Do we even need to say this? Getting little to no traffic, even after you’ve put so much effort into your website is the worst thing that could happen to you.
You are not alone in this, though: businesses of all shapes and sizes regularly struggle with getting the visibility they deserve. You may find it shocking to discover that often, it’s just because of little errors!
We are talking things so little that they are barely noticeable, unless you are familiar with marketing and business.
So, do you need to study the ins and outs of marketing to understand why you can’t seem to get those Google Analytics numbers to rise up?
Don’t you worry: this article will guide you through the most important reasons why your website is not getting enough traffic, and what you can do to fix these problems so that you don’t drown in the sea of content uploaded on the Internet each day.
1. A poor SEO strategy did you more harm than good
In our previous article, we have discussed the implications and downsides of hiring cheap SEO agencies that may be employing harmful strategies for their customers in an attempt to make money as quickly as possible (at your expense!).
We discussed this in great length, but in a nutshell, this is what you need to know:
- Cheap SEO agencies cut corners to maximise profits. These are corners you need.
- You get what you pay for, when it comes to SEO. Pay peanuts, get monkeys. SEO practices are expensive because they are handled by experts, and low price tags are thus a statement of the quality of the service you are purchasing.
- Cheap SEO agencies often employ strategies that damage your rankings on Google and may even get you de-indexed from the search bar.
To understand whether or not your agency of choice is damaging your business, refer to our previous article: The truth behind low cost SEO.
Did you hire poorly? Here’s what you should do
Unfortunately, there’s no easy solution to this problem. The damage done by these so-called experts varies in shape and size, leaving you with only a few alternatives.
The best course of action would be to hire a qualified SEO agency to pinpoint and fix these mistakes for you. Studying SEO material and the official Google Dev Documentation may prove useful in your endeavours.
2. You may simply not be indexed, yet
If you published your website only recently, it could simply be a matter of your website still not being indexed by crawlers, and therefore your website traffic is still low.
As a matter of fact, it may take Google up to 3 months to discover your website and add it to their listings – after which, the battle for SEO rankings may start effectively.
Imagine you are at an airport and you just loaded your bags onto the conveyor belt. But this conveyor belt is miles long, and your bag is just one of the tens of thousands that need to go under the metal detector before they are allowed to board the aeroplane.
Fortunately, Google has a VIP pass: Backlinks.
You can skip the queue (which is a bit more random than a conveyor belt, but you get the idea) with force indexing.
Force indexing is a procedure that can speed up indexing. Backlinks allow Google crawlers to find your website faster. To remain with the same metaphor, it’s essentially like getting to know the owner of the airport that tells the guards to let you through, since you are fairly trustworthy, to begin with.
Force indexing is simple, in theory: all you need to do is get a backlink from an authoritative, trustworthy website. The bigger the website, the better.
Since Google loves to crawl an already known website, the bots will find yours so much faster since they are linked to already existing and trusted material.
3. Excessive competition holding you back
Let’s be realistic: There are a million other websites that want the same traffic you have. Every YouTube channel wants to be the result every time someone searches for “YouTube”. A watchmaker wants to be discovered every time someone searches what time it is. And if you are looking for “How to lose weight”, just like 550,000 people did last month, your Personal Trainer’s website wants the number one spot.
What do all of these things have in common?
They are all heavily searched terms with fierce competition. Terms such as “digital marketing”, “attorney”, “real estate” or “pets” are searched by millions of people that stumble upon one website picked out from a competitive pool of hundreds of thousands of similar websites.
Your new website may be smothered by the competition because you are aiming too high. There’s very little chance your amazon rainforest website will beat Amazon whenever someone searches for “Amazon”.
Compete for less, achieve more
- Using SEO tools such as SEMrush or Ahrefs, find strings and longer keywords (AKA long-tail keywords) that are a lot less competed for. So, “solicitor” may become “divorce solicitor”, or “affordable personal injury solicitor”. These small tweaks really make a difference. By scoring yourself traffic from plenty of small sources, you are essentially building up the authority Google needs to establish you for bigger and more competitive keyword finds.
