- Blog traffic is constantly changing, but what should you do when it’s down? You start by waiting it out.
- Take a look at some of the top reasons why your blog traffic might be down and see how to proceed once you’ve discovered the issue.
- Regaining that blog traffic isn’t an easy one-time fix and will require check-ins every so often.
Admit it: you’re concerned.
That blog you created a year ago is suddenly suffering from a drop in traffic. This month’s traffic isn’t half what you had last month, let alone the high watermark you reached during your hot streak.
Your website traffic is down, which implies your revenue is down. Company executives are asking you a simple question: “Why is web traffic declining?” You haven’t made any changes to your promotion plan or editorial calendar. You need an answer and a solution as soon as possible.
A decrease in site traffic can occur for a number of reasons. And over the years, we’ve discovered new strategies to revitalize a failing blog and increase visitors. This article discusses the most prevalent causes of blog traffic reductions and solutions to each problem. So, let’s start with why your blog traffic is declining and then dive into how to fix it.
Why your blog traffic is decreasing and how to fix it.
First, wait it out.
When you first see a decrease in traffic, the best thing you can do is nothing. You read that correctly. Simply wait. You must be patient to evaluate whether this is a brief setback or the start of a more serious decline.
Google will periodically examine the rankings and make improvements to them over time. (More about this below.)
We suggest waiting a few days to figure out what the problem is. Then start double-checking everything on your end. Is there an easy answer to the problem? Is there a technical switch that needs to be flipped? Check out these potential causes:
- 301 redirects
- Review your 301 redirect strategy for errors and fix them. Additionally, ensure canonical tags, XML sitemaps, and links are up-to-date.
- Google has issued a manual penalty.
- Check your Google Search Console account and address any alerts.
- Slow page speed
- Check page speed with PageSpeed Insights (follow recommended site/page changes)
- Server Issues
- Make sure your website host and server are performing as intended. Move to a new host or server if your current one has too much downtime.
- Duplicate content
- Check the website for identical blocks of content, then remove identical content or make it unique. Google does not like duplicate content.
- Your website is unindexed.
- Sometimes, a dev or a team member can accidentally de-index the website. This means search engines and users won’t be able to find your page. Use Google Search Console to see if the site and pages are indexed.
If you still observe a decline after verifying those things, you can go over these common reasons your blog traffic is declining and how to fix it.
1. New Google algorithm update.
Google’s search engine algorithm is frequently updated in order to improve the user experience on its search results page. Unfortunately, an algorithm update is the most typical cause of decreased website traffic for many businesses. More extensive core algorithm updates have been known to quickly convert a site with thousands of followers per month into a ghost town.
For example, the Helpful Content Update aimed to “ensure people see more original, helpful content written by people, for people, in search results.” Once rolled out, a lot of AI-generated content was systematically flagged and purged from Google rankings.
An updated algorithm can cause volatility in your website’s ranking. Sometimes an update can improve your ranking. Other times it shakes things up and decreases it. Having your blog articles drop rankings from page one of SERPs into page two for a competitive keyword (or heaven forbid you lose a featured snippet) can cut your site traffic substantially.
How to fix traffic decline post algorithm update.
While no one (besides Google) can do anything about search engines tweaking their algorithms, you can adapt to these updates. Google usually remains tightlipped about their exact algorithm changes, but SEO experts often research and test what the changes the update brought with it.
This data can help your team audit your blog and make potential fixes to improve your ranking. And as always, please follow Google’s webmaster guidelines and best practices. Any SEO team or agency that dabbles in the dark arts of black-hat SEO isn’t worth your time or money and are often the first one hit hard by algorithm updates.
Read our in-depth guide to auditing your content for a full look at this solution.
2. Your website is HTTP.
The majority of websites now employ Secure HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTPS), which transmits sensitive information like credit card numbers in an encrypted format. When a website is vulnerable, visitors may stop coming to the site in large numbers and never return. Google’s search algorithm uses HTTPS as a ranking indication. More importantly, users value their security.
When HTTP is used instead of HTTPS, potential visitors are initially prevented from accessing your site and are instead advised to “Go Back to Safety” by a full-screen warning. A user’s browser will warn them that your site is not safe even if they elect to view it. These warnings and indicators can and likely will lead to lower visitor numbers and fewer purchases being made on the website.
How to fix traffic decline from HTTP.
Unfortunately, changing your HTTP site to an HTTPS site is not as simple as adding an “S” to the URL. You’ll need the assistance of a developer. Updating to HTTPS, with the help of your development team or an SEO agency like Redefine Marketing Group, can quickly restore your site’s traffic.
