7 Reasons Why Your Website Traffic Has Dropped

July 10, 2018

If your website traffic has dropped, don't panic! We have complied a simple step-by-step checklist taking you through the steps (in order) that you should take to find the cause of the drop in traffic.

1. Google Analytics Tracking Code

The first step you should take to debug this issue is to check if the correct tracking code or if any tracking code at all is present on your site.

How Do I Know If I Have Google Analytics Tracking Code on My Site?

You can do this by going onto any page of your site, then right mouse click anywhere on the page and click "View page source."

Then on your keyboard press the "Ctrl" and the "F" key together. And in the search box that appears search for your Google Analytics tracking ID.

Keep pressing the "Enter" key on your keyboard until you come across your Google Analytics tracking code.

If you have Google Analytics tracking code on your site, then you should find it in the source code like this.

If you cannot find your Google Analytics tracking ID in your source code, then it is possible that you do not have any Google Analytics tracking code on your site and this could be the cause for your drop in traffic.

How Do I Find My Google Analytics Tracking ID?

If you do not know your Google Analytics tracking ID, you can find it by going to:

Google Analytics > your Google Analytics property and navigating to "Admin" (the cog at the bottom left) > "Tracking Code" and at the top of the page you should see your tracking ID.

Copy this and search for it in your website page source as described earlier.

Click here for an image guide.

2. Google Analytics IP Filters

The second step to debugging this issue would be to check your filters on your Google Analytics property.

This is to check to see if you have a filter(s) that either excludes a large chunk of traffic (such as a having a filter that excludes traffic from an ISP domain) or if you have a filter on your property that is only including traffic from a small traffic source (such as having a filter that only includes traffic from a certain IP address and is not tracking traffic for anything else.)

How Do I Check My Google Analytics IP Filters?

To view your filters, go to Google Analytics > your Google Analytics Property > Admin > Filters.

Click here for an image guide.

3. Domain Blacklist

The third step to take would be to check if your domain has been put on a blacklist that would deem your site as unsafe and could stop your site from being indexed.

How Do I Check If My Site Has Been Blacklisted?

You can use a tool such as https://tools.geekflare.com/tools/blacklist-test to check if your site has been placed on a blacklist.

4. Blocked Spiders/Robots

The fourth step you should take is to check if your site is blocking spiders/robots to certain or all pages of your site.

How Do I Check If My Site Is Blocking Spiders/Robots?

You can usually view your robots.txt file, which contains the rules for your site with regards to spiders/robots, by going to YOURDOMAIN/robots.txt.

In this file you should check which web pages are allowed and disallowed (disallowed means the page cannot be indexed).

"Disallow: /" means that EVERY PAGE SHOULD NOT BE INDEXED. If you see this rule in your robots.txt file, remove it immediately!

"Disallow: /tmp/" or some other page path means ONLY THAT PAGE SHOULD NOT BE INDEXED.

Sometimes it is a good idea to have certain pages non-indexable. So it is up to you if certain pages need to be indexed or not. But you should go through and double-check these individual page rules.

5. Google Search Console Warnings

The fifth step would be to check Google Search Console for indexing warnings.

Google Search Console indexing warnings range from issues with pages being blocked (non-indexable) due to robots.txt no-index, sitemap issues or blacklist issues (which can completely stop your site from being indexed) so it is best to keep on top of these warnings.

How Do I Check My Google Search Console Warnings?

To view your Google Search Console Warnings, go to Google Search Console > your Google Search Console Property > Messages.

Click here for an image guide.

6. Google Search Console 404 Errors

Google Search Console also has a feature where you can see all of the 404 error pages that Google has indexed for your site.

As the sixth step, you should go through this list and put in place redirects.

This is because, having a couple of 404 pages on a site is not too much of a detriment, however, if your site has hundreds or thousands of 404 pages then your site may be penalised and may lose ranking and therefore lose traffic because of this.

How Do I Check My Google Search Console 404 Errors?

To view your Google Search Console 404 Errors, go to Google Search Console > your Google Search Console Property > Crawl > Crawl Errors.

Click here for an image guide.

7. Page Speed

As a seventh and last step you should check your Site's speed.

This is because for a long time on desktop google searches, page speed has been a ranking factor. And therefore if your site's page speed has suddenly taken a dive for the worse, this could negativity affect your site's rankings and therefore decrease your sites traffic.

Recently, Google has also made page speed a ranking factor on mobile google searches so now there is even more of a reason to check your site's page speed.

If you do find that your page speed on a few of your site's pages have dropped, then it could be a content change or a plugin/add-on update that may have caused this.

However, if your site's page speed has decreased globally then, most likely your site's server could be at fault and you should contact your hosting provider.

How Do I Check My Site's Page Speed?

You can use a tool such as Google PageSpeed Insights to check check an individual page's speed: https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/

If you have completed all seven steps of this step by step checklist, and you are still experiencing issues, then please feel free to tweet at us.

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