One question I get asked frequently is “why am I steadily losing traffic from Google search?”
This question isn’t necessarily coming from people who see dramatic drops in search traffic all at once, but rather a steady decline in traffic over time.
For those who are keen observers of their organic search traffic date via Google Analytics, watching traffic bleed away over time can be very disheartening.
So I wanted to take a minute to address what might be going on here.
* Disclaimer: this is not an all inclusive answer – meaning, there could be many other factors contributing to a website losing traffic. However, this is probably one of the most common reasons.
To get started, we have to go back to 2011 when Google announced their “freshness update” to the search algorithm. Here’s a snippet from that announcement:
Search results, like warm cookies right out of the oven or cool refreshing fruit on a hot summer’s day, are best when they’re fresh. Even if you don’t specify it in your search, you probably want search results that are relevant and recent.
So one of the biggest reasons for your steady decline in organic search traffic could simply be the lack of freshly updated content on your website.
How to fix the problem of losing organic search traffic in Google
There are really two approaches to fixing the problem of steadily losing search traffic as a result of the lack of fresh content on your website.
#1: Adding fresh content to existing pages within your website
Starting with your most relevant, or most profitable landing pages within your website, I would recommend going in and adding fresh content to these pages. For websites that have key landing pages for their products and services, you should be able to find new and interesting insights to add to these pages.
I recommend adding the fresh content above the existing content, or at the top of the page. This will be more easily detected as Google comes back to crawl and index your new content.
Also, I recommend having a target of at least 500 words of content on your page, as this should give you ample opportunity to explain your products and services in detail.
#2: Starting a business blog
Starting a blog on your business website is my most favorite answer to the problem of losing organic search. A business blog can be easily added to nearly any website, regardless of the platform your site was built in. And by starting a business blog, you are naturally creating an environment for new, fresh content.
Here are several content ideas to help you get started with publishing fresh content in your business blog:
- Cover news from your industry or business category
- Write “how to” articles for how customers can leverage your products or services
- Share company news, information, or accomplishments (awards)
- Write down 10 of your most common questions from your customers, and then create a blog post for each question using the question specifically as the title to your post.
The last suggestion, writing down 10 of the most common questions asked by your customers, is a powerful way to leverage content marketing for your business and provide a steady stream of fresh content for your blog.
Plus, as your answer each of these questions in your blog posts, your articles will then be made available in Google search for people to discover. If a question is common enough for your customer or client to ask you personally, more than likely a lot of other people are asking the same question by searching for the answer in Google.
Ultimately, by maintaining a business blog on your website, each newly published article will bring Google back to your website to crawl and index the content. The increase in crawling and indexing will also help to build the authority and relevance of your website.
And the increase in authority will always translate into higher rankings for your targeted keyword phrases.