Traffic decay – what causes it and how to deal with it?
When we talk about traffic decay, we are talking about the natural decline in traffic generated by the materials on your website over time. This often happens unnoticed, as we are mainly concerned about creating more contents and paying less attention to maintaining existing contents on our websites. However, keeping older posts healthy can be just as beneficial as creating new ones.
Traffic decay and five phases of fasting life
To start with, it’s worth taking a look at the five phases that every post (or blog entry or any other type of content) goes through once it’s shared.
- The “quilting” phase – the moment of publication; first contact with a large number of people.
- Stagnation phase – significant drop in views; a completely normal phenomenon.
- Growth phase – the post begins to generate traffic.
- “Normalization” phase – the stage of increasing interest; it stops after reaching a certain level and may remain in this state for various periods of time.
- Decay phase – the post stops generating traffic; gradually its importance decreases. And that’s what we want to avoid.
Why does traffic enter a fading phase?
There may be several reasons. Understanding the mechanisms that caused this process will also allow us to more precisely select strategies and ways to remedy this state of affairs. The most common are:
- Increased competitiveness – for a given key phrase, a dozen or so other published materials may have appeared since you published your own post Moreover, these materials may come from domains with a much wider reach.
- Rating by Google algorithms – search engines also have their own methods of awarding so-called ratings. This is influenced by regular content updates, maintaining the condition of internal and external links, as well as a constant inflow of new, unique contents.
- Technical problems – i.e. parameters of the page on which the material was published. It is always worth ensuring that it is in perfect condition.
There may, of course, be more reasons, so it is worth additionally analyzing the results of your subpages in terms of traffic generated using special tools such as Google Analytics.
Traffic decay – how to prevent the decay phase?
The basic idea is to create content in accordance with the concept of evergreen content, i.e. content that does not become outdated. Fortunately, there are also ways to extend the life of already published materials. Depending on the individual case, this may be limited to updating information or a more serious procedure with the texts available on the website. Anyway, here are methods to remedy the fade phase among your posts:
The simplest and most common way to extend the traffic generated by a post. Moreover, it can often be logically justified.
If there is any new information in the described field, it is worth adding it to the existing post instead of creating another one.
The material can be expanded with a new point of view, counterargument or more detailed data regarding one of the described elements.
Activities essentially based on the same assumption as described above, but on a smaller scale. It is worth thinking about creating an information system whose regular updating will be justified – one related to a period of time (e.g. the best ) or one that requires updating due to constant progress (e.g. the best SEO tactics for optimizing your website).
When to update and when to post a second time?
If the update affected more than half of the content, added a completely new section of text, or merged more than one post into one (more on this below), it is worth publishing the post a second time. However, if we have changed mainly cosmetic things or the layout of the content – republishing will seem unjustified.
It is always worth ensuring that our pages are properly formatted according to the latest guidelines. It is a good idea to adapt our old websites to current SEO algorithms and standards.
Merging one or more posts
If our materials include several concerning the same issue (or presenting its individual aspects), it is worth considering combining them into one post. This will also help reduce the so-called duplicate content that could negatively affect the condition and rating of your website. Additional advantages of this solution are the greater cross-section of each published material, and therefore, also increased value.
- We hope that the above methods will allow you to effectively deal with traffic decay.
- Remember that generating traffic is not just about posting new materials.
- Proper diagnosis of the problem and selection of an appropriate method is the basis for achieving a similar effect with existing content.
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