One of the most disappointing things is seeing your website losing its hard-earned ranking position. Even if you remain on the first page of search results, this will undoubtedly affect your website traffic. And if it happens to be a company website, this is definitely a problem because it can directly affect your business. However, the most frustrating thing about this issue is that finding a cause and solutions can be exceptionally difficult. Fortunately, there are effective methods to diagnose the problem and recover lost organic traffic.
Diagnose the problem and recover lost organic traffic
Many factors can contribute to drops in search engine result page (SERP) rankings. It might be due to the increase in competition; You might have been redesigning the entire website; Or, you are simply losing your backlinks. While there is no universal explanation, you can examine, step-by-step, different SEO aspects until you find the root of the problem.
To help you pinpoint the issues and recover lost organic traffic, here are some steps you should follow:
- Confirm the traffic changes
- Identify the problematic keywords and pages
- Check for algorithm changes
- Analyze your link profile
- Compare with your competitors
- Are you redesigning or rebranding your website?
1. Confirm the traffic changes
Before you start suspecting different factors, SEO experts from Digital Dot advise you first to check if the traffic drop is a real issue. It may be that this particular drop is just a temporary situation. It often happens that websites are periodically experiencing traffic fluctuations. To eliminate the suspicion, you can use Google Analytics tools to check this for a specific period. And then, compare if the changes appear in Google Search Console by following a similar pattern with your SERPs.
2. Identify the problematic keywords and pages
If the drop in traffic is real, the next thing to do is find the responsible keywords. To recover your lost organic traffic, you will have to find all the keywords that have enough power to influence your pages. Again, Google Analytics is a valuable tool here and will help you sort all the keywords that drive traffic to your website. You will generally be able to gather information about how they impact page views, conversions, bounce rates, and many more.
First, you will have to set the specific time range you want to inspect. And with enough information, you can compare how each of your keywords is affecting the traffic. Once you find the problem, you can adjust your SEO strategy and mitigate the damage before it goes out of control.
3. Check for algorithm changes
Another reason, especially with Google, is the constant change in search engine algorithms. They modify and update their algorithms, which, one way or another, may affect numerous websites. However, it’s a rare situation that websites that follow their guidelines and white-hat SEO practices experience significant problems. But it still may happen.
4. Analyze your link profile
If you are experiencing a drop in traffic, one of the primary reasons may be your links. In general, if you are making considerable changes to your websites, like migration or redesign, your internal linking structure may be disordered. But, the problem will probably be with backlinks. They are still a significant ranking factor, so losing quality backlinks, for any reason, will undoubtedly change your ranking position. And thus, negatively affect your traffic.
The only solution in this situation is to contact the websites that have removed your backlinks and find out why it’s happening. In addition, you should always strive to find new linking possibilities, regardless of whether there is a problem with organic traffic or not.
5. Compare with your competitors
The digital space is a highly competitive playground. Remember, whatever you do regarding SEO, your competitors are probably doing the same thing. It’s completely normal that websites replace each other on top positions. Usually, it happens when someone invests heavily in different marketing tactics. First, it can be the increase in the quality of their content. Second, the number of high-quality backlinks they acquire is on the rise. And many more reasons. However, it also may happen that specific algorithm changes favor one type over another.
To find the issue, spy on your competitors’ strategies and see what the new thing that gives such results is. Basically, it will help you determine your strengths and weaknesses and adequately adjust your strategy to regain your traffic and rankings back.
6. Are you redesigning or rebranding your website?
If this is the case, it could be the main reason behind the bad results. If your website is going through a significant redesign, SEO elements are frequently neglected in the process. Commonly, this leads to bad URL structure, duplicate content, broken links, and eventually to a bad user experience.
Surprisingly, many website owners fail to find skilled SEO professionals to help them, which almost always results in bad SEO. That’s why, if you want to keep your high-ranking position, and significant traffic, always consult with experts.
After inspecting and applying previous steps, you will probably understand why you are losing organic traffic. While working on correcting this, make sure to:
- recheck all the internal links
- double-check URL destinations
- continue building high-quality links
- update the old content
- create new content
- work on website performance
- submit your website to Google after changes
And remember to continue to monitor your website’s organic traffic and other factors to ensure everything is in order.
The steps above are not exactly easy. They require a lot of work and effort to find the issues and correct the drop in traffic. But, each SEO step is a necessary part of the process if you want to recover lost organic traffic. From minor to major changes, every detail intertwines and affects your website’s potential ranking position. And because SEO, in general, is an ongoing process, you should consider all the details if you want to keep the high-ranking positions.