How to Deal with Organic Search Traffic Drops


If you own or operate a website, then you’ve probably suffered sudden drops in site traffic which you struggle to explain or understand.


While there are many possible reasons for the sudden drop, including search engine algorithm changes, poorly implemented site updates or errors, it’s vital to know what you’re dealing with. To tackle these drops in traffic, you need to figure out what caused them and get to the root of these issues, which is why we’ve prepared this guide.


In times of crisis, it’s best to have a contingency plan, so take a look at the six points below to gather useful information on your latest drop in traffic:


1. Check the Google Search Console

As the leading search engine in terms of overall traffic and number of users, Google is a great platform for bringing more traffic to your site. Furthermore, Google has a variety of tools and resources to help optimise your site and explain any changes in your rankings.


The Google Search Console helps you optimise the visibility of your site, check your indexing status and see a wide variety of crucial info about your site’s functionality, including:

  • Messages from Google (such as manual penalties)
  • The list of pages that link to your site
  • Site errors
  • Keywords that help your site appear in Search Engine Results Pages


With all the information from the Google search console, you’ll be able to see when your traffic dropped and if it coincided with any other changes to your site. From there, you can do some basic diagnostics and narrow down the cause of your drop in traffic.



2. Check Your Tracking Code

Sometimes, drops in traffic can be caused by unreliable data especially within a website’s tracking code. Because changes to your website code or plug-ins can cause issues for the tracking code, you should double-check your tracking code is working smoothly.


In order to make sure that the tracking code is installed properly, check the tracking code section of the Google Search Console under Admin>Tracking Info>Tracking Code. If you see an error message or something amiss, visit Google Analytics’ help page for troubleshooting tips and more details on potential errors.



3. Stay on top of Google Algorithm Changes

One of the main reasons that Google is so popular is because they constantly update their algorithms to provide relevant and helpful results for users. While these updates are usually great for users, they can wreak havoc with your traffic and search rankings, so you should try and keep track of the latest changes with a variety of sources.


Make sure to read the latest change logs from Google as well as updates from news organisations and SEO experts to understand what the latest changes mean. By reading up on the latest changes, you should be able to determine what is being penalised, why and how to avoid the latest penalties.



4. Reverse Link Losses

Another reason for a drop in traffic could be due to your site losing links and missing out on referral traffic, which has many indirect effects. If your site loses inbound links, Google may interpret this as your site no longer being authoritative, which leads to lower search rankings and drops in traffic.


If you suspect that your site has lost links, you can double-check using link counter tools like Majestic or Ahrefs to determine the scale and underlying reason behind it. After finding out more details, you should try to reinstate lost links or gain new ones to reverse the lost links and increase inbound traffic to your site.



5. Resolve Site Redesign Issues

If you’ve recently redesigned your website or migrated to a new server, you may have accidentally caused a change that made your website less optimised for search engine rankings. For example, having a responsive website that loads fast is key for ranking highly on Google, though changing servers or adding new features can cause slower load times, costing you traffic.


Even small changes can have unintended consequences, so make sure to plan any changes in advance and anticipate potential problems. Do your best minimise downtime, make sure that your website is properly optimised and work closely with your developers to troubleshoot!



6. Improve The Quality of Your Content

Search engines are constantly working to direct users to high-quality, relevant search results, so make sure that the contents of your site are something that lots of people will want to see. Short, poorly written blogs that are full of keywords at the expense of basic grammar are going to turn away a lot of visitors to your site, so try to proof-read all the written content on your site.


By writing longer, more in-depth blogs, using high-quality images and graphics, and minimising ads or pop-ups that disrupt the user experience, you can drastically increase the quality of content on your site. In short, a little quality control can go a long way…



Keep Calm and Carry Out These Tips

A sudden drop in organic traffic can be scary, as you’re losing out on prospects, conversions and more, often without understanding why. Though your mind may be racing, it’s best to stay calm, investigate why you’re losing traffic and tackle the root cause to regain traffic.


With a systematic approach and thorough treatment of any issues with your site or the search engine algorithms, you should be able to get to the bottom of what’s causing our organic traffic woes. Follow this handy checklist to tackle the issue or contact us for expert SEO advice and guidance today.


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