Has something gone wrong with your traffic?
For some reason, your blog’s traffic has withered away. Even though you’re hustling, writing, and promoting your posts, the visitor and page views won’t budge. Even though your strategy is sound, You know you have to take action but don’t know where to start.
Let’s take a climb under the hood of your blog and see what we can find.
Blog Traffic Gremlins
A Slip in Search Engine Rankings
Take a look at your Google Analytics reports and check for keywords that are no longer sending traffic. A sudden decline in organic traffic (visitors from search engines) can be caused by another site pushing you down in search engine rankings.
A Traffic Sugar Daddy Says Bye Bye
Review your reports and check if a big site has stopped sending you traffic. You may have had your link removed from their blogroll or no longer have a front page mention your blog or post.
A Tracking Glitch
Make sure that your tracking software is accurately recording all of your data. Tools like Feedburner are notorious for under-reporting subscriber numbers and Google Analytics has been known to misreport traffic data for hours. Another common problem is not properly installing your tracking software after redesigning your blog’s theme. Rechecking your traffic code can save you hours of detective work
Seasonal Traffic Decline
Every blog has natural dips and ebbs in its traffic caused by outside factors. For example, most blogs see a drop in traffic during the summer months. Review your blog’s traffic over 6-12 months to see if you can spot any patterns.
Increase in Blog Posting Schedule
Although increasing your blog posting schedule can lead to more traffic over the long term, more posts can lead to a temporary decline in readership. Simply, your increased visibility prompts some readers to unsubscribe from your updates or remove you from their RSS readers.
Change in Editorial Focus
Have you started writing about a different topic? What about the type of posts you’re publishing? Are you spending more time on opinion posts versus educational content? Any one of these changes can cause a drop in readership.
What to Do Now…
It’s terrifying to see your hard won traffic disappear but don’t lose your cool. Pour yourself a drink, download your traffic reports and isolate the reason for your decline. Once you’ve found the cause, create a plan, and get your traffic back. Your downturn doesn’t mean you’ve failed. Your setback is just temporary.
Add More Value
Critically look at your posts and find ways to boost their value. Perhaps you need to add more “how to” information or review tools, books, and products targeted at your niche. Remember that your site visitors are looking for answers to their problems, give them these answers and your traffic will climb.
Change Your Content Presentation
Readers love variety. One way to jumpstart your readership and attract more notice is to change how your content is presented. It’s not an accident that top bloggers sprinkle their blogs with videos, audio files, and slide presentations. This content attracts notice and others link to it driving new traffic.
Focus on What Works
Use your traffic tracking software to zero in on your #1 method of attracting new visitors. Once you find it, focus 100% of your attention on that method. Most bloggers waste time and effort by tweaking techniques that have zero impact on their traffic (ie. button graphics, title fonts, finding the perfect plugin). Don’t fall into this trap, if guest posts attract new visitors then double your effort. Remember blogging success comes down to flat-out hustle.
When All Else Fails
Keep Pushing Forward. There’s one rule that still rings true. Consistent, high quality content attracts new visitors. If you can’t find the exact reason for your traffic decline, then turn your attention back to producing another “great post”.
How’s your traffic? How are you finding your Traffic Gremlins? Do you have a tough traffic problem that has you stumped?