Where Did My Website Visitors Go?
Instead of focusing on rank (which fluctuates and is based on too many variables to be an accurate measurement of SEO success) we always tell our SEO clients to pay more attention to visitor growth. You aren’t going to see a huge bump in visitors at the onset of a campaign but over time there should be a steady improvement. Of course, fluctuations are going to happen. Just because you had 50 visitors one day and then only 15 or 20 for a few days after that it is no cause for concern. It’s better to look at a trend over at least a few months.
If you notice a downward trend over a few months’ time, consider the following possible reasons:
Seasonality of a product or service doesn’t always coincide with the actual seasons. Obviously a patio furniture company is going to get busier in the early spring and a dip in traffic over the fall and winter months is expected. Many other businesses experience seasonality that coincides with target audience behavior. For example, if you operate a B2B and your product or service is on the expensive side customers will need to budget for it which will depend on their fiscal calendar. As an SEO service provider we see a spike in interest in Q1 and traffic slows down over the summer months when decision makers are taking vacations. SEO isn’t going to change consumer behavior. If you’ve always seen a dip in sales/conversions/etc. over a specific few months that will likely continue.
SEO was put on hold or scaled back
SEO needs to be an ongoing in order to have long term success. What happens all the time is that once an SEO client starts to see results they think that it’s OK to scale back or quit on the campaign altogether in order to remove SEO work from the budget. Once you’ve achieved success, scaling back is the last thing that you want to do! You want to continue to build upon that success. Think about it. If at one point you were writing a blog post a week and sharing it in social media and then decided that one post a month was OK, obviously there will be less reason to click over to your site. If you stop looking for new link opportunities it means that your competitors may find them first.
Other marketing was put on hold or scaled back
As SEO experts we’d obviously like to take all of the credit for website visitors but it’s just not the truth. Website visitors come from a variety of sources and a strong brand and a strong overall marketing campaign is what drives visitors to a site. Just because you are now investing in SEO it doesn’t mean that you should halt all other marketing or advertising. When you pull back on these efforts, branded traffic is going to dip and for most sites branded traffic is the number one referring source.
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