There are many reasons as to why a website or blog may not be getting enough traffic. Things like the age of the domain, the reputation of the author, the number and type of references (incoming links), social media strategy, and content freshness play their role.
But, for the average website, the problem lies in other areas. What you will read below are 5 areas that are often neglected by website owners either because they don’t understand their importance or because they are not sure how to handle them.
1. Your Content Is Not Good Enough
Believe it or not, search engines, especially Google, have become very efficient in recognizing good content. So, if your content is not good enough and your website is not of high quality, the chances of ranking high in the SERPs and getting traffic are minimized.
Back in the old days you could ‘easily’ trick search engines by sending a few backlinks to your content and get high rankings, but this is no longer the case.
Besides search engines, let’s not forget about the indirect influence of social media on rankings and traffic. Content that is not of great quality is very unlikely to perform well in the various social media channels.
What is good content, and more importantly, what type of content can get you traffic?
Content that attracts website visitors has the following characteristics:
- It satisfies all SEO content tips that are known to work after Panda and Penguin.
- It is published on a website with an existing number of quality (indexed) pages.
- If your website is new, even if you have the best content, it is difficult to rank high, especially if there are older and bigger (in terms of indexed pages) websites on the same subject.
- It is unbiased and well-researched. If you always write in favor of a particular product, method, or service or if you just publish re-written text, you are losing your time. Good content is original and describes both sides of the story.
- It is fresh. Users want to read new up-to-date content and so do the search engines and social media.
2. You Are Targeting High-Competition Keywords
This is a very common mistake and one of the most important reasons a website is not getting enough traffic (at least from search engines).
Consider these 2 factors:
1. There are only 10 places available on the first page of the SERPs for every keyword. Search engines are trying to display in those places pages from trusted websites that meet their ranking criteria.
If you have a new website or even a mature website, but it is less trusted than others, then your pages will not be shown on the first pages (if you are both targeting the same keywords).
2. The competition for all popular keywords is very high, so if you are targeting popular keywords only, it will be very difficult to achieve a good ranking.
So, if popular keywords are out of the question, how can you get traffic?
The answer is in the long-tail keywords. When you use the Google keyword tool to do your keyword research, you should aim for low-competition, long-tail keywords.
Let’s assume that you are writing about weight loss. The most popular keyword in this niche is “how to lose weight fast”.
If you write a post with the title “How to lose weight fast” and publish it on your website, then most likely, that particular post will never drive organic traffic to your website. There are already thousands of other articles with the same title and from more trusted sites.
If on the other hand, you go after low competition, long tail keywords like “How to lose pounds” and you change the title a bit to “How to lose 5 pounds quickly” then your chances of ranking on the first page, provided that you promote your blog post correctly are higher.
The traffic gains are less compared to high-competition keywords, but ranking for several terms (even if they are of low competition) is a great way to increase website trust.
3. Your Website Is Slow
We know that page speed is a ranking factor, and various studies have shown that users are more likely to visit websites that load fast.
The opposite is true: users are likelier to exit a website if it does not load in 2-3 seconds.
So, your website may be ranking and getting traffic from search engines or referrals from social media, but as soon as the users land on a slow-loading page, they leave without entering.
What will happen when I make my website load faster?
From my experience, if you improve the loading time of a website with some rankings, traffic will increase because rankings will improve.
If your website is slow but does not have any first-page rankings, by fixing the page speed problem, you increase your chances of having a page or pages in the first 10 positions.
4. A Google Penalty Hit You
The average webmaster or blogger may not be aware of Google Penalties and how these algorithmic changes affect the ranking position and traffic a website may be getting from Google.
In terms of traffic, if you were hit by a Google algorithmic change, then you will see your traffic drop dramatically from one day to the next.
You can open your Google Analytics report and find out the actual date that traffic changed and compare that with this page that shows the dates Google changed its ranking algorithm.
If there is a matching date and depending on the changes, you may have to take several actions to recover your traffic.
It was not a Google Penalty but I still don’t get enough traffic, why?
If you are in a situation where your website never managed to get a considerable number of visitors then maybe it’s because:
- It is still young (less than 6 months old).
- You don’t have a lot of content.
- You don’t use social media to promote your website.
- You are doing any of these SEO mistakes.
- You concentrate only on getting traffic from search engines without looking for alternative sources of traffic.
5. You Hired The Wrong SEO Firm
Unfortunately, this happens very often as well. The web is full of ‘SEO companies’ promising first-page rankings, but in reality, their methods and techniques destroy every opportunity your website has for getting organic traffic.
How do you choose a reliable SEO firm? As a general rule of thumb, don’t believe anything you read on the web before double-checking their claims.
Every website aims to get traffic from search engines, social media sites, direct visits, etc. When this is not happening, you feel that you are losing your time, and you lose faith in the Internet as a whole.
There are billions of Internet users around the world, and as you read this article, there are thousands of people searching for information or hanging out on social media platforms.
The fact that none of them (or only a few) visit your website means that you are doing something wrong. Hopefully, by reading this post up to this point, you have a better idea of what you might be doing wrong, and more importantly, you have some thoughts on how to reverse the situation.