Don’t Panic, Most Sites Are Seeing Traffic Drops

August 3, 2021
Posted in Digital
August 3, 2021 Jonathan Higgins

Don’t Panic, Most Sites Are Seeing Traffic Drops

It’s been a crazy rollercoaster over the last year and a half due to Covid.

When Covid first came out, the majority of websites across the globe saw traffic drops as you can see from the graph above.

But within a few months, things didn’t just reverse, many industries were facing all-time high traffic levels.

Just look at ecommerce as a sector, it’s had rapid growth.

So rapid, that Shopify now has a market cap of 192 billion dollars. Their stock went from $404 at the start of 2020 to currently sitting above $1500. That’s massive growth.

But with people tired of being stuck indoors things are starting to change. Especially because of the mass release of the Covid vaccine on a global level, many countries easing restrictions.

So, what does that mean when it comes to web traffic?

Travel is up, but…

Travel and leisure websites are getting much more traffic.

As you can see from the graph above, most industries are seeing a traffic dip. But not travel and leisure.

McKinsey and Company put it best, “tourists are back with vengeance.” Travel in the United States has hit 2 million passengers a day which is closer to pre-pandemic levels, versus 90,000 a day in April of 2020.

Now, most industries are not up. Here’s what traffic looks like when we compare July 2021 to July 2020.

When we analyzed the data, we looked at it from a global standpoint and we had anywhere from 107 sites to 391 sites per category. We tried to get a bigger sample size per category, but we weren’t able to get enough sites Google Analytics data on short notice.

Nonetheless, when you look at the chart it should give you a good directional idea of what is happening.

It’s not bad for all continents

Similar to this recent HubSpot study we saw the same trend. In which Asia has done well from a traffic growth standpoint.

If you are targeting regions like North America or Europe, the chances are you have seen your traffic drop.

But it is not all bad news, what’s interesting is when we looked at conversion rates, it’s up almost for all industries.

So, although traffic was down for most sites, conversion rates were up by 12.94%.

As a quick note, we didn’t have conversion data for all sites that were analyzed in the graph above as not everyone tracks their conversion rates. A bit less than 18% of the sites actually had conversion tracking setup.

If you don’t have your conversion tracking setup, follow this tutorial.

Did Google cause the traffic drops?

Yes, there have been some Google updates over the last few months, and many sites took beatings, and many saw increases.

But it wasn’t just a “Google” algorithm update. We are seeing traffic drops from direct traffic, referral traffic and even paid ads for keywords that have little to no seasonality.

I can’t definitively say why, but the most logical reasoning for traffic drops is people are out traveling or getting away from their computers because they have been stuck inside for so long.


Don’t stress out.

The one thing I’ve learned over the years is to try and not stress about things you can’t control.

I know it is easier said than done. But the good news is, you probably aren’t the only one seeing a traffic drop based on the data above.

How is your traffic stacking up compared to last July?

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Jonathan Higgins

I spend my days collaborating thoughts, experiences and actions into unique and creative impressions that I deliver to the world. I like cats too. That's me.