Aug 14

Why Has My SEO Traffic Dropped? An Easy SEO Checklist

In this day and age where technology and internet have facilitated in globalisation, it is straightforward to access any website worldwide within seconds, which makes SEO traffic a necessity to many website owners.

So what exactly is SEO traffic? SEO traffic (Search Engine Optimisation Traffic) also popularly referred to as organic search engine traffic refers to the number of visitors to a site who by clicking search results arrive at a particular website.

How Does SEO Function?

Organic search traffic is the ranking of a website when undertaking a search on any search engine. With about 1.3 billion websites across the globe and still more being set up, how can one’s site stand out so that visitors can quickly locate you on Yahoo, Google, Bing or Baidu?

Following a series of guidelines puts one in a position to increase the quality and quantity of traffic to your site. In other words, SEO enables your website to be ranked higher on any particular search engine getting free organic traffic from various search questions.

How Does SEO Work?

On search engines like Yahoo when a user decides to look up something let’s say ‘review of iPhone x mobile’ the results are presented with a series of websites that are in sync to the query and site with substantial domain authority.

In other words, the top results are the ones that have adopted the acceptable SEO practices in the search engine. Usually, this is as a result of the search engine using advanced crawlers to collect information on every website gathering every inch of content it could access on the internet. By that, it creates an index for each website that is compared to the algorithm that the search engine has built for excellent SEO practice.

The following is a series of steps that website owners undertake to ensure that their website is in good health or other terms have a good SEO score.

  • Check the domain authority- The number is out of 100 and the higher the number, the more authoritative the site is.
  • Determine site load time- Slow sites have poor SEO compared to whereas a fast website will load in 0-4 seconds.
  • Check for the sitemap- Sitemaps are a representation of the organisation of your site and have an index that is easy to crawl which is good for SEO.
  • Check for robots.txt– Good sites have a robots.txt file missing major disallows.
  • Check for Meta content- Outstanding sites always more often have meta-tags.
  • Check for h-tags– Conspicuous websites have at least one header tags preferably h1 tag and possibly h2, h3, and h4.
  • Check for onsite consent- Regularly updating the site ensures that SEO is well sustained.
  • Test keywords- Always have a habit of discovering how the site is doing queries by typing essential keywords and adjusting accordingly.

So with all this already done what would still make the SEO traffic go down? Here are eight things to check when the search optimisation drop.

Sudden Change In The Search Engine Result Pages

SERP (Search Engine Research Page) is the page displayed by the search engine as a response to a question by the user.

When you search for information and write the keyword phrase, the search engine will give you feedback in the form of a page with the results found. These results are those links which contain details on that topic. With this, the users’ process is made easier and faster since questions are answered in an instant, which could affect data traffic adversely.

Substantial Changes To Your Site

While some people regard change as good consequently not all change is useful especially when it is not well set up when it comes to a website. Changes such as redesign, migration of URL removal of some content or even migration could ultimately be a cause for concern. No need to panic because of this unfortunate incidence because in most cases the issue is usually indexation and crawlability.

The following steps would help in recovery.

  • On Google Search Console, go to crawl then crawl errors scrutinise the graphs to identify significant changes that may have resorted to SEO traffic drop down after implementing the changes on the website.
  • Once found download all the broken URLs in the CSV format
  • Open website SEO audit, or to check for the presumptuous crawl. Here create a project for the site and give it time to scrutinise it intensely.
  • In the all resource tab which has a quick search filter, check the links to page section found at the bottom to find where these suspicious URLs from files downloaded hide
  • Go to google index then index status to see if the indexed pages for your site have decreased. Remember to rebuild your website project to recrawl the site to ensure that anything disallowed is reversed.
  • To know how to apply each URL check the Robots instruction column under all resources to show all the directives from robots.txt and page –level restrictions.

Search Engine Algorithm Update

The good news is that with everything evolving so does the search algorithm update like Google which in most cases is usually featured in the search engine news. There one is sure to find consolidated information which would update website owners on what has been implemented and what needs to improve to revive the site again to its ranking. By ensuring that updates are narrowly focused and very niche –specific updates enable your website to be among the sites that are not substantially affected right away. Rank tracker which is a platform for tracking keywords rankings across multiple websites and search engine enables on to detect any significant shakeups on Sep fluctuations.

Google SEO traffic

The following steps will allow you to navigate through it:

  • At the bottom of the rank tracking module go to the SERP analysis tab and select record SERP data. The top 30 searches of your keywords are recorded.
  • Move onto the Serp history table. A fluctuation table appears which enable one to view all the keywords are changing on SERP. The fluctuation graph automatically shows any dubious fluctuations for individual keywords while the SERP history table will comprehensively show you the loopholes found in dropped URLs for one to consider and adjust accordingly.
  • The beauty about Rank Tracker is that it enables one shift in between ones to target search engine thus reducing the time of manually going through the stipulated keywords.

Moreover, for the sake of accuracy, it is vitally important to adjust the data range to see the accurate statistics for a specified duration.

