3 factors to check if your SEO traffic suddenly drops
Updated on: 9 December 2018
As part of the work done in a Digital Marketing Agency, at some point there might be a need to investigate an organic traffic drop. Before you start on anything, ensure the drop that you are seeing is real. Check if there is data issues or problems, such as missing data for certain days or devices, and that the Google Analytics codes are properly implemented on all your site pages.
Once you have determined it isn’t a statistical error, it’s time to take a closer look and check the various factors below to find the root cause.
Substantial changes to the site
Search engine penalty
Take a look at your Google Search Console for any messages or notices related to penalties. You can also do a search for your brand name on the Google search engine and check if you are showing up. There are several possible reasons that cause you to be penalised.
Duplicate or thin content
This occurs when you have too many pages that provide little meaningful content. These include pages with only a few lines of text and many links, or pages that offer no value in terms of content, instead of a page that is rich in information.
There will be a penalty for irrelevant and spam links on pages of your site that allow user-generated content. You need to detect and clean up the violations and use anti-spam measures like reCAPTCHA plugin.
Unnatural outgoing links and sneaky redirects
Review the list of external links from your site and remove the links gained through evident link exchange and paid links. Also, ensure there are no redirects from your site that lead to anywhere suspicious or unforeseen and revise all the destination URLs.
Off-page violations take place when your site is flooded with toxic backlinks. You need to carry out regular audits, and SEO Spyglass can help you with that. It helps you to analyse the backlinks to your site, reflect the likelihood of being penalized for any link based on the quality of the sites and the diversity of your backlink profile.
Google algorithm update
Every once in a while, Google tweaks and rolls out an update that may have an impact on your traffic declining. You can find out new core updates that would normally be in news relevant to SEO or digital marketing and track down any information to ensure your site isn’t at risk of being hit. Otherwise, you can investigate the factors triggering the traffic drop. If the updates are niche-specific, you can monitor SERP fluctuations for niche keywords to identify any unusual changes.
Hopefully, these can lead you to find the root cause of your decline in SEO traffic. You can work to reanimate the traffic and prevent potential organic drops.