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Why Is My Website Traffic Going Down? (And How Do I Fix It?)

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Alice Scott  Verified badge
Content Writer

Less than 1 minute read Minute read

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Are you worried because your website traffic is down, which is hurting your bottom line? Company leaders are asking you, “Why is my website traffic going down?” You need an answer (and a solution) quickly.

A drop in website traffic can happen for a variety of reasons. This post covers the four most common causes of a website traffic drop, as well as solutions for each issue. Read on to find out why your website traffic is down. If you’re experiencing an organic traffic decrease, a quick way to find out why is to enter your URL here for an instant SEO audit.

If you need immediate assistance, though, call us at (SA) +27 633 636 232, (UK) +44 7458 149 984 and (ZW) +263 772 498 018 and our experienced team will help you find and fix the problem!

1. A new algorithm update launched

Most companies experience a drop in website traffic after a search engine algorithm update. 

– The problem

Search engines like Google and Bing constantly update their algorithms to improve the search experience. This can change your website’s ranking in search results, which can impact your site traffic.

According to a study by BrightEdge, 91% of search traffic goes to websites on the first page of Google search results. This means that even a small drop in ranking can have a significant impact on your traffic.

For example, if your website ranks on the first page for a competitive keyword and then drops to the second page, you could lose up to 75% of your traffic for that keyword.

– The solution

Although your company cannot control how search engines improve their algorithms, you can adjust your online strategy to accommodate these updates. For instance, a multichannel marketing approach can help your company get website traffic from a variety of sources

A few examples include:

If you see a drop in website traffic after an algorithm update, it’s worth looking into the update to see what changes were made. While search engines like Google rarely comment on algorithm changes, SEO experts often share their insights and research on what the update included. This information can help you audit your website and make changes to improve your ranking.

2. Your website is HTTP, not HTTPS

A website that is not secure can also see a significant (and lasting) decrease in traffic.

– The problem

Online security is essential, which is why most websites use Secure HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTPS). HTTPS encrypts and transfers user data, such as credit card information, safely over the internet. In contrast, HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP) does not encrypt data, making it vulnerable to interception by third parties.

Google announced in 2014 that HTTPS would be a minor ranking factor in its search engine algorithm. However, cybersecurity has become increasingly important in the years since, and web browsers like Google Chrome now warn users when they visit a website that uses HTTP instead of HTTPS.

This means that websites that do not use HTTPS are not only more vulnerable to security attacks, but they are also likely to rank lower in search engine results pages (SERPs). This can lead to a significant decrease in website traffic.

Not Secure http

A full-page notification prevents a user from reaching your website and encourages them to “Go Back to Safety.” Even if a user chooses to visit your website, their browser will display a warning that your website is not secure.

A website that uses HTTP instead of HTTPS can have less traffic and fewer sales. When users see that a website is not secure, they are less likely to trust it and make a purchase.

– The Solution

If you are wondering why your website traffic is decreasing and your website uses HTTP, you will need the assistance of a developer. With the help of your development team (or a reputable agency like Nerx Agency), you can upgrade your website to HTTPS, which can quickly restore your site traffic.

Get HTTPS for your website with the following steps:

  • Get a dedicated IP address for your website, if you don’t have one already.
  • Buy an SSL certificate.
  • Enable your SSL certificate with your web hosting provider.
  • Set up the SSL certificate on your domain.

It can take a few days to enable and install your SSL certificate. Your web development team must also redirect users (and search engines) to your secure site. Without a redirect, search engines and users may be able to access your HTTP site, which can harm your user experience and SEO strategy.

3. Your keyword strategy is outdated

An outdated keyword strategy can also lead to a gradual and sustained decrease in traffic.

– The Problem

Companies that experience a gradual decline in website traffic should review their keyword strategy. Even if you don’t have a formal keyword strategy for SEO, it’s essential to check your content and see how it ranks in search results.

This is because people and their search habits change over time.

Google Trends is a free tool that shows how search and shopping habits change over time. For example, before the launch of the iPhone and the subsequent takeover of the smartphone market, people tended to search for “cellphone.” However, now most users search for “smartphone.”

If your company does not adapt to these types of changes in your industry, you risk losing valuable website traffic. This is because your site content will not seem relevant or useful to search engines or users, which can result in lower rankings in search results.

Here are some examples of how search habits have changed over time:

  • Before: “flip phone”
  • After: “smartphone with flip screen”
  • Before: “digital camera”
  • After: “smartphone with a good camera”
  • Before: “GPS device”
  • After: “smartphone with GPS”

If you are still using the old keywords in your content, your website will not rank as well in search results for the keywords that people are actually using. This can lead to a significant decrease in website traffic.

