No matter what type of website you run, traffic tends to fluctuate over time. Small dips are rarely cause for concern, especially if things pick up soon after. However, after a sudden and drastic drop in website traffic, you may want to investigate further to determine the cause and fix the problem at the root.
Below is a panel of Newsweek Expert Forum members discussed how companies should approach finding the cause of the drop in website traffic. Try one of these eight methods to get to the root of the problem.
1. Check with the web host and review internal analytics
For a traffic issue, I usually check with the hosting company first, then do a review inside the scan. Low traffic can be caused by various factors such as hosting, website issues, advertising or SEO? I also make a habit of checking traffic with previous years to make sure it’s not something that happens every year. – Brian Meert, AdvertisingMint
2. Test your customer research experience
Track your consumer journey. What is your experience when searching and visiting your website? Work out any issues from there and assess how easy it is to find your business online from a consumer perspective. How was your user experience? – Jenna Hinrichsen, Advanced RPO
3. Explore your keyword rankings
Various reasons can reduce website traffic. One thing to check is if Google has recently updated its algorithm. Another is to check your keyword rankings. A sudden drop in first page keyword rankings will drastically reduce your online presence. Research suggests that most consumers do not go beyond the first page of Google. – Karolina Hobson, Radd Interactive
4. See if Google has recently updated its algorithm
After checking your internal analytics, it’s important to check if Google has updated its algorithm. Does your search engine optimization strategy need an update now? Be sure to read blogs like SEO Moz to learn how overnight shifts in search traffic can happen and what you can do to counter them. – Matt Wilson, Under30Experiences
5. Dig deeper into your data
Before we make assumptions – it doesn’t work, we’ll never get there, we need to make a drastic change – look for more data. What else has happened in the past month, news-wise, politically, in your industry or geographic region? Have any backend settings changed or do they need to be updated? Maybe the algorithms have changed, while companies similar to yours live? – Lauree Ostrofsky, Simply Leap, LLC
6. Audit your marketing email
A business should turn to marketing. Check the message to see if it needs to change or be refocused. Check how many messages are sent, i.e. how many social media/blog posts are made? How many personal touch points do you make? That is, being invited to a podcast or live broadcast. Essentially, look for ways to get your new message to the right people. – Nickquolette Barrett, iRock Development Solutions, LLC dba iRock CV
7. Consider Seasonality
Is the culprit an updated algorithm or a seasonal decline? As a keynote speaker, I recognize that there is always a steep drop in traffic to my website during the summer, as few applicants to my programs seek speakers during the summer. In the spring, my site lights up! I always add content to my site. A drop in traffic is due either to the removal of good content from the site or to the non-production of new content. – Barbara Rubel, Bereavement Center, Inc.
8. Investigate potential technical changes
First, diagnose if there has been a technical change, such as SEO settings. Second, diagnose recent posts to make sure they’re in line with the company’s values and mission. Third, understand if the market has changed, such as changing tastes or competition. – Todd Miller, ENRICH: create wealth in time, money and meaning