July 1, 2022

Xebotec

Transportation industry development

12 Potential Causes To Consider When Website Traffic Starts To Tank

5 min read

When a company’s website begins to see a downturn in traffic, it may be cause for concern. Often, a sudden lack of visitors is a warning sign of an impending decline in sales, as less website traffic typically means fewer customers. The issue should be diagnosed and addressed as quickly as possible to lessen the impact on a business’s bottom line, and that job often falls to an agency partner.

Drawing on their extensive expertise in this area, members of Forbes Agency Council share some potential causes for a sharp decline in a client’s website traffic and how that downturn can negatively affect businesses. Follow their recommendations to help determine the cause of the drop-off and fix your website traffic problems.

1. Algorithm Update

Knowing that a common cause is an algorithm update, that’s the first thing to research. At the same time, you need to review and identify whether anything has changed in your internal content strategy, publishing and optimization. Great tools to be used are Google Search Console and SEMrush. An ongoing “stay on top” strategy will most likely prevent or diminish any traffic downturn. – Peter Belbita, Noble House Media

2. Tech Stack Change

A decline in traffic is almost always going to be linked to a change across the tech stack or to actual marketing activities. If a tool didn’t break, you may have made some changes on a current paid channel, and you have to figure out which one. Traffic can spike up, but it should never spike down without platform changes on paid traffic sources or broken tracking. – Faique Moqeet, Hamster Garage

3. Changing Keyword Performance

It’s either paid traffic or organic traffic. If it’s paid, then look at budgets, campaigns and so on. If it’s organic, it can be a little trickier. Look at your top referring sites. Look at keywords. Where did the traffic disappear from? The easy answer is to say, “Google changed the algorithm.” Now, that might be true, but go deeper to see what was performing. – Michael McFadden, eAccountable

4. Outdated Content With Irrelevant Keywords

When you track backward from site traffic, you will find yourself looking at search. What is preventing your site from ranking high on searches? Understand your keywords and make sure your content reflects that. If you’re not up to date on the keywords relevant to your audience, search results will drop. This could be the time to conduct an SEO audit on your site and optimize those keywords. – Lori Paikin, NaviStone®


Forbes Agency Council is an invitation-only community for executives in successful public relations, media strategy, creative and advertising agencies. Do I qualify?


5. Consumer Changes

Agencies sometimes forget that a downturn in sales is not always caused by faulty products or bad advertising. It could be a decline in consumers having disposable income. We suggest adjusting marketing strategies and product offerings in response to shifting demands while analyzing data in real time and pinpointing the issue at hand. – Greg Carney, Freedom United Social

6. Technical Issues

A rapid downturn in traffic could be a technical issue, from needing to do an update to a broken link or plug-in. Running a full diagnostic routinely and checking for updates can prevent problems before they start. It’s important to have a trusted partner who has a regimented website maintenance routine to ensure your website is in great health. Remember, if you ignore your website, so will Google. – Michelle Abdow, Market Mentors, LLC

7. Drops In Traffic To Specific Pages

Google Analytics showcases all traffic under “Acquisition > Overview.” There you will find categories such as Organic Search, Direct, Referral, Display, Paid Search, Social and Other. You can dig into each channel to see why there was a drop. You can detail specific websites, pages, campaigns and more to determine what changed and why. – Peter Boyd, PaperStreet Web Design

8. Change In Your Product Or Offering

A downturn in site traffic should be addressed immediately and is usually the result of a change in your product, offering or algorithms online, so assess what changes may have impacted the site traffic and make necessary changes to get site traffic up to baseline levels. – Jessica Hawthorne-Castro, Hawthorne LLC

9. Policy Violations On Paid Ad Platforms

Uncover which source of traffic saw the steep decline by analyzing your Google Analytics and Search Console data. If the source is a paid channel, your account might have been suspended due to a policy violation or expired credit card. Organic traffic might fall due to a Google algorithm update, link or ranking losses and search engine penalization. – Dejan Popovic, PopArt Studio

10. New Digital Efforts

A surprise Google update is often the cause of a sudden downturn in site traffic. Cross-check your traffic dip in Google Analytics with updates announced by Google. Alternatively, there could be traffic shifts that coincide with new digital efforts — launching on Amazon, for example. If you are losing site traffic, but Amazon sales are increasing, your traffic may have simply shifted to another platform. – Bernard May, National Positions

11. Multiple Reasons That May Be Uncovered In Your Analytics

It’s impossible to indicate one reason. Your site may not rank as well on Google due to increased competition, outdated design, lack of external links, algorithm updates and so on. Site traffic may seem unpredictable at times, but you can acquire invaluable information by assessing the analytics of your site data. After all, you can’t find a solution to a problem without finding out its cause first. – Dmitrii Kustov, Regex SEO

12. Causes Beyond Algorithm Updates

While an algorithm update is often the cause of a sudden decline in website traffic, penalties from search engines, loss of keyword rankings and redirects can also lead to drops in traffic. You can confirm this through Google Search Console and then start to perform the necessary steps to rectify these issues to regain your organic traffic rankings. – Elyse Flynn Meyer, Prism Global Marketing Solutions