Website Traffic Down? Here’s How You Investigate to Determine the Cause

| Updated at November 9, 2022

Is your website losing traffic, and are you worried about your SEO investment? Running a website comes with many challenges, and nothing is more challenging than seeing your website traffic drop. But it is essential to understand that some drops in website traffic might be normal, occasioned by various external factors outside your control domain. However, sudden and massive website traffic drops should raise your eyebrows. 

If you notice such massive drops, you do not have to throw your arms in the air and call it a quit. It is possible to reverse the traffic drops as soon as possible before they culminate into something dangerous. The best thing to do is investigate traffic drops’ cause before laying down a strategic corrective mechanism.

Investigating the Cause of Website Traffic Drops

There are four significant steps involved in investigating traffic drops. They are as follows:

Step 1: Ascertain if the issue is actually a traffic problem

Step 2: Determine the underlying causes of traffic drops 

Step 3: Determine if the traffic issue is worth resolving

Step 4: Outline and execute the possible corrective measures to mitigate the problem


Let us explore these steps in detail.

Determining if the Website Traffic is Down

The first vital step in investigating and resolving a drop in website traffic is ascertaining that it is a traffic problem you are dealing with. The big question to ask yourself is if marketing/SEO issues occasion the drop in traffic. 

Measuring website traffic can be a bit challenging, especially with the availability of several tools that perform this task. It becomes tough to choose a perfect tool that paints a clear picture of the state of your website traffic. Moreover, many metrics are used when reviewing and analyzing traffic, making the task even more difficult. So whether you have decided to work with Google Tag Manager or utilized Google Analytics in tracking your traffic, you must check all key elements that prove traffic is down because of a tracking issue. Although this step might appear unnecessary, it has proved critical several times and should be the starting point for every investigation journey.

Determining the Underlying Causes of Website Traffic Drops

After you have ascertained the actual drop in website traffic, it is time to investigate the cause of the losing traffic. Several reasons might explain why your traffic is dropping. Some of the reasons are highlighted below.

Change in Google Algorithm

You know how vital ranking high in search engines is to the success of your business. One of the things that will lead to a drop in traffic is if your competitors rank above you in SEO. Google uses several algorithms when ranking websites. Sometimes it becomes tough to keep up with these algorithms, which might cause a traffic drop.

Low-Quality Content

Quality content is one of the most vital things you can use to attract website visitors. Quality content could help you develop a robust customer base. If your website does not have quality content that keeps visitors coming for more, you will likely lose a lot of traffic.

Over Optimization

We all know the essence of keywords in search engine optimization. Keywords help your site visitors find your content. However, some digital marketers tend to overdo things. Keyword stuffing will make search engines view your website as geared towards marketing, not user experience. Over-optimization leads to a drop in ranking, which could hurt your traffic.

Slow Site Speeds

Website speed is one of the most significant factors that determine the level of traffic a website receives. No site visitor is willing to visit a website that takes too long to load. A previous study found that websites that load within five seconds have the highest conversion rates.

Insecure Websites

Website security is a critical determinant of site traffic. No website visitor will be willing to visit a website with insecurity concerns. Similarly, search engines will penalize insecure websites by relegating them to the bottom of the search engine results pages. All these factors work in tandem to hurt website traffic. Nowadays, it is so easy to determine a secure website. Users check for the availability of an SSL certificate by looking at the address bar and padlock icon. Essentially, HTTPS websites are deemed more secure since they carry encryption strengths. HTTP websites are insecure because they lack encryption. Website visitors prefer HTTPS to HTTP sites.

Mobile Incompatibility

Most modern internet users prefer using mobile devices when browsing through websites. According to Statista, the second quarter of 2022 has already witnessed 58.99% of mobile traffic. If your website is not optimized for mobile, you lose a lot of traffic. 

These are just a few examples of the many causes of decreased website traffic. You can check this page to learn more about the causes of a drop in website traffic.

Is the Traffic Issue Worth Resolving

Some traffic drops are caused by extrinsic factors that are way beyond the control of your website. You do not have to spend a lot of money and resources on something that cannot be controlled. However, there are those issues that you can resolve using various techniques.

Possible Measures to Solve Traffic Drops on Your Website

Here are some measures you should take to mitigate website traffic drops.

Create Quality Content and Update It Regularly

Website visitors and search engines love catchy and fresh content. Search engines will reward websites with excellent content with high rankings on the search engine results pages. Similarly, visitors will keep returning to your website because they know they will get new information every time they visit.

If your website has been experiencing a drop in traffic, it is time to check your content. Ensure the content is quality. You can hire a professional content creator to help you create quality content for your website.

Optimize Your Site Speeds

Users love a website that takes less time to load. They will immediately exit a website that seems to take ages to load. High site speeds increase your traffic, while slow sites decrease your traffic. There are several techniques you can be used to enhance site speeds. 

Boost Your Website Security with An SSL certificate

Website visitors do not want to visit HTTP websites because of the security threats associated with such websites. Your website loses a lot of traffic if it still operates on HTTP. You will need an SSL certificate to migrate your website from HTTP to HTTPS. With an SSL certificate, the communication between your site servers and users’ web browsers is encrypted and safe from attackers. Users will be confident interacting with such a website.

Optimize Your Website for Mobile

If mobile incompatibility is the culprit behind a drop in internet traffic, you have to optimize it for mobile. Users prefer using mobile devices when browsing websites, and having a mobile-friendly website is a big plus to your website traffic.

Change your Digital Marketing Strategy

Your website might suffer from low traffic because your current digital marketing strategy is not working for you. You should use different strategies such as social media advertisements, influencer marketing, or conventional forms of marketing. The goal is to choose an advertisement strategy that reaches your target audience and drives traffic to your website.

Final Words

If you run a website, you should brace yourself for an encounter with a drop in traffic. These drops often come unannounced. They can hurt your business (in the case of eCommerce websites) and potentially take you out of business. You need to know how to handle these drops when they come forth. This article has exploited the procedure you should follow when investigating a drop in website traffic. It has elaborated on some causes of reduced traffic and provided possible troubleshooting solutions to handle the issue.

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