At Brainpulse, I quite frequently recommend my SEO consultants to keep watching metrics to get the timely pulse of SEO traffic on our brand websites and on clients’ portals. The practice keeps us updated and vigilant. We understand how drastic its impact could be on your sales and revenue forecasts. SEO traffic drops are actually alarming and need quick review as soon they come into the notice.
7 Reasons Your SEO Traffic is Dropping
If despite all your right efforts your organic SEO traffic is plummeting, you should dive deeper into following 7 situations to find what’s went wrong and what needs to be done.
1. Probably, a Google Update has Just Happened:
A recent Google algorithm update might have wrecked the havoc that resulted in SEO traffic drop. Google is known for rolling out ranking algorithm updates time and again to improve searcher’s user experience and weed the spam out. It’s however difficult to ascertain the type of Google update that just happened. Usually, Penguin and Panda are two penalties that Google levies on websites. To note, Penguin ideally hits out at link farms and Panda is designed to strike out content spam.
2. Check if Only a Segment is at Hit?
After Penguin 4, Google Penalties became granular and real time.
What that means?
That means, now penalties (whether Panda or Penguin) don’t affect the entire website but a segment that violated the Google guidelines. It may be a page, category or a website section. I would recommend that when you look for the overall search traffic, find segment(s) that has dropped in traffic much more than any other. This could be the first thing to do to track down the root cause of the issue.
In a standard case, you can track down for two major segments (but not limited to) to diagnose SEO traffic. They are:
- Device type: mobile vs. desktop vs. tablet)
- Page type: product pages vs. category pages vs. blog posts vs. homepage etc.
3. Check if You Have Recently Changed Your Website
4. Check if you have lost ranking share to competitors:
It may be the case that you If you've lost rankings to your competitors for some keywords. It’s worth checking as well if ranking is dropping constable and becomes a trend. Dive deeper into competitor analysis to figure out if your competitors have just added few new pages or added fresh content to the existing pages.
Check if they intensified their internal linking strategy and got a ranking boost that eventually led to their traffic increase. It could also be a reason that few new competitors just entered into the scene and tear into your traffic brutally.
5. Google May have changed its SERPs:
Take advantage of Moz’s SERP features report to find out if Google has made any material change to its SERP. Google is known for making quick changes to how its search results are being shown. It’s done by showing relevant queries directly in search results, displaying an image carousel on them or by adding a local pack. Take note, all of which would likely drop your organic search traffic.
6. Check if some ranking pages are dropped out of Index?
This may be the case that some of your well ranking pages dropped out of Google index unknowingly. Go to your search console account and check for its Index Status Report to make it clear it clear if suddenly some of your website URLs have been out of indexed. If it founds to be true, you might have accidentally disallowed or no-indexed URLs (through robots.txt, Meta tags on the page, or HTTP headers. If this is the case, fix these errors ASAP.
7. Number of referring domains and links dropped?
It’s also possible that a good chunk of your website backlinks have been removed for specific reasons. And that led to the traffic drop. Moreover, it may also be the case that some of the backlinks are no more accessible. To have a bird eye view of what went wrong with your backlinks, go with Ahrefs. It can be a great tool to determine if you’ve lost backlinks and referring domains rom where you’ve lost it.