– The Solution

To avoid this problem, it is important to regularly review your keyword strategy and update your content to reflect the latest search trends. You can use Google Trends to identify the keywords that people are currently using to search for information and products in your industry. Once you have identified the relevant keywords, you can incorporate them into your content in a natural way.

Your keyword research will likely reveal new content topics for your company. This is a significant advantage for your company because it allows you to improve your content marketing strategy and SEO strategy. Additionally, new content can help your company rank for valuable search terms and attract more visitors to your website.

4. Your website’s design forgot about SEO

A website design that does not take SEO into account can have a devastating impact on your website traffic.

– The Problem

Redesigning your website is a great idea, especially if your current site is outdated. A new website can look more modern and professional, and it can also improve the user experience, which can boost your bottom line. However, many companies forget about SEO when designing their new website.

Even web design agencies make the mistake of forgetting about SEO when redesigning websites. While they understand design and how to create attractive and usable websites, they may not recognize the relationship between web design and SEO, and how a redesigned website can negatively impact traffic.

Here are a few ways a website redesign can hurt your SEO and traffic:

  • Changing the page content, including title tags and meta descriptions, to unoptimized content.
  • Creating new pages for existing pages without setting up 301 redirects.
  • Changing the site structure without updating the sitemap.
  • Redesigning the website without including the Google Analytics tracking code.

If your website is not designed with SEO in mind, it will never reach its full potential in terms of traffic. Without SEO, your website will have difficulty appearing in search results related to your industry, products, or services. Because your website’s design affects the entire site, it is crucial to address this issue as soon as possible.

– The Solution

Companies can approach a traffic drop following a site redesign a few ways, including:

  • Restore your previous site with backups. This is the most drastic option, but it may be necessary if the traffic drop is significant and you are unable to identify and fix the specific problems that are causing it.
  • Optimize your new content and website. Make sure that your new content is high-quality, informative, and relevant to your target keywords. You should also optimize your website’s technical SEO factors, such as page loading speed, site structure, and internal linking.
  • Update your sitemap. A sitemap is a file that lists all of the pages on your website. It helps search engines crawl and index your site more effectively. Make sure to update your sitemap after any major changes to your website, including a redesign.
  • Set up 301 redirects. If you have deleted or moved pages during the redesign, you need to set up 301 redirects to tell search engines where to find the new pages. This will help to prevent visitors from getting 404 errors and ensure that your website’s ranking in search results is not negatively impacted.

If your original website design did not generate traffic, your team will need to take a similar approach to restoring your traffic after the redesign. While you may not need to set up 301 redirects, you will need to create optimized content for your website and audience.

Your business can also work with a full-service digital marketing agency like Nerx Agency that specializes in web design and SEO. We can help your team and company regain your lost traffic, as well as ensure that future design updates do not damage your SEO strategy.

5. Good news – maybe your data is incorrect

Even though a big drop in website traffic can be alarming, it’s important to double-check your sources before you panic. There are a few common things that can cause traffic drops that are actually easy to fix, such as:

  • Missing or broken web analytics tracking code: Make sure that your Google Analytics code is still in place and working properly.
  • Third-party service downtime: If you rely on a third-party service for traffic data, such as Google Analytics, check to see if they are experiencing any downtime.
  • Tracking errors: Sometimes a traffic drop is just a misplaced comma or an error in your CMS. If you’re not sure how to check for tracking errors, you can contact your web developer for assistance.

We’ve seen many sites over the years that have experienced a large decrease in traffic, but it was simply because their web developer had accidentally removed their Google Analytics code, or they were looking at the wrong View in Google Analytics. These things happen, so it’s important to double-check your sources before you start making any major changes to your website or marketing strategy.

Increase your website traffic (and even more) with Nerx Agency.

No one wants to see their website traffic decrease, but it’s a common occurrence. Understanding why your website traffic is declining on Google and how to fix it can give your company the insights and resources it needs to recover its traffic.

In many cases, restoring website traffic can be a daunting task, especially after a website redesign or a shift in keyword strategy. That’s why businesses partner with our full-service digital marketing agency.

With over 10+ years of experience and a team of over 30+ web marketing experts, we have the skills and technology to help your company succeed. Browse our testimonials and digital marketing services to learn more about how our team can help yours.

Give us a ring at (SA) +27 633 636 232, (UK) +44 7458 149 984 and (ZW) +263 772 498 018

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