Your website traffic is decreasing day after day! What’s wrong?
Maybe it’s not you.
Depending on your website’s niche and the time of the year, your website may experience a substantial loss of traffic. Don’t worry, it’s not your posts. It’s just people that stopped searching for your website’s ranked keywords. And you can use Google Webmaster Tools to confirm that’s the case.
When did you notice a decrease in website traffic?
During this month (December) a website of mine is experiencing a gradual decrease in traffic. A constant and worrying drop of traffic. It’s not just the consistency of the fall but its magnitude as well. Traffic is down almost 80%!
I began witnessing the phenomenon a couple of days after I made some changes to the website’s core, SEO-wise. You know, the improvements you make on your website to rank better in search engines. In my case that meant replacing a WordPress plugin with another one that did the same job; only better presumably.
So, I started worrying that maybe I should revert those changes and bring back the old plugin. Fortunately, Webmaster Tools by Google were once again there to help me out and provide the answers. Much like when my Joomla website was hacked!
Webmaster Tools show impressions’ decrease in search engine results
Log in to Google Webmaster Central and open the Search Traffic tab for your website. Click on Search Queries and make sure you check the “With Change” option under the graph. This is what you should be looking at (click for enlarged image):
The declining line at the graph should set alarms off at first glance. Your website does not seem to be appearing so much at search results as it used to in the past. This is also the case if you take a look at the impressions’ change percentage. The website in my case appears at least 30% less at search engine results for my best ranked keywords!
If your website doesn’t show up for popular keywords, how do you expect for people to read your posts or visit your online business?
Truth is my website does show up! And it hasn’t stopped at all according to the table’s last column, titled “Change”! My website’s average position for its most popular keywords hasn’t changed a bit.
Thus, maybe your website traffic decrease didn’t happen because your website doesn’t rank well.
It’s because people stopped searching for those particular keywords!
Question is now: Why did people stop searching for your website’s keywords?
Again, Google is our friend. Only this time it’s not Webmaster Tools, since you can only see up to 30-days data there.
Google Trends confirms: Interest fluctuates over time
My website’s main targeted keyword has its ups and downs in relation to people’s interest over time.
If you look closely, you’ll notice a trend: there are two periods in a year-span, when interest is substantially decreased. Christmas’ time and summer. In other words, during a popular holiday season and when businessmen go on vacation.
No surprise there, given it’s a website about business planning.
Thus, before you go on a web designing spree, changing a bunch of crucial stuff of your website or blog, remember to check Google Webmaster Tools first. Hopefully, the drop of traffic your website is experiencing is nothing more than an expected downfall of people’s interest. As long as you provide useful and valuable to your readers content, you’ve nothing to worry about your website traffic.