For anyone with a website, one of your key performance indicators is likely website traffic. After all, the more visitors to your site, the more opportunity for conversion, so it’s never a good sign when your traffic numbers see a decline. If you find yourself in this situation, there are few steps you can take to identify and correct the issue before it becomes a larger problem. Here are five things to do when your web traffic is down.
1. Look at data
The first thing to do when your web traffic is down is to look at the data for insights. Was the decline in numbers sharp and sudden or slow and steady? Did the numbers dip and bounce back up or are they in continual decline? Depending on the situation, there may be a logical reason behind the data. If your numbers were sharp and sudden, consider any recent edits. Did you remove a page of your site or rewrite any content? If the numbers dipped and bounced back up was there a period of time the site was down for maintenance? If you can’t pinpoint any of these scenarios and the decline is slow and continual then the problem may be your content. To continually drive traffic to your site you need to ensure you have maximum uptime and are publishing quality content at regular intervals. It’s also important to compare like-data instead of apples and oranges. Comparing data from slow periods, like holidays, with busy months is not good practice.
2. Identify traffic sources
The next step in combating decreased traffic is identifying your traffic sources. How are users coming to your site? Are they typing your URL directly in their browser, finding you through a Google search, or visiting your site through a paid advertisement? It is important to make sure your domain name is easy to remember and spell, and isn’t closely related to another site, especially a competitor in your industry. If users rely on Google searches to find your site are you ranking for the right queries? Use Google Trends and SEO to optimize your organic rankings. If users only access your site through paid ads, put a heavy emphasis on contextual advertising to target the appropriate audience. If your ad spending has remained the same but the paid traffic numbers have declined, you need to reevaluate the effectiveness of your placement.
3. Analyze content strategy
The third step in improving your traffic numbers is analyzing your content strategy. How often are you creating relevant content? What form does the content take? Publishing a blog post periodically is not an effective content strategy. Instead, focus on diversifying your content in the form of blogs, podcasts, videos, and long-form downloads and try to post more frequently. Offering something for everyone is a great way to increase traffic. Keep in mind, however, quality over quantity. One high-quality post less often is better than three poorly-crafted posts per week. It doesn’t matter how great your content is if you can’t get anyone to engage with it, so make sure your titles and headlines are intriguing.
Another great way to improve your content and drive traffic is through partnerships. Consider having an industry expert or influencer create a guest post for your site. You will attract your loyal viewers in addition to the author’s fans and followers. Similarly, consider syndicating your content through other outlets to broaden your audience and increase traffic.
4. Evaluate social strategy
After you analyze your content strategy, you need to evaluate your social strategy. Where are you sharing your quality content? Is that where you followers are? In addition to your own site, you should leverage social media channels to promote your content and drive traffic. Start by getting a good grasp of your audience and the social media outlets they use. Be mindful of the time of day you post—try posting at various of times of the day such as early morning, lunchtime, and during the evening—and use the analytics available to determine if your audience interacts significantly more at a particular time of day. Also, ask your followers to share your content and engage with them on your posts.
5. Remarket to get repeat visitors
Use the traffic you do have to your advantage by setting up a remarketing campaign. By placing targeted ads in front of previous visitors you can entice them to return to your site. Remarketing can dramatically increase your conversion rates and ROI. Additionally, you can use any data you have about your visitors to influence them. Knowing their email addresses, personas, or interests can allow you to send them relevant, targeted messages to attract them back on your site.
While a decline in traffic is something you should address, there’s no need to panic right away. A thorough analysis of your website, content, and strategies will help you identify areas of weakness to improve upon. With the right amount of focus and dedication you can regain your loyal audience and attract more traffic.