Who moved my traffic?

Your site traffic is down, you are running up and down the hallway freaking out.  Wait before you get all anxious about the traffic, downturn in your traffic might not be something to freak out.
Below are some of the things to look at to find out why your traffic is down. Some reasons are within you control (stop freaking start working) some out of your control. Some might be very obvious and some might not.

  •  Seasonal Impact – Do year over year comparison and see how the traffic pattern was last year.
  • May be overall traffic is down even for your competitors (do comparison at http://www.alexaholic.com/ )
  • Has a new competitor entered the space? How is their traffic?
  • Traffic drivers – How was the traffic from these sources?
    • Campaigns (Banners, Search, Emails) – Has anything changed.
    • Email – Did anything change there? Did you send out your regular emails, newsletters?
    • Search – Did you change anything here, have search engines changed their algorithm.
    • Search – Did you change your site? Meta Tags? Content?
    • Affiliates – Has any affiliates changed their site.
  • Environmental Factors – How is the weather in the geographical region where you have most visitors from? Nice weather can keep people outdoors, resulting in lower traffic.
  • Was there any site outage
  • Have you made change to your web analytics tool configuration? If yes, investigate what those were? Problems in filter could be filtering out a lot of traffic.

This was originally written in 2006 at – Web Analytics, Behavioral Targeting and Optimization by Anil Batra

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