Mark Hardgrove is Hossis a white label SEO firm located in St. Petersburg, Florida. INC 5000 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 & 2021.
There is nothing scarier than a sudden drop in website traffic. Search traffic is cyclical and web traffic statistics can go up and down depending on a number of factors, but a drop in traffic usually translates into a drop in profit.
If your traffic is consistently trending downward, it may be time to check your SEO. Don’t get me wrong, SEO should never be ignored. It needs constant monitoring and tweaking to be effective, but a continued downward trend could indicate a more serious problem. In this article, we’ll discuss 4 reasons why your site’s traffic can plummet. I won’t mention every possibility, but often it’s one of those four.
Search trends change throughout the year
As mentioned earlier, SEO is not static. It changes as often as people’s searches on Google change. So you need to always know what’s trending or, conversely, what’s old news for your customers.
Searching for holidays is a great example of this concept. Suppose you run a costume store. Usually he gets the most traffic in October, when people search for “Halloween costumes” and “Halloween costume ideas.” This means you should optimize your content with these keywords to connect with more potential customers.
To put it the other way around, we won’t be posting Halloween ads until the end of this year. To find new costume-related keywords to stabilize your business, you need to track search trends. As an example, you could incorporate keywords such as “Santa’s Outfit” for December or “Best Jedi Outfit” for his May 4th.
Google Trends is a free, easy-to-use internet trending tool. From that data, you can find new keywords related to your website and content.
Broken links affect web traffic statistics
Do you know how many links you have on your website? More importantly, do you know if any of them are broken?
Potential customers who click on broken links see a “404 page error”, which can lead to confusion and frustration. Most links no longer work because the site no longer exists, the webpage has moved without a redirect, or the site’s URL structure has changed.
You should regularly check your site for broken links using tools like Google Search Central, Ahrefs, and Semrush. The last two services are paid, but you probably already have a subscription if you use them for your SEO research.
Broken links are easy to fix. Otherwise, it can frustrate your visitors and reduce your web traffic statistics.
A nasty case of keyword cannibalism
Good SEO may sound simple, but it can negatively impact your traffic and rankings if not done properly. One example is keyword cannibalization. This means you are trying to rank for the same keyword in too many places.
Perhaps you’re using the exact same keywords on multiple blogs, or trying to rank for multiple searches on a single page (such as a sales page). What happens is that your keywords basically eat each other up, your rankings drop, and your site receives less traffic.
You can easily identify keyword cannibalization by performing a search and seeing if two nearly identical pieces of content appear on your site. If you think this is happening, go through all your content to determine which keywords work best. Then you have to merge, remove or redirect other things.
Changes to Google’s Core Web Vitals
Have you heard of Google’s Core Web Vitals? If not, find out because they’re one of the biggest search engine changes of 2022.
Core Web Vitals are used to evaluate site performance. These include three specific metrics: LCP (maximum content paint), FID (first input delay), and CLS (cumulative layout shift). Essentially, these metrics tell Google how long it takes to load a page, the level of interactivity, and whether the content on the page is consistent for visitors.
Google announced last year that Core Web Vitals, which focus on user experience, will be a ranking factor. What does this mean for your business? If your site isn’t optimizing how it performs for its visitors, it could see a drop in traffic this year.
Many traffic drops are also caused by Google updates that occur several times a year. Every time Google changes its algorithm, websites have to change their strategy to compensate. This applies to any business with an online sales component.
Make sure you have someone on staff or retainers to help you recover from Google’s update. If you suddenly notice a drop in your web traffic statistics, first check the four reasons above. After that, if the problem persists, contact an SEO expert.
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