Five Expert Ways to Diagnose a Traffic Drop
 by Casey Markee

Five Expert Ways to Diagnose a Traffic Drop

  • We had a client contact us about a traffic drop in Google Analytics and we are currently investigating the issue. Do you have tips or a checklist we could use to better audit this so we can provide the client with the best possible advice and some strategies for its reversal?

Guy hanging from a Cliff for Traffic Drop Audit ChecklistAnswer: Traffic drops happen to everyone. Sometimes the drops are seasonal. Sometimes the drops are the result of a Webmaster or site owner mistake. And sometimes the drops are the result of an outside force like a Google algorithmic or manual action.

Determining characteristics of the traffic drop in analytics is always a great first step. To do that, we recommend first performing a very quick traffic audit directly within the site's Google Analytics profile. Here's how to do that:

  1. Go to Google Analytics, then choose Acquisition, All Traffic then Source/Medium
  2. At the top select the entire month of your most recent traffic.
  3. In the next line you are going to compare it to the Previous Year.
  4. This will then bring up all your traffic with a Year over Year comparison.
  5. This will then bring up all your traffic with a Year over Year comparison.

You should then see a nice easy overview of your traffic broken down by referral channel. Once you have that information then start asking yourself some questions:

  • Which traffic referrals have big drops?
  • Did these drops happen suddenly or slowly over a period of several months?
  • Are these traffic drops social or organic or referral in nature?
  • Did you eliminate the possibility these drops are seasonal in nature?

Once you have some answers to these questions, focus that knowledge on target areas and checklist items you may want to further investigate. Here ...

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