If you build it, they will come… right!? Well that is not always true, especially if you built your website without implementing any SEO strategies. Not sure what SEO is? Start here first. Not getting website traffic can be one of the most frustrating issues you experience after you’ve designed a beautiful website. You might be left scratching your head wondering why. Let’s dive into it, starting at the very beginning.
Where can you check your website traffic?
First, let’s make sure you know exactly where to look when measuring your website’s traffic. The answer, Google Analytics. Your website provider may give you a peek at some of these analytics, but Google is going to provide you with so much more. So if you don’t already have an account, login right now and set one up. All you need is a Gmail account and a website URL.
Once you have a good way to measure your website traffic week over week, let’s dive into the exact reasons why you might not be hitting your traffic goals.
Here are THREE reasons why you are not getting website traffic:
1. Your website is too slow
One of the biggest reasons why you are not getting website traffic is because your website is too slow. Page speed is a huge factor in not only your SEO rankings but also making sure your viewers can actually view your beautiful online content. Did you know that 53% of mobile users leave a site that takes longer than 3 seconds to load? (according to a 2018 Google Research study) That means if your website takes only 3.5 seconds to load you’ve just lost more than half of those people who clicked on you.
How long does your website take to load? If you aren’t sure, visit Google PageSpeed Insights and type in your website URL. Make sure to look at both desktop and mobile performance. Many times our website is not optimized for the mobile experience and we see a huge increase in page speed which can significantly affect your website performance and website traffic.
2. Your content is poorly written
We are by no means saying you are a poor writer! What we are saying is that your content is poorly optimized for SEO. You might be using clever, witty copy lines that absolutely no one is typing into Google. In other words, you are not getting website traffic because you aren’t infusing your content with SEO Keywords. You need to be creating content that real people are actually searching for. This includes all online content you create such as your homepage, services page, sales page and each individual blog post.
3. You aren’t building links
Another huge reason why you are not getting website traffic may be because you are not creating links to and from your website. Link building is a big factor in SEO because high quality links will help you establish authority on a specific topic with not only your audience, but Google as well. Look at this blog post for example, we have no less than five links to and from our own website. We have high quality links away from our site to Google resources, meaning these URLs are very unlikely to break and cause any issues with our content. Plus, throughout this post we have links to our own webpages through different, yet relevant, blog content that helps us build authority on this topic.
Are you still feeling a little lost on link building? Click here to learn about five essential link building terms you should understand.
Pro Tip: always, always, always make sure your links open in a new tab. You worked hard for that traffic, don’t send them away for good once they land on your page! Go check your website right now. Do you have your social media pages linked on your home page? Do those links open in a new tab?
What website traffic metrics should you be watching?
Now that you understand a few reasons why you may not be getting website traffic, let’s better understand exactly what website traffic metrics you should be watching in Google Analytics.
Traffic Source: Even if your website traffic is currently low, it’s important to understand how people are finding you right now and how you may need to shift your content to do so. Each of these channels (direct, referral, organic search and social) are focused opportunity areas for you. You should focus on improving all of them.
Google Analytics Path: Google Analytics → Acquisition → All Traffic → Channels
Bounce Rate: Where is your audience leaving your website? This could mean your content on this page isn’t resonating with your target audience, that page is loading too slowly or there is an error within the content itself.
Google Analytics Path: Google Analytics → Audience → Behavior → Session Quality
Time on Site: A good goal to shoot for here is 2-3 minutes. Anything less than that means the users didn’t truly digest you or the content you had to offer.
Google Analytics Path: Google Analytics → Behavior → Site Content → All Pages
New vs. Returning Visitors: Every page on your website might have a different goal for this website traffic metric. Do you use your website as merely a sales driver meaning you want your new visitors each month to be higher than any returning visitors? Or do you create content that both inspires new visitors while keeping your current visitors coming back for more? With that said, this website metric in Google Analytics should be the base for building your content strategy.
Google Analytics Path: Google Analytics → Audience → Behavior → New vs. Returning
Ready To Get Inspired?
Feeling inspired to learn more about SEO? We are dedicated to breaking down SEO in simple, easy to understand terms that will help you feel empowered to take control. Start here to download our free guide. If you are ready to take the next step in learning more, we have online courses to teach you just that, with an SEO Crash Course and a complete Beginners Guide to SEO that walks you through step-by-step instructions on how to update your website, grow your blog and better understand Google Analytics. See you there!