- Local is key! “financial advisor York” scores better than “financial advisor”, because it allows you to compete with just the local businesses that do the same thing as you, rather than the whole world. You can even create multiple landing pages to drive traffic from multiple cities around you. So, for example, we have a page ranking for “financial advisor Leeds”, one for “financial advisor Harrogate” and another one for “financial advisor Sheffield”.
4. Could filters keep you out? What about de-indexing?
SafeSearch on Google filters out all websites that Google considers explicit or containing adult material of any form.
Swearing is enough to keep you locked out of Safesearch, however. So, writing offensive terms or writing a bit too much “As you speak” could keep people away. Even YouTube is being harmed by SafeSearch despite boasting some of the strictest rules on content uploading.
This is, however, a very, very unlikely cause why you are getting low website traffic. Often enough, it’s because you have been de-indexed from Google, meaning that nobody is able to find you through organic search.
The reasons why you may have been de-indexed are plenty. Duplicate content, user-generated spam, malware or negative reports against you…
How do you get re-indexed again?
You can actually request to be re-indexed through the Search Console.
Better copy = better content
There are many ways to deliver your message in a more successful manner. You could:
- Outsource your content marketing services.
- Write better content instantly by using the CHAT method (Concise, Helpfulness, Attention, Transitions) to talk with your users through the written medium:
Concise: Write in as few words as possible. Remember that your average viewer has a very low attention span, and it’s your job to make sure your point comes across as quickly as possible.
Helpfulness: Create something that helps your customer. A guide, infographics, a humorous how-to… understanding your customer is essential to creating better traffic.
If someone finds something useful, it’s much more likely they’ll share it, giving you a new source of traffic.
Attention: Put your own spin on the content to further your brand voice. You may want to look into colours, images or formulas, or even repeat specific words and sentences that build consistency.
Imagine you are writing a pop song: Your goal is to create something catchy, but still unique to your artist of choice.
Transitions: Words such as like, as, therefore and so on (also called connectives) give your reader that little push they need to move onto the next words of your content.
Think like a machine: You are reading this because you wonder what I will write next. Connectives push you from one word to another. Spread your connectives carefully, and your readers will be glued to your words.
An engaged reader means more time spent on your website. And the more time they spend on your website, the better it is for your SEO and overall traffic.
6. Little to no marketing
No one will ever visit your website if they don’t know it even exists! Digital marketing is an absolute necessity if you want your website traffic to increase.
Your current marketing strategies may not be working effectively, or you are employing the wrong marketing agency.
Invest into marketing
- Check out our marketing for startups guide, if you happen to be in the early stage of your business.
- Allocate a portion of your budget to marketing, and don’t be afraid to spend it. Remember that money spent on marketing is money invested.
- Discover our services, and pick the one most suitable for you. Or book a free consultation to receive free advice on how to take your marketing to the next level.
7. No website optimisation
Let’s use a metaphor once again to understand how this works.
Google needs to read your website to crawl it effectively so that it can rank for keywords and compete against other content. However, Google’s reading ability is child-like.
And you are trying to read your child a guide on computer science. The more complicated the terms are, the slower you’ll have to read because your child will stop regularly to ask you the definition of “thunking”.
So you need to “optimise your story” so that you can read it faster since it’s late and you honestly just want to go to sleep. Therefore, you will try using simpler, shorter terms that this child can understand quickly.
So you start swapping terms around, and “Thunking” becomes “using an object only when you really need it”.
Keep your powder DRY
Website optimisation is a huge topic that cannot be summarised effectively. Unless you are a developer, you should look into hiring services to fix technical SEO issues.
The difference between a technical SEO and a standard SEO is that the first one will focus entirely on your website and its performance – effectively improving speed, loading times, UX, upload times, etc…
This works, in a nutshell, by shrinking down the amount of code present on your site – essentially, a technical SEO service removes every line of code that is not needed to perform an action.
Not only does this allows Google to “read” your website faster, but it will also reduce the number of bugs and mistakes present on your website, making it much easier to expand in the future.