How can I survive a website traffic drop?

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How can I survive a website traffic drop

Realising that your website has suffered a sudden drop in traffic immediately triggers a sense of panic, even if the traffic slump only relates to a short period. Our best advice is to try to understand the underlying reasons that may explain the reduction in organic traffic to tackle them or, better still, ask for advice from an SEO professional who will have the bigger picture of your situation.

In this blog, we discuss the possible causes of a website traffic drop, what immediate action to take and how to optimise your content strategy for better SEO.

TRAFFIC DROP Cariad Marketing

Understanding the causes

Algorithm updates

If you haven’t made any recent changes to your site, algorithm changes or updates may be to blame. These days Google updates are more frequent and sometimes not advertised until weeks after they have taken place (Ghost Updates). As a result, the industry takes longer to understand their impact. It is really important to gauge whether your ranking drops coincide with ranking variations, as this can often mean an update has affected your rankings. Your SEO professional will be able to help with this.

Technical issues

Beyond changes in algorithms, other possible causes are broken links or site errors. Checking the website for 404 errors, broken links or malfunctioning pages can help with this issue. Using tools like Google Search Console, Semrush, Ahrefs and others can help you to pinpoint and fix these issues, ensuring improved rankings and user experience.

Content quality and relevance

A drop in content quality or loss of interest due to your brand losing its relevance can affect website traffic. One solution is to look at the core purpose and message of the website to reinvent its role and reconnect with the audience. This may include refreshing the website copy or posting more relevant and engaging blog posts.

Competition

The problem may be not what you didn’t do but instead what a competitor did to get ahead. They might have changed their messaging, paid media or SEO strategy which led to changes in users’ search behaviour.

Quick action steps

Immediate Actions

  • Check for technical issues: A sudden drop in traffic could be due to technical problems with your website. This could include server downtime, broken links, or other issues that are preventing users from accessing your site. Use a Google Search Console account to monitor your website’s uptime and performance, and be sure to fix any technical issues as soon as possible.
  • Review recent updates: If you’ve made any recent changes to your website, such as a design overhaul or new content, it’s possible that these changes are causing a drop in traffic. Review your analytics data to see if the traffic drop coincides with the timing of these changes. If so, you may need to revert to the previous version of your website or make adjustments to your new content.
  • Analyse your traffic sources: Use Google Analytics to identify which traffic sources are experiencing the biggest drop. This will help you focus your troubleshooting efforts and identify potential problems with specific channels, such as organic search, social media, or email marketing.

Backup Plans

Leverage social media

Social media platforms can be a powerful backup channel for driving traffic to your website. Share your latest content, interact with your followers, and run targeted social media ads to keep your brand top of mind and attract new visitors.

Utilise email marketing

Email marketing is another effective way to maintain a connection with your audience and drive referral traffic to your website. Segment your email list for targeted campaigns, send regular newsletters, and offer exclusive content or promotions to your email subscribers.

Explore PPC advertising

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising can be a quick way to boost traffic to your website while you’re working on addressing the underlying cause of the traffic drop. Use platforms like Google Ads or Bing Ads to target specific keywords and demographics, and monitor your campaigns closely to ensure you’re getting a positive return on investment (ROI).

Optimising Existing Content for Better SEO

  1. Keyword Research: Identify relevant keywords that your target audience is searching for to drive more search traffic. Use these keywords strategically throughout your content, including titles, meta descriptions, and headings.
  2. Content Structure: Organise your content into a clear and easy-to-navigate structure. Use headings, subheadings, and bullet points to break up long blocks of text and make your content more scannable.
  3. Content Length: Aim for a content length that is appropriate for the topic and target audience. Longer, more in-depth articles tend to rank higher in search engine results.
  4. Internal Linking: Create a network of internal links within your website. This helps search engines understand the hierarchy and relevance of your content and therefore increase your search rankings.
  5. Image Optimisation: Optimise your images for search engines by using relevant filenames, alt text, and captions.
  6. Content Repurposing: Repurpose existing content into different formats, such as infographics, videos, or social media posts, to reach a wider audience.

Contact us for tips on how to recover from a traffic drop

If your business experiences a drop in website traffic, don’t panic. Instead, call up your SEO agency and ask them to look into it. There’s usually a logical explanation for it and an experienced SEO professional can recommend the right action to take.

Need help getting your website performance back on track? Contact us for a free SEO audit of your site and expert tips for improvements.

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