Traffic drops can say a lot about how your website is doing, which may have something to do with several issues, updates, or compliance with Google guidelines. With Google Analytics, you can identify the sources of your traffic drops to know where to start troubleshooting.
But other causes of traffic drops may also be looked upon, such as the quality of your content, linking broken or outdated links, or even how fast your website loads. Google Search Console can also help you check internal errors that may interrupt users trying to access your website.
Traffic drops can be identified using Google Analytics due to different factors affecting users’ experience accessing or navigating your content or website. Knowing where the traffic drops are coming from helps you know how to deal with them.
You can try resolving technical issues or adapting to what users search for using Google Trends. So in this article, I’ll show you how you can use Google Analytics to see if your website is experiencing traffic drops and what may be the causes of such decline.
What Causes The Traffic Drops
You may think that out of nowhere, traffic drops appear in your daily reports. Such sudden and unexpected traffic drops may be because of the following:
There are web pages where Google warns users of its potential security threats before accessing the site. This can make a decline in your web traffic because of the hassle and caution in which users won’t want to be involved.
You, your web developer, or your designer may have opted to use the “nofollow/noindex” code that prevents Google from indexing your webpage to be able to get rankings on the search results page. The code is usually used if you don’t want to have duplicate page contents or you don’t want unnecessary web pages to appear on search engines like your employee login page.
However, you or your web developer may have left this enabled or tagged the webpage for it to be not indexed in WordPress. This may result in a traffic drop since it’s not indexed and won’t appear on the search engine results page.
Google’s algorithm is always updated and ever-changing, so it improves its system on how it will rank such web pages on the results page. Thus, your website’s rankings may also be lowered which can result in a traffic drop.
Although, these modified and updated algorithms aren’t specifically and publicly stated. Usually, such updates are just confirmed by press releases.
Compliance With Google’s Guidelines
Google’s guidelines are strictly implemented. So if your web pages do not comply with the guidelines, Google can take action to remove the web pages from their Google search results page and make a sudden decline in your traffic.
You can follow these steps to check your Google Analytics for traffic drops.
1. Identify The Source of The Traffic Drops
You can particularly identify in Google Analytics which type of traffic has a sudden drop in volume. But first, you should know your website’s traffic types.
Direct traffic is the users who type the URL of your website directly in the browser, click through a direct email link, or access it through the bookmarked site.
Organic traffic is the users who used search engines and found your website on its results. The term “organic” means you didn’t pay for the site to be on the top of the results page but rather appear according to the users’ queries on the search box.
Users usually click the sites on the top ranks since they have fully optimized themselves to be organically at the top results, which means more traffic on the site.
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Paid Search Traffic
Paid search traffic is from the paid ad campaigns and landing pages placed at the top of the search results page.
The contents on the landing page are optimized. The page is also paid simultaneously to increase its likelihood of being at the top when users run their searches.
Referral traffic is the users that come from different blog sites from which your site is linked to its contents. This may be from the guest blog you submitted.
Email traffic comes from clicking the link from the newsletters, flyers, and ads you sent to their email.
Social Media Traffic
If you’ve been sharing the link of your site’s content through social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, then your social media traffic would be coming from here.
Using Google Analytics In Identifying Traffic Drops Source
Follow these to get which type of traffic may be having traffic drops:
- Once you’re logged in to Google Analytics, select the top icon on the left tab, known as the Report snapshot.
- Then, under the Life cycle, select the Acquisition tab.
- Click under All Traffic, the Source/Medium tab
- You’ll then have the results of the traffic sources
2. Identify The Root Cause
Once you’ve identified the source of the traffic drops, look for the underlying cause of the decline. For example, if the traffic drops came from organic traffic, then your rankings on the search engine page may have other factors to consider as to why it’s not getting more or enough traffic than usual.
Other Causes Resulting From Traffic Drops
Such sudden drops that may have caused you to have lower rankings on the search results page or engagement can be of the following.
Contents are made for the benefit of the users to get engaged and follow more on your site as a thought leader and for your search engine optimization. Optimized keywords are indexed by Google, which can increase your search engine ranking if you comply with their guidelines and algorithms.
So if users find your content of low quality, they might not also engage in your other content anymore. Google’s algorithms also look at the content’s quality, which would determine your place on the results page.
You should avoid linking to your content those links that are:
- Outdated or not relevant anymore
- Links to PBNs
Google also now takes action by providing penalties to sites that link their websites to private blog networks (PBNs). These PBNs may just be created to increase your link network for you, thus increasing your rankings.
Out Of Date or Over-Optimized Keywords
Google would know if you’re using the keywords to increase your ranking and get more traffic, so you should create content objectives focused on user experience and information.
You should also create content that uses a more natural language since most users would use it searching on Google. Update those keywords so Google would increase your ranking since they will prefer your content and suggest it to more users.
Slow Website Loading Time
Regarding user experience, Google also considers how fast your website can load its contents and other media, such as images or videos.
Google is into user experience, and they would prefer to increase the site’s rankings if it loads faster since this would create a good user experience. A user may leave and return to the search results page if the website takes too much time to load.
If you may have experienced a traffic drop due to slow website speed, you can check the following on your site:
- The site’s CSS is not optimized
- The large media file size on the site
- The site has many plugins.
Google Search Console
Google Search Console is another tool for you to determine your website’s ranking performance over time. You can check it on the performance report in terms of your site’s performance on Google Search results.
It also has a feature that alerts and provides information about malfunctions on your site. Thus, it can provide information like URL errors from devices like your desktop or smartphone.
The traffic drop can be diagnosed through Google Analytics, where you can identify which type of traffic and get into your web pages they visit to focus on resolving the issue.
However, other issues may be pressing on the sudden traffic drop. This can also be due to decreasing content quality or user experience navigating your website.
Google’s Search Console can also be a tool for looking at URL errors and comparing web traffic volume in the past few days, weeks, or years. Thus, this is how you can get insights and improve user experiences and rankings.
Want to know more about web traffic? Check any of these posts!