Hi, revenue driver!
If your website traffic is down, your bottom line is likely suffering. Company leaders are turning to you with one simple question: “Why is my website traffic going down?”
You need an answer (and a solution) fast.
In this Revenue Weekly, we’ll cover the four most common causes of a website traffic drop, as well as solutions for each issue.
If you need immediate assistance, give us a call us at 888-601-5953, and our experienced team will help you find and fix the problem!
Video: Why Is My Site Traffic Down?
Trevin Shirey, Director of Business Development at WebFX, shares the most common reasons for site traffic drops — and how to regain traffic and leads.
1. A new algorithm update launched
For many companies, an algorithm update is the most common culprit for lower website traffic.
Search engines like Google and Bing aren’t lounging around. They’re always looking for ways to improve the search experience because a better search experience means happier users, and satisfied users mean increased loyalty and market share.
That’s why it’s common for search engines to update their algorithms regularly. An updated algorithm, however, can change your website’s ranking in search results. It can improve your ranking or decrease it, which impacts your site traffic.
If a search engine like Google, for example, updates their algorithm and that results in your website moving from page one to page two for a competitive keyword, it can cut your site traffic substantially.
That’s because only 25% of users view the second page of search results.
While your company can’t do anything about search engines improving their algorithms, you can adapt your online strategy to account for these updates. A cross-channel marketing strategy, for example, can help your business earn website traffic from multiple sources.
A few examples include:
If your website traffic drops because of an algorithm update, it’s also worth investigating the update. While search engines like Google rarely comment on algorithm changes, industry experts often compile research that highlights what the update included.
This information can help your team audit your site and make potential fixes to improve your ranking.
2. Your website is HTTP, not HTTPS
An unsecured website can also experience a significant (and permanent) drop in site traffic.
Online security is essential, which is why most websites use Secure HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTPS). HTTPS, in comparison to HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP), encrypts and transfers user data, like credit card information safely.
Back in 2014, Google announced that HTTPS would serve as a small ranking signal for its search engine algorithm. In the years since, however, cybersecurity has become critical, which is why Internet browsers, like Google Chrome, now alert users when visiting a site that uses HTTP versus HTTPS.
The full-page notification stops a user from arriving on your site and encourages them to go “Back to Safety.” Even if a user does decide to visit your website, their browser will show that your site is not secure.
That’s why a website that uses HTTP, instead of HTTPS, can experience not only less website traffic but also fewer sales. If a user realizes that your site is not secure, they won’t feel safe enough to make an online purchase.
If you’re asking, “Why is my website traffic going down?” and your site uses HTTP, you’re going to need the help of a developer. With the assistance of your development team (or a trusted agency like WebFX), you can update your website to HTTPS, which can restore your site traffic fast.
Get HTTPS for your website with the following steps:
- Acquire a dedicated IP address for your site, unless you have one already
- Purchase a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate
- Activate your SSL certificate with your web host
- Install the SSL certificate on your domain
The activation and installation of your SSL certificate can take a few days.
It’s also essential for your web development team to redirect users (and search engines) to your secure site. Without a redirect, it’s possible for search engines and users to access your HTTP site, which can hurt your user experience and search engine optimization (SEO) strategy.
3. Your keyword strategy is outdated
An old keyword strategy can also create a slow, steady, and consistent traffic decrease.
Companies that experience a gradual decrease in website traffic need to evaluate their keyword strategy. Even if you don’t have a keyword strategy for SEO, it’s essential to review your content and what it ranks for in search results.
That’s because people (and their search habits) change.
Google Trends, a free tool, shows how search and even shopping habits change. Before the launch of the iPhone, and eventual takeover of the smartphone, people tended to search for “cellphone.” Now, however, most users search for “smartphone.”
If your company doesn’t adapt to these kinds of changes in your industry, you risk losing valuable website traffic. That’s because your site content won’t seem relevant or useful to search engines or users, which can result in lower rankings in search results.
Updating your keyword strategy is a time- and resource-intensive process. Even if you have a small website, your team needs to invest the time to optimize and revise content. The return on investment (ROI), however, is substantial and well worth the investment.
Build your website traffic back up with the following steps:
- Audit your keyword strategy, looking for outdated or generic keywords
- Research alternative keywords with a higher search volume and overall value
- Revise your content to include these alternative keywords
In most cases, your company will discover new content topics in your keyword research.
This is a big win for your business because it improves your content marketing plan and SEO strategy. Plus, new content can help your company rank in valuable search results and earn additional site traffic.
4. You forgot about SEO
A site design that doesn’t consider SEO can cause devastating damage to your website traffic.
Redesigning your website is an excellent decision, especially if you have an older site. A refreshed website looks modern and professional, plus provides a better user experience, which can increase your bottom line.
The problem, however, is that many companies forget about SEO when designing their site.
Even web design agencies make this mistake. While they understand design and how to create an attractive and usable website, they don’t recognize the relationship between web design and SEO, and how a redesigned (or newly designed) website can tank traffic.
A few ways a website redesign can hurt your SEO and traffic include:
- Replacing page content, including title tags and meta descriptions, with unoptimized content
- Creating brand-new pages for existing pages, without setting up a 301 redirect
- Changing the site structure, without updating the sitemap
- Redesigning the website without including your Google Analytics tracking code
In comparison, a site design can prevent your website from ever achieving its dream levels of traffic because it doesn’t use SEO from the start. Without SEO, your site will struggle to appear in search results related to your industry, products, or services.
Since your website’s design impacts your entire site, it’s critical to fix this problem right away.
Companies can approach a traffic drop following a site redesign a few ways, including:
- Restore your previous site with backups
- Optimize your new content and website
- Update your sitemap
- Set up 301 redirects
Depending on your redesign, the fix may take a significant amount of time.
For example, if your company needs to restart your SEO strategy, it will take time to rank in search results and earn the kind of traffic that your website had before. In comparison, creating 301 redirects requires less work, though your traffic levels will probably take a few weeks or months to recover.
If your original web design doesn’t drive traffic, your team will have to take a similar approach. While you may not need to set up redirects, you will have to create optimized content for your website and audience.
Restore your web traffic with WebFX!
No one wants to see their website traffic down, but it happens. Fortunately, our team of experts can help you identify and fix the cause of the problem to restore traffic and leads.
With more than 20 years of experience, plus more than 200 web marketing specialists, we have the skills and technology to help your company.
Just contact us online, or reply to this email to get started!