Website Traffic Down? Here’s Why

You’ve developed what you believe is the perfect website. It’s super functional, designed to a tee, and a prime online extension of your brand. But maybe your website traffic isn’t as high as you’d hoped. Or maybe it’s dropped in the last few months, and you just can’t figure out why.

Blayzer has some answers for you.

Traffic loss typically happens for one of a few reasons: acquisition, experience or engagement. An acquisition is search-related; people aren’t finding you or unable to get to your site. Experience relates to the functionality of your site – errors, slow speed, bad display on mobile, etc. Engagement speaks to the quality of your content and whether your site is relevant to your desired audience.

The first thing you need to do is analyze the drop. Is it sharp or gradual? Is it straight down or up and down? What specific types of traffic have dropped off? Is it organic, direct, referral, new vs. returning users, or some other kind? Does this fit a pattern from prior years? Answering these questions will help you determine the specifics of the traffic drops. You can go into more detail from there. We’ve categorized the following reasons according to the recognizable issues and the not so recognizable ones.

The Obvious:

  • Your Google Analytics code was accidentally taken down or accidentally modified.
  • You stopped doing something that was driving traffic previously.
  • Was there a holiday or any calendar event that kept people away?
    • Some websites excite people during holidays.

The Not-So Obvious:

  • Is your website infected with malware or was it hacked?
    • If so, your actual search result will say “This site may be hacked” and people definitely will not be clicking on that to go to your website.
  • Was a once popular page reworked for the worse?
    • Maybe popular content was changed, which actually lowered your Search Results.
    • Check your keywords. Words that performed well in the past could no longer be relevant or a competitor might have swooped in and shaken things up.
  • Your website may not be mobile-friendly.
    • Google did an update a while back commonly called “mobilegeddon”, putting a priority on mobile responsive sites. You might not be showing up in search on phones/tablets anymore if your site isn’t mobile-friendly.
  • There could have been a Google Algorithm change or another search engine issue.
    • Google likes to keep us on our toes and they could have easily just changed something that previously worked well for you but needs some updating now.
    • Your organic traffic could fall because of a Google issue or penalty. Check Google Search Console (formerly Webmaster Tools) for notices from Google.
    • Another search-related issue is causing a drop in new users but returning user numbers are still okay.
    • Lost traffic can be caused by crawl errors or HTML errors. Errors hurt user experience and mess up how Google reads your site.
      • Google’s web crawlers might not be indexing your site properly. After you submit a sitemap, Google lists all of your pages and gathers information about your site. Check your Search Console to see if there is a discrepancy.
    •  Search Engine Optimization was neglected in some way.
      • Experts attribute traffic drops to not having proper SEO strategy behind a rebuild or redesign.
    •  There is also a new and interesting concept: Negative SEO. This is where competitors and other disruptors basically kill your SEO by acting like they’re you. They can also send bad links to your site, leaving you nearly helpless when it comes to Google search bots.

The Absolutely Ridiculous But Still Very Possible:

  • Maybe Beyoncé tweeted about your business last month
    • That would cause a HUGE increase in traffic for that specific month, resulting in a HUGE decline in traffic the next.
    • Beyoncé helped boost Red Lobster sales 33% with the lyrics in her song “Formation”. Check out this article for more information.

It’s important to remember that the web and your market both are constantly changing landscapes. At Blayzer, you get input from all corners of our shop on every project to keep up with these changes. That means you get strategists, designers, developers, and marketers all working hand in hand to develop the absolute best tactics to give you the best results. Contact Blayzer for a FREE consultation to find out how we can help you pick up your website traffic.

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