To upgrade your website to a secure HTTPS site, you’ll need to
- Obtain a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate.
- Activate your SSL certificate with your hosting provider.
- Install the SSL certificate for your website.
It may take several days to activate and install your SSL certificate.
It is also critical to guide users (as well as search engines) to your new secure site. Without a redirect, search engines and people can visit your HTTP site, which effectively negates your efforts and harms your user experience and SEO strategy.
NOTE: Keep an eye out for images and other resources on your website that point to HTTP outside links. These un-secure assets can trigger a “mixed content” issue and flag your pages as not secure.
3. Seasonal and holiday fluctuations
The biggest contributor to many bloggers losing traffic is seasonality. It’s known in the blogging world that summer can be the worst month for growing blog traffic – the summer slump.
Additionally, acute dips in blog traffic could be associated with holidays. The long weekend or Labor Day are times in the year when most blog traffic will decline.
Your audience isn’t online as much during the summer and holiday weekends. They are vacationing, visiting family, and generally away from their keyboards (AFK).
Do some blogs thrive in the summer? Yes. If your business or subject matter focuses on summer activities like vacationing, hiking, camping, weddings, etc., your slow months will be the inverse, winter.
How to fix seasonal and holiday traffic declines.
Remember how we said the best thing to do is wait? Well, this applies here as well. Sometimes you need to accept that you can’t change the seasons (well, besides climate change). However, that doesn’t mean you should sit on your hands and do nothing.
4. Outdated keyword strategy.
It is essential to review your content and the keywords it ranks for, even if you don’t have a keyword plan. This is because people and their search habits change, and Google search results evolve to accommodate those changes.
Google Trends offers insights into how search and shopping habits evolve. Sometimes entire search intents flip. For example, your informative blog might not rank for a search result that is now showing product pages. If you don’t keep up with intent changes, your site’s content will appear irrelevant or useless to search engines or users, resulting in lower rankings in search results.
Fixing traffic declines from outdated keywords.
Even if you have a small website and blog, your team must commit to optimizing and revising content. Unfortunately, updating your keyword strategy can be a time- and resource-intensive process. However, the return on investment (ROI) is substantial and well worth the investment.
Optimize your content strategy with the following steps:
- Audit your keyword list and remove outdated or generic terms.
- Add alternative keywords with a stronger relevance and higher search volume. Or look for long-tail keywords that target a niche but highly engaging audience.
- Update content to include these updated keywords.
You’ll most likely discover new content topics in your keyword research, which only serves to better guide your content marketing plan and SEO strategy. Plus, this new content can help align with any new search trends and bring your blog new traffic.
Check our guide for leveraging search intent in content and your blog.
5. Website design isn’t SEO friendly.
If you have a website that is several years old, you would be wise to redesign it. Profits can be boosted by giving your website a facelift to make it look more current and professional while improving the customer experience. Website traffic as a whole might take a serious hit after a redesign or migration if the new design doesn’t consider search engine optimization.
Web development firms aren’t immune to this oversight. They can know how to make a website seem nice and function well, but they can sometimes have little concern for search engine optimization (SEO) or how a makeover can hurt blog traffic.
Search engine optimization (SEO) and visitor numbers might suffer from a website redesign in a number of ways.
- Using unoptimized website content, including title tags and meta descriptions
- Not using 301 redirects for new pages or URLs
- Changing site structure without updating the sitemap
- Launching the website without proper tracking
Because your website’s design affects the entire site, it’s vital to address this issue as soon as possible.
Fixing blog traffic declines because of a redesign.
Depending on the depth of your redesign, a fix may take multiple efforts and some time to complete. The most common issues can be solved by:
- Optimize your new content and metadata.
- Update your sitemap on Google Search Console.
- Implement 301 redirects.
If your website needs larger sweeping fixes, consider using a backup version of your old site and restoring the previous version while making edits and fixes. Keep in mind website redesigns, and migrations can affect your traffic levels for weeks or months to recover.
Restore your blog traffic with RMG’s help.
Falling blog traffic is something no blogger wants to see, yet it does occur. However, your business can benefit from knowing the cause of your website’s declining Google traffic and taking action to remedy the situation. If you’ve done your waiting and run through your checklist, restoring your blog traffic could require a deep dive and reevaluation of your SEO and content strategy.
Working with a full-service digital marketing agency that focuses on content and SEO, such as Redefine Marketing Group, is another option for your organization. Your company’s traffic can be recovered with our assistance, and we’ll also make sure that any future design changes shield your SEO. Reach out to us and see how we can help your content recover.