Google organic traffic plays an important role in today’s multi-channel customer journey. It even impacts the performance of your paid campaigns. If your brand’s organic ranking and traffic drops, it will almost immediately be reflected in your returns.
Why a Lower Organic Ranking Impacts Paid Campaigns:
- Limits the size of remarketing audiences
- People often do a search on Google to complete a purchase, but when they don’t see your website, they may choose to go with a competitor brand instead
- When you lose search impressions, brand recall often gets impacted
Reasons for a Low Organic Ranking
1. Website structure or UI/UX has changed
Website changes can impact your organic ranking and traffic. If you change your domain, theme or URL structure, there is a high chance you will lose traffic by 30%-60%. It may then take 3-6 months to recover it even if you implement the best SEO practices because:
- Removing old pages reduces the impact backlinks had on those pages
- Redirection from old pages to new pages reduces the value of backlinks
- With a new/revamped website, engagement may drop as users have to learn/get used to the site, which can lead to a reduction in dwell time
What you can do to avoid this:
- Don’t remove old pages or add correct redirections before you remove the page
- If you are retiring a web page, try to direct backlinks to a relevant page
- If you do drastic changes to your UI/UX, continuously monitor engagement and launch AB tests to improve it
- Keep the old meta tags when changing your website as it is not recommended to change multiple elements at the same time.
2. Your on-page tags have changed
Since you are continuously optimizing your content and meta tags, there may be instances where you change your meta tags to improve keyword relevancy or to add more keywords. This may reduce your ranking and traffic because:
- You have removed an important ‘high traffic’ keyword
- Your search engine results page click-through-rate (SERP CTR) dropped due to new tags
You can avoid these pitfalls by:
- Evaluating and finding the keywords that help your organic ranking and traffic the most before optimizing your meta tags, so you can avoid changing them
- Monitoring click-through rates (CTR) on your search console if you change your meta tags, so if there is a significant drop in CTR you can try revising them to improve results
3. An important backlink is lost
If your website loses any important backlinks, you might see a drop in ranking and traffic. An important backlink is classified as an external link you’re getting from an authority site.
To lessen the impact of this, monitor your backlinks profile (especially the top backlinks) every month. If you lose any of them, it won’t be a surprise and you can quickly try to regain them or try to acquire similar or better backlinks.
4. Google’s algorithms have changed
To improve the quality of search results, Google algorithms change from time to time. Sometimes this will result in a drop in your ranking and traffic. This why you should track algorithmic changes, so when they happen you can check if you are following the best practices. If you’re not, rectify any issues as soon as possible to regain your organic ranking and traffic.
5. Site has been partially hacked
Hackers can hack websites and place malicious software and content, redirect visitors to external pages or create outbound links to external websites. This can have a very negative impact on your traffic as it may result in a warning message about your site being shown on the search results page or even lead to your website being eliminated completely from any search results.
To avoid such a situation, take the following actions:
- Monitor the search console closely to identify any unusual activity
- Monitor the number of pages indexed
- Monitor outbound links
- Harden your web server and website
- Implement CAPTCHA when possible/necessary
To understand the reason for any drop in your organic ranking and traffic, it is important to monitor every aspect of Google organic as previously mentioned. However, the challenge is that when there is a drop, it might take 3 to 6 months to fully recover. This can lead to a reduction in conversions and revenue. It is therefore better for you to focus on regaining customers via paid channels, so you can minimize any loses while waiting for your organic ranking and traffic to return to prior levels.
How to regain lost traffic and conversions
First, you need to understand the people visiting your website, their potential to convert and their customer journey. With this, you can plan a top-funnel campaign to bring in potential customers similar to them, launch a remarketing campaign to open a new channel and bring back previous visitors to your site, and get repeat purchases from existing customers.
To understand exactly which audiences you should target through paid campaigns, you may need to through go through as many as 200+ customer journey variables. Since this is humanly impossible, you’ll need to use a data science model which can analyze all possible combinations and prioritize highly profitable audiences. Normally, these kinds of data models are expensive and complicated to use. Fortunately, Alavi.ai can help you overcome this. Affordable and simple to use, it provides data-driven audiences based on your customer journey data that you can target on Facebook. It lets you run your business while minimizing revenue losses due to a drop in your organic ranking and traffic.