10 variables that could be messing with your organic traffic

by | Sep 12, 2016 | Search Engine Optimization | 0 comments

 

Organic traffic, unlike its paid counterpart, comes with a unique set of challenges in diagnosing a decline in organic traffic and conversions.Whether you’re a seasoned SEO or someone who runs your own business, you know there are fluctuations in your organic traffic, but you may have a hard time pinpointing  the root cause. There are some obvious places you can mine for insights (Google Analytics, Google Search Console), but other factors at play can be harder to quantify
From basic issues to advanced issues to factors that are largely out of your control, By examining both internal and external factors, you can start to piece together the puzzle. The following is a list of things to check for when diagnosing major fluctuations in organic traffic or search engine rankings.

1.Your pages aren’t indexed

Conduct a quick Google search using “site:yourwebsite.com” to make sure your pages are actually indexed. Also Check your robots.txt file to make sure you haven’t blocked important pages or directories  If you’re noticing that critical pages aren’t appearing in the SERPs, you’ve likely found the culprit of why your organic traffic is having issues. 

2. Bot blockers

In Google Analytics are you currently excluding all known bots and spiders? If not, you may be experiencing inflated organic traffic metrics and not even know it. One significant sign of bot traffic is a highly trafficked page with a high bounce rate, low conversions and a low average time on page.Typically, bots enter through the home page and cascade down throughout your site navigation, mimicking real user behavior.
It’s important to note that filters cannot be applied retroactively, so if you’ve recently turned on this feature, you should be receiving less organic traffic. While it’s best to create a custom dimension for filtering out bots, applying the generic bot filter is a good place to start. Also, re-check that you are filtering out your own  organic traffic and IP address.

3. Recent website updates

It’s fair to expect a decrease in traffic if you’ve recently modified your on-page copy, undergone a site overhaul (removing pages, reordering the navigation) or migrated your site sans redirects. It’s not unheard of  to experience fluctuating rankings for up to a few weeks after this. After reworking your site content, Google must re-crawl and then re-index these pages.  
If you’ve changed your URL structure or removed pages from your site, it’s important to have a 301-redirect strategy in place to preserve link equity and avoid a loss of rankings/traffic.

4. URL confusion

Not having a clearly defined keyword map can spell trouble — especially if two or more pages are optimized for the same keyword. Do you have a content strategy in place? In practice, this will cause pages to compete against each other in the SERPs, potentially reducing the rankings of these pages.
Fortunately, if you have access to a keyword tracking tool, you should be able to see a day-by-day breakdown of which URLs Google chooses to rank for that particular keyword. With a little time and effort, you should be able to fix the situation.

5. Organized information markup

You should be monitoring the appearance of your rich snippets on a regular basis to ensure they are pulling in the correct information. Implementing structured data markup (such as that from schema.org) might seem like a one-time project, but that “set it and forget it” mentality can land you in hot water.  As you change the content on your website, this can alter the markup without warning.
Likewise, depending on your back-end merchandising setup, products could be triggered to show “out of stock” schema if one color variation goes out of stock. As you can imagine, this can wreak havoc on your click-through rates and lead users to purchase from your resellers — or worse, your competitors!

6. Promotional cadence & the “Sale Hangover Effect”

Factors such as running a big promotion last year, such as a sample or flash sale that coincides with the same week this year could mess up your year-on-year comparison.If your brand launch a new product line or offer limited-time products, were your past promotions equally enticing?
These factors alone are hard to measure, and we’re not even calculating for PR efforts, which will also impact your organic metrics. There is also significant evidence to suggest that the “Sale Hangover Effect” is not just a phenomenon. It deals with two factors: share of mind and share of wallet.

7. Price merchandise depth & point

a well-planned strategy means nothing without people. Here is a story that is common that many retailers online can connect to: You’ve identified your “sweet spot” in the market.Your center products drive volume — which lets you reach increase that is astonishing.  You understand that billing above this threshold results in cost sensitivity.
Perhaps your focus changed. Perhaps you attempted to concentrate on your higher-sales products or you quit churning out iterations of your best sellers, — all the while alienating the people that enjoyed your previous offerings. This instantly turns into an “odd scenario that is ”. Did your merchandise focus shift? Or are,consumers not  interested in your brand anymore?, Look for a fast test, and pull on clicks and places by page at Google Search Games Console information.  This means your brand isn’t losing presence in the SERPs . If location is remaining relatively stagnant,  there may be a larger issue at play.

8. Being outranked affiliates & by resellers

For maximum exposure,have several resellers under your belt, or you may have launched an affiliate program. Until your resellers start to outrank you for branded keywords, this is typically a non-issue. Although it’s a sure bet you’re losing traffic to these sites,  this might not derail your revenue goals.

9. New Google ad positioning

Many brands may be seeing more of their direct traffic being cannibalized by paid search advertising, with Google killing off right hand railway advertising.While you should be aware of this, it’s going to be some time before we’re able to see the total effect.

10. Business waning brand interest & tendencies

Not many businesses are “downturn-evidence” and experience an inelastic product demand with the exclusion of Picassos and crude oil. Looking at the bigger picture may help provide some clarity while you should take Google Trends data with a grain of salt. Look at your rivals and see if they’re experiencing precisely the same issues Brands hold a wealth of customer information which could frequently not appear related to SEO — and many times, it’s not.
Knowing something as simple as “Consumer preferences are shifting around the color blue” could help tell you why your traffic is down if your products are often paired with blue shirts. If you’re working with an SEO agency, sometimes sharing this knowledge can provide the missing piece to the puzzle.Sometimes it’s as easy as connecting the dots.

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