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By OLIVER ANDREWS

Top reasons why my website isn’t getting traffic

Maybe you’ve recently built a new website for your business. Or you have had a website for quite some time; years even, but it’s not getting any traffic! You might, therefore, be asking yourself “why isn’t my website getting traffic”?

Well, here’s the truth. Just because you have a website, it does not mean people will come running to it. If you don’t market your website no one will ever visit it, regardless of how incredible your site is and how many thousands you’ve spent on it’s design.

In this article, I will be answering the question “why isn’t my website getting traffic” in full, leaving no stone unturned. By the end of the article, you will know what your next step is to start getting people to your website. Let’s go!

What we will cover in this article

Why isn’t my website getting traffic and how to get traffic to my website? 

Quite simply, the most common reason is you’re not doing anything to promote your website or you’re not doing enough to promote your website. 

Let’s start by answering the common question of “what’s the best strategy to increase website traffic quickly?”. Let’s break this question down. What’s the best strategy? There isn’t one. The best strategy depends on your current situation such as where your business is currently at, your goals and aims and how much time and money you’re willing to invest. 

Now addressing the second part on getting traffic quickly. The term ‘quickly’ is only relative to your goals. Quickly for one company could be a year and for some else 5 years. Understand where you want to be, set realistic goals and build a strategy that would get you there. 

Once you’ve set your goals for the coming years your focus should be how can you get 1000 of the right visitors to your site. You’re better off trying to attract a smaller group of targeted people before you start trying to attract a larger group of people. This will allow you to get the most traction in the least amount of time. 

Technical issues stopping your website from getting traffic

Before we start diving into strategies on how to get traffic to your site, let’s address one common problem for many sites. Is it technically sound? There’s no point in attracting visitors to a site full of issues. This would give users a terrible experience and it’s unlikely they would return. This will then be a reflection on your business. 

Technical issues can also mean your site is not good enough for search engines to crawl and rank. 

Let’s take a look at some common issues:

  • Broken links/404 errors
  • No HTTPS found
  • Messy code
  • Functions and features not working
  • Missing images
  • Slow loading
  • Incorrect Robot.txt Files
  • Lack of a Sitemap File

Lastly, perhaps you have tried to get traffic to your site before using somewhat spammy or black hat tactics. This could mean you have been hit by a Google update such as Panda or Penguin

Your website’s user experience is horrible

Following on from the previous points many of these issues lead to a horrible experience for your visitors. 

Let’s pretend you’ve bought a new house. It’s liveable but needs a bit of renovating and decorating before it’s something you can be proud of. It’s unlikely you’ll invite guests round for dinner until it’s been done up. And when your guest does come over for dinner, you’d like them to leave having enjoyed their night and their surroundings. 

You want the same experience for your website. You don’t want to be inviting people round (traffic) to your site unless it’s going to provide a good experience that they would want to visit again. 

For your website, you would want to make sure it’s free of issues as discussed previously. You would also want to make sure it’s responsive, fast, can be viewed on mobile and many other devices. 

Brand awareness, authority, trust

Raising the brand awareness of your business is essential to getting traffic to your site. Virtually all marketing strategies should be based around trying to get your brand out there in front of the right people and therefore more recognised. 

You must know who your audience is, so you target the right people. You should start by marketing to the smallest viable audience to ensure your message is specific to them. 

By marketing to this smaller audience first, you will be able to build authority and trust within this space quicker than if you were to market to a wider group. 

E-A-T is also something else you should take note of too. E-A-T stands for Expertise, Authoritative, Trustworthy and comes from Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines. Google published this document back in 2013 to “help webmasters understand what Google looks for in a web page.” E-A-T is not a ranking factor but more guidelines on what Google looks for in a web page.

best way to get website traffic
Best way to get website traffic

Do you have a marketing budget?

Before deciding on a strategy, you need to know what kind of marketing budget you have available. Even if you do everything yourself in-house it’s still going to cost you money. 

