It can happen to anyone – one moment you’re flying high as Google’s number one choice and then you see a drop in visitor numbers. Your inquiries and sales start slowing down. But what’s the cause? It could be a number of things – but before you start panicking, try these quick and simple troubleshooters for Google ranking problems.
Google Penalties & Google Webmaster Tools
Google is well known for penalizing websites that don’t adhere to their strict (yet mostly secret!) rules of search engine rankings. To check for a Google penalty on your website is actually quick and easy! Go to Google Webmaster Tools, click on ‘All Messages’. If you have a Google penalty, they’ll have sent you a message outlining the details. Don’t have any notifications? Great! Check out your indexation rate instead, a major drop here could hint at the problem. If there is a big change, get Google to re-crawl your site.
Google Analytics, Referrals & AdWords
Log into your Analytics accounts and check out your acquisitions too. From the ‘Acquisition’ page, click through to ‘Channels’. Once here, do a comparison of the last few months. This will tell you if you’ve lost direct traffic or referral traffic. Check to make sure you haven’t lost an important/influential referral link. If there’s a specific page that’s causing a lot of issues, try running a link analysis to check for negative SEO.
Sitemaps (Back to Webmaster Tools!)
If Google has stopped indexing your .xml sitemap, you’re pretty much invisible to the search engine. So, back to your Webmaster Tools account, under your domain section click on the ‘Crawl’ option, followed by ‘Sitemaps’. If this is where your problem lies, it’ll show up any problems Google is having indexing your site.
NoIndex Tags & Robots.txt
An easy mistake to make – a forgotten NoIndex page! Check your Robots.txt file and make sure nobody left in an unwanted NoIndex status. From your previous Google Analytics stats, you should have seen if it’s a single landing page that’s causing the drop in traffic. Go to this page’s code and ensure there isn’t any leftover NoIndex tags in the header code.
And there we go! Some quick and simple steps to figure out what is causing your drop-off in website traffic. Most problems can be solved by following these steps, if not, you may need some extra help. Our developers have years of experience in solving the many mysteries of IT! If you’d like to speak to someone, get in touch on 051-393524.