Sudden Drop in Website Traffic: How to Spot and Fix It Promptly — Serpstat Blog

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Anna Kravets
Anna Kravets

Product Marketing Manager at Serpstat

A sudden drop, or even spike, in organic traffic often seems alarming in the world of websites and online marketing, but no need to panic – this article is here to help you when this happens.

We’ll show you how to swiftly spot a website traffic drop, list possible reasons and give you some easy tips to fix it. So, let’s discover the “whys” and “hows” to understand and solve the problem of losing website visitors.

How to Spot a Website Traffic Drop?

Website traffic should be constantly monitored to keep an eye on website performance. It provides valuable insights and helps you track marketing results and make data-driven decisions for further website promotion.

Traffic can be monitored using Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Similarweb, Serpstat, or other tools.

Check your website organic traffic trend now:

We’ll show you by example how to find the Traffic trend in the report. In Domain Analysis – Overview, just scroll a bit down to see Visibility, Traffic, and Organic keyword trends.

Traffic trends

See, a few clicks, and you get a website traffic trend for the last year, or from the first time Serpstat found your domain in SERP.

You can monitor website traffic like this manually, but unless you check it frequently, you may miss the exact moment it starts going down. Besides, frequent manual traffic monitoring still takes time you could spend doing other tasks.

What a time-saver would be a tool that notifies you when website traffic drops or jumps sharply, right?

Actually, you can get such notifications with Serpstat Events!

How to Get Notified of a Traffic Drop or Spike?

The AI-powered Events feature detects values that are higher or lower than expected or normal trends for the following website metrics:

  • Organic traffic
  • Website visibility
  • Organic keywords count in the top 100 search results

The tool then sends a notification about an anomaly change to your profile menu that is kept there for 30 days.

The notification includes a domain name, a metric, its previous value, and how much it changed.

Notification abour website traffic drop

To get notified of a recent drop in website traffic, just add a domain to My projects. The platform will be monitoring it automatically – no further actions are required.

Notification abour website traffic drop

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Things to Check If You See a Sudden Drop in Website Traffic

You get a notification about your website traffic suddenly going down. So, what’s next? Let’s go through a list of possible reasons and see what you can do about it.

Google Algorithms Updates

Google is constantly improving its algorithms to provide users with results that answer their query the best. They roll out minor changes and “core” updates a few times a year. These updates may significantly change website rankings and traffic.

Keep track of search engine algorithms changes to align your SEO strategy with new updates and avoid losing traffic.

You can stay informed about Google algorithm updates through the Traffic trend section in Domain analysis – Overview.

Google Updates notifications

Google Penalties or Manual Actions

Google punishes websites that don’t abide by Webmaster Guidelines by excluding a website from search results. 

Penalties come in two flavors: manual and automatic.

1.To check if your website got a manual penalty, go to Google Search Console — Security & Manual actions — Manual actions.

If you get a penalty, make the necessary changes on your site and submit a reconsideration request under Tools section to remove the penalty.

2.Automatic (algorithmic) penalties usually don’t show up in Google’s tools, but you might get them upon Google Algorithms changes and notice a sudden drop in traffic or positions in SERP. Track how Google algorithms change to adjust SEO tactics.

Technical SEO Issues

Critical technical SEO issues on a website can lead to a significant drop in rankings and traffic if the issues are not dealt with immediately.

Pay strong attention to the following technical SEO issues:

  • HTTP status codes. Pages that respond with 4XX or 5XX may eventually be excluded from the results page.
  • Server parameters. Issues related to redirecting a user to a secure website version decrease user and browser trust, and the absence of redirects to or from “www” website version may disrupt the website accessibility.
  • HTTPS certificate. Neglecting to use HSTS, outdated TLS protocol, self-signed or expired certificates, and other issues within this issue type make the connection no longer secure, putting visitor’s data at risk.

Use the Site Audit tool to monitor these issues, both critical and less urgent. Set up regular checks and get results to your email, or access them directly in the tool. 

Results include recommendations on how to fix detected issues, so you won’t be left alone wondering what’s the next step.