This could be money on how much your time is worth or a member of staff’s time. You also have to consider things such as ad spend, copywriting, graphic design, outreach, software etc. 

Work out what your budget is, and more importantly what kind of monthly budget you have that you can sustain for a long time. After you have worked this out see what strategy would be best to work towards your goals. 

How much marketing cost is like the saying “how longs a piece of string”? It can range from £100’s per month or £1000’s per month. Never go with something because it’s the cheapest option, and likewise, you don’t want to be paying over the odds for something either. 

What is the best traffic source?

No best traffic source fits every business. It entirely depends on your goals, current situation and who your target audience are. 

Your goals may be that you want to grow to a certain size so there could be a traffic source that works best for that particular goal. Your current situation could be you only have x amount of budget to spend per month so another traffic source would work better with that. Lastly, the traffic source you need to focus on more could be where most of your audience hangs out. If your audience spends a lot of time searching questions on Google, then SEO could be the best option. 

Another good way of understanding the best traffic source for you could be looking at what your competitors are doing. Look at the ones who are at a similar stage as you are. There’s no point in looking at the giants of your industry as their strategy and circumstances will be entirely different to yours! Find out which industries need SEO the most here!

Your content isn’t worthy

Tiding in with user experience is your current content on your site worthy of your potential visitors. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Is the web content outdated?
  • Is the web content shareable?
  • Does the website solve the user’s intent?
  • Is it self-centred and doesn’t focus on what people want?
  • Does it care about your visitors needs, wants and desires?

Simple adjustments to your content can make huge improvements and will be ready for you to start driving traffic to.

Get Content Marketing

Content marketing is essentially creating useful content for your target audience that will subsequently make them aware of your brand. The aim is to cover topics, questions, problems, how-to guides etc that your target audience might be having. 

Content marketing can be in the form of:

  • Blogging
  • Social media post
  • Podcast
  • Video
  • Books

The key to content marketing is consistency. You won’t build an audience overnight, you need to consistently be putting content out in front of your audience until they start to know, like and trust you.

Content syndication is also an important part of content marketing. Content syndication is taking one piece of content, creating multiple pieces out of it in different formats and then spreading it across different platforms. For example, you might write a blog article that you turn into a YouTube video, an eBook, an infographic and whichever ways your audience consumes content. 

best way to drive traffic to website
Best way to drive traffic to website

Start Performing SEO

Search engine optimisation is optimising your website and creating content to rank it high in search engines such as Google and Bing. Your goal is to create content that is optimised so search engines understand which keywords you should rank for and also, so the user gets exactly what they are looking for (satisfying search intent). 

SEO is a way of getting organic traffic to your site, meaning people will find you naturally in Google search results. This often results in people trusting you more than something like paid ads, and therefore providing your page is what they are looking for means higher conversion rates. 

In its simplest form, your primary focus is providing a good user experience, providing content people are searching for and then promoting that content by building backlinks to that content. With every backlink you get providing it’s from a relevant trusted site, it’s giving your website a vote of confidence and therefore Google will rank you higher. 

SEO takes time, at the minimum for some sites you can gain some good traction at around the 6-month mark. However, it does depend on how competitive your niche is as to how long it takes. SEO is a long game but generally yields long term results. 

Run Paid Ads

Paid ads are as the name suggests paying to advertise your content, website, promotions etc. Unlike SEO this is instant as soon as you start paying for your content to be displayed on your chosen channel. This could be on social media such as Facebook or LinkedIn. Alternatively, it could be pay per click on Google’s Google Ads.

Although your ads are running instantly, what many people do not realise is paid ads need to be optimised to be effective. It takes months of collecting data, testing and tweaking the campaigns to get you the best results. 

Lastly, paid ads are an effective way of getting highly targeted traffic to your site. The downside is once you switch them off the traffic will stop in an instant. Paid ads can be used for specific campaigns or as a long-term strategy if you’re willing to set aside a monthly budget for them for the foreseeable. 

