Nearly 20% drop in visitors to our website - the catch: we're improving our tactics

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What do you guys think about this?
Recently my team ran a report in analytics to see how our organic traffic has fluctuated over the last year. What we discovered was alarming: around this time last year, 69% of our visitors came from organic search. During that time, we have done A LOT to improve our SEO, including adding our outside blog to our official website, applying best SEO practices and publishing content daily (the basics, really).
But right now, we only receive 42% of our traffic from organic search. Something is going on...we don't know what...we don't know where to look.
One thing that happened around the time our organic traffic dropped was when we changed our website from HTML. Since then, gradually decline.
We're mostly convinced that this is an internal, intricate issue that a technical SEO specialist may be able to fix.
Given this info, does anyone have an inkling as to what's happening?
By the way we use WordPress if that makes a difference.
PLEASE HELP.
#20% #catch #drop #improving #tactics #visitors #website
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  • Profile picture of the author Frank Donovan
    Originally Posted by retirement plans View Post

    around this time last year, 69% of our visitors came from organic search. During that time, we have done A LOT to improve our SEO, including adding our outside blog to our official website, applying best SEO practices and publishing content daily (the basics, really).
    But right now, we only receive 42% of our traffic from organic search.
    Those percentage figures don't really tell us much in themselves. In fact, if your overall visitor numbers dropped by 20%, you've actually seen an increase in real numbers on your non-organic traffic. Are these sources via paid advertising, email marketing, other referrals or what? And have you stepped up your activity in those non-organic methods?

    You also only mentioned statistics for the last year. We don't know what your figures were like before you started monitoring them. I'd want to see a longer-term pattern before drawing any firm conclusions.

    For what it's worth, I doubt the issue is related to your switch to WordPress.
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  • Profile picture of the author dave_hermansen
    Also missing is information from Google Trends to see if searches, overall, for your niche and targeted kw phrases has declined over that period of time (it happens!).
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  • Profile picture of the author nooman ahmed
    hi

    I know this may be a little cumbersome but can you go into detail when you say "applying best SEO practices"?

    What exactly was it that you did?

    Also you must keep in mind that google are always updating their algorithm so a lot of the time you are not necessarily doing anything wrong.
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  • I'm really, really curios to know if you were all so alarmed BECAUSE your business is making less money now since organic search traffic dropped. Is that the case? The answer SHOULD be an obvious yes. But if it's not, then you aren't improving your tactics, you're just wasting time putting a dress, high heels and lipstick on a pig. The pig being the SEO, not your actual business.
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  • Profile picture of the author Odahh
    I'm simple minded on this .

    You can have 90 percent organic and 10percent in organic and all your revenue profit coming from paid .

    Bottom line is your business growing showing both more revenue and more profit . Maybe you are just getting much better with your paid advertising .

    You might not have a real problem beside a missplaced love for organic traffic .

    But I have a simple view on that.

    Money is the way of keeping score in business not traffic.

    So do you have more revenue or better yet is your profit margin really fat or Amazon or Walmart thin
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve L
    Originally Posted by retirement plans View Post

    What do you guys think about this?
    Recently my team ran a report in analytics to see how our organic traffic has fluctuated over the last year. What we discovered was alarming: around this time last year, 69% of our visitors came from organic search. During that time, we have done A LOT to improve our SEO, including adding our outside blog to our official website, applying best SEO practices and publishing content daily (the basics, really).
    But right now, we only receive 42% of our traffic from organic search. Something is going on...we don't know what...we don't know where to look.
    One thing that happened around the time our organic traffic dropped was when we changed our website from HTML. Since then, gradually decline.
    We're mostly convinced that this is an internal, intricate issue that a technical SEO specialist may be able to fix.
    Given this info, does anyone have an inkling as to what's happening?
    By the way we use WordPress if that makes a difference.
    PLEASE HELP.
    There could be many reasons for the decline honestly, organic SEO is really complicated to say the least. My experience with organic Google traffic has been the opposite, the more I post the more my organic Google traffic grows without doing anything else. I'm using a static site generator called Hexo for my blog instead of Wordpress which gives me faster page speed. I know this is a strong ranking factor these days so it may be something to consider on your end.
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  • Profile picture of the author savidge4
    Originally Posted by retirement plans View Post

    One thing that happened around the time our organic traffic dropped was when we changed our website from HTML. Since then, gradually decline. We're mostly convinced that this is an internal, intricate issue that a technical SEO specialist may be able to fix.
    Given this info, does anyone have an inkling as to what's happening?
    By the way we use WordPress if that makes a difference.
    PLEASE HELP.
    There could be a couple issues at play here. #1 without question is you changed the layout of your pages / site, and in general, this will either help you or hurt you. It is obviously hurting.

    I am an old school SEO kind of guy, and I have said all along a HTML site will beat out a Wordpress site in terms of SEO, and rank. The issue being HTML sites are cumbersome and harder to manage, where as Wordpress sites are super easy.. but as you are experiencing it comes with a bit of a trade off.

    So issue #2 gets a bit technical. A search engines spider by default reads your page code from top to bottom, and left to right. THIS has not changed since the advent of "Spiders" So keywords and content closer to the top have greater influence than content lower or at the bottom of the page ( This is still very valid knowledge. )

    What I am about to suggest I am sure will get some back lash but its not the user end of the page we should be looking at in terms of top middle bottom, but its the code that is seen by the spider. If for an example you where to look at the code of any page old HTML vs new Wordpress and start looking at things like the title tag or where exactly the text on the page begins - you will notice that these things in relation to the number of lines from the top in the HTML version will sit higher.

    Your HTML page the title tag may be on line 4 and the wordpress site I have seen it as low as line 50. and then the actual text of the page might be line 20 with the HTML site and line 300 with the wordpress site.

    Top to bottom left to right. Top has more weight than lower and left has more weight than right. So all things being equal A title tag on line 4 vs line 15, the 4 has more weight and will rank better. Keywords farther to the left will have more weight than those further to the right.

    Can you fix this? not really - kinda it depends totally on the structure of the theme you are using. some themes are better than others

    #3 kinda by default Wordpress sites will have more linking on the page than your average HTML page. more links equates to less juice being passed and in return you may / will probably lose some rank positions. Remove any excess links on each page that you can. Link clouds get rid of those for sure. Again you have a direct reference to look atin the Old HTML vs the New Wordpress. count the number of links on the page - see what can be done to remove any excess.

    As little as 4 years ago I was still coding sites in HTML5, but have since gone with the if you cant beat em join em crowd and do almost entirely Wordpress sites for myself and my clients. ( it still pains me sometimes )

    Start looking at your Wordpress code and see where you can reduce some of the fat. A plugin like Code Snippet, can reduce overall page code by a ton depending on how much you have altered your theme. Compress your code... its a poor mans way of getting lines of code closer to the top, but its effective.

    #4 IF you or your staff was creating / maintaining the HTML site, you obviously have some programming knowledge, and you CAN literally get under the hood of the theme you are using and manipulate a lot of these issues. Wordpress being dynamic means there is code dictating the presented codes structure - just change that code for a more streamline SEO experience.

    Hope that Helps!
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  • Profile picture of the author nubianlovecams
    What are the actual numbers though. I reckon percentages may not tell the full story.
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  • Profile picture of the author options
    This might seem really obvious but have you actually dropped a few places in rankings? Surely thats where you need to start looking first.
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