Are you experiencing a significant drop in your website’s organic traffic? Every digital marketer experience this panicking situation where some of your keyphrases lost their page rank, but in most cases, the change is short term, and it’s often possible to make a full recovery.
In a situation like this where your website’s organic traffic dropped drastically this first step, anyone should take is to find out the root problem then only you can think of a solution. So, here are top possible reasons why your organic traffic may have been dropped:
#1 Google algorithm update?
Google keeps on updating its search engine algorithm in order to make it more user-friendly. These constant updates are the top reason for the drop in organic traffic for many websites. It is very difficult to understand and track the exact nature of a Google update, but it’s worth tracking down if you are experiencing less traffic from last few days. Here are some good sources MozCast, Search Engine Land, and Moz’s algorithm history.
#2 Drop in any segment of your Website
One of the advised practice, whenever you’re looking at aggregated data of your website, is to segment the data so that you can capture the segment that has dropped in traffic much more than any other.
Some of the most common segments where you can see a drop in SEO traffic are:
- Device type (mobile, desktop, tablet)
- Page type (product pages, category pages, blog posts, homepage etc.)
#3 You Got Penalized by Google
Sometimes we do not realize while doing but those practices are unethical in the eyes of Google and Google can penalize your website by not showing it in the search result. You can always take preventive measures regularly by looking at Search Console for any messages related to penalties and search for your brand name on Google. If you’re not showing up, then you might be penalized.
You can also be penalized for spammy and irrelevant links on pages of your site that allow user-generated content. The cure would be to detect the violations and clean up carefully. Further preventive treatment would be moderation, anti-spam measures like a reCAPTCHA plugin or defaulting the UG content to “nofollow.”
#4 Your Competitor Outnumbered you
Another very common reason your website traffic might go drastically down is that your competitor is ranking higher than you in the search engine. If you’ve lost rankings, it’s worth investigating the specific keywords that you’ve lost and figured out if there’s a trend. It could also just be a new competitor that’s entered the scene.
Here are few ways your competitor can beat you:
- Competitors launch a new page type.
- They added content to their pages.
- They have more internal links pointing to these pages than you do.
If rankings and traffic are lost to a competitor, try reverse-engineering the up ranked pages and find the aspect where you fall behind. Are the pages mobile-optimized as opposed to yours, was the content significantly renewed, new backlinks gained? Or perhaps schema markup made the result stand out and entice your clicks.
#5 Your pages drop out of the index
Search Console’s Index Status Report will make it clear if you suddenly have way fewer URLs being indexed. If this is the case, you might be accidentally disallowing indexing URLs (through robots.txt, meta tags on the page, or HTTP headers).
To Check go to Google Index then Index Status in Google search console and check to see if the number of indexed pages for your site may have drastically decreased.
#6 Your number of referring domains and/or links dropped
Losing backlinks may hurt your visibility and traffic big times, especially if your site doesn’t have loads of backlinks overall. If the traffic drop affected most keywords and pages, check for any noticeable changes to your backlink profile.
It’s possible that a large number of your backlinks have been removed or are no longer accessible for whatever reason. Tools like Ahrefs can be a quick way to determine if you’ve lost backlinks.