Law & Order SEO: Finding The Culprit Behind Your Decreased Organic Traffic

January 2nd, 2015 by Search Influence Alumni

As digital marketers, we regularly analyze site traffic to ensure that our efforts are producing positive results. But what happens when you’re doing all the right things in your SEO campaign (high-quality website content, blogging, link-building, etc.) and your Google organic website traffic is consistently going down?

1) Traffic Deep-Dive

First, log into Google Analytics and narrow your search down to Google organic traffic over the largest date range possible. Look for trends of upward or downward traffic and make annotations of known changes that might have caused traffic to change (such as a new website launch or the installation of a blog). Also, check traffic by landing page to see if only certain pages were affected.


2) Compare to Algo Timeframes

Next, see if any of the changes correspond to one of Google’s algorithm updates using the Moz algorithm timeline. Keep in mind that the date might not be exact, because the updates often take time to roll out. If you can attribute the traffic change to an algorithm update, take the necessary action depending on the update. Hit by Panda? Focus on your content strategy. Hit by Penguin? Take a close look at your inbound links and check for a manual action.


3) Investigate Other Possible Culprits

If your traffic change didn’t correspond to a Google algo update, this is when your analysis gets a little tricky, as there are many possible reasons for the change. Here are some things to check when searching for the source of your traffic change:

  • Rollout of a new website (setting up 301 redirects is essential to this process as well as carrying over all SEO optimizations)
  • Removal or adjustment of your content
  • Relocation of your business (your citations need major focus)
  • Discontinuation of an ad campaign that was generating traffic
  • Adjustment of technical elements of your site, such as meta-tags or robots.txt
  • Change or removal of your Google Analytics tracking code (surprisingly common)
  • Change in the marketplace or seasonality (like a decreased demand for your products/services in general or during a certain part of the year)—check out Google Trends
  • Messy directory profile (check your percentage of correct citations using Moz “Check My Listing”)

These tips will hopefully help you get to the root of the issue and take the necessary action to achieve your SEO goals. If you need a professional team to do the work for you or to assist you in your efforts, you can always call us: we’ll be happy to discuss our SEO packages with you.

Have any additional recommendations for things to check? This list is not exhaustive, so please help add to it!