Site Audit issues

Website Migration

Relaunching a website, migrating to a new content management system (CMS), or a new domain must include an SEO migration. Otherwise, there’s a high risk of losing all the efforts made while promoting your site beforehand.

In a few days after major changes, slight traffic fluctuations are okay, and they can last for a couple of weeks.

However, if you went through a migration phase and noticed your traffic drastically dropped, one of the reasons may be in this list:


Backlinks play a huge role in a website SEO and authority.

Upon a sudden drop in website traffic, consider the following reasons:

  • A lot of backlinks to your website have been lost.
  • A website received a bulk of spammy and toxic backlinks.
  • A lot of backlinks are of low quality: non-relevant to the topic or placed on a domain with low authority.
  • To get rid of links that hinder your SEO effort, use Google Disavow tool. However, note Google disclaimer:

    You should disavow backlinks only if:

    1.You have a considerable number of spammy, artificial, or low-quality links pointing to your site


    2.The links have caused a manual action, or likely will cause a manual action, on your site.

Low-Quality Content

Content attracts traffic the most; it is a core principle of SEO.

High-quality content encourages users to engage and stay longer on a page.

The search engine examines the content and determines its usefulness and relevancy. If the content provides no value, the webpage won’t rank high in search results.

Look through these points to ensure basic content optimization:

  • Don’t post duplicate content – content should be original and unique to provide maximum value.
  • Update outdated content – keep your content up-to-****, especially on traffic generation pages.
  • Don’t leave lorem ipsum text on a page. This placeholder text can make it seem like the page is still under development, both for users and search engines.
  • Keep track of missing body text, title, and meta description. Don’t leave users and SE without content wondering what the page is about – fill the missing parts in.
  • Maintain a clear and logical content structure. Visitors don’t usually read the whole page – they’re looking for answers. Make sure the content is easy to read and navigate.
  • Avoid content over-optimization. It is tempting to add as many keywords as possible to rank at the top; however, the search engine detects keyword stuffing and can punish you for that.

Natural Traffic Fluctuation

Traffic fluctuations occur regularly, and that doesn’t necessarily mean there’s something wrong with your website.

Use Search engines storm to check how search results changed over the last 30 days. If storms have been high, the traffic fluctuations have affected many other websites, too.

Search engines storms

Using Black-Hat SEO Practices

By engaging in black-hat SEO techniques, you put yourself at risk of being penalized, leading to a sudden drop in organic traffic.

Here are some black-hat SEO tactics you should avoid:

  • Keyword stuffing
  • Hidden text
  • Duplicating content
  • Rich snippet abuse
  • Structured data misuse
  • Private Blog Networks (PBNs) for building domain authority
  • Comment spam

Slow Loading Speed

Website loading speed affects not only website traffic but also user experience.

Visitors expect to receive content immediately, and 53% of them leave if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. It significantly increases the webpage bounce rate, meaning users aren’t interested in your content.

Check website speed issues for Desktop and Mobile devices in Site Audit or Google PageSpeed Insights.

people leave a page if it load more then 3 seconds

Seasonal trends

Seasonal fluctuations are natural, so if you work in a niche that depends on a season, traffic fluctuations are inevitable.

Suppose you own a brand that sells different types of winter outerwear. During keyword research, pay attention to seasonal interests in Google Trends. When analyzing traffic, consider that your website will start losing traffic as warm days come as per seasonal trends.

Competition Became Stronger

If none of the above factors seem to explain the sudden drop in organic traffic, consider a competitor analysis. New businesses may have entered the market, or existing competitors have improved their SEO strategies.

Analyze competitors’ pages that outranked you to understand how to improve your website pages.

Find out who your real competitors are

Start a free 7-day trial and get into competitors’ SEO and PPC strategy to find hidden opportunities for your business.

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Website traffic should be monitored and paid attention to. Nowadays, artificial intelligence can detect abnormal traffic trends and notify you to analyze and find a reason quickly. Serpstat Events is a feature that notifies you of such abrupt changes.

A sudden drop in organic traffic can occur for a number of reasons, but you can get it back to normal after a proper diagnosis and fix. So, no worries — you’ll get it back and straighten promotion tactics!

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