The Web Traffic Problem
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The Web Traffic Problem
Web traffic problems can be frustrating. If your online strategy is not well thought out and implemented properly, your website may suddenly experience a drop in website traffic. This is all so common and is very frustrating, especially when you have invested a lot of resources.
Not everyone who lands on your website automatically becomes a paying client. While some are there for genuine business purposes, others may have come for research or to educate themselves or other things. Also, there are some who may want to size your knowledge in order to decide if you are the one they should be dealing with.
But ultimately, there is what we call conversion rate. This is the number of website visitors that become paying clients (or who ultimately take the action you desire from your website visitors).
In the digital marketing industry, a 2-5% conversion rate is seen as appropriate. Depending on the type of online business your website is engaged in. If you are able to convert 2% to 5% of your visitors, it’s a good score.
So for every 100 visitors that land on your website, you should aim to convert 2 or 3 or 4 or 5 of them and you are good to go. That depends on the business model of your website though. Anything less than this is not appropriate.
But also, you should realise that there are thousands of websites that get zero conversions all the time. Many factors lead to their traffic problems, but the number one factor that leads to less or zero conversion rate is the number of website visitors.
So for you to stand a chance, first things first – you need website visitors. The more the better. If you can convert 5 out of 100, it goes to show that if you get 1000 visitors, you will likely convert 50 of them. This is a wonderful result.
It becomes very frustrating if after putting in all the effort you start experiencing a drastic drop in traffic. The bad news is that if not handled properly, the downward trend continues until you get to zero.
I will walk you through the reasons why websites lose traffic and what you can do to avoid it. But if it has already happened, then I will also touch on how to fix it.
Lots of so-called digital marketing ‘gurus’, experts and what have you, flood the internet with all manner of wrong, outdated and deceitful information which they claim is what you need to do in order to get website traffic.
You may have seen them and tried out many of their tactics, but found out they don’t work. In fact, some may even have contributed to your website being penalized by Google and other search engines. We have seen a handful of them previously.
I know how it feels and realise it’s not your fault. You are a genuine but naive online business person that is trying your best within your resources to see how you can grow your online business to an enviable height.
Your lack of correct information is the problem. You must have been doing the wrong stuff and of course, getting the wrong results. And until you switch to doing the right things, you will keep getting bad results.
But then, all hope is not lost. I am here for you. I promise that by the time you conclude and implement things you learnt from this course, you will be drawing the type of website traffic you need to grow your online business.
Reasons Why Your Website Traffic Is Dropping & Solutions To Fix It
There are different reasons why the number of visitors to your website suddenly drops.
1. Search Engine Algorithm Updates
This has to be the number one reason for dropping website visitors. This happens when search engines like Google release an algorithm update to checkmate a known backdoor that internet marketers use to trick the system.
It’s a cat and mouse game – the marketers device a means to trick the system, Google sees it and updates their system to block such tricks. By so doing, any advantage your website got from the trick is wiped out and your website ranking drops.
– The Solution
1. Avoid any black hat methods to gain traffic. Stick with the clean white hat method and you will be fine going forward.
To keep an eye on when Google releases an algorithm update, you should follow their update channel on Twitter.
Also, you can use a free algorithm tracking tool, Algoroo
To take it a step further and achieve more than just monitoring algorithm updates, you can also make use of tools like: Sensor from SEMrush or Mozcast – from Moz
2. Incorrect Robots.txt Rules
Bizarrely, some webmasters out of some unknown reasons don’t know the importance of robots.txt. It may just be that they blocked search engines from crawling the website, hence the drop in traffic.
To be sure this is not your case, you need to check your website robots.txt and see if it’s blocking search engines. If it is, all you need to correct that is to re-enable the crawling.
3. Crawl errors
It’s essential to go through the search console and take a look at the Index Coverage Report, then check for possible URLs with errors. Note that URLs with errors won’t be included in the index, hence traffic that used to come from them will seize.
Here are some basic errors that are common in the Index Coverage report:
- Crawling errors
- Soft 404 errors
- Redirect errors
- URLs that are marked with a no-index tag
- Server errors
- URLs that return an unauthorised request
- URLs that are blocked by robots.txt
- URLs that aren’t able to be located (404s)
4. Drop in Ranking
Google ranks every website for the keywords they have. So your website has a particular rank which is the position it appears on the google search results page when people type in that keyword for search.
There are many factors Google use in calculating your website rank per keyword. If for any reason your website falters in these factors or another website performs these factors better than your website, Google will rank that website higher than yours for the given keyword.
To stay ahead of the loop, it’s important you know your ranking for the keywords that matter to you. Google Search Console and Google Analytics are tools you can use to monitor these.
You can take it a step further by using advanced tracking tools like Semrush and Ahrefs.
5. Manual Penalties
A competitor can spot some things on your website that goes against Google’s guidelines and report your website for manual actions and penalties. Google will usually verify this manually and if confirmed, it will take a manual action against your website which eventually will lead to rank dropping and loss of traffic.
To find out if your website is hit with any actions manually, use the search console manual actions report.
