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Why Organic Traffic Drops: 10 Main Reasons



A steady drop in organic traffic in the website, be it an online store, a streaming platform, or the best betting company in Uganda, isn’t a reason to panic, but a reason to conduct a thorough analysis. This indicator is a key one for an online site that is focused on commerce. And therefore, it should be given due attention. If the number of live conversions for a long time (week, month) decreases by 15% or more, it’s necessary to look for the causes of the decrease in organic traffic for their further elimination. Ignoring the problem is impossible, otherwise you can remain without orders.

What Is Organic Traffic?

Organic traffic is the total volume of conversions to a site by visitors through an organic search engine. This means conversions to pages that are at the top of search engines due to high-quality SEO, but not due to advertising. For online stores, this indicator is key because it directly shows the potential number of customers interested in a particular product and ready to order.

Decent organic traffic indicators can only be achieved through long-term work with SEO. High-quality optimization allows you to bring a page to the top of search engine results and keep it there for some time. As a result, an increase in the probability of clicks on it.

The Main Benefits of Organic Traffic

Optimizing a site for organic traffic has several advantages:

Real customers. Search engines give users pages that satisfy their needs. Unlike advertising traffic, in the case of organic traffic, the probability of 100% hitting the target audience is higher.
Stability. Even if the site’s position deteriorates and organic traffic decreases, the flow of customers does not stop completely. With advertising, it’s a little different: as soon as the advertising campaign is over, the number of visitors comes to naught.
Improved brand reputation. Advertising is perceived by users as “paid content.” And search engine selections – as sites that can be trusted. Therefore, SEO promotion to attract organic traffic contributes to the creation of a positive reputation for the company, as well as forming a high trust in it from potential customers.

Another important advantage of optimization for organic traffic is the conditional absence of costs. In this case, the customer doesn’t pay for advertising, clicks on links. Payment is made only for the work of SEO specialists.

The Main Causes of Dropping Traffic and How to Solve Them

Live traffic may drop due to a slight deterioration of the website position in search results. Such a process is normal and does not threaten the owner of an online store with “ruin”. But a steady decrease in such conversions, which can be determined with the help of Google Analytics and Yandex Metrika services, over a long period of time leads to a natural decrease in conversion and a decrease in profits. To solve such a problem must be resolved in stages. The first step is identifying the cause of the decline in organic traffic to continue to work with her. Most often, this deterioration is due to 10 factors.

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Change of Address

The most obvious reason for the decrease in live traffic is a change in the URL of the site/page. This usually happens when the online store moves to a new domain. URL changes may occur due to massive redesign of the structure. This results in an error for the majority of indexed pages and a significant drop in your store’s position in the search results bar. Naturally, the number of clicks on a particular page decreases.

The solution is 301 redirect. If you have already moved the site to a new address, use 301 redirect. It “tells” the search engine that the online store has permanently moved to a new address. In response the search engine redirects users to the specified link.


A drop in traffic can be perfectly natural and normal if the store sells seasonal items. It works according to a simple algorithm: if at a particular moment your products don’t interest users, then live traffic will decrease.

All leading stores try to provide a wide assortment for sale that is relevant throughout the year.

The solution is promotions. If you don’t have an opportunity to supplement your store’s assortment with year-round goods, then stir up the interest of potential buyers with seasonal sales, special offers.

Search Engine Filters

Google not only promotes quality services in the positions in extradition but also “chops” sites that use third-party manipulation to improve their performance. Search engine filters can be installed for the following reasons:

Useless content. Page content must be relevant to them and relevant to visitors.
Obtrusive advertising. Hidden content and overt advertising are taboo for search engines.
Surge in conversions. Occurs, as a rule, as a result of buying clicks on third-party services.
A large number of keywords. First, the keywords should be included organically and appropriately. Secondly, they should be contained in moderation.

The solution is to fix the problem. To get rid of search engine filters, fix the problems identified by the system. For example, if the cause of the sanctions is overspam, then reduce the number of promoted occurrences on a particular page.

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Deterioration of Behavioral Factors

Behavioral factors are a direct measure of how useful and necessary a particular site is for users. It’s a metric that includes all the actions of visitors:

Section clicks.
Appeals to the feedback form.
Adding items to cart, etc.

Accordingly, the fewer actions users perform in the online store, the worse the behavioral factors are and the lower the position of the site in search engine results.

The solution is to improve your site. To encourage users to spend more time on the store and be more active, optimize its mobile version, add useful information, and make the snippet more attractive.

Incorrect Internal Relinking

Internal linking is important for the promotion of a site. This is especially true for Google. The basic rule is that the greatest number of promoted links led exactly to the important pages of the online store. These sections should be presented in the header, footer, sidebar or other prominent place. Also an important component is the sequence of transitions. Relinking should be built clearly, in stages.

Check its quality, as well as compliance with the current requirements of search engines can be through SeRanking, NetPeak Spider, Ahrefs, or other services. Use the results of the check to eliminate a specific problem.

The solution is the proper organization of the linking. Take the most important sections in the main menu (if this is not possible – put them in the basement of the site), adjust all the subsections correctly.

Changing Search Engine Algorithms

This cause occurs rarely but also has a right to exist. It comprises a sharp change in search engine algorithms, which leads to a deterioration of the positions of the online store. As an example, Google 2019 update, after which the traffic of all medical sites dropped sharply.

To identify or rule out this reason for the deterioration of organic traffic, it’s necessary to:

Keep an eye on search engine news. As a rule, all major changes are accompanied by announcements.
Analyze your competitors. If the positions of your main competitors are decreasing similarly to yours, then most likely it is a matter of updating algorithms.
The first step is the most important. It’s informational awareness that allows you to quickly adjust to new rules and change the site in accordance with them. The main thing is to study the information in official sources.

The solution is adjusting to updated algorithms. Wait until a new effective method for promoting the site in accordance with the current search engine rules, and implement it.

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Development of Competitors

If the competitors of your online store are actively optimizing, while you are cutting the budget for website promotion, it’s logical that they will manage to overtake you in the top of extradition. That’s why it’s important to conduct regular competitive analysis to determine the reason for the decrease in organic traffic.

The solution is a stable budget for SEO. Forcing other online stores to freeze promotion, alas, is unrealistic. The only way out in the competition is stable and high-quality optimization of your own resource.

Technical Deficiencies

As a result of the completion of technical work on the site, the position of the latter may rush down. Most often this happens because:

Incorrect redirection.
Errors in robot.txt.
Junk pages in the index.

Some errors will cause positions of individual pages to deteriorate. Some of them (robot.txt) may cause your online store to drop out of indexation altogether. Therefore, before launching the site, you should conduct a thorough technical analysis. You can identify flaws through Serpstat, Ahrefs, and other services.

The solution is fixing technical errors. With the help of specialized services identify technical problems and fix them.

Incorrect Display of the Store Pages

The beauty of web design doesn’t interest search engine algorithms. But the quality of page display has one of the main values in their promotion. Firstly, the design of the online store should correspond to its direction. Secondly, the design of the site should be convenient and understandable for users. And thirdly, the service must display correctly on all devices. Check the quality of its display can be checked yourself. To do this, enter the full address of the site in the search engine bar, click on the information triangle next to the snippet that appears, and then – on the “Saved copy”. This is where all the visual imperfections of the resource are displayed.

The solution is to fix bugs in web design. Make the design comfortable for users, simplify the management system, set up the correct display of pages on all devices.

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