Declining Website Traffic: A Step-By Step Procedure To Identify The Issue!

Posted On: Sep 14, 2018

Categories: Marketing

What’s the most frustrating happening for a web master, an SEO expert, or an eCommerce business owner?

Declining sales?

Lowering search engine ranks?

Fall in website traffic?

Although, all these are reasons to worry about, but when the website traffic hits the bottom line, it means there is some serious issue with the website or Google (or any other search engine) has changed the algorithm. It’s not just about the website performance, but the whole SEO efforts come at stake. What to do in such a situation? A quick analysis. Analysis about what? Of website and Google algo. To know about the areas of analysis, read the lines below, so that the necessary steps would be taken to bring the things back on track.

Analyze The Technical Aspects: Take Help From Webmaster Tools!

Get your website registered with the Webmaster Tools of Google and Bing to identify any technical issue. Both the tools inform the site owners if a website receives any penalty. This appears in the manual penalty report of Google. If it’s a manual penalty, quickly start working on the problem.

Check crawl errors: This information involves the unavailability of the pages to search engine bots and website users, resulting in 404 errors. It comes as crawl errors in Google and crawl information in Bing.

Check blocked URLs: Google stops accessing your site if there is a single mistake in the robots.txt file, carrying the list of blocked pages. Bing’s “block URLs report” explains the same. Also, check remove URLs report to make sure the website isn’t entered mistakenly over there.

Check index status report: This report may reveal a sudden indexation drop. It means Google has identified a serious technical issue with the website. This issue can be in the form of more 404-error pages or a change in the content.

These issues could arise because of redesigning the ecommerce website or platform switching by the developers. As authority is associated with URL, so any technical changes affect the URL, which reduces the authority and leads to decline in rankings and site traffic.

Solution: Talk to the developers to know about any changes. Use 301 redirects to divert old URLs to the new ones.

Analyze The Relevancy Aspect: Take Help From Analytics!

After analyzing the technical aspects, come to the relevancy point. If there are any changes to the site content, like the amount, presentation, and the word count, etc., it affects the site performance.

Check search queries report: If there is no technical issue, as mentioned above, go towards Google’s search queries report. Is there a match between Google’s organic search traffic report and web analytics report regarding a decline in web traffic? If there is difference between both, it means the web analytics isn’t working properly.

Explore analytics to limit the issue to certain keywords or the pages. Identify the date range before and after the decline in website traffic. Also, check the traffic patterns on weekly and monthly basis. Get search reports about organic keywords and entry pages and ranking reports as well. Make use of Google Webmaster Tools for that purpose.

Check brand keyword performance: A fall in branded keyword performance means there is an algo issue with the brand name. It may happen due to a unique or seasonal brand name. Another reason may be a pause in offline marketing activities. It all depends on the way search engine recognize a website.

Check the pages and keywords data: Check the data of pages and keywords before and after the period of fall in performance. Is the change in search limited to certain keywords or pages or is it spread to the whole website? Are the ranking patterns same as in analytics report?

If the fall in performance isn’t related to a certain change in specific pages’ performance, try to attach the keywords to a certain page. Use analytics report for that purpose. Identify any changes on those specific website pages. Is it a change in navigation or the section’s position in the hierarchy? Is there any update in the content? Are any new products added recently?

Resolve any issues of relevancy against the poorly performing keywords and the relevant pages. If the analytics and ranking reports are clear, move to the algorithm of the search engines.

Analyze Algorithm Issues: Take Help From News Portals Or Google

There are many news portals revealing the coming or released algorithm updates. If there is nothing appearing, go to the Panguin Tool using your Google account. Compare site analytics with any updates in Google. If there is any match between the fall in performance and the algo update, the tool will reveal.

If no connection is identified, check the site again for any change. Scrutinize your SEO activities. Are there any paid links or links from directories, press releases, or widgets? Devalued links lower the link authority, resulting in declined site performance.

Check links to your site report of Google Webmaster Tool to examine the link profile of your website. Over-optimization of the domain name can also negatively affect the SEO efforts.

If there are more links from sites of press releases, provided the sites don’t have any value now, it will lower the authority of your ecommerce website. Although, it’s not a penalty by Google, but to fix it requires getting natural links. Only that way, the link profile of your website could be improved.

The success of an ecommerce business depends on more visitors coming at the website. If there is a decline in site traffic, that is a matter of serious concern. The issues could be technical, of relevancy, or about a change in Google algorithm. Identify and fix them and then plan how to recover the lost position and the traffic. The sooner the problem is fixed, the better it is to get back on the track of your e business success.