SEO Traffic Recovery Services
Has your website recently lost traffic? We work closely with you to diagnose why your traffic dropped, and provide a plan to recover lost traffic.
Your website launched and you thought the digital agency or web design and development team you used had a SEO transition plan (I mean they told you they did), but your site went live a couple days ago, and you’re seeing a drop in traffic from Google.
Your heart starts racing and you wonder, “why did my website traffic drop, wasn’t the redesign supposed to make it better?”.
The good news is our SEO traffic recovery services can identify and fix traffic loss that occurred from a Google update, or a poorly executed redesign, relaunch, or migration. We provide traffic recovery for the following issues.
- Google Penalty or Update
- Website Relaunch
- Site Migration or HTTPS Transition
Hub and Spoke Marketing
Bill cares about his work and holds himself to a very high standard.
I worked with Bill for several years and was always impressed with his technical know-how combined with his easy-going style. He is smart and very, very hard working. Bill is driven and knows what he wants to do. I saw Bill hold his own many times and he always approached clients and projects with a can-do attitude.
Traffic Recovery Resource
The 11 SEO Data Points To Diagnose Website Traffic Loss
Most websites lose SEO traffic at some point. This is usually do to a poorly executed transition plan or website redesign, hiring the wrong SEO agency, or even the website being hacked.
When traffic loss happens it can feel like a personal attack on your website from Google and other search engines. What you have to understand is that Google is just an algorithm that takes in data and makes changes based on the data – it’s not personal.
Traffic loss occurs due to one (or more) of these reasons:
- Shady SEO practices done by your SEO team or SEO firm
- A recent update that either your website was rightfully caught in, or an update that caught your website by mistake – usually it’s the former, although most think its the later.
- Your competition just started doing awesome SEO – and now outranks you.
- You redesigned your website and didn’t have a transition plan.
Remember to use all of these data points when diagnosing the problem, don’t just focus on one or two. You’ll need to understand what each means individually towards solving you traffic loss problem, as well as what they mean to each other. – Bill Ross, CEO LINCHPINseo
Checkpoint #1: Ranking Sensors
Ranking sensors have become a great resource for determining fluctuations in rankings across thousands or millions of keywords, that as a business you normally would not have insight into.
These can be used to determine if there was a rankings update or massive shift in rankings that could indicate a Google update.
There are a couple that we recommend keeping an eye on. These include:
- Mozcast – from moz.com that is a basic weather report for the search results.
- SemRush Sensor – from SEMrush.com that is a sensor across their dataset of keywords and is segmented by industry type.
Checkpoint #2: Google Search Console
Google will give hints as to why your website may have lost traffic from within their Search Console. If your website was hit with a manual penalty due to shady link building, or was hacked, you will get a message from Google outlining the problem.
Issues that Google has identified with your website will show up in the messages section of Google Search Console.
Checkpoint #3: Brand Name Search
If you search for your brand name in Google and find that your home page is not anywhere on the first page of Google, you may have been penalized.
This is usually a strong indicator that your website may have been hacked or manually penalized due to spammy link building tactics by your SEO team, or SEO firm.
Checkpoint #4: Keyword Rankings
There are many debates as to whether monitoring SEO search rankings is important. No matter what side you come down on, monitoring rankings can be a great directional indicator of a problem.
When monitoring keywords we recommend monitoring the following 3 types:
- Priority Keywords – those that you’ve identified as driving conversions, leads or sales.
- Secondary Keywords – are keywords that you’re trying to rank for, but might be on the 2nd or 3rd page for.
- Longer Tail Key Phrases – these are key phrases that you may be targeting within blog posts.
There are many tools that can be used to monitor rankings of priority and secondary keywords, and long tail key phrases – we prefer SEMrush.
Checkpoint #5: Inbound Links
Inbound link audits should be done monthly, to not only identify new links that help your rankings, but to also identify any links that may hurt your website and which you will want to create a disavow file.
You’ll want to export your links and analyze them for value. Look for links that have been created from any of the following low-value websites, and create a disavow file for them:
- Low-value generic directories
- Links added to blogrolls
- Links from overseas websites
- Scraped content
- WordPress.com or Blogger.com websites
Checkpoint #6: Total Keywords Sending Traffic
This data can be pulled from SEMrush and is a great way to determine if the traffic loss was due to a a few keywords losing rankings, or a loss in total (or large number of) keywords sending traffic (organic reach).
This data can be found in SEMrush by going to Domain Analytics > Organic Reach > Keywords. Once this is determined you can then dig deeper into the keyword set for your website and determine what keywords you once ranked, but recently lost rankings for.
Checkpoint #7: Organic Traffic
This traffic type is defined as traffic that comes from the organic search results and is driven by keyword rankings and search trends.
If there was a decrease in organic traffic you will want to check your rankings and keywords sending traffic, and also dive into Google trends to determine if there was a decrease in search trends for the topics you are targeting.
This data can be found in Google Analytics by going to Acquisition > Overview > Organic. You can then compare traffic by date to determine if there was a loss of organic traffic to your website.
Checkpoint #8: Referral Sources
Referral traffic represents traffic that comes from other websites outside of your primary domain, or sub domains of the primary domain.
When analyzing this traffic type you’ll want to check websites that sent a large number of referrals in the past, and compare it to what they are sending now.
A loss in referral traffic could be due to:
- Link being removed from an external website
- The page being linked to now is a 404 page
- The website that the link was on may have lost traffic themselves, and thus is sending less traffic to your website.
