Where Has All My Web Traffic Gone?

Have you noticed a drop in traffic to your website? For many companies, this is a big deal. In today’s digital environment, a significant drop in website visits could put your business in danger.

But it does happen from time to time, so it’s important to be able to spot it and fix it quickly when it does.

Step One = Spot the Problem

Make sure you’re tracking activity on your website on a regular basis. A simple Google Analytics account is all you need to keep an eye on the number of visitors to your website. This is how you’ll know when traffic goes up or down so that you can react to it.

Step Two = Diagnose the Problem

After you see a dip in traffic, the next thing you need to do is figure out where that dip is coming from. Usually, a drop in the number of visitors can be traced back to one or two sources of traffic.

Here, you can use the Acquisition reports within your Google Analytics account to sort traffic by channel. You can see if the drop in traffic is coming from direct (maybe your email programs or offline ads), organic (search results), social media or any number of paid sources. When you know what source is lacking, you will gain a better understanding as to why your traffic is down and what you can do to fix it.

Step Three = Fix the Problem

Most times, it is within your control to fix the issue. Sometimes it may take longer than others, but a good marketer should be able to fix the problem once he identifies it.

If the problem is paid traffic, ask yourself what you’re doing differently. Maybe you starting running different ads? Maybe you lowered your budget? Maybe you’re advertising in a different place? This is usually the easiest problem to fix because you’re in complete control of where you’re advertising and how much you are spending.

If the problem is social media traffic, the solution is usually the same as paid traffic. Something is different about what you’re posting, where you’re posting, or when you’re posting. Maybe your content is not as engaging as it was before. That’s easy to fix with better content.

If the problem is referral traffic from other websites, track it back to a specific website. Maybe they removed a link to your site that was generating a lot of clicks. Maybe they lost traffic themselves and therefor they’re sending fewer visitors to you. This can be difficult to fix, but identifying the problem site allows you to reach out to them or do something to address it.

Finally, if the problem is organic traffic, you may need to review your organic rankings. Tools like Conductor or SEMRush allow you to monitor your rankings for a set of keywords. If your rankings start to fall out of the top positions or off the first page, it will almost always lead to lower traffic. It’s usually a sign of increased competition or a poor website strategy on your part. That means it’s time to either spend more on PPC ads or develop a search engine optimization strategy to improve your rankings as quickly as possible.

If you’re company is suffering from a drop in traffic, it’s not fun. You need to act fast. And those marketers that have the tools and know-how at their disposal to identify and fix the problem in a hurry will be better off.