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Organic traffic is one of the things you work hard to create: you design the copy of your website to fit the best Search Engine Optimization guidelines, and you follow the rules that make the site easy for search engines to index and present to visitors. However, nearly everyone occasionally experiences a decline in organic traffic, even when they are doing everything right with their SEO. The key is not to panic, but rather to spend some time diagnosing what might be causing the decline. Knowing the source of this dip in traffic can help you get those numbers back up.
Key Things to Consider When Noticing Declining Traffic
– Seasonality – After a year or two of tracking one’s SEO-driven organic traffic, you might be dismayed to discover that different seasons actually produce different levels of traffic. Your product or service might be seasonally driven, or you might be experiencing subtle changes based on people’s web-surfing behaviors during holidays, during particular kinds of weather, and during months with fewer days (a 28-day month will usually have a dip in monthly traffic even if per-day traffic held steady, obviously). The best way to compare your traffic is not month-to-month but year-over-year; check whether April of last year also had a bit of a decline in organic traffic, and if so, consider it a possibility that you’ve got a seasonal traffic decline.
– Increased Competition – If a new competitor has decided to aim for the same keywords that your company focuses on, it is only understandable that the piece of the traffic pie that you command is lower. Do some keyword research on your competition, figure out if the new companies are relying on a different or innovative SEO strategy, and incorporate whatever you need to do in order to continue to compete with them. Innovation is par for the course with SEO, so growing competition should prompt a passion for growth, not fear.
– Technical Issues – Anyone can miss a step, or miscommunicate a step to one’s technical team. Go through the list of SEO needs – is your website well-indexed? Are the page loading speeds lightning-fast? – and make sure that everything holds true. With so many people adding and changing things on your website, frequent re-evaluations are needed to make sure that one new feature hasn’t made the site less usable; sites that are hard to use prompt bounce rate to skyrocket, and you lose traffic as a result.
– Keyword Shifts – If your company’s core products and services have changed, or if a new use of a keyword that mattered to you has emerged in the world, you may be seeing changes in who appears for your keywords or who searches for them. If, for instance, there are simply fewer people searching for your keyword in the first place, you will definitely experience a traffic downturn. Luckily, doing this research periodically keeps you thinking of new keywords to cycle into the rotation, which can be a helpful response to the decline in organic traffic, as well as a way to prevent that decline in the future.
– Algorithm Shifts or Updates – It is tempting to blame this section first, but it is wise to consider it last, since this is the thing you have the least control over. There will occasionally be changes to the core functions of search engines that privilege other kinds of content over your optimized SEO blog posts. Keeping an eye on marketing and SEO blogs and talking to your SocialSEO professional team can help you learn about these changes and respond to them, but often a decline in organic traffic can be compensated for by doing many of the above items; handle the competition, fix bugs, and include new, rich keywords.
While it is good to know the problems you are dealing with, it is another thing to make a plan of action and solve the issues. Seeing a decline in organic traffic and not sure what to do? Contact SocialSEO for a free consultation and get your business visible to more people again.