Regardless if you are an experienced SEO or if you utilize the services of an SEO, whenever you experience fluctuations in your organic traffic, you may struggle to understand the underlying reasons as to why.
Unlike it’s counterpart – PPC advertising – organic traffic comes with it’s own set of distinctive challenges when it comes to diagnosing the reason for a decline in conversions and traffic.
While it may be true that you can go to some obvious places to gain some insight such as Google Analytics, some other factors may be at play which can be harder to pinpoint. Here are 7 factors that may inhibit your site’s organic search rankings.
If you have edited your on-page copy, moved your site sans redirects or removed pages, this may be a reason why you are experiencing a decline in traffic. When you rework your ecommerce site’s content, Google has to re-index those pages. As such, it’s not uncommon for an ecommerce solutions expert to experience unstable rankings for a few weeks thereafter.
With respect to Google SEO specifically, if you fail to create a clearly defined keyword map this can cause some problems as well, especially if you have created two or more pages which were optimized for the same keyword. When you do this, what occurs is that they essentially compete against one another in the SERPs. This common with ecommerce sites that are deep with many related pages.
Your Site’s Pages Aren’t Indexed
One of the best things you can do is to conduct a quick search, using the phrase “yourwebsitedomain.com” to ensure that all your pages are actually indexed. If you noticed that certain pages aren’t showing up in the SERPs, then you have found an issue worth exploring in Google Webmaster Tools. In addition to that, check your robots.txt file to ensure that you didn’t inadvertently block important directories or pages.
Outranked By Affiliates
If you established an affiliate program for your ecommerce site, this in itself may not be an issue as far as sales and leads go. However, if your affiliates or resellers outrank you for branded keywords by using somewhat superior SEO techniques, this may lead to a decline in organic traffic.
A Decline In Interest
As an SEO, you more than likely already know that there are some industries that are essentially “recession-proof” and some that aren’t. Therefore, the trend surroundings your industry may be experiencing a decline in interest. Take a good look at your competitors and determine if they are experiencing a decline in traffic as well. While you need to take Google Trends data with a grain of salt, it can help to provide you with some clarity.
Sale Hangover Effect
The sale hangover effect can be best described as a scenario where you conducted a big promotion last year during a specific time frame, yet you did not follow through with a similar promotion during the same time frame. For instance, did you launch a big promotion last year July, but did not create one this past July? If you didn’t this may be a reason why your year-on-year comparison was off. Other factors that can contribute to this include offering a new product line or offering limited-time products as well.
Structured Data Markup
Utilizing structured data markup may seem like a set it and forget project at first glance but it isn’t. You need to monitor the appearance of your site’s rich snippets continuously to make sure that they are collecting the right information. Overtime as you change various content on the site, this can affect the markup without any warning signs.