1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Ranking remains but traffic drops - what am I missing?

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by esjaym, Aug 17, 2012.

  1. esjaym

    esjaym Newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2009
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    3
    I have a new SEO client which has me a bit baffled. They are a 30 year old company with and established (15 years) and updated (good design) website. Their web traffic has dropped 70% over last year so they hired me to do SEO. Unfortunately, after my research I'm not sure I can help them and I wonder if I'm missing something.

    The site ranks in top 10 for virtually all 40 of the top keywords, most of them they rank #1. The analytic history shows the top search keywords are all business name related - looks like people have just stopped searching for them. This isn't a trendy business - they are a transportation company. I can't figure out if there is a way to explain the drop in traffic.

    Is there a metric I'm missing here?

    Thanks!
     
  2. necro

    necro Regular Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2010
    Messages:
    292
    Likes Received:
    189
    Google changes the ranks every now and them at the moment, try to convience them with some offline action.
     
  3. Endire

    Endire Elite Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2012
    Messages:
    1,756
    Likes Received:
    1,061
    Gender:
    Male
    esjaym,

    Since you are coming in new, you need to start asking more questions and have them give you these answers.

    When you do a search on their terms, have you noticed any paid search queries popping up, that were not there before?
    Did they have any customer service issues in the past that might be driving customers from not searching for them?
    How have their sales performed over this same period? Not from new clients coming in but existing?
    Were they doing SEO before and if so, what reports can they share with you to help understand the history better.
    Do any of the search terms show up in google trends? Does that point to anything?
    Have there been any recent competitors that are new in their market that could be sharing a different story?
    Has there been any recent layoffs where key salespeople have left and taken clients and spread bad press?

    Well, I think you get the idea...

    Please let me know if this help!

    Shawn
     
  4. tymes90

    tymes90 Regular Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2010
    Messages:
    276
    Likes Received:
    40
    Home Page:
    If people have been searching for their business name along with related words, it's clear that people are no longer searching for them. They may need to do some other types of advertising to get the word back out again about their business.
     
  5. B. Friendly

    B. Friendly BANNED BANNED

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2012
    Messages:
    388
    Likes Received:
    480
    Are you looking at localized search results, or what? Is this a local business?
    How you you/they know "traffic" has dropped 70%? GA?
    Was there a previous SEO? Maybe that traffic was fake.
    Have Sales fallen in line with traffic?

    How do you know "people have stopped searching" for the kw's. The fact that they kw's are "business related" is not good enough. They have to be PRECISELY what people search for when looking for that particular service. It's not good enough to be "close". Have you done a kw analysis of their various kw's. Maybe searchers are simply using different words. Are they telling you what the kw's they should optimize for, or are you telling them?

    Maybe they think it's a big deal to be optimized for "hair grooming" when "cheap hair cuts" is the kw that has all the volume.

    Has the search volumes for the @40 keywords dropped with the traffic? Economy is poor, fuel is high, maybe the whole industry is changing. Maybe people are finding alternative ways to ship (I assume this is a trucking company.)

    What about their competitors? Have you analyzed their websites to see what kw's they are optimized for and compared that list to what your client is optimizing for.

    Back to previous SEO, one common scam is to get a client's site optimized for non-competitive, unimportant keywords, they get #1 position and get completely bonded to the less relevant keywords. You need to do a full-on keyword analysis and that (btw) costs extra.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2012
  6. esjaym

    esjaym Newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2009
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    3
    Thank you for all your helpful responses! Yes, local business, local keywords. I'm new to this forum but not to local seo. Google trends confirmed search trends have not changed which was a big comfort. I was basing my information off my own keyword research, not the customer. I was also basing my information on drop in traffic off the customers google analytics account. I was comparing keywords which used to bring the customer large amounts of traffic, and comparing it to the traffic they are getting now. Most of these are business NAME related (not just business related as I had stated earlier) Further investigation showed that there were anomalies in the data and I found that the analytics tracking code was not installed on pages redesigned about a year ago and this skewed the data.

    So good news/bad news - Good: their traffic patterns have not changed as drastically as previously thought - Bad: they already rank very well and I'm not certain further SEO will be the best ROI for their business. I'll be suggesting some other traffic and business improvements instead.

    Thanks for all your thoughtful and helpful feedback - it got me onto the right track.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  7. zolcsi68

    zolcsi68 Regular Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2009
    Messages:
    235
    Likes Received:
    58
    Occupation:
    Hardwood floor
    Location:
    New York
    Home Page:
    The customers my see the result in google local and call the number right a way. Not visit the website itself.
     
  8. ThopHayt

    ThopHayt Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    Messages:
    5,398
    Likes Received:
    1,644
    Time of year... some sites and SERPS get traffic based on season.