What to do if your Website Traffic Drops

Reading Time: 9 mins

If you’re experiencing a drop in traffic, the first step is to not panic. Many websites experience major fluctuations in traffic.

But assessing why it’s happened, and how you can gain the traffic back, is essential to combat future traffic loss. 

Why has my website traffic dropped?

There are many reasons why this could have happened. Predicting why people aren’t visiting your site is a tough analysis to make, but there are a number of factors you can assess and rule out. Then it’s a matter of gaining back that valuable traffic you’ve lost.

SEO combats drop in website traffic

Consider any changes you may have made to the website which could influence traffic, and how you could fix this. Have you:

  • Reduced the number of website pages

If you’ve deleted pages, you may have altered your SEO standing, and any past links will no longer find the content.

  • Replaced text with images

Text is a key part of SEO. If you’ve opted for a clever image-based design over opting for body text, then there’s simply no words for it to rank for.

  • Changed the site or page URL?

Changing URLs may mean that any past links are not finding your content any longer. Avoid changing URLs when possible.

  • Redesigned the website?

A website redesign can impact your SEO or URL structure, and so it’s extremely important to ensure you follow SEO best practice when undergoing a redesign.

  • Changed the site in any way which may increase load times?

Loading times of web pages is a significant SEO factor for Google, with pages which are fast to load gaining ranking boosts. Ensuring your website is designed and maintained with speed in mind means you won’t lose traffic because of SEO practices.

  • Wrongly coded the robots.txt file?

This can cause a number of issues which may mean your website is inaccessible. Ensure this is coded properly, and that your site is running smoothly.

So if none of these are the issue, what could it possibly be? Consider external factors:

  • Is it a new website?

It can often take a few weeks for Google to index a new website, and to index any relevant content. If you can be found on the index, but are not ranking for your desired keywords, it could have something to do with the aptly named “honeymoon boost”. This is where Google ranks a website high, and then drops them down the pages accordingly, after a certain time period whereby Google decides on the ranking for the pages.

  • Have you been subject to a Negative SEO attack?

Negative SEO is something which is becoming all too common, and not many people are concerned about it. Basically, it involves shady people attacking the SEO of competing websites for personal gain, rather than just making their own site better.

For a more in-depth analysis, read our blog here.

  • Seasonal changes

Does your traffic change this way every year? Look back at past analytics data to see if this happened last year around this time, or the year before. Did it go up afterwards?

For example, if you sell sunglasses, can you really expect the same amount of traffic in November?

  • Random fluctuation

Traffics fluctuates all the time. Perhaps you had a particularly popular blog post go viral on social networks that drew a lot of traffic for a few days. You can’t expect that to maintain the same level of traffic moving forwards. Keep generating new content, and hope that it strikes the same level of buzz!

  • Analytics problem

We all rely on Google Analytics very heavily to assess how our site works. But like everything, it can have problems. Try using some other tools to check that Google Analytics isn’t playing up.

  • Malware

If your site has been struck by the evil hand of Malware, then Google could be warning users to not access your website. Check Webmaster Tools to see.

  • Hosting

It could be a problem with your hosting. If it’s been down for an amount of time, then it may have converted into a loss of traffic for a short time.

  • Problems with sites linking to yours

In a similar vein, maybe a website other than yours is having problems. If another site has gone down, and it links to yours, then it could be altering your level of traffic.

  • Others taking down a link or a blog

Again, maybe it’s simply a matter of one of your most valuable links from another site or blog taking down the page or post.

  • Reduced search traffic

Take a look at results from by tracking ranking keywords. Is the search traffic down? Does this correlate with your traffic? It could not be your ranking as such, but maybe less people are searching for specific terms you rank for. Try targeting other phrases that will bring you traffic.

If none of these apply, and you’ve experienced a drop in organic traffic from Google, it could just be an SEO related issue.

Has Google updated its algorithm?

Check recent news: Is there new criteria you don’t meet? Keep up to date by subscribing to the Xanthos blog, or check out Algorithm changes on Moz here.

Maybe you haven’t had a penalty. Maybe another site has simply outranked yours. Then it’s simply a matter of putting an SEO strategy together.

How do I increase my site’s search ranking?

If you aren’t ranking, then it could simply be that your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) strategy is simply not as good as your competitors. There are many factors which influence your search ranking, and whilst none of it is rocket science, it takes time, and a lot of attention.

SEO and Digital Marketing

All content, whether information on your site or blog posts, should be optimised for display on Google. From Title Tags, to Keyword Density, to your Meta description.

SEO is a part of a wider digital marketing strategy. But the other components of digital marketing can help to give your site a higher search ranking.

We offer an SEO service that covers all aspects of search engine optimisation, to ensure that your website is found by customers searching for a site just like yours.

Google AdWords PPC Campaigns

If you’re looking for a short term fix to a drop in your traffic, or simply want to gain the upper hand on competitors, it may be worthwhile looking into Google AdWords. A pay-per-click campaign can help reach audiences searching for your products or services directly on Google.

For more information on how to get started, click here.

Content Marketing

Creating unique content via a blog is a great way to rank in Google. Do your research on keywords and search terms, and come up with a list of content which your potential customers are searching for. Shape your content around their pain points or needs, and you could be gaining many more leads from your website.

To read more on how content marketing can add value to your business, click here.

Email Marketing

Marketing via email is great for ROI, and informs potential customers of any recent news, blog posts, or offers you may be having. It’s a great way to drive traffic to your website, whether to specific landing pages for promotions or not, and can keep your brand in the eye of potential customers.

If email marketing is something you are considering, see what it can achieve here.

Social Media Marketing

If you’re not making the most of social media, then you’re missing out. Even if you’re not a mega brand such as Red Bull creating original videos and posting them on Twitter on a daily basis, there’s still a huge amount of room for brands to get noticed, drive visitors to their website, and generate sales.

It also helps with webpage rankings, with social shares indicating to Google how valuable content is. Additionally, Google+ has been shown to have a considerable impact on Google search ranks.

If you don’t know where to get started with social media, and what it can do for any business, then get clued up here.

Website Redesign

At the end of the day, if your website is dated, old, or functions poorly, it could be the reason people aren’t visiting your website.

In the same way, if upon entering the site people realise it’s a hassle to use, or is not aesthetically pleasing, they could simply be hitting the back button straight away. Make sure that doesn’t happen on any device, with a modern responsive design that will be displayed perfectly on whichever device a user visits your site on.

For more information on web design, read up here.

If you’re looking to drive more traffic to your business website, but simply don’t have the time, then perhaps outsourcing your digital marketing is the best move. For more information on what Xanthos can do for your business, read here, or call us on 08450 740 068.