Why has the traffic of my website decreased?

Sometimes we see with despite that the traffic of our website has decreased, or that it is gently taking this direction. How may we explain this slow descent into hell? Are we writing less effectively than before? Do we not publish frequently enough? Are our readers tired of our website? Why this sudden change of behaviour?

When you realize you have a drop in visitors, the first thing to do is observe this decrease in traffic by looking at statistics, or the possible errors that caused this decline. For this, you can look in detail at your website or blog to determine the possible causes.

But the best way to detect this traffic decrease remains Google Analytics, a measurement tool that allows you to analyse traffic patterns over time. You can, see in the section Acquisition> All traffic> Referring Sites, which websites send you traffic and compare with previous days. Similarly, when looking at Behaviour> Site Content> All pages, you can see which pages of your blog were the most read. This will allow you to target topics that appeal to people and understand where the decline in traffic comes from. In short, Google Analytics allows you to interpret trends in your blog.

Observation phase: sudden or gradual decline?

To have adequate information, observe the traffic of your website several months from the start of the decline in traffic to the period following it. This allows you to see if this fall is sudden, or if it has been lasting longer than you thought.

Observing the traffic of your website also has the benefit of telling you the evolutions, and visiting peaks of your website. Indeed, suppose you had a bit of visibility from a website after publishing an article for them, and that within a few days you’ve gone from 200 users to 1500, it is logical for your traffic to decrease the following month!

Perhaps you’ve noticed that your visits have increased from 18,000 in February to 20,000 in March. There are fewer days in February, which means that in reality, you had as many visitors in February than in March, so there is no evolution, and no drop.

With Google Analytics, you can compare two periods to make sure that your judgment is objective. Look at the period following the start of the fall, and the one before. Instead of displaying traffic per day, view it per week. Thus, you will spot quickly on your chart if the traffic decline is slow and gradual or whether it concerns a particular week. Only at this moment will you need to worry.

However, there is no point in panicking too much on statistics. Sometimes, a traffic decline is simply part of the life of a website. For example, people are less often on Internet during weekends because they are busy shopping etc. Similarly, no need to alarm yourself on holidays, once again your users are outside taking a walk! Sometimes during holiday periods, there are fewer people on your website. It does not mean that your website is not growing.

Now that you have analysed whether the decline in traffic of your website is sudden or gradual, you must understand specifically why.

A sudden drop in traffic

It is interesting to understand why the decline in traffic of your website is brutal. In general, this is rather due to a technical problem. Whether it is a server outage, or another problem, this can make your website inaccessible for some time. If this recurs, maybe you should think of changing of provider. Finally, the news wire can push your consumers to visit other websites rather related to current events (tragic events such as Charlie Hebdo, or the 2008 financial crisis) and abandon yours, which depending on what you do, can deal with a subject more “trivial” (Barber, selling shoes etc.).

Sometimes Google (Oh, Great Master) punishes you for some of your smaller “crimes”. We talked recently of duplicate content. Well, copy/paste is not your friend, and can cause a drop in traffic. Google has many parameters to rank your site in search engines; For example, if you have fun using excessively a keyword in an article, you are risking a penalty. Similarly, if you want to get a lot of links towards your blog in no time, your website will get a penalty. Maybe your content is not relevant to your field? Looking to optimize your site on dogs when your site deals with cats for example will not please Google, once again. So do not disappoint him!

It is also possible that you made a small mistake such as removing the tracking code of your statistics, or that you have prevented the search engines from indexing your website. Indeed, sometimes when going through the options of your blog, you may click inadvertently on “no index”. Finally, your website may no longer be available on other search engines like Bing.

A gradual decline in traffic

Sometimes a gradual decline in traffic on your website can be explained by a change in your content strategy. Do you publish less frequently? Are your articles too short? Do you vary your topics? Maybe your favourite subject bothers your viewers? Regularly updating the content of your site is also important, because sometimes your ranking has fallen on a less researched keyword.

To find it, go to Google Webmaster Tools to see your ranking and look at the information of your website. You can also take the opportunity to take a look at the most popular pages of your site. This will allow you to publish on a topic that appeals to your readers. It is the same for social networking; consider to be active and to publish regularly without bombarding information to your subscribers!

Also, sometimes it may happen to lose users because they get tired. Think about changing or upgrading the model of your website. Similarly, regularly answering to your clients’ questions and establishing a permanent contact, prevents you from losing loyal customers.

Conclusion

Before you panic at the sight of a decline in traffic, do an analysis of your blog / website to understand where the problem is. If your drop in traffic proves to be brutal, it’s usually not very serious, unless it’s a Google penalty. But in general, this means that there has been a small technical error easily modifiable. If your traffic decline is progressive, look in depth at what the problem is. A bad keyword, a low production of articles or a neglect of your customers, are remediable factors.

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