You think you are doing everything right then you see a drop in your website traffic. But what could be the cause? Sometimes you need to do some checks and make some amendments to rectify the situation. There are some steps to take that are a priority over others.
It might seem difficult to known where to start, so first of all you should look at the decline in traffic more closely. Is it a sudden decline or a slow and steady decrease? These situations can mean different things. Then further analysis should be done into whether it is just a dip that has begun to recover on its own or if it is a permanent decline. The other part to consider is how long the slow traffic has lasted.
Once you know which kind of slow down you are dealing with there are these three steps to consider first to try to fix the problem and find the underlying cause.
Check your local network and hosting provider
There are some problems that can be caused at the very source of your website, right at the beginning and sometimes they are only resolvable by your network or hosting providers. It is a good first step to take to contact these as it will usually take a short amount of time to assess and review these areas.
Local Network problems
It might sound like a simple step but if you are having problems with your local network, then this will naturally cause a drop in your website traffic. It is not usually your network that is to blame but your provider will check for you to make sure there are no network issues and troubleshoot the problem for you.
You will usually be notified by your hosting provider if there are any problems but it is a good idea to check with them first. It may be an update which has taken your site offline for a short while causing a dip in traffic. Or perhaps a larger issue such as hacking that they have detected and are working on. Lastly it may be an issue their end that they are not yet aware of but can resolve quickly for you. If there is a problem here it is worth mentioning that your website content should be backed up just in case the issues are serious.
It is really important that you resolve any server issues quickly. You should check for errors in your server logs and consider using the Fetch and Render tool in Google to test how a URL on your site is crawled. If you are on a shared server then your website going down can be caused by someone else on the same server seeing a sudden increase in traffic. Lots of hosting packages will take your site down if you exceed your bandwidth limits so if you have too much traffic it could be due to this.
Remove the junk from your site
Unnecessary content and slow loading items will cause your website to both reduce the ranking of your site and conversion rate. Both reducing the traffic to your website. A good clean up of your website will make a difference to your traffic, both short and long term. Whilst it might not be the most important factor, the last broken link may have tipped your site over the edge and cause you to appear much lower in search results.
Cleaning up your site
Things to remove from your website include large images and videos that can cause slow loading. On these pages potential visitors may leave before fully connecting because of how slow your page is. You should also look at the links on your website. Broken links can cause problems making your site seem less credible and reducing your user experience. This is usually old links that cannot be followed because the webpage is no longer there or has changed, which in turn can slow down users wanting to connect with your website. Also, you should remove content that no longer has any relevance. Perhaps you have old information relating to physical therapy services you no longer provide or contact details that need changing.
Replacing removed content
Of course, you don’t want to remove too much from your site and you should think about replacing what you are removing with other ore credible content. This may include changing broken links to new quality links to other sites that offer excellent content. It can also be a good idea to optimise the images on your site, rather than removing them. Ensuring that they are the right size to reduce the loading speed but still offer quality.
If there are comments on your site that link to spam websites you should remove them as soon as you can. These will usually be on pages that allow comments and haven’t been detected by any security. If you don’t have security on your site then you should as this will usually block all spam for you automatically. You should also change any advertising on your site that might appear to be spam or no longer available.
Analyse the traffic sources
When looking at reduced traffic you should take into account where the decline is from not just the overall dip in your numbers. By analysing your traffic sources, you can see which is working and where the reduction of traffic is specifically from. There are five main sources of traffic and knowing what your overall makeup is from each can help you identify the problem. Here are the main traffic suppliers
1. Direct traffic
This is where your visitors have used your direct URL to visit your site. They will need to type this directly into the search bar or use a bookmarked page. It is also where you have given your direct URL for example in an email or other correspondence.
2. Organic search results
These are visits by traffic directed from search engine results. This is mostly Google as it is the most popular organic search engine used today. But it also could be Bing and other search engines.
3. Social media traffic
Any traffic directed from social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram whether these are your own pages or general news feeds. You can look into this further by identifying the exact platform if any there has been a drop on.
4. Paid visits
These are visitors to your site that have landed from clicking advertising such as links or paid banner adverts using marketing like Google AdWords. Any advertising really that drives traffic to your site.
5. Referral traffic
This can be from anywhere you have links such as partners who link your website on their own websites. Whether you have requested these links or they are links from other websites who think your site has quality information to offer.
Once you have analysed the different types of traffic and the numbers you usually get from each one, you can pinpoint the traffic dip. Then you can concentrate on this source which will save you time. For example, if it is direct traffic that is lacking it may be that your usual clients have changed, or that your direct URL is not working for some reason which will be a reason to contact your service provider. Or, if your organic traffic has taken a dive, you may have a Google penalty. To confirm this, you should check your Google webmaster tools to see if you have been notified about such a penalty. If it is social media, you should look at your strategy and see if there has been any change in your audience recently. You can even go deeper and see if there is a specific platform that is causing your issues.
So, what is the reason for your website traffic slow down?
By following these steps, you should be able to identify and rectify the reason for your traffic slow down for your PT website. And of course, if the problem persists and you can’t see why your traffic is diminishing it may be time to employ an expert to do the hard work for you.
Remember to check for viruses and potential hacking as these security risks can also cause your website traffic to change and can be an indicator for more sinister underlying problems. And sometimes it might end up being that anomaly for a short period and everything will be back up and running as normal without having to do much or anything at all.
To summarise start with the three steps of checking any analysing the source of the reduced traffic and work on that traffic source. Check with your network and hosting providers, they may already know there is a problem and be working on a resolution. Lastly whatever the problem you should look at cleaning up your website. It can only do good to analyse and streamline your site getting rid of old and broken content leaving behind a fresh and clean Physical Therapy website.