Search Engine Penalty

Rules are just part and parcel of life. Usually, search engines have a webmaster quality guideline which upon violation the search engine human reviewers will notice and penalise you. Usually, they send you a notice which you can find in the GSC account including what exactly was affected. GSC account goes to search traffic then manual actions sections.

Here, search for your brand name on Google, if it was not showing up, it is likely your site has been penalised.

Common Cause of Google Penalties

Duplicated Content

It is not the quantity of a substance that matters but the quality of content and nothing beats quality content. Inadequate, poor quality content triggers a thin content penalty. Copied content is a serious crime as well, therefore to find similar or reproduced data, the duplicate title and duplicate meta descriptions usually located under the site audit come in handy.

Duplicate Content Google WebmasterUser-generated Spam

Any content that is doubtful or any irrelevant links ought to be discarded from the pages of your site that tend to offer user-generated content. In most cases, they could be spammers, and thus it’s vital to detect and clean them up carefully to avoid being penalised. Since prevention is better than cure, anti-spam measures like RECAPTCHA PLUGIN, or even setting your website user generated to default nofollow option.

Sneaky Redirects

We can all agree we live in a world system where we want everything to be fast. Clicking on a page only to be redirected to a page that is unforeseen or unwanted is very annoying. It is highly advisable to be cautious, for instance in the Website Auditor type in your website URL which enables you to create a project.

Give it time to crawl, then where there is Site Audit in the dashboards goes to pages 301 or 302 redirects including the pages with Meta fresh. Doing so will adequately show you a comprehensive list all redirected pages in which you can remove the one you don’t want.

It is, however, important to note that if the linking occur as a result of unnatural linking go to all resources look at all the external links from your site and don’t forget to get rid of the paid links including those obtained through evident link exchange as well.

Aleyda Solis

Malicious Links

Whenever your website is full of bad backlinks, it could resort to off-page violations. Carrying out regular audits using the SEO SpyGlass is highly recommended. All you need is to create a project for your site and choose SEO PowerSuite link explorer linked with GSC to gather the backlinks.

Once gathered, switch the linking domains and then go to link penalty risk workspace. Choose the fields and click Update Penalty Risk. Quickly sort your linking domains in accordance to their maliciousness by selecting on the header of the penalty risk column. As a general rule, any link with a penalty risk value above 50 % ought to be investigated further.

After all, that’s said and done the final process is to thoroughly go through all the suspicious links disavow them by right-clicking the link and selecting the disavow domain.

Later one go to preferences, then deny/blacklist backlist and then choose Export. To be on the safer side in your GSC submit a recommendation request to Google by selecting Manual Actions. The section which you will see the request review for you to accept then await your response from Google.

Stiff Competition

Consider being extraordinarily trendy and up to date to the latest lifestyle of your target audience which they likely incorporate in their keyword searches.

Tools such as the BrightEdges share of voice, GetStat’s share of voice, SEMrush’s Ranking Distribution Report enable you to find out whether you have lost due to your competitor’s ambition.

Could they be adding fresh content to their pages regularly, or better yet mobile-optimising their pages which you do not? Do they have a schema markup which you do not have? Launching a new page type numerous internal links pointing to their pages. This process of reverse-engineering the web pages ranked highly could be the starting point recognising the weak points you encounter.

Schema MarkupInaccurate Data

As a website owner, you need to be confident that your information is accurate. Is however worth noting that fluctuation of SEO traffic is something ubiquitous thus by comparing the statistics gotten by calculating an average SEO traffic fluctuation.

Engage with your data engineering team who could be aware of various data issues for instance flat –out missing data for particular days or page types to mention a few. You can also sense check with other metrics to see if they have encountered similar problems.

Bottom line: Never trust data and always be on guard to check for something out of the norm.

Loss of Backlink

A backlink is an incoming hyperlink from one web page to another website. Usually, the more backlink you have pointing to your site the more popular it is as the ranking in the search engine will be high. Apart from that backlinks facilitate faster indexing.

The reasons as to why backlink can be lost are due to the following:

As a critical guide rule whenever you change you, the URL structure never forget to implement proper 301 directs. Moreover, do a link audit and see if there is any existing link pointing to old URL before removing any addresses.

If the site that was doing your backlinking just decided to remove you, it may be due to lack of better content or they have found other links. Losing this backlink may adversely affect visibility and traffic .however if the SEO traffic drops hugely affected keywords and pages go to the backlink profile and look out for noticeable changes.

When using the SEO Spyglass, go to the summary section and check the Backlink Progress Graph and notice if there is any decline in numbers to be sure. SEO traffic optimisation has been a revolutionary determining whether one makes it or break it regarding online presence.

For most proper SEO is their major marketing discipline with an intended to grow visibility in organic search engine results massively. They contain both creative and technical element needed to drive traffic, create awareness and improve rankings.

About The Author

Ajay Chavda is the co-founder of Weboptimizers, an SEO agency in Melbourne and has been involved with SEO for over 15 years. Between the digital properties and security forums he has managed, his articles have been read by approximately 50 million unique visitors.

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