If you ever notice a dip in your traffic, there are a few possible reasons.
I’ll go through the top reasons here, so you can diagnose what’s going on with your SEO.
Top reasons you’re seeing a dip in organic traffic
There's a decrease in searches across your industry
Sometimes people aren’t searching for therapists as much.
Here’s a Google Trends report examining the word “therapist” in 2020:
As you can see, there was a significant dip in early spring, with a steady increase through late summer. But now, in October, “therapist” searches are taking a sharp turn for the worse.
Ask your peers or visit Google Trends to check if industry trends are the reason your traffic decreased.
There was an algorithm change
Algorithm changes don’t always favor us.
Usually, dramatic decreases in traffic will level out over time, but it’s still important to monitor. To stay current on updates, you can regularly check posts like Search Engine Land’s timeline of algorithm updates or follow Google Search Liason on Twitter.
The SEO community closely studies these updates, so more information on what changed should be available.
For example, a few years ago, having an author displayed on a blog post became way more important. Blogs that didn’t display an author noticed a dip in their rankings. So it was a pretty easy fix: make sure you have an author profile on blog posts.
Note that Google makes minor tweaks to the algorithm constantly. Don’t get caught up in obsessive rank tracking—you’ll drive yourself crazy and not gain enough insight to make a change.
You're not updating your website enough
Google won’t rank static websites.
Regularly update your site by publishing content or getting backlinks to show Google “hey! I’m still on here!”
Make sure that you’re publishing high-quality content. Your content should be well-written, well-formatted, and topical to your industry (i.e., don’t post gardening tips on your therapy website).
There's a technical problem with your website
Websites break. Website platforms have issues. We make mistakes.
Many technical things can go wrong on your website, like:
- Not being mobile-friendly
- Pages being blocked from Google
- Broken pages (i.e., 404 errors)
- Slow site speed
You can always pay someone for a site audit (I offer these; learn more here), but you can also use tools like SEMRush that offers a free website audit for websites up to 100 pages. You’ll get a detailed report on what’s going on with your website so you can make the necessary changes.
You got a spammy link
This probably won’t happen to you, but links from spammy websites could get your site penalized or disavowed (i.e., removed from Google). Ensure that your SEO agency isn’t using spammy tactics and regularly check your backlink profile using a free backlink checker tool like Majestic’s.
Sometimes, we just don't know!
Sometimes there isn’t a clear diagnosable problem.
When that’s the case, we have to double down on what we know: writing excellent content and doing more outreach online for backlinks. Although we own our websites, we don’t own Google. With SEO, we have to understand that we’re not 100% in control, and that’s just part of the deal.
Get help with your SEO
SEO can be complicated. If you’re looking for guidance, you can contact me to schedule a free consultation.