4 things to check if your traffic suddenly drops

2 minutes read / SEO

If you’ve invested blood, sweat and many, many tears into a website then you want people to be seeing it. Which is why a drop in traffic can be a worrying, and even damaging, thing for a business.


A drop in traffic can mean people aren’t finding you when they’re looking for information, which isn’t what anyone wants to hear. If you find that your site traffic takes a nosedive then don’t panic – yet. There are tons of reasons that this can happen, so we’ve rounded up 5 of the things you can look at to try to get to the bottom of the issue.


Have you caught a penalty?

Unlike the England team, apparently, penalties are not your friend. If you’ve done the unthinkable and violated guidelines then the almighty Google may make its feelings clear through search engine penalties.


To see if this has happened to you, head to Google Search Console. Go to the Search Traffic drop down and choose Manual Actions; if your site has been given a red card, there should be a message telling you why you’ve got a penalty and specifying what exactly has been affected. Some common reasons can be duplicate content, suspicious redirects or malicious links – none of which make Google happy.

Long lost links

Remember those lovely little backlinks that you worked so hard to get? Well, they don’t always stick around forever.


Check if your backlink profile has taken a hit, or use tools like SEO Spyglass to check the status of your links. If you’ve lost any of your major hitters, it can cause a serious dent in your visibility and traffic, which is why it’s often worth contacting the sites again and seeing if you can get the links reinstated. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.


Algorithm updates

Google is a busy little bee, which is why it’s not uncommon for things to be tweaked in the background, or for new algorithms to be rolled out every once in a while. However, they tend to send the SEO world into a spin – which is why they’re usually fairly easy to find out about.


If your traffic has taken a hit then check out some digital news sites, or even Twitter, to see if there have been any new releases. Alternatively, you may be able to spot a potential update by keeping track of SERP fluctuations for your niche keywords.


Site changes

We know it can be tempting to keep tinkering with a site for months and months – but overdoing the tinkering could well be why you’re taking a hit in the rankings. Major site changes like migrations or redesigns could lead to ranking repercussions – but don’t worry, Google Search Console can help you out once more. Go to Crawl, then Crawl Errors, and have a look at the graphs to see if you can spot any shifts that may have taken place after you made changes.


This is by no means an exhaustive list, and there can, unfortunately, be lots of reasons why you see a hit in traffic. However, checking out these four areas first might help you rectify the problem before anything too drastic happens. Still not sure why your site isn’t performing how you want it to? We may be able to help. Get in touch with one of the team today for more information.

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