As we are a web design company, we are hearing a lot of reports these days of online businesses noticing severe (and sometimes catastrophic) drops in their unique site visitor numbers. Owners and web masters are worrying that this is going to dramatically impact eCommerce.

First and foremost; “Don’t Panic”

A bit of investigative work is required.

Have changes been made to the website around the time visitor numbers dropped?

When making changes to content, bear in mind that the homepage will automatically have twice as much authority as any other page.

Is it possible you have removed valuable content (keywords) that was helping your rankings and bringing in traffic?
-> Check Google Analytics to see which keywords might have dropped traffic.

Sometimes Google is slow to rank amended pages. If you feel your content is relevant and robust then consider A/B testing.

There is plenty of help available on this and a reputable Web Development Company will happily advise.

Are there warnings in your webmaster tools page?

-> Check your webmaster page and look for warnings from Google that could indicate a penalty. If present, sort these out A.S.A.P. or contact your web master to resolve.

What traffic source has the drop manifested in?

If Google is the source where organic traffic loss is indicated it is most likely a rankings issue.

-> Back links should also be checked; it can be a time consuming task but go through them. Are links present that are irrelevant, spam or from undesirable sites? You can tell Google to ignore them through the ‘disavow’ tool. Access this utility through your webmaster tools. You will need to create a text file detailing each link to be ‘disavowed’. WARNING: do this with caution as it is possible to make matters worse if valuable links are flagged by mistake. It may be preferable to get advice from an SEO expert.

Finally: Focus on your Goals

Reduced traffic doesn’t necessarily mean a reduction in Sales!

If less visitors are coming to your site or bouncing (leaving your site from the page they entered) but more of your visitors are converting to sales, it could indicate that your traffic has become more relevant to your business e.g. your keyword rankings have become more relevant to your product – Visitors are being directed to the right place… Your Site!!

By Christine Kinch.