13 Reasons Your Organic Traffic is in Decline… And it’s Not a Penalty
TechsPlace | The world of search engine optimization has undergone significant changes in the past couple of years. Even though it is changing, a lot of it still stays the same. While SEO professionals solve a wide range of optimization problems, they are still looked at with cynicism, sometimes bordering on being shady worthless criminals. Overall, it is kind of a thankless job at times.
It is difficult to talk about “ranking on Google” without going into a tirade towards higher barriers to entry. With link building, content development, image optimization, and XML sitemaps, you also have the iron hand of Google’s regulations. Add growing competition, automation (AI), and gradual algorithms changes, and you have a recipe that might deter individuals to enter into this world of digital branding.
Even though it is a brave new world, we feel that making peace with the change is the best way to go. To that end, we must embrace the “robots” and work alongside them for a better internet. In order to embrace the reality of things, we must first look at our own flaws.
Here are 13 reasons why your organic traffic is in decline
- Lack of Content, Page, and Domain Authority
In a simpler time, Domain Authority was simply called PageRank. Domain Authority is very influential if you think about it. The age, popularity, and size of your domain counts a lot when estimating the overall appeal of your site.
Domain authority is the sum of your entire website’s link authority. While it might not be the only metric that details the entire ranking for your site, it is a pretty significant one with a stronger influence. If you are facing problems, then chances are, your site does not have enough of it. An increase in root linking domains and legitimate site authority is always beneficial for your SEO efforts as a whole, which should always be a tactical option.
Page authority is a definite part of an individual’s page ranking. Any page can make it to the number one spot of Google, but a site with higher domain authority, that has well-written content will get there a lot faster, and stay a lot longer, everything being equal.
Once a page goes viral and receives significant social mentions and links, it ranks for those terms. Domain authority and page authority are vital links to a strong organic marketing presence, which is why many e-commerce, as well as web design and development services, use “content marketing” to improve both.
Authorship might be dead, but the idea of subject matter expertise by the author still remains alive. Why? Because for so many years Google has experimented with the rel=author tag that there is no doubt that topical authority is a factor that has the potential to influence search results.
Anyone can write and publish because of the rise in open blogging platforms, but to write for a trusted site with the most relevant audience and expertise is not everyone’s piece of cake.
Let us suppose that you do have the necessary domain and page authority to match with your competitors. However, if you are still lacking in this area, your content and links might be viewed as more generic, or not at the same level as the competition.
- Mobile Responsiveness
It is no surprise that having a website that is accessible to users on their phones can count a lot in today’s world. According to a recent study, people are now spending more times on their smartphones rather than their laptops. The desktop PC user count is even lower.
The sad part is, many businesses are still focusing on the desktop version of their website instead of focusing on creating mobile responsive websites. So, put an effort on making your site responsive for the mobile platform. If you want to go the extra mile, you can even hire a developer for that work.
- Broken Links
If you have a website, we are pretty sure you have placed some serious effort and hours into making your website a valuable resource for your visitors. But it will not prove very useful if your links are not working. In fact, it can even derail all your hard work.
First of all, websites make for a bad user experience because when a user clicks on a link and reaches a dead 404 error, they will get frustrated and not return.
Secondly, they devalue your SEO efforts. Broken links stop the flow of link equity throughout your site, which impacts rankings negatively.
- Content is Not Organized
When you have a smaller website, this is not really a problem. But if you move your site from 10 pages to let’s say a 100 pages, then the need for organisation becomes apparent. The organization of the content also dictates how well your site is linked internally, and how accessible it is when it is referenced by other websites.
- Content is Not Expert
Just because you have written a fantastic article on a particular topic does not mean that Google will reward your high literacy skills. Let’s face it; there are many other articles like it on the internet, most of them written to “beef up” the content for their site.
In order to make content work for you, you need to have content that is supplemented by a handful of effective images. In the ADD filled world that is the internet, you need to have content that is fun, engaging, and readable by viewers of your set demographics.
- Increased Competition
The search engine universe is becoming highly contested; there is no lie about that. The barriers to entry are very high because at least some of the businesses have been the beneficiary of commercial intent keyword searches.
When it comes to organic search, if you do not have a set strategy mapped out for yourself, then you are going to have some problems for the future. A good first step towards that strategy would be to do competitive research, because if you do not, then you are more likely to lose ground to your competitors.
- No Media Spend
If you are not spending time on advertising, then you are not going to last very long in the digital arena. Organic reach can go only so far. You need an external influence through the use of media. This can include print media, internet media, social media, or even television media.
A little investment in such media can go a long way in making your site go farther up in the rankings.
- Site is Slow
Downtime can prove disastrous to your site, but a website that loads slowly is even worse. The problem can become a difficult hurdle if left unchecked for a long time. There is nothing more frustrating to a large marketing campaign than a slow loading site or suffers this type of site downtime.
- High Bounce Rate
This works well with the previous point. Your site is not going to have a lot of visitors if you have a slow loading site. In the time it takes for your site to load, they are going to find different alternatives to your site that will suit them. You can improve your bounce rate in the following ways.
- Duplicate Content Issues
Duplicate content poses a significant problem for larger websites. More importantly, it can hamper your page/domain authority, which negatively impacts user experience and metrics. Moreover, it also confuses search crawlers which wastes crawl cycles on your website.
- Site Migration Moved URLs
Moving old URLs is a bad idea, generally speaking. When the URLs you are planning to move to have inbound links, and have a history of stronger performance, moving them can be devastating, to say the least. If you absolutely have to, then you should work towards setting a website migration checklist.
- Not a Penalty
It might be filtered, your landing pages, devalued links, or other significant problems that cause a decline in your organic traffic. The use of lost keywords in SEMrush helps to identify the problems when they occur, so extra efforts can be put into place to recover the losses as applicable.
- Lack of Understanding
Someone in your team might not perform well. It is natural. These mistakes, however, are avoidable when you have a checklist and a plan with you. You can train your marketing team, which means you are using the same terminology, tools, and tactics. That way, if problems do occur, your team is speaking the same language at least.
The factors mentioned above are general examples of problems that can decrease organic traffic. Your traffic might be hampered by some other factor. You are the best judge for that situation. If you do find yourself in a predicament where all these factors do not match up with your site, then you should definitely scour the internet for a solution. It is highly likely that someone else must have faced a similar problem in the past.
Nouman is a digital marketing expert from Dynamologic Solutions for many years. He considers bringing all the keywords to the top of his duty and constantly strives hard to achieve the best result. Along with finding & implementing content optimization strategy, he is also fond of writing interesting blogs on SEO and Digital Marketing related topics.