Your website is a huge part of your branding, and it should be a major source of leads and sales conversions. Of course, that requires that your site attract a significant amount of targeted traffic. And there’s not much that’s as frustrating as when nobody is visiting. If you’re trying to figure out why your website isn’t getting traffic, below are the most common explanations.
1. Your Site Isn’t Mobile Friendly
With well over half of internet traffic on mobile devices now, Google and other search engines prioritize responsive websites. And when users land on a site that doesn’t display right or work well on their mobile device, they leave right away, contributing to a high bounce rate. Find out quickly if this is a problem using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test. It’ll even give you insights into how to improve responsiveness. Sometimes, a few small tweaks make a big difference, but if your site is older and has never been designed for mobile friendliness, it may need a total overhaul.
2. The User Experience Isn’t Good
If people don’t like being on your site, there’s usually another one they can go to instead. Plenty of things make a website unpleasant or frustrating to use, and they even undermine trust in the site and brand. For example, there’s confusing navigation, difficulty finding basic information, lack of responsiveness, slowly loading pages, glitches and technical problems, tacky or flashing graphics, spelling and grammatical mistakes, lack of “scannability” (e.g., enormous blocks of text, no headlines and subheadings, too much clutter on the page, etc.), and so much more. If you can’t see the issues yourself, ask a few people to use your site and get some honest feedback about how to improve its user experience.
3. You Don’t Optimize for Keywords, or You Target the Wrong Keywords
This could be a major reason why your website isn’t getting traffic. Keywording is a huge part of SEO and being found by searchers. First, you have to find the right keywords. Basically, that means words and phrases that are highly relevant to your website content and its users, and that people commonly type into a search engine. And they can’t have so much competition from other well-optimized sites that you stand no chance of climbing the search result rankings (targeting more specific long-tail keywords is the solution here). Every page should be optimized for a primary keyword phrase, which includes steps like using it in the URL, title tag, meta description, headline tags, and occasionally throughout the body copy.
4. Your Content Is Lacking or of Poor Quality
You’ve heard the cliché that content is king, and it’s true. Content—be it written, images, video, or audio—is what people use the internet to find. If you don’t have content to attract people, or if it’s of a low enough quality that they don’t want to consume it, this prevents you from getting and retaining traffic. Also, having regularly updating, high quality, smartly keyworded original content is a huge part of SEO and getting organic traffic via search. The solution, obviously, is to continually add quality original content to your site (which often means paying a professional to create it).
5. You Don’t Have Backlinks
Backlinks are links on other websites that lead to your website. They can be a great source of direct traffic from heavily used sites, but they’re also crucial for strong SEO. Search engines give the highest rankings to sites people find valuable; they determine this by the number and quality of websites providing backlinks. Having great original content naturally encourages people to link to your site. Also, be proactive about getting backlinks by guest blogging, requesting them where appropriate, participating on question-and-answer sites, and other methods. If you’re wondering what backlinks you have, there are many free and premium tools for finding them.
6. Your Website Is Spammy
If you keyword stuff, use lots of high-pressure sales language, or otherwise come across as spammy, your website will lack credibility and quickly repel visitors. Also, this can cause your site to be penalized by Google and other search engines. Getting penalized can mean being relegated far down in search results, or even omitted altogether; obviously, if that happens, it’s a likely explanation for why your website isn’t getting traffic. Learn the best practices of SEO, and familiarize yourself with the “black hat” SEO techniques that will keep you low in—or even out of—search results. Write first and foremost for humans, and ones who are interested in forming a mutually beneficial relationship with your brand.
7. You’re Not Proactive About Promoting Your Site
Sure, a top ranking for a high-volume search term can be the most valuable source of traffic, but that’s a rare achievement. Every brand should actively work to make people aware of their website and to send them there. Use your quality original content on social media and in email marketing to drive traffic back to your site. Have a link in your email signature, and put the URL on your business cards. The more you link to and advertise your website, the more traffic you’ll encourage.