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10 SEO Issues That Cause a Sudden Drop in Website Traffic

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There’s always that feeling of triumph when you discover that your website is finally on Google’s first page and bringing in more traffic. You’d want to do everything to keep it up there. But then, one day, you wake up to a sudden drop in website traffic and site ranking. Amidst the panic and disappointment, you still need a contingency plan to restore your site to normalcy as soon as you can.

It can be challenging to detect the causal factors of the sudden drop in your website traffic and rankings. That’s why we’ve listed these ten issues to help you understand what is going on with your site and how you can fix the problem.

Let’s delve in.

1. Negative SEO

Negative SEO is when you receive an influx of spammy links randomly. You’ll need to disavow such links because they’re impacting your traffic and rankings.

But there are situations where you won’t disavow such links because your site may be using an expired domain. You may end up disavowing useful links and end up without any traffic or ranking. Before you decide to disavow your links, you should analyze them to get an accurate picture of your to disavow file.

Negative SEO – Full Guide

In the process of disputing the spams links, you may accidentally disavow Google too. Some of the links may have linked back to Google Plus even if it doesn’t exist anymore. If you accidentally included the Google domain in your disavow during formatting, then it’s likely that you disavowed Google and caused everything to disappear.

2. Changes in User Behavior

When search behavior changes, the traffic to your page will reduce, and so will your ranking. This may occur because of macro issues like trending products, poor user experience, or a global pandemic like what happened in 2020.

A decline in click-through rates directly impacts your rankings. Consumers can change their minds and behavior when you least expect. That’s why you should always prepare for traffic drops that come with seasonal changes.

If your competitors improve their snippets, they’ll steal your clicks. The query intent may shift and make your snippet look less relevant. Only when you improve your CTR will you start experiencing high traffic flows and rankings. You may need to optimize your snippets to achieve this.

3. Your Site Has Outdated Content

To maintain a constant traffic flow to your website and high rankings on search pages, you should publish fresh content now and then. If your content is outdated, people may not stay on your site for long. This means they’ll not share your content too.

Every competitive niche requires keeping your site up to date regularly for you to attain a slot on the first page. If you are irrelevant, your website will become an irrelevant result that is out of date.

Always update your content and attract more traffic. Keep up with evolving trends to make sure your content is competitive.

4. Changes in SERPs

Sometimes Google decides to change or enhance its Search Engine Results Pages once in a while. This can impact your rankings. Like what happened recently, Google enhanced SERPs with rich snippets, knowledge panels, products page, Q&A sections, job ads, video clips, and more.

Reasons For SERP Changes - Sleek Web Designs
SERP Changes

While these enhancements are beneficial to you, they may reduce your organic search results. Find out if your website is victim to SERP enhancements so you can also enhance your snippets using structured data.

5. Content Audit

When you decided to audit your content, you most likely removed duplicate content from your website. A content audit is often random and focuses on page quality rather than whether the pages drive traffic to your site.

In the process of auditing, you may remove traffic-driving content, which will work against you. While in the content audit process, you should also consider the pages are not driving traffic. You can combine content into masterful pieces to keep receiving traffic and place you on the first page.

6. Lost Links

If you acquire new but low-quality links, your performance in SERPs will be affected. In the same way, losing high-quality links can also impact your ranking. It is crucial to monitor your link profile to see if you lost a link or two. This could be the reason why your ranking and traffic dropped all of a sudden.

The webmaster often cleans up its links and may be responsible for your lost links. One may have removed them because they are broken or by chance. Always analyze and audit your links to get detailed data on your lost links. You can reclaim them by fixing the broken ones or by contacting the webmaster.

7. Updating Your Website with New Design

Updating your website in itself doesn’t affect your traffic. What impacts your rankings and traffic are the redirects and other issues that may derail your website’s indexability and crawlability. Your website’s new JavaScript theme can interfere with indexing and crawling.

When your design interferes with these search engine spider functions, your indexability and crawlability will decline. And if Google can’t index or crawl, you won’t have much traffic or ranking. After your WordPress website update, you should shut off search engines from indexing your site to avoid ranking and traffic issues. An SEO professional can help with that.

8. Incorrectly Embedding GTM Tags

It is only through accurate reporting that you’ll be able to track your efforts. It would be best if you implemented your GTM tags or Google Analytics right to avoid any errors in your reporting. If you don’t, your traffic numbers will be affected.

As you set up your reporting, make sure you include the right Google Tag Manager. This will help you with accurate reporting. You’ll avoid over-reporting or misreporting. Don’t include more than one GTM tag; it will be disastrous. Double-check your GTM tag implementation to ensure you’ve done it correctly.

9. Google Search Console Errors

Google Search Console can also experience errors and bugs in reporting. This situation rarely occurs, but when it does, you’ll see a drop in your rankings and search traffic. Such bugs and glitches in Google’s tools are never reported on Google but the SEO community. That’s why you should consider connecting with the SEO community online so you can be notified when the errors become widespread.

Always check your Google Search Console to understand what’s happening to your organic traffic.

10. Not Updating Your Website in a Long Time

To remain competitive, you have to update your site with new content continually. You can use competitor analysis to determine what you should do for your website to stay competitive.

If you leave your site stagnant, without growth in linking, content, and other promotional activities, you’ll lose out on traffic and ranking. Take immediate action to ensure you reap the competitive benefits.

To update your site, you should consider blogging every day with top-notch, SEO-friendly content. This will help you generate the required links to keep your website on top of the SERPs.

Take Away

A sudden drop in your website traffic and SERP ranking can be worrying but not difficult to fix. Now that you understand the reasons for this decline, you are more prepared to handle each one as it comes. First, you have to analyze what is causing the sudden drop in website traffic and then find a lasting solution that will see you reap good results.


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