Why Is My Website Traffic Going Down? (And How Do I Fix It?)

Updated April 2, 2020

Website traffic leads your customers down the road to interacting with you and your products and services. With first-page search results, you’re likely to add new customers to your base and to drive others closer toward brand loyalty. When your website traffic just goes down, you have a problem. It’s time to step back and troubleshoot. Find out why your website traffic is going down and how to fix it?

If you’re lucky, you’ll find that your website traffic decline comes from an issue that’s easy to spot and simple to fix. If not, it’s worth the time and trouble to review the following potential issues with your website and to repair the damage before it’s too late.

Your Website Needs To Be Safe and Reliable

For incoming traffic to find your website, they must be able to trust it and link to it reliably. When they can’t do one or the other, you’re losing business.

S is For Secure

Website visitors don’t want to take a chance on unsecured websites that could place viruses on their electronic devices or could allow them to be hacked. If your website uses the HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP) rather than the more secure HTTPS, they’ll receive a browser alert explaining that the site might not be safe. The message asks if the user still wants to visit, and, more often than not, they’ll go away from the site rather than clicking to enter.

HTTPS encrypts then transfers data in a safe manner, while HTTP does not. With all the potential for hacking into a computer, users want their data transferred in the safest way possible. They want to interact with websites that instill confidence that none of their personal information will be stolen and that no unwanted code will be transferred to their computers.

If your url still reads http://, it’s time for a change. Your developer can change your website to a dedicated IP address with a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate. Once you activate the SSL certificate with your host and install it on your domain, you’ll have fixed a problem that was driving traffic away from your site.

Keys to Reliable Results

Have you reviewed your server performance lately? How about your hosting package? They may have worked well in the past, but have since become less reliable. An unreliable host or server means that your potential customers may never reach your site. Conduct a review and, if needed, change your service provider or your hosting package, whichever will produce reliability and results.

Content, Content, Content

When it comes to effective websites and getting search results, content is king. Is your content up to snuff?

What’s the Word?

Keyword, that is. Your SEO keyword strategy remains a critical tool to get search results. If you want to be on the first page, your keywords play a key role. Often, users won’t go past that first page to find a resource.

What rank does your content produce? Review your keyword content to current popular keyword searches and customer habits. You might find significant changes in word searches by customers since you last updated your site. Your updated strategy should include using up-to-date, targeted keywords that have a high search volume and value. Consider a refresh of currently valued content topics to complete your update and improve your search results.

The Google Factor

Are you still wondering, “Why is my website traffic going down, and how do I fix it?” There’s no denying that your visibility of your website relies on Google search results. The Google algorithm makes the rules for search results more than 70% of the time. If you know the algorithm, you know how to land high in the results, right? Yes, and no. Yes, knowing the algorithm and creating a site works for you. No, because the algorithm changes. Keep up with the algorithm changes through industry reports. Check your site to the current reported keywords and change the content accordingly to make it easier for users to find you.

Sometimes, keywords and the broader strategy of implementing Search Engine Optimization (SEO) elements doesn’t make it into a website design. It’s critical to your search results placement. If your site doesn’t include SEO, or if you haven’t redesigned or updated it in a long time, now’s the time to optimize with title tags, meta descriptions, 301 redirects, and an updated sitemap. Don’t forget to include your Google Analytics tracking code.

Several additional items within your content can be responsible for poor search results. You may need to improve your internal links to content within your website. Your site may have duplicated content on two different pages that should be changed to unique content for each page. Your site pages may need to be indexed. These changes may help your cause.

Other Boxes to Check

Let’s say you don’t want to do a whole site redesign and you have optimized your content, but it’s been a while since you checked your 301, 302, and Meta Refresh redirects. There could be errors. If you find an error, fix it, and you may find your traffic numbers rising.

Lastly, visiting two websites will give you information to direct action. Check the Google Search Console for alerts. Change your site according to the information in the alerts. Also, visit PageSpeed Insights. What is your Page Speed? If it needs to be updated or optimized, don’t delay in making these improvements.

In-House or Farm Out?

When your website traffic is down, it’s a big problem that’s important to troubleshoot and fix. If you have the in-house resources to get the job done, that’s a great option. Some of the issues may be too time-consuming, or you may not have the right in-house staff for the fix. In that case, a digital marketing agency may be your best call to get first-page search results that lead to website visits and more business.