know how to handle them. 🙂
And hey, if you are finding all of this too difficult, our expert SEO team can help you out with the optimization of your SERPs.