SEO contains a very dynamic environment. Websites are always getting affected by the Google algorithm changes. One has to constantly keep themselves up to date with relevant news of the industry built upon the world of search engines. The organic traffic may come and goes, the website’s performance continues to decline, where you cannot find any apparent reason for the decline. It can be very stressing for an SEO analyst to find solid reasons for the decreased website traffic. That is the reason behind me writing this article to let you in on the knowledge base about the possible reasons for the slowdowns.
- Indexing web pages without optimized content:
A major reason for the traffic drop on your website can be due to indexing every page of the website without pruning the content. Google is making constant efforts in improving their algorithms. The major Google algorithm update known as the Panda update is focused on content and the value that it delivers. Google has high regards for websites that provide high-quality content which add value for the visitor. The following photo shows what type of content is Google actually values, every page contains its own content. Some of it is evergreen whereas there are some pages that are dead.
The goal here is to prevent your search traffic from decreasing, only index the pages you are interested in ranking. If you do not want indexing to affect your traffic frequency you need to follow the following steps:
- Identify all the pages that Google has indexed
- Identify the pages that are under-performing or are yielding low traffic
- No-index the pages that are idle
- Mistakes with robot.txt:
Robot.txt is used to stop the search engine crawlers from crawling through specified pages on a website. Where on one hand it can be a great way to stop the crawlers but if the same text happens to be implemented in incorrectly it can welcome a major drop in traffic across the entire website. The Following are the two most common and critical mistakes made with the robots.txt.
- Preventing images or CSS files from being crawled
- Wrong utilization of wild cards in the robot.txt line
- Redesigning your website don’t redirect:
Redesigning and don’t redirect to your new webpages is a very common yet critical mistake in the world of SEO. If you don’t want to lose traffic while shifting from one domain to another you can then redirect the old web pages to the new ones so that you do not experience any major drops. You can transfer the bulk of your traffic from one domain to another with just a few lines of code. Though it is a manual process and can be hectic if the website is big. Utilize the 301 redirects in such cases as it is the permanent code for redirection.
- Shifting a chunk from subdirectory to subdomain:
If you think that shifting a part of your website from a subdirectory to subdomain will not cause traffic drops then think again. For example, if you wanted to shift your blog from a subdirectory of URL (localcabledeals.com/blog) to a subdomain (blog.localcabledeals.com). Matt Cutts a formal Google engineer stated that the subdirectory and subdomain are roughly equivalent and you should go with the easier one and should do so in whatever manner feels right to you. Things are more complicated than that though.
Several case studies have shown that shifting subdirectory art of the website into a subdomain can cause a great loss in traffic. The reason behind this is that Google has been becoming smarter in order to understand that this newly created subdomain was once a part of the website itself.
- Infrequent or no content updation on site:
When a site becomes static or doesn’t present any content which continues to add value to the visiting. Google’s major updates are all about content and you certainly cannot deny the importance of high-quality content nor can I stress its importance enough. Google is constantly analyzing your content to see the relevance and quality in order to rank you better on the SERPs. So no or infrequent updation of content can cost you greatly in terms of traffic.
- Ignoring the importance of mobile first indexing:
I know it’s not new news to you that most of the users who are searing are doing so from smartphones as compared to the more traditional desktop. For example, if I live in Omaha and I want to get high-speed internet which meets my requirements then I will most likely search from “best internet service providers near me” from my smartphone. I will not go running to my computer to perform a simple search that can be done from a smartphone. This is why mobile indexing is so important.
- Shifting your website to a slow hosted server:
A good hosting server plays an important role in the search engine optimization of a website. Shifting your website to a slow hosting solution may cost less but can have a great impact on the organic traffic in terms of droppage.
- Google updates:
It is highly important for SEO folk to stay constantly updated with Google’s updates. With every Google update, the ranking of a website is affected. Which in turn result in a drop in traffic. And it is not only about Google updates but also keep a keen eye on their activities and the problems they are facing. All in all, keep a tab with newsfeed about google open at all times. Recently a website suffered a major traffic drop due to Google’s de-indexing issue.
- Broken pages and links within the website:
Every website can use an audit every now and then to locate a broken page or link. These broken pages and links can do serious damage to your website. When traffic comes to a broken page or link the visitor tends to leave which increases the bounce rate, which in turn signals to the search engine that the website is incapable of delivering value to the audience according to their requirements and needs.
- Ignoring the canonical tags:
Canonical tags are very important in the SEO world. Canonicals are utilized when you have two pages with the same name or perhaps an updated version of the page where you have to tell Google which is the right page. This actually benefits a website. Due to the canonical tag when a user even enters the URL of a copy page it goes to the original web page. Because Google is already informed about the different copies of a webpage and knows exactly which the original one is.
I hope by the end of this article you’ve understood the major probable causes of traffic drop on your website. If you have any query feel free to drop a comment so that an answer may be provided.