By: Barrett Dastrup

Diagnosing Organic Traffic Drops + FREE Checklist

April 19, 2017 4 minutes


Near the end of 2014, Aleyda Solis published a resource to help marketers diagnose organic traffic drops. Fittingly, the resource can be found at

Aleyda’s resource is great, but I saw the need for a few updates, e.g. mentions of Webmaster Tools should be changed to Search Console and the recommendation to use Google Keyword Planner for seasonal keyword trend data isn’t as helpful now as it once was. Add that to my need to physically mark items in some way off of anything labeled as a “checklist” and you get the reason for this post.

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I took the liberty of transferring her work into a Google sheet, swapping out some of the tools she suggests with tools that do the same job but are more widely used here at 97th Floor e.g. SEMRush for Ahrefs, and of course, made other small tweaks mentioned above to align the recommendations with the current state of the industry.

The sections covered in the checklist include:

  • A web analytics tracking problem?
  • A seasonality or search trend change?
  • A content accessibility & crawlability issue?
  • A content indexation issue?
  • A Search Console misconfiguration?
  • A web security problem
  • A manual penalty
  • An algorithm update

Each section features rows of individual checklist items and columns for listing and linking to specific tools. After you download the sheet and make a copy, you’ll be able to add in your own tools and add or remove checklist items as well.

Organic traffic checklist screenshot

Download the Checklist

It is “view only” so you’ll need to make your own copy to reformat things how you’d like and add your own personal checklist items. On that note, we’d love to hear how you would improve the checklist, so leave a comment and let us know!

Let's Get Started!

Written by Barrett Dastrup on April 19, 2017

Barrett is a Campaign Manager at 97th Floor, overseeing a team of marketers, content managers and designers.

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