I’ve been feeling bad for experts with low traffic on their content.
The solopreneurs beaten down by tech monopolies and overfunded startups with quarterly inbound marketing budgets bigger than your annual income who are just trying to make a living helping others through their content.
But I don’t think that’s the right attitude. Sure there are a lot of factors contributing to the traffic squeeze. But ultimately it’s your responsibility and you’re not taking it seriously enough.
I had an interesting conversation with Dan Shure, another SEO, on Twitter. He consults for large online publications like HBR and PBS.
This was the thread:
Dan: Curious: what are you struggling with most in SEO right now?
Me: Confidence in understanding what’s actually happening in current landscape and whether it can actually be solved (like traffic loss for YMYL clients with expert content who used to see a lot of traffic).
Dan: in my experience / strong opinion – the recent updates (and ‘fixes’) don’t have much to do with what’s in the QRG. I’d spend some time segmenting queries/pages in Search Console, and ID pages/queries which lost clicks and analyze at a page by page level, not domain-wide.
Me: thanks! hm. so you think it’s less getting knocked down peg after peg every couple months for years due to tide changing, and more situational? like getting edged out of top 3 to 5 for queries sending traffic to this page here or there over time?
Dan: i think for the recent core updates you have to start by confirming the keywords/page you were ranking for:1. in fact lost ranking, or what it instead CTR (click through rate) or impressions they lost, and if it was rankings than be honest studying the search results to determine if you are the most relevant result from a keyword/topic to page relevance matching — then if you are, examine DA and general authority to then be honest in asking if you are the most authoritative on the subject (page and entire website)… but typically EAT and QRG is the last stuff I look at after first addressing content/query matching, authority, site architecture, technical stuff etc for example I just talked to a client who lost ranking on the keyword “ACT Percentiles” but when you look at there content it’s too advanced for what that user wants – the user wants a basic definition etc, their content didn’t offer that.
If you’re losing traffic, or you have less traffic than you should, get honest about why.