One of the things no one likes to see when logging into their Google Analytics account is that their website traffic is in decline. Especially if it seems to be completely out of the blue, and very suddenly. There is no reason to start panicking yet, and you should be aware that any feedback, even the negative one can be helpful, and actually turn out to be a great way to improve. If you’ve noticed such a decline, it simply means it is high time to perform another SWOT analysis of both your brand and its website. Follow these guidelines and find your weaknesses in order to level up!
Double-check the data
Before starting with the damage control process, you need to make sure you are dealing with the correct and up-to-date data. There is always a possibility that the latest upgrade has altered the status, so the first step is to log into your admin account and inspect the code to check for any delays in the reporting of data. Imagine that, you may not even have the problem! You can do this by entering the control/command + F, and search for the analytics section. If your code is not altered and there is no missing data, it’s time to see what’s caused the drop.
A more thorough analysis of the data can be done with the help of the search console. Google is offering this option for the fastest tracking of errors, in order to improve your website’s user experience. The next step is to check the ranking of your targeted keywords, so you can optimize them better if needed. You can even check for any other websites that are proving a link to your site by choosing the “Search Traffic” option. External links are important, but the internal linking structure maybe even more. You don’t want users to have any error messages due to some broken links, which may be the cause of the fall. Now, when you’ve gathered this information, you are ready for the next step.
Check for Google penalties
There are numerous messages from Google which can help you see the problem. So, if your website has been violating some of the recommended rules and regulations, Google has reserved the right to give you a penalty. Don’t worry, if this is the case, there are some things to do about it, and get the said penalty removed, bringing your traffic to the original levels. One of the most common reasons for the violation is the omission factor. By using this phrase, Google is telling you that your website has weak links in the code.
For example, your website may be prone to some processes that are not in your control, which can not be a good thing. Remember that Google is trying to warn you because if not in compliance with all the regulations, your website can be an easy target to be hacked. And everything you’ve been building and working on can be lost, not even to mention that you’d be risking your visitors’ personal information and IP addresses. You need to make sure that your site doesn’t support or allow any type of spam content, whether from users, or some other hack-related problem.
This is only one of the reasons why it’s highly recommended to hire a service of a digital marketing agency to help you track the regulations and any irregularities. Furthermore, investing in SEO services will result in better on and off-page optimization, preventing most of these issues. The experts can read into the results faster, and there are whole teams of people dedicated to specific areas, who have already dealt with similar issues, meaning they will know what is the priority. They can also help you in the analysis of your competition, checking for any negative mentioning of your brand.
Pinpoint the major problems
It is true that the website is losing traffic, but it can’t possibly be the whole thing. Meaning, there must be certain pages or keywords that are declining in a number of clicks. You must identify them precisely, and track these changes. Change the date range in order to see if the decline is steady, and compare the results for several time intervals. This will help you put the things in perspective, and gain some valuable input. Perhaps it’s time to alter the targeted keywords, or add some new ones!
If you have established that the penalty was given, check for other search engines to confirm this. So, if your ranking hasn’t dropped on, for example, Yahoo browser, there is your confirmation. There are two types of penalties and you’ll have to deal differently with algorithmic and manual penalties. Check for the Manual Actions field in the Search Traffic option to see if you have any messages. Any duplicate content or unnatural links can be considered a threat, and you need to remove it as soon as possible.
Damaging reviews and misleading content
Consider the possibility that there is a decline in your website traffic due to some bad publicity stunts created by your competition. Or maybe one of your customers was not satisfied with your service, and it turns out they have a blog, vlog or are popular influencers. People are following the trends and listening to reviews of “relevant” others, so check for anything that could’ve caused the problem, as you may be able to fix it. Brand awareness is crucial in business, but it can be a double-edged sword.
The public perception of your brand is hard to establish but quite easy to destroy. Negative reviews can follow you for a long period of time, and they will drive away potential customers. And not only from your website but from your brand completely. Don’t put yourself in such a risk, and work hard to get to the bottom of it, if this is the case. Try to find the source of these negative reviews and offer a formal apology, along with a gift in merchandise, service or discounts for future cooperation.
There are plenty of reasons and causes for the fall in traffic, and for each of those numerous variables to consider. The best you can do in order to solve the problem is to investigate all the data thoroughly and invest in a professional service to help you speed up the analysis. Whatever the reason behind the decline, you ought to approach the problem systematically and without any panic moves. Be aware that there is a real possibility that traffic simply fluctuates if you can’t find a problem in your code or any other sources we’ve mentioned. You can always use this situation to improve your business in general, and maybe even find out about new methods and strategies you can apply to grow traffic.
Guest post: About the Author
Nick is a blogger and a marketing expert currently engaged in projects for Media Gurus, an Australian business, and marketing resources. He is an aspiring street artist and does Audio/Video editing as a hobby.