6. Keyword Cannibalisation
This happens when a website ranks for a given keyword with multiple URLs. This invariably diminishes the strength of one URL and spreads it across the others. It’s best to concentrate your strengths to boost one URL per keyword for maximum ranking and visits.
A good way to ameliorate this is by knowing if your website keywords are cannibalised is to use the cannibalisation report within the BigMetrics tool.
7. URL De-indexing
Google may deliberately de-index your website – which means they will stop showing it amongst its search results. This leads to traffic drop. Sometimes it may also not be deliberate. For example, a bug reported by Google led to important pages on many websites being deindexed.
When you observe a loss of traffic, you need to check if your website or some pages have been de-indexed:
Ensure important pages are still indexed by using the URL inspection tool within Google Search Console. Also, ensure you look out for any errors in the Search Console.
The Solution To The Web Traffic Problem
Aside from the solutions listed against each traffic problem above, you can as well do more in order to gain more website traffic.
Having come to the conclusion that you need more website visitors, the next thing you need to do is to determine a course of action in order to get these online visitors flocking to your website.
Over the course of my being a digital marketer, I have come to understand the major reasons why some internet businesses fail in the traffic game, and I will share them with you.
1. A weak or non-existent On-page SEO
SEO stands for search engine optimization and it’s one of the most important factors which Google and other search engines use to determine when and where to display your website to searchers.
A poor or non-existent SEO strategy is the number one thing that many people get wrong and that leads to poor website visitors.
You need to install SEO tools like Yoast (which is free but powerful in getting your on-page SEO started).
2. Wrong Keyword Targetting
Since searchers type in keywords on Google in order to get what they want, it’s only right that you anticipate what they want and create content that will fulfil their requests.
But a lot of websites are very poor on this strategy and have been left behind by Google. You don’t need to belong to this group.
To ensure you are targetting the right keyword and to ensure you are not doing it wrongly, you need to use some keyword tools to beat the competition. Consider using keyword research tools like Google keyword planner, Ubersuggest, KWFinder etc.
3. Articles Headline and Description
Unknown to many or maliciously hidden by these so-called gurus and experts, the title and description you choose for your web articles play a significant role in the number of visitors Google display your website to, that ultimately click through to your website.
Optimizing your article’s titles and description is another major factor you could be doing wrong, and which needs immediate correction.
4. Good Content Is Still King
A lot has been said about content being king. But what you may not have known is that not all content is built equally. There is content and then there is good content. Google algorithm picks out crap and irrelevant content and refuses to rank them high.
You should focus on high-quality content with the right keywords at the right places. Here are some things that will help you create good content for your website blog:
- Include real data
- Use styling (Bold, Italics)
- Short paragraphs
- Link to authority sites where necessary
- Include images and videos where possible
- Avoid low quality or spun content.
5. Non Or Wrong Backlink Profile
Google has specified on numerous occasions the importance of backlinks, which are references from other websites to your own website. Wrong backlinks can be toxic to your website and can lead to your site being penalized.
Also, not having enough, the wrong anchors and outright spamming are all wrong pointers that will lead to no or few web visitors.
To fix this, you need to be attracting relevant backlinks from relevant web pages in related niches (if possible). And for goodness sake, stop buying backlinks. Google always knows when you do this.
6. UX or User Experience
Perhaps you didn’t know that the outlook and design of your website also impact visitor numbers. If you manage to get some visitors but they are turned away by a horrible experience occasioned by a flawed design, Google also takes this into cognisance.
The rate at which people go away from your website after arrival is called bounce rate, and Google records this. If the bounce is high, Google sees this and also factors it in to place your website on their result pages.
So you need to make the user experience on your website to be good by designing it to not only look good but also be easy to navigate.
7. You Are Not Promoting Your Articles
After doing all the good works listed above, if you do not distribute your articles and blog posts properly, you still have a limit to the number of website visitors you will attract. Writing isn’t just enough.
For effective distribution of your articles, you need to use the 80/20 rule. This rule simply states that you should spend 80% of your time promoting articles while 20% of your time should be focused on creating them. That speaks a lot, right?
There are many avenues of distributing your articles, from free to paid. Here are some of them:
- Share content on your social media accounts
- Share the post to online communities e.g. Reddit, Facebook Groups
- Run Paid Ads on Facebook or Google
8. Your Website Security
Https is Googles preferred security level over http. Consider updating your website to https buy installing an SSL certificate on your domain. Many hosting companies give FREE SSL so you should check to see if your hosting company does and make sure it is active. Bigger companies should go for higher level SSL.
9. Social Media Presence
Social media brings a free flood of visitors to websites. If you didn’t know you need a well crafted social media strategy, now is the time to have a rethink and up your game on social media and get the traffic that comes with it.
With many social media platforms, you should concentrate on a few and master those. You may also wish to take it a step further by aggregating them all and blast away the competition.
In this case, you need to unify your social media accounts and manage them from one interface. Tools like Buffer and Hootsuite will come in handy for you in such a case.
We have come to the end of this lesson. In our next lesson, we will go through in more detail the different ways to increase your website traffic fast.
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