Every online business wants to increase conversions and sales in an effort to grow. And it just so happens that the easiest way to do that is to drive more traffic to your site.
After all, the more site visitors you have, the more opportunities you have to increase brand awareness, nurture relationships, and ultimately sell what you have to offer.
That’s why, when tracking your eCommerce shop’s KPIs, it can be scary to see a significant drop in site traffic. But even worse than noticing that site traffic is down is not knowing why or how to fix it.
That’s why today we’re here to share with you the most common reasons your website traffic is down and how you can get things back on track.
1. Indexing Issues
One reason why your website’s traffic might be down is because Google’s crawlers aren’t indexing your site the right way. This means that your website is not appearing in relevant search results. In other words, most of your target audience may not even be aware you exist or have the chance to visit your site.
As your online business grows, it’s not unusual to find that in addition to crawlers indexing your site, scrapers and rogue bots are hitting your site too in an attempt to benefit from your site traffic in some way.
Unfortunately, if a bot is hitting your site at the same time as a Google crawler, your site might:
- Run out of server resources because it’s being overloaded
- Perform slower than normal, which can harm search rankings
- Return a 404 ‘Page Not Found’ response, harming your rankings and the user experience
The first thing you should do is sign up for a free Google Search Console account so you can monitor your site’s index report. If there’s an error, as seen in the example below, you have the chance to fix and validate it with Google.
In addition, you can do the following to prevent indexing issues:
- Use updated server software
- Invest in a CDN for global content delivery
- Avoid shared hosting with limited resources
- Monitor broken links (404 errors) using a plugin like Broken Link Checker
2. Non-Secure Website
Google Chrome labels all non-HTTPS (aka non-secure) websites as “Not Secure” in an effort to push all website owners towards secure, encrypted connections.
Adding to that, 52% of online consumers don’t have very much, or any confidence at all, in online retailers to keep personal data secure. And if people sense that you aren’t dedicated to securing their personal and financial information, they’re likely to stop visiting. This means a drop in site traffic for you.
The best way to fix this is to install an SSL certificate on your website to encrypt your site. Doing this will turn your HTTP into an HTTPS and tell site visitors immediately that they can trust your site while they browse and as they shop.
3. Slow Page Speed
This is something we talk about all the time: site speed and performance. And while pagespeed scores aren’t everything, they are definitely something to keep an eye on if you see a sudden drop in site traffic.
The slower your site renders for site visitors, the worse your search engine rankings will be, which can lead to a decline in site traffic. And even if people do make it onto your website chances are many (47% to be exact) of site visitors will leave immediately.
Here’s a brief list of things you can do if you notice your site’s speed declining:
- Optimize images by resizing and compressing them
- Choose a faster hosting provider
- Use intelligent caching
- Reduce redirects
- Use a CDN
- Watch plugin and theme bloat
- Routinely update all software
4. Tracking Code
An often overlooked cause for a drop in site traffic is an issue with the site’s tracking code. If you’re using an online tool like Google Analytics to track your site’s metrics, including the number of site visitors coming to your website, you have to add a piece of code to your site to connect your site to the tool. If you don’t the data from your site will not be delivered to your analytics tool.
However, even if the tracking code is placed on your site, if the code changes in any way, the data sent to your analytics tool has the potential to become skewed. In other words, you might think you have a drop in site traffic, when you actually don’t (or vice versa).
The minute you notice a drop in site traffic, double check your site’s tracking code. If you aren’t sure about manually placing analytics code on your website, consider using a tool like MonsterInsights to help.
This easy to use freemium plugin automatically places the right Google Analytics tracking code on your website with one-click. This way you can easily send site data to your Google Analytics account. It also comes with features such as eCommerce tracking, google AMP, Facebook integration, Google Optimize, forms tracking, site performance stats, and much more.
5. Ignoring Mobile-First Indexing
You may not realize this, but Google primarily looks at the mobile version of websites for content indexing and ranking (as opposed to the desktop version). This method is called mobile-first indexing, and all website owners should be aware of it.
Though you should know by now how important it is to cater to your mobile consumers, some online shop owners still don’t focus on making their sites responsive and mobile-friendly.
And remember, the terms responsive and mobile-friendly, though often used interchangeable, are actually very different.
If your website is responsive, it means that it responds, or adjusts, automatically depending on the screen size of the device that’s accessing it.
You can tell if your website is responsive by reducing your browser’s window size from a full screen to very small. If the text and images change as you reduce the screen size, your site is responsive.
Mobile-friendly websites are meant to work the same across all types of devices: desktops, tablets, laptops, and mobile devices, just like responsive sites. The only difference is, no matter which device you access the site on, it looks the same; there is never a change in the layout, text, images, etc., though they still render well for site visitors.
Though it’s best to have both a responsive and mobile-friendly website, the key to keeping traffic numbers high is making sure at the very least your website is mobile-friendly.
Make sure your website is mobile-friendly. If you aren’t sure whether your site renders well on small devices, use the free online tool Responsive Checker.
The neat thing about this tool is that it’s interactive. You can navigate through your website as though you’re on the device yourself.
And there you have it! The top 5 reasons why your website traffic is down.
If you want to avoid some of these issues before they become a problems in the first place, get in touch with one of our experts and see how we can help. In fact, you can schedule a 30-minute call with our engineers to discuss our services.
We can help you scale your business, optimize your site’s performance, secure your site and your customer’s information, and provide 24/7 support any time something goes wrong. Trust us, you’ll never have to worry about a drop in site traffic again when you let us take care of things for you.