How I Lost Lots of Traffic and How to Fix It

Bloggers stress a lot on generating website traffic and they should put their efforts in increasing their traffic sources. But beside increasing traffic sources, one should also take care of maintaining the website traffic.

If a blogger just starts adding traffic sources and keeps on constantly losing the same number, then obviously in totality the net gain in the number of traffic sources is zero. That is why maintaining website traffic is a must for bloggers.

Important Steps for Maintaining Traffic

  • Be consistent on a particular traffic source and make an effort to grow it rather than just adding new sources.
  • Prevent any problems that could affect the traffic seriously.
  • Fix problems (as soon as possible) if  they are occurring and are affecting  the website traffic adversely.

I recently lost almost 50% of my traffic and was not able find out the cause.

The possible causes behind traffic loss:

  • 404 errors – Page not found errors due to change of permalinks
  • Feed Errors – A lot of errors occur if you change the php code of your wordpress blogs and leave blank spaces in between. There are can be other errors as well.
  • Inconsistency – If you market your blogs on social media or via blog commenting and if you are not consistent, then you lose on a lot of traffic  because you are slowly diminishing your presence.

I hunted down the cause of the problem and it turned out to be due to a RSS Feed error which occurred because  there were many blank spaces in my template. This is was due to that fact that I had edited the template to add some features to it. But unknowingly, I made a major mistake.

When I saw my feed in firefox, it gave the following error:

error on line 2 at column 6: XML declaration allowed only at the start of the document

When I troubleshooted for this error, I found that it was Blank line before XML declaration error.
It basically occurs if an XML declaration () appears in your feed, it must be the first thing in the feed, before any whitespace.

Unfortunately, with WordPress it seems all too easy for a plugin, a theme, or for your configuration file to contain a blank line. Further compounding this problem, some — but not all — feed readers compensate for this common error, allowing the error to go undetected for quite a while.

Solutions

  1. First, Deactivate all the plugins and see if the error is occuring again.
  2. If the first one is not the reason, then you need to remove blank lines in theme files. This is a very tedious process, if it is done manually. To avoid any hassle, you can use the Fix Rss Feed wordpress plugin which removes all the blank lines in all php files.
  3. To update the feedburner feed. Go to Feedburner account > Troubleshooting > Resync Feed. And the Feedburner feed started working instantly and the error was removed.

Haave you faced similar problems with your feed?

Image Credit

  • I had an error one time where I was using Pricegrabber code to display relevant product listings in my blog posts and sure enough the javascript used in the code broke my RSS feed. I didn’t find out about it until a few loyal readers emailed me a week later asking why I hadn’t posted anything.
    .-= Chris@Money Making Ideas´s last blog ..Cash Crate Review =-.

    • Yes, I noticed this when i was checking google analytics and it the traffic was constantly going down, which was very suspicious to me.

      the problem was that some of the posts didn’t get the right amount of exposure
      .-= Gautam´s last blog ..Traffic Building Tips For Designers and Developers =-.

  • This happened to me too! but not with rss though, i changed my permalinks and my blog was suddenly disseapeared from google, but i resubmit my sitemap and fix the not found pages, and i had to wait for weeeeeeks 🙁 but it’s now fine again, I hope! lol any suggestions are welcomed 😀
    .-= Kimi´s last blog ..Add thumbnails in WordPress =-.

  • Dee

    As usual, great information. I have lost traffic as well. I have been working really hard to get it back. This post gives me some great info.
    .-= Dee´s last blog ..HAVE YOU EVER OVERHEARD SOMETHING THAT WASN’T MEANT FOR YOU TO HEAR? =-.

  • When I moved my blog from blogger to WP, I lost most of my traffic due to permalink change. But now its OK.
    .-= Blogging Tips´s last blog ..Make your WordPress blog secure ! =-.

  • How do you monitor your google analytics?
    Do you just log into their site daily or are you using a third party tool to monitor your stats?
    .-= benwaynet´s last blog ..Need to get this off my chest =-.

    • I use google analytics, though there are other ways of monitoring, but i haven’t used any of them.

      I prefer using google analytics, as it is easy to view and very user frioendly
      .-= Gautam´s last blog ..You Can’t Do Everything…. If You Want Everything Done Right! =-.

      • yes,google analytics is great tool to monitoring traffic.How about Getclicky,what you think about it?

        • I am alreaddy using getclicky and I find it more detailed, but it tends to waste more time

  • Same here, I use Google Analytics to monitor my traffic and see whether I am gaining traffic or not. Nice post 🙂
    .-= Kharim´s last blog ..Become A Friendly Blogger =-.

  • well this is very helpful because i just started my blogging site a month ago and i am looking for ways to build my traffic up . thanks keep up the good work
    .-= ronlad´s last blog ..Getting yourself out there !!! =-.

    • Thanks for stopping by Ron,
      You can always come back and use this blog as a resource for your blogging needs

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  • Thanks for indicating. Well I want to know does any error in the feed stops delivering updates to RSS or email subscribers via feedburner?

    • yes, it does. I faced such a situation and lost half of my traffic due to that. If you face a similar issue, try to fix it as soon as possible

  • rndtechnologies786

    Good think.