Rebuilding a Blog: Addressing Sudden Drops in Traffic

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Recently, I noticed the health and fitness blog has dropped significantly in traffic. Over the course of a few months, it went from an average of 250+ visits per day to around 40. Let’s take a look at the sudden drops in traffic and see if we can’t fix it.

After all, this particular blog was pulling in the majority of money through Google Adsense. Instead of making close to $30 per month, now I am bringing in around $7.




When Did the Drop Occur

The initial drop of the health and fitness site began in August of 2018. This was partly due to the “medical update” from Google. Apparently, a lot of sites centering around health and fitness saw a dip in traffic.

This decrease continued steadily from August throughout today in July. However, it looks like there was another dip in May of 2019.

According to StanVentures.com, there was indeed another rollout of changes to Google that affected sites in March of 2019.

So, over the past 11 months, my health and fitness site was hit with two health-minded algorithm changes and a new update from Google that prevents the same domain being listed more than once on the front page.

This explains why the Progresso soup articles are seeing less traffic. Before, at least two of my posts were listed when someone searched for “progresso soup diet.” Now, there is only one.

Except for when I searched this morning…now I see both articles? Sigh…

Fixing Sudden Drops in Traffic

OK, so now let’s do some research and see if we can find ways to get the health and fitness blog back up to where it needs to be. The drops in traffic are hindering how much I can donate to charities and improve the website.

Keeping the Site Up to Date

This tip comes directly from Google’s Webmaster guide. Keeping the site up to date helps keep it relevant for today’s searches. And, I can see how outdated health and fitness information could be seen as a bad impression.

Though, most of my articles are still relevant as I was writing evergreen content. Which means they stay relevant for long periods of time.

Still, it probably wouldn’t be a bad idea to go over older posts and spruce them up a bit. Besides, it gives me a chance to repurpose content on social media to gain new traffic.

And some of the people who are subscribed to push notifications may not know the original post is on the site. So, I can publish there as well to encourage followers to read the article.

I’m also looking into plugins that will show the updated date instead of the original post. Hopefully, this will help Google search as well as encouraging trust from the reader.

Personally, I put more stock in content created in the past 12 months as opposed to material published in 2010.

Flesh Out the About Us Page

I am fairly sure I have an “About Me” page on every blog. But I suppose it’s a bit lacking in terms of real detail regarding who I am.

In truth, I need to spend more time on personal branding for all my projects. Which is going to be quite the undertaking considering I have my toes in several industries.

But if I want to get back to improving traffic, I need to play by Google’s rules.

Author Bylines

An author byline is suggested to help Google understand who is providing the information to readers. Now, all of my articles have my name attached. But if I remember right, the link only shows my Gravatar profile information.

Why is this bad? Because it’s showing my “writing” expertise…not the weight loss information.

Luckily, I can add a better author box to the articles in WordPress to provide a more clear representation of who I am and what I offer readers.

Removing Scraped or Duplicated Content

I never scrape or duplicate content from websites. The closest I ever come is when I use the “skyscraper technique” on high-performing articles.

Since this is a popular suggestion from experts, I’ll start scanning content again in Copyscape to make sure I am under the 5%-copied goal I set for myself.

If anything, it will give me the piece of mind that I am still unique in my content writing.

Getting More Backlinks

This is one aspect I’ve been lacking in every site. I don’t contact others to create backlinks, nor do I invest in a lot of time to do guest posts. I suppose I should start considering how the competition is already doing this.

I’ve accumulated a few backlinks in the past because I write fact-driven and solid content. What I need to do is market it better to the masses. And part of doing this is getting my name out there in other venues.

Social media works OK, to an extent. But I feel I would do far better on all my blogs if I had a good strategy for backlinks. So, I suppose I’ll start diving into creating them.

Yeah, because my plate is empty and I need to add more to it. Sarcasm, obviously.

Saturating with Ads

One of the things I might be guilty of is saturating the sites with ads. I do abide by Google’s guidelines regarding the number of them I place and where. However, one of the recent updates also targets ad networks-a-plenty.

Which means I should probably remove the sidebar ads and focus more on specific products or reviews to drive affiliate sales.

It’s not like anyone buys anything from those links anyway. In reality, they are taking up space and slowing down the website.

Speaking of ads…




Consistency in Blogging

I’ve noticed in the past how drops in traffic occur when you’re not regularly pushing content. And I really haven’t worked much on the health and fitness site in months.

Not only does this prevent gaining traffic from new articles, but it seems to send a message to Google that I’m not serious.

Every time I started writing consistently, overall traffic to the pages on any of my blogs increase.

My Steps to Improve Drops in Traffic

OK, so this is more of an experimental thing. I am going to create a bullet list of things I am going to do to help bring the health and fitness site back up to its former glory.

I’m not sure which of these will have the greatest impact. But it’s a nice experiment for a future blog post as I collect the data.

  1. Add the Update Date Plugin or Coding
    Using schema markup for publishing and updating dates is a common suggestion from various experts. First, I’ll see if I can do this with a plugin to show when content was updated.
  2. Add a Better Author Bio Box
    I’ll add a better bio box for authors to all my sites. Each will be unique regarding my expertise for each industry. I don’t know if this will help Google search, but it might impact visitors.
  3. Flesh Out the About Me Pages
    This is what happens when you don’t actually spend much time branding yourself. You get to play catch up with the “about me” page to help Google and visitors understand who you are. This also includes the site description and tagline.
  4. Remove Some of the Ads
    I do have quite a few affiliate and Adsense ads in my content. I’ll start rolling back what I add and where. I would rather have the traffic than the off-chance someone clicks Adsense.
  5. Find and Improve Under-performing Articles in Google Analytics
    Google Analytics lets you drill down content to find articles that are receiving fewer visits. By comparing before and after date data, I can see what articles need improvement.
  6. Check CTRs and Improve Titles and Descriptions
    Click-through rates are vastly important to traffic. And the CTR of articles in Google relies on how people perceive titles and descriptions in search.
  7. Write More Quality Content
    And lastly, I know how a lack of content production affects search rankings. I’ve experienced it plenty of times before. I need a good schedule for writing all three of my blogs to keep them relevant.

Will these Changes Slow the Drops in Traffic?

To be honest, I don’t know if any of these changes will make an impact on my once-growing blog. But I put so much of myself into it to just let it disappear into the ether of the Internet.

If I had the time to do for my websites what I do for my clients, I would be rolling in the dough.

In the end, it’s all about effort and maintenance. I know this. My biggest problem is not being able to schedule my day properly and stick with keeping myself on task.

But if I want to reverse the drops in traffic on the health and fitness site, I need to make some adjustments…and fast!




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Michael Brockbank

Michael has been a freelance writer since January of 2012. He has completed more than 6,000 jobs for a variety of clients ranging from animals to travel.

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