Build a social media presence

Another way to get essentially free traffic to your website is to build a social media presence. This effectively is content marketing, however, as social media is such a large part of people’s lives now, I feel I need to expand on it.

Building an audience on any social media platform means being consistent for a long time. It’s generally for the majority of people a slow process. 

You need to show up regularly providing value to your target audience and engaging with them. You should not be constantly selling to them, instead, try to help them as much as possible without asking for anything in return. 

Don’t just post every day like it’s a chore. Aim to build a community with your audience by engaging with them and encouraging them to engage. This will lead to building a devoted following that trust you and your brand who will more likely visit your website and purchase your products and/or services.

Build an email list and start email marketing

Start building your email list as soon as you can. You’ll hear this advice over and over and it’s often overlooked. Every strategy we discussed in this article is extremely effective at generating traffic for your website. However, to make that traffic even more valuable to your business, encourage your visitors to sign up for your mailing list. 

Emails are extremely personal. It’s one of the few ways you can ensure you’re getting in front of the right people. This could be sending them stuff such as information newsletters, current offers you have on or new products and services.

To encourage people to part with their email addresses you should be trading it with something of value to them. This could be a free eBook, guide, cheat sheet, webinar, course or whatever else would be of value to your target audience. 

Are there ways to increase website traffic for free?

Absolutely. Apart from paid ads, SEO, content marketing, social media marketing and email marketing can all be done for free. However, is anything ever free? 

As discussed previously when talking about your budget, how much do you value your time or your staff’s time? Learning something takes time and money, most of the best software costs money.

You have to decide if it is worth learning and doing something yourself and sacrificing your time for it that could otherwise be spent doing what you’re best at. Or is it better to simply pay for someone to do it for you?

Lastly, other ways you can get free traffic to your site is via offline more traditional marketing activities such as word of mouth, networking, cold calling and cold emailing.

How long until my website gets traffic?

Generally, you can start getting traffic to your site within 6 months. However, much like the question “how much does it cost to get traffic to your site?”, it’s a similar answer for how long it takes to get traffic to your website. It depends. 

What are your goals, short term and long term? What’s your budget? Which strategy will at this point in your business work best for you based on your goals and budget?

SEO, social media marketing and content marketing are all long term. Whereas paid ads are instant and will start getting traffic to your site quicker, but as mentioned still need to be given time to be optimised to be as effective as possible. 

Provide Excellent Customer Service and Ask Customers to Review Your Brand

This should go without saying but one thing you can do to get traffic snowballing is simply providing excellent customer service and asking customers to review your brand. 

The more people talk about your brand and refer others the quicker it will take off! It’s one of the simplest yet most effective ways of building a business and subsequent website traffic, yet business owners get so caught up in fancy sales funnels etc they forget the basics. 

Conclusion

So, there we have it, the top reasons why my website isn’t getting traffic! Start with the foundations. Ensure your website is free of errors and there isn’t anything such as Google penalties that could be preventing your site from getting traffic.

Ensure you are providing a great user experience on your site before you start getting traffic to it or that traffic will bounce right off it!

Make sure your content is up to scratch. Is it helpful? Does it match the user’s intent? Is it written for them and not about you?

Then understand your goals and your budget to start getting an idea of which strategy would be best for you. Look at what your competitors are doing to gain an insight into what might also work for you.

Choose a strategy that works for your business at this current stage of your business. Do not try to implement a myriad of strategies, try to only focus on one or two at a time. Get good at those and as your business expands then maybe it’s time to add another strategy. 

Whichever strategy you go for, start building your email list as soon as you can so you can make quality traffic even better. Understand that although you can do things for free nothing is free when you factor in your time, learning, mistakes, software etc. 

Understand that every strategy takes time. Some are quicker than others but they both have their pros and cons. However, one thing you can always focus on no matter which strategy is ensuring you’re providing excellent customer service and asking customers to review your brand.

If you decide SEO is potentially viable for your business and want to find out more about SEO, please get in touch today.

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