Why is your website's traffic shrinking?
Driving traffic to your website used to be easy. You just needed great content optimised for high-volume keywords and to promote that content across social and paid platforms.
Unfortunately, it's a little more difficult now.
The Google search landscape has changed dramatically, seeing average clickthrough rates plummet by 46% between 2016 and 2019. Zero click searches dominate results pages – meaning users are less likely to click through. And that means less traffic for your site.
Paid search has become more expensive due to increased competition and reduced control over bids. The increase in ad types has opened doors for a wider variety of businesses, which in turn has driven up costs. That means you won't be getting the same bang for your buck as you once were.
Social channels don't refer anywhere near as much traffic to business accounts as they once did in a bid to become more family and friends focused. Yet another platform that pushes marketers to spend money on driving traffic to their site.
So it's a difficult time for marketers but it isn't all doom and gloom. This blog outlines three reasons why your website's traffic is shrinking and what you can do about it.
Why is your website not converting?
There are many reasons your website may not convert and many different things that you could count as a conversion (depending on your business goals). Over the last 20 years of auditing websites we have come to know the common stumbling blocks faced when looking to improve website conversion.
The quality of traffic and data is something we see all too often. If you’re driving the wrong traffic to your site then your conversion rate will suffer. Equally, if your data is skewed by poor tracking, bad advertising or an unsegmented audience then your conversion rate could look worse than it is – or even worse, be inflated!
Poor navigation, user experience and inward-facing content can all squeeze your conversion rate. It can often be difficult to spot these yourself as you become blind to the issues on your own site. We always advise you to:
- get a third party review
- remember that your site is for your users, not for you.
We discuss the top nine reasons why your site may not convert here. Take a look – there may be some quick wins to help improve your site!
How can you improve your website?
The information found in a Digital Marketing Audit can help you to make significant improvements to your website. It digs deep into why users make the decisions they do and how you can provide a better experience (while also making your website more visible).
We focus on ways to make your website:
- Easy to find – by understanding the competitive landscape and where you sit in the search engines so you can make the required changes to ensure your website is easy to find.
- Simple to browse – it can be difficult to understand fully why users make the choices they do. Reviewing the structure, content and design of your site will allow you to spot quick wins and strategic changes that could make significant improvements to performance.
- Clear – it’s really common for companies to build their websites based on what they like and the assumptions they make. But your users can be confronted with confusing messaging and poor calls to action (affecting your site’s clarity). Using data is key to understanding how you can improve your users’ experience – as discussed in this blog post.
How can Google Analytics help improve your website's performance?
Google Analytics is an incredibly helpful (free) tool that can give you a huge amount of information to help improve your website.
It provides an insight into your audience, which can be great for understanding who is looking at your content and how they are receiving it. You can also review how users move through your website to find your content. This can be useful when looking to simplify user journeys and reviewing where there might be stumbling blocks – something we discuss more here.
You can also understand how your audience is behaving on your website and if users are taking the actions you want them to take. This might include form fills, online purchases, event bookings or even just a high level of engagement.
Understanding your website’s conversion rate is key to improving how your website contributes to your business in terms of leads and revenue. Keeping track of this will tell you if the changes you make to your website have made a positive or negative impact – so you can grow and maintain your site’s conversion rate.
How you can use Google Search Console to improve your website
Google Search Console is one of the many tools we use when carrying out a Digital Marketing Audit (providing it is set up of course). It helps to monitor your website’s performance so you can understand how to improve it.
The free tool allows you to:
- spot indexing issues
- identify pages that are not suitable for mobile
- understand which search terms your website ranks for.
Essentially, it gives you an insight into how search engines see your website and what users do to find it. Understanding the above points allows you to adjust the website and its content accordingly so it:
- ranks for the search terms you want
- is mobile friendly
- provides a positive user experience.
It will also allow you to understand which pages rank well and which don't – so you can focus your efforts on optimising content and clickthrough rates.
Take a look at this blog post if you want to know more about Search Console and how it can help to improve your site!
12 FREE tools to analyse your website
Facing the task of analysing your website and knowing exactly what to look for can be a mammoth challenge. It requires a lot of tools, knowledge and expertise to do it properly.
There also many different ways to analyse your website. You might want to look at conversion rates, user journeys, site content or even website speed. All of which require very different tools and different kinds of analysis.
There are a number of brilliant free (or 'freemium') tools that can help you though.
Of course, Google's suite of tools (including Analytics, Search Console and Page Speed Insights) is brilliant and a stable toolkit for any digital marketer. However, there are also tools such as Grammarly (which helps to improve content) and Hotjar (which helps you to understand user journeys).
We've assembled some of our favourite free tools here to help you on your way!
Healthy website checklist
Keeping your website healthy is an ongoing job and is quite often one that’s forgotten about.
We’ve put together a simple five-point checklist to get you started:
- Optimise your website for mobile – that doesn’t just mean having a responsive site. It also means checking content before it goes live to ensure there aren’t any images or forms breaking the responsive functionality.
- Review SEO – again, an ongoing job that should be looked at regularly to identify how you’re doing in search positions and how you can overtake your competitors!
- Content, content, content – creating content that keeps users engaged is crucial...and updating that content to keep it fresh is just as important. Think about who your content is for, why a prospect might read and what you want them to do when they’ve finished reading it.
- Share your social media – websites never work in isolation; quite often social media can be a great place to deliver messages and drive traffic to your site. Regularly review the quality of traffic coming to your site from social media and what works to drive more traffic to your site.
- Optimise website speed – slow websites don’t rank well in search engines. Any that do simply frustrate and annoy visitors. There’s no excuse for having a slow website these days.