As a business owner, you know that driving organic Google traffic to your website is important. It accounts for more than 40% of the revenue made through online marketing efforts.
If you’ve noticed a slow down in organic traffic, you need to take care of it right away. Remember, this isn’t the same as the traffic from paid advertisements like Google AdWords. We’re talking about organic traffic, something that takes a lot of work to increase.
Various elements on your website affect organic search traffic which can make this task a little harder than you’d expect. The good news is that once you find where the issue lies, you can work on resolving it and start increasing your Google traffic.
Check out the 5 common reasons that might result in a decrease in organic traffic from Google, and other search engines, below.
1. Changes to Google’s Algorithm
Google updates its algorithm at least once a day (sometimes more often) and did so every day in 2018. That accounts for almost 600 changes in a single year!
Minor changes do not cause concern, but you need to pay attention to any major algorithm updates like Panda or Hummingbird. If you do not modify your business’s website to reflect these updates, your organic traffic will suffer due to your rankings dropping.
Follow an SEO blog or hire an SEO professional to help you understand Google’s algorithm updates. This will help you to better strategize your website’s SEO, maintain rankings, and avoid any damaging penalties.
2. Losing Links Loses Google Traffic
Losing direct links to your website often accounts for a decrease in organic search traffic. Not only does this loss translate to less referral traffic, but it also affects your Google rankings.
The effect of a lost backlink depends on how strong it was. For example, losing a backlink from a website that has a Domain Authority (DA) of 82 will have a significantly bigger impact than losing a backlink from a site with a Domain Authority of 14.
Google uses these backlinks to prove your site has authority and value. Having a lot of high-quality backlinks significantly boosts your website’s DA.
When they start to disappear, it communicates to Google that it should lower your ranking. Keep an eye on your backlink profile and if you start noticing a loss of high-quality links, or a rapid increase of low-quality links, you’ve found where your problem lies.
If low-quality backlinks (e.g. links from websites with high spam scores) account for a large percentage of your backlink profile, disavow each link or contact each site and request the link be removed.
For high-quality backlinks, reach out to other websites relevant to your industry and propose guest posting opportunities or link exchanges.
3. Poor Quality Content
The Panda update from Google significantly changed their algorithm to better identify websites with low-quality content. Google does not want these websites to appear high up in the search results, or at all.
When publishing content on your website, it’s important to prioritize readers over your SEO approach. Consider the following things:
- Are there any grammar errors in your content?
- Does your content appeal to readers (e.g. is it a massive chunk of text)?
- Are your keywords used sparingly or do they make up a big percent of your word count?
- Is your content engaging and interesting?
The list could go on but the bottom line: write for your readers, not for Google.
If your business’s website content does not offer true value or it’s difficult to access, Google decreases your ranking. This, in turn, leads to a drop off in organic traffic.
Writing genuinely interesting content is a challenge, as is writing for readers instead of Google (especially if you are pursuing SEO). But if you want to increase your Google traffic, there are a couple of solutions.
- Hire a professional agency to take care of your writing needs. Instead of spending business hours on SEO and worrying about your rankings, pay someone who understands this better and let them handle it.
- Split up the writing and SEO processes. Decide on the topic, write your content as if you were a blogger, and revise it for SEO purposes afterwards – that way your original writing isn’t entirely influenced by marketing.
4. Targeting the Wrong Keywords
Having solid keyword research goes a long way on all marketing fronts, organic and paid alike. But this can work for and against you.
When you’re first getting started and are developing a Google traffic strategy, your research is undoubtedly important at this stage. However, marketers forget that this isn’t the only time where keyword research needs to be conducted.
If your traffic has taken a hit, look into your current rankings and see how much traffic your targeted keywords have been bringing in. Even with great rankings, your keywords might not be getting as much search volume as they once had.
Revisit your keyword research every so often. If your rankings haven’t dropped then use Google tools (like the Keyword Planner) to check the search volume of your keywords.
If search volume appears to be the issue, it’s time to restructure your strategy and implement some new keywords into it.
5. Website Changes or Migration
Have you recently made changes to your business’s website or migrated it to a new platform? You may have messed up your site’s optimization during the update.
Be sure that you double check for any:
- Changes to the site’s informational architecture
- Failed redirect pages
- Interruptions to service
- Slow-loading pages
- Disappearing metadata and content
- Vanishing images
- Broken links
- Mobile responsiveness
Fix the problem as soon as possible to mitigate your traffic loss. There are plenty of site monitoring tools available which make it easy to catch these types of problems early on.
Regularly monitor your website to catch these types of problems as early as possible. Since Google doesn’t crawl your site every day, regularly scanning for errors allows you to detect problems before Google has a chance to penalise you.
Pingdom and GTmetrix are both free Google tools that will analyse your site and flag any concerning issues, so be sure to take advantage of them both.
6. Neglecting Google Search Console
Finally, if you don’t currently use your Google Search Console, you need to start. Learning how to use Google Search Console will help you better understand your website as a whole.
The Search Console can help you catch any small drops in traffic or other issues affecting your ranking from crawl rate to site errors.
Again, this is a free Google tool so there’s no excuse for not – at the very least – checking it out.
Use Google Search Console – it’s that simple!
Google Traffic: Organic? Paid? You Need It All!
If you notice a drop in your Google traffic, don’t ignore it! 51% of your business website’s traffic originates from organic search results pages. It’s crucial that you monitor your Google analytics carefully.
The same goes for any of your paid search marketing campaigns through Google and Facebook. The creative minds at KonvertLab know all about pay-per-click marketing. We offer unconventional advice to boost your conversion rates and drive more traffic to your business’s website.
Contact our team at KonvertLab today for a knowledgeable partner that will make your next Facebook Ads or Google AdWords campaign a success!