SEO fall: Imagine the scene – you’ve worked hard on your site, written and uploaded dozens, if not hundreds, of articles.
Gradually, you got the trust of Google and gradually managed to increase your traffic. In short, you have made your way on the web.
And then one fine day, by consulting your statistics, you notice a drastic drop in your number of visitors. Going further, you find that your main keywords have lost many positions in the Google index. In short, you are relegated to oblivion …
Is it necessary for all that to despair? Delete your site? To resign?
Don’t worry, things might not be as bad as you think …
ARE YOU SURE THAT THE DROP RELATES TO YOUR SEO?
The first thing to check is the source of traffic impacted by this drop. Your site does not receive visits only through search engines. You surely have a Facebook page, a Twitter account, Pinterest… Are these channels also impacted?
If the answer is yes and you notice a general drop in traffic on all of your acquisition channels, the reason is not to look for on the side of your SEO but elsewhere: hacking server failure or bad Google Analytics setting …
Once all of these elements are verified and when you are sure that the problem lies with the SEO of your website, consider the following avenues.
START YOUR SEO AUDIT BY ANALYZING YOUR PAGES
Go to Google Analytics and start by checking the traffic of your most popular pages.
To do this, go to the Behavior section, then Site Content, and finally Landing pages. You can apply a filter to limit the results to traffic from search engines.
Compare the traffic for the current month with the traffic for the same month but the previous year. Do not compare the traffic with that of the previous month because you could get big variations due to seasonality: a page listing Christmas gift ideas will receive much more traffic in December than in January for example.
Analyze your keywords
Using a tool like Ahrefs or SEMrush, you will be able to see, page by page, which keywords are bringing the most traffic.
Have you made any significant changes to your site?
A major change in the structure of the site can lead to traffic drops. For example, if you have deleted many pages without making a 301 redirect if you have modified the permalink (url) of certain pages.
Again, you need to determine if the drop is limited to a few pages or if it affects the entire site. If it only affects a few pages, it is the content and SEO optimization of these that must be reviewed.
Is your content outdated?
If the offending article has been online for several years and you haven’t updated it, there is a good chance that its content is outdated and therefore of less and less interest to readers.
The date of publication plays a role in positioning on Google. If it is old, your page will be disadvantaged.
On the other hand, when Internet users visit your page, they will notice that what you are talking about “dates” a bit. They will therefore tend to leave your page faster, increasing your bounce rate. However, the more a page has a high bounce rate, the more it goes down in the ranking operated by Google.
You can easily see the bounce rate of each page in Google Analytics, still under the Landing page sub-heading. You can also analyze the average duration of sessions and see if it decreases from year to year.
Has your content been plagiarized?
A drop in traffic may be due to your content being duplicated on other sites. If these sites have a higher authority than yours, Google may place them in front of you in its ranking, causing you to lose visitors.
In this case, you must contact the person in charge of the plagiarism site to ask them to remove the offending content as soon as possible. If this action does not have any effect, you can directly ask Google to remove the content through dedicated support.
Maybe you’ve posted some content on other sites, like Medium or whatever. Likewise, these sites with generally strong authority can move up in search results to the detriment of your blog.
Update Your Articles
The first thing to do is to start your content from scratch.
Reread your article carefully and identify any areas to improve or update. If you are in a field like SEO, where techniques are evolving rapidly, it may even be a good idea to start all over again.
Observe the competition: Do a Google search by entering your main keywords in the search bar.
Analyze the pages that go up to the first page of results and try to determine what these pages “have more than you”: more recent information, better structuring of paragraphs, more advanced SEO optimization …
Compare the word count of these articles with the word count on your page.
If you see a big difference in favor of your competition, that may be the reason for your downfall. Indeed, from year to year, the number of average words of a blog post is constantly increasing. An article of 500 words was the norm 5 years ago, today it is rather around 2,500 words …
“Ask yourself this question: “Is my content of quality?”. Indeed, it is not enough to force-feed your readers with articles of 4000 words. It is also always necessary to make sure to bring to the reader useful information which he would not necessarily have thought of and not to force open doors in order to fill your pages.
Since 2011 and the Panda update, Google has put more and more emphasis on the quality of the content of the pages.
Check your backlinks
Backlinks (inbound links) are an essential factor to be well referenced in search engines, if not the most important factor. Perhaps you’ve lost a significant number of them, or just a few links from high authority sites have been removed for some reason you don’t know.
Check your backlinks using specialist tools like Ahrefs or Majestic SEO, which will tell you which links have been recently removed.
Then do a new link acquisition campaign to regain your valuable backlinks.
Check the loading time of your pages
There is nothing more annoying for an Internet user than a page that takes an infinite time to load. Check that your pages load quickly: it is estimated that a web page should take less than 3 seconds to display.
A slow page will surely be difficult for Google to crawl and it will take this into account in its reference. It will also tend to crawl fewer pages on your site if it realizes that all of your pages have this load speed problem.
As we have seen, a drop in attendance can be due to multiple factors.
Keep in mind, however, that a site with good SEO is a site with up-to-date, interesting, and comprehensive content.
If you follow these simple recommendations, you shouldn’t experience a significant drop in your traffic.
Understanding the reasons for a drop in your SEO traffic also allows you to know what simple manipulations to put in place to regain places in the search engines and recover your precious visitors!
Our Web agency is able to carry out an SEO audit of your site, to identify and solve your problems of fall of natural referencing.