Your website is often the first and most important point of contact with potential customers or customers. They turn to your website to get an idea of your brand, information about your products and services, and how to take the next steps. You should regularly measure your site traffic and metrics like click-through rate or bounce rate so you can understand how long visitors are spending on your site and where you might lose them in the sales journey.
But what if you notice a rapid drop in traffic to your website? Declining site traffic and higher bounce rates are putting marketers in crisis mode. If you haven’t changed anything significant on your site or in your marketing strategy, the next question is: what’s wrong? Many digital leaders complain about changes to search engine algorithms or simple issues like broken URLs as the cause of blocking site traffic, but that’s probably only one piece of the puzzle.
Analyzing website analytics year over year will help you identify the source of any issues affecting your website traffic.
With a high-level perspective on your site’s performance, it will be easier to determine where you can improve your digital strategy to reach more prospects. If fewer visitors are coming to your website, here are five questions to help you identify the issues.
Is a technical problem preventing visitors from accessing the site? Examine your website analytics to determine if there is a pattern in visitor behavior. Can they access the home page but cannot access other pages, or vice versa? One of the most common causes of a sharp drop in website traffic is a technical issue affecting your site’s operations. Before diving into more detailed troubleshooting, verify that these essential functions are working properly:
● Does your website have broken URLs?
● If you use a website hosting service, does it experience any outages?
● Has anything recently changed in your website code? Did this change cause an error?
Have you prioritized SEO?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) makes it easier for visitors to find your website and access your content. Without SEO, your website may not rank on search engines and it will be harder for visitors to find you. If you haven’t prioritized SEO, you may see a drop in website traffic.
An SEO strategy is layered. You need to intersperse keywords and terms into your website design, and you also need to create new content that consistently uses those keywords. You need a combination of both to improve your SEO ranking. You can also do keyword research to determine which words will have the most impact on your brand. Choose a few keywords and incorporate them into your strategy to boost your rankings. If you see no change in your website traffic and search rankings over time, go back to your search and try a new set of keywords. Ultimately, improving your SEO strategy takes time and effort, but it will improve your brand reputation and help you reach more customers.
Are your paid ads effective?
If your website traffic is slowing or stalling, review your paid ads strategy to determine if there are any issues with your campaigns. Many businesses rely on paid ads to drive users to their website, so a severe drop in traffic can occur when paid ads stop working.
The effectiveness of your paid ads can be affected by several factors. You may be using the wrong platform and struggling to reach your audience because of it. If you don’t have a clear CTA on your paid ads, readers won’t know where to go next, which can mean less effective ads. If your website is seeing fewer visitors and you’ve recently changed your paid ads strategy, evaluate your ad statistics to determine why visitors aren’t coming to your website.
Did this decline occur at the same time last year?
Website traffic may be seasonal. The holiday season is extremely busy for some industries, and then interest and website traffic slows at the start of the year. If your website is experiencing unexplained traffic drops, check the stats from previous years. Can you identify patterns in the behaviors of your visitors? Before revamping your entire marketing strategy, look at your year-over-year data to determine if there are consistent declines and increases in the number of visitors to your website. This will help you both solve the problem of declining traffic and create a more impactful digital strategy based on information about your potential customers.
Do you understand the changes to search engine algorithms?
Algorithms change all the time, much to the dismay of marketers, which can complicate search rankings, SEO strategies, and your website’s overall reach. Stay informed about changes in search engine algorithms to learn how to optimize your website and digital marketing. When an algorithm changes, evaluate your digital strategy to determine if you need to make any adjustments.
If you notice a change in your website statistics, ask these five questions to identify the problem. Take a proactive approach to website management by continuously measuring essential metrics, such as site traffic, bounce rates, and more. With more data available, it will be easier to determine if a change in site traffic is a seasonal issue or if there is something larger causing the problem. Address changes in your website performance by looking at them from a higher level to understand how your marketing efforts are performing over time.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Steve Ohanians Accidental Entrepreneur, Co-Founder and CEO, WebEnergia
Since founding WebEnertia, Inc. over two decades ago, Steve has led the company as CEO and partnered with many of his clients to transform their business and brand goals into compelling digital experiences. He has worked with leading global B2B brands such as Intel, Cisco Systems, Citrix, VMware, etc. He is an accidental entrepreneur. He co-founded WebEnertia because he was obsessed with designing and building websites in the 90s, not because he wanted to scale and grow an agency. But it is this same passion that motivates him to push the needle forward for his agency and the digital world, more than 20 years later.