How to Diagnose Sudden Drops in Website Search Engine Traffic?

traffic drop

traffic drop

If online activities are a key part of your business, then there is nothing more stressful than seeing your website traffic dip alarmingly.  Whether you’re selling products or services through your site or trying to drive enquiries, you’re not going to achieve either if no one can find you.

What often makes these occurrences more difficult to deal with is when you haven’t done anything differently. If you’d removed your blog page or started link building without any experience of previously doing so, then you might have an idea of what has happened. However, when you haven’t removed content or created a ton of low quality links, you need to start looking elsewhere for the answer, and quickly.

Is Your Site Online?

website traffic drop

Is there no traffic to your site because your site isn’t online? This should always be the first place you look; you wouldn’t want to waste time checking anything else if there’s an issue with unscheduled downtime.

Logging into your web-hosting dashboard should be able to tell you the answer, at which point you can contact your hosting company and get answers about when the issue will be resolved.

In anticipation of this, ensure that there are clear guidelines within your hosting agreement regarding compensation should downtime affect your business.

Check Analytics Integration

If you’re still receiving enquiries and making sales, but traffic has fallen from the radar completely, then it’s probably something simple. Go into your site builder tool and check the code of any analytics software that you’re running. If your site has lots of applications and plugins running at the same time, these can affect each other, so you could still be getting traffic and just not seeing it.

Of course, you still want to know how many people are visiting your site for a variety of reasons; discover which applications are causing your analytics functions to fail, or simply use the traffic data your hosting company should be generating.

Have You Been Hacked?

Credits Sebastiaan ter Burg

If your website is quite stagnant and you don’t need to log into your hosting dashboard on a regular basis, there is a chance your site has been hacked, and anyone trying to reach your site is being sent elsewhere.

Protect yourself against this by finding a web-hosting company, such as Jaguar PC, that offers fully managed hosting solutions. If you don’t have the time to oversee your site continually, paying the extra on top of your regular hosting fee can make a big difference.

Google Webmaster Tools

sudden search traffic drop

Despite there being probably thousands of online guides to using Google Webmaster Tools, people still fail to heed the warning to check their messages on a daily basis.

Yes, it’s easy to do this when you receive updates that you aren’t interested in most of the time, but you’ll feel a bit stupid if you log in to check why your traffic has disappeared and realize you were warned about a potential manual penalty within the last two weeks.

Read SEO Blogs

If you’re not signed up to an SEO newsletter, or don’t follow SEO websites and blogs on social media, then it is wise to do so. If the other steps haven’t identified your problem, then the final possibility is that a Google algorithm change has affected your search position.

Read authoritative sites such as Search Engine Land, as they’ll often be the first to report any algorithm changes that have become apparent.

Dealing with Lost Traffic


How you deal with lost traffic will depend on the reason you lost it. If you’ve received a manual Google penalty or your site is offline, then you can take actions to rectify the situation quickly. Alternatively, if you’ve suffered due to an algorithm change, you’ll have to reassess your SEO strategy and come up with a plan for getting back your trust level and search position.

About Guest Author

Robert McKinley is a content writer for JaguarPC and an online business analyst working on behalf of a number of companies to oversee their online activities. Robert specializes in developing preventative measures to prevent major issues from happening, and gets frustrated by the few elements that he cannot control, such as unscheduled downtime.