This data can be found in Google Analytics by going to Acquisition > Overview > Referral. You can then compare traffic by date to determine if there was a loss of referral traffic to your website.
Checkpoint #9: Direct Traffic
Direct traffic is usually a result of a marketing campaign, or brand awareness and value. If your total traffic dropped and you also see a drop in Direct Traffic, you may want to talk with your marketing team or executives to see if they were at a conference or trade show the last time your checked traffic numbers – as their involvement most likely spiked Direct traffic numbers.
This data can be found in Google Analytics by going to Acquisition > Overview > Direct. You can then compare traffic by date to determine if there was a loss of direct traffic to your website.
Checkpoint #10: Landing Page
Understanding what pages lost traffic is key to understanding where value may have been lost on your website.
This data can be pulled from Google analytics and found by going to Behavior > Site Content > All Pages. You can then compare traffic by date to determine which pages lost traffic, and which source they lost traffic from.
Checkpoint #11: Geographic Traffic
If you’re a small business targeting a city or region you may want to check and make sure you have not lost traffic from that local geographic region.
This data can be pulled from Google analytics and found by going to Audience > Geo > Location. You can then compare traffic by date to determine if you lost traffic from a specific State or City.
Traffic loss is a frustrating, stressful, and challenging thing to diagnose and can cause a loss in sales, leads, or in the worst case cause your company to go out of business.
Depending on the issue and reason for a loss in traffic you should reach out to a trusted SEO to help you confirm the data, and if need be help you craft and submit a reconsideration request to Google.
Traffic Recovery Resource
How To Write A Google Reconsideration Request
So your site has been de-listed from the search engines or your rankings have drastically dropped. You’re losing money, you don’t know why Google would do such a horrible thing to your website. The time has come to submit a reconsideration request to Google to explain your situation.
Below you will find the 7 step process we take when creating a reconsideration request for businesses who have come to us in a frenzy because something horrible has happened to their business.
Step 1: Research, Research, Research
Google quality guidelines include violations such as cloaking, link schemes, hidden links or text, keyword stuffing, creating multiple domains or subdomains with the same content, creating pages that contain programs with malicious behavior, doorway pages, and duplicate content due to affiliate programs.
- The first step is to do a complete SEO audit of your website. This includes doing a complete technical, link, and content analysis to ensure the site is not in violation of any Google quality guidelines.
- Then, dig into your analytics data to find what day and time the drop happened, what pages or site sections were affected, and if it’s isolated to only Google, or if all search engines dropped.
- You should also check your referring keywords in Google Webmaster Tools to determine if someone has hacked your site and placed hidden text or links on your website – you will start to see off topic keywords in the data.
Step 2: Tell Google Why Your Site Exists
This overview should include what you do, who you’re owned by, the purpose and overall mission of the website, and the goal of the website for a user.
Step 3: What Happened
This part of the reconsideration request is where you will utilize the research you had done, and explain what happened. You will need to go into depth within this section, so I would suggest taking your time when doing the research so you are able and paint a complete picture of the website as you see it.
Step 4: Be Honest – Google Has Heard Every Excuse In The Book
Growing up we are taught that honesty is the best policy and that although it may hurt up front to tell the truth, in the long run, it will all work out for the best. This holds true for writing your reconsideration request as well. I feel comfortable in saying that 85-90% of the time if you do your research, read over the webmaster quality guidelines, and think back to marketing programs you have done for the site over the last few months, you will be able to come up with a few things that might not have been pearly white. I would also say that you don’t need to get real granular with this to the point of writing a 2 page paper about every link or every change you made to the website. But I would recommend coming clean if you have taken part in anything that you feel violated the quality guidelines.
Step 5: Conclusion
So you’ve explained the situation, confessed to any wrong doings, fixed the issues that you found during your research, and now are ready to conclude this reconsideration request.
If you are sure you’ve fixed everything, I would conclude the body of the reconsideration request by saying something like
We’ve gone over the Google Webmaster Guidelines and can’t find any violations. If there is still something that we are not seeing please let us know.
Step 6: Give it your John Hancock
Sign your name, title, and website at the bottom. Don’t sign some fake name at the bottom of the reconsideration request or be deceptive – reconsideration requests require complete honesty and transparency.
Step 7: Make It Official
Go to the Google reconsideration request web page and send it to Google.
In most cases the only response you will receive from Google will something like:
We’ve received a request from a site owner to reconsider how we index the following site: yoursite.com
We’ll review the site. If we find that it’s no longer in violation of our Webmaster Guidelines, we’ll reconsider our indexing of the site. Please allow several weeks for the reconsideration request. We do review all requests, but unfortunately we can’t reply individually to each request.
You will probably also receive an email from them when they have reviewed your request, usually saying:
We received a request from a site owner to reconsider how we index the following site: yoursite.com.
We’ve now reviewed your site. When we review a site, we check to see if it’s in violation of our Webmaster Guidelines. If we don’t find any problems, we’ll reconsider our indexing of your site. If your site still doesn’t appear in our search results, check our Help Center for steps you can take.
We have helped many websites through this process so if you’d like us to review your reconsideration request and provide consulting through this difficult time, please let us know and we will be glad to help you out.
If you don’t get a response, you might think you need to submit again ASAP or be wondering how long you have to wait to submit another reconsideration request? Google says to wait at least 2 weeks prior to submitting a second request for review.
Removing links takes time. Due to the large volume of requests we receive, and to give you a better chance of your next reconsideration request being successful, we won’t review another request from this site for a few weeks from now. We recommend that you take the necessary time to remove unnatural backlinks to your site, and then file another reconsideration request. – Google