Platonik
organic rankings

My organic traffic and rankings are down 30%, I need advice

I got a text message from a client this week.

My organic traffic is down 33% he said.

I need your advice how to get this sorted.

Before jumping in with a solution, I checked my own traffic.

My organic traffic is down 15 % on last month.

F**k !

Why is my traffic from Google down ?

4 reasons

  1. Google Update 1st August
  2. I’ve not built or earned any links to my site in a year
  3. SEO 80/20
  4. Summer or seasonality ?

Google Update 1st August

Google rolled out a big update earlier in August 2018 and many websites have been affected with a decline in traffic.

The SEO experts do not know the answer.

Google’s own advice was to carry on regardless.

EAT – Expert, Authoritative, Trusted

Many SEO experts have pointed to the Google Search Quality Rater Guidelines.

Some pages could be affected if they aren’t written by people with the right credentials.

If you do a search for financial advice and the written pages would ideally be written by financial adviser or accountant.

I’m hardly qualified to write about financial matters !

Links to Page Still Number One Ranking Factor

I haven’t earned or proactively built any links to my website in over a year.

Link building is so time consuming and expensive.

I’ve lost links from some high authority websites.

That’s perfectly natural as website owners change their page content or delete old pages.

My traffic could be down because there’s high search volume in June and July compared to other months of the year.

Sure enough my traffic from Google is still up on same period last year.

As Brian Dean’s study mentioned “We found the number of domains linking to a page correlated with rankings more than any other factor”.

And Ahrefs compared on page factors and backlink factors and referring domains is a major ranking factor.

SEO 80/20

81% of my traffic from Google comes from my top 3 pages.

I have 65 pages in total indexed in Google.

Most of my pages aren’t getting much traffic at all.

Neil Patel’s website has over 4,000 pages and his top 50 pages account for nearly 46% of his traffic.

There are definitely some of my pages, upon reflection, that aren’t very useful or I’m not the expert on a topic I think I am.

Seasonality or Summer ?

I used to rank well and earn traffic from a page that ranked well for a supplier.

That supplier has decided to wind down their business.

They told the whole industry.

And 6 months later search demand has dropped dramatically.

Remember that Google is a demand fulfiller not a demand generator.

I’ve also noticed that search volume for particular topics grows at different times of the year.

A lot of people look for online business ideas in January and in the summer.

Therefore a drop in August of 20% compared to June.

Don’t get too obsessed with traffic.

More importantly is my traffic converting into subscribers ?

Yes.

That’s a relief.

But at some point in the near future I have to address my traffic from Google.

Let me tell you about this client

I built their website 4 years ago.

Nice little lead generation website that’s generated a good return for them.

In 4 years they haven’t changed the products and services on the website or emailed prospects or customers.

They have done nada or except some Facebook Ads themselves.

I haven’t earned a dime from them in 4 years nor do I expect to.

But I’ll still offer advice.

Here’s what I told him

Step 1 : Figure out what people are searching for

You need to figure out what are searching for.

I gave him a couple of ideas.

I, an outsider in his industry, am giving a business owner advice on what people are looking for and buying.

Life moves pretty fast, if you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it” – Ferris Bueller.

Step 2 : You think you know how to do keyword research but you don’t

There are numerous keyword research tools out in the market.

But unless you are using one of the premium tools your competitors will crucify you.

It’s like bringing a knife to a gunfight.

Don’t think about using Google Keyword Planner; it’s built for advertising research.

If you are using a paid research tool, you have to do topical research.

So what’s topical research ?

Step 3: Choose a topic to rank for

As much as my client would love to rank on page one for his main products, it just ain’t gonna happen.

With a new website or one that has been neglected for years, Google don’t trust you; they trust the websites with stronger links to their site and top notch relevant, trusted content.

Who is Google gonna trust more John Lewis, Wickes, Magnet, Homebase or a website that’s never been touched in 4 years ?

So you have to choose the right topic; like this.

  • High search volume
  • Very easy to rank for, low keyword difficulty
  • Lots of same as keywords (a big topic)

When you have a weak domain, you don’t get to decide what you want to rank for.

You have to go after the easiest opportunities.

Step 4 : You have no idea what people are searching for

As I mentioned, my traffic from Google has dropped 15% in the last month.

I’ve also struggled to come up with content ideas to produce.

Writer’s block maybe.

No.

Even I don’t know what people are looking for.

I spent 4 hours last night doing research.

I came up with 100 content ideas.

Remember that movie with Robert De Niro and Bradley Cooper called LimitLess.

Cooper takes a pill and it accesses 100% of his brain potential and becomes a writing and financial genius.

Well, I was like Cooper in that movie; but just for 2 hours and no side effects or pill taken.

And I generated a few ideas for clients as well.

Here’s one topic I researched and will create.

Local Advertising

I found a page that gets 1,000 organic visits a month in the UK with this title.

10 Ways to Advertise Your Business Locally.

How on earth have I never thought about writing about local advertising before ?

I spent 4 years marketing a ‘local’ business in Scotland.

We get so obsessed, self centred about ourselves, our business and our products that we “don’t stop and look around once in a while”

Anyway,

The topic I found and page I researched ranks for 180 keywords in the UK.

That’s a nice topic so I could rank and get traffic for hundreds of similar keywords.

Now this pages does have 22 other websites pointing at it.

So it’s fairly difficult to rank.

Hey I’m not giving away all the best ideas I found for free.

Of the 100 topics I found, 55 of them have 3 or less referring domains to their page.

Here’s some of the keywords this page ranks for.

  • local advertising, 600 searches, KD 5
  • local business advertising, 100, KD 23
  • free local advertising, 300, KD 62
  • local advertising that works, 60, KD 8

Now if I present you with a keyword opportunity such as “local advertising” you probably wouldn’t feel very inspired or have a clue what to write.

But if I told you, go write “10 Ways To Advertise Your Business Locally For Free” I’m sure you’d make a pretty useful page.

Step 4 : Write a useful page in a recipe format based around the researched topic

So I looked at the page that ranks for 10 Ways to Advertise Your Business Locally.

The page content is SHITE.

But it’s at number 2 in Google.

The page is only getting ranked on page one because it has 22 other website linking to it.

I know I could create a much more useful guide to local advertising.

Using a recipe content format I could take each advertising idea and provide a step by step guide to help the user implement the tactic.

Instead of just describing each tactic.

The user and Google will find that more useful and I should get rewarded with rankings and traffic from Google.

Have you seen the number one result for “banana bread recipe” ?

Here’s the format of the page.

  • Photograph at the top
  • A description on How to make banana bread
  • A list of Ingredients
  • Methods (a step by step guide)
  • More images
  • Link to the author

Step 5: Promote for 28 days

Now you’ve created a useful page that’s got high search volume, it’s easy to rank for and is a big topic, now you need to promote it.

Which ties in nicely with the local advertising guide I am going to have to produce.

Step 6 : Don’t be miserable sod with keyword research; pay for it

I was working up till 2.30pm on Saturday on a link campaign for a client.

A mate texted me and said everyone was going to the pub for drinks.

Bugger it; why not.

Sunday morning, I’ve got a hangover and my bank balance is about £90 lighter.

If I were a forensic accountant I could find you a budget that would easily help you invest in paying for keyword research whilst you focus on your core business and skills.