Services

SEO Investigations for Organic Traffic Cops

SEO Investigations

Is your website traffic down? We can help diagnose the problem & turn it around.

When organic traffic decreases, whether dramatically all at once, or slowly-but-surely over time, it’s a cause for concern. (Exception - sometimes this is as simple as fixing a tracking issue. We offer Advanced Google Analytics and Tag Manager Audits, Debugging, and Tracking Setup to help this issue.)

Generally speaking, there are 4 potential sources of the issue—especially for steep traffic drops.

They are generally one of, or some combination of, the following:

  • A search engine or Google algorithm update (external factor)
  • A Google change to the SERP landscape (external factor, e.g. more ads above your organic listing, or new features that push your listing down the page)
  • A change on your website - e.g. something broke, or a longer-term issue (e.g. a plugin added a noindex or nofollow tag to some or all of your pages) was introduced (internal factor)
  • A Google Analytics tracking issue - if you are seeing a Google Analytics drop off, sometimes the simplest answer is the right one. Tracking could be broken on some or all of your pages!
  • A Manual Action (Google has determined that your website has broken a key rule. This is usually the result of low quality backlink building tactics)

An SEO Investigation can help you better understand the underlying issue(s) causing your organic traffic drop, determine if a drop in organic rankings is the culprit, and help you prioritize the changes needed to turn the trend around.

Common stats we dig into to explore Google traffic issues:

  • Year over year trends (what happened last year?)
  • What's down - digital marketing channels (e.g. social media) & and all traffic sources (e.g. direct traffic), or just organic search traffic?
  • What keyword search rankings and/or pages (or sections of the site) are driving the decline?
  • Are keyword rankings steady, and if not, what's dropping, where? Are click-throughs an issue?
  • If there is a correlation with an Google algorithm change, what happened in that update that might be the culprit?
  • Did you lose any key backlinks? Do you have outstanding broken links that could be redirected? Can we find any evidence of spammy link building?
  • Are there any spikes in crawl errors?
  • Mobile vs. Desktop comparison
  • Web vs. image vs. discover a comparison
  • Branded vs. non-branded keyword review
  • Obvious technical SEO issues: robots.txt file or robots meta blocks, canonical tag issues, is the GA tracking code in place and functional, etc.

These projects require the following access & insights:

  • Google Analytics: everything by user editing access
  • Google Search Console (formerly Webmaster Tools): Full User permissions
  • Website updates: what changes have been deployed on your website, on what dates?

In combination with a solid SEO strategy, you’ll be better equipped to start growing organic traffic instead of working it get it back.

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