Traffic is king! No matter what your website is about, so long as you have traffic, your potentials for success are endless. Without traffic, having a web presence is basically useless.
SO WHY DO SOME SITES GAIN TRAFFIC AND OTHERS DON’T?
I will show you 10 reasons most sites receive little or no visibility. If your site is a lonely wasteland, this list will help you diagnose the problem. At the end, I will give you useful suggestions on how to fix it.
In no particular order, here are 10 reasons your site is getting little or zero visitors:
1. YOUR SITE IS NEW
This is one of the most common reasons most sites don’t get traffic. Because of the excitement that follows creating a new website/blog, it is quite common to launch your site this minute and spend the next 8 hours refreshing your Google Analytics report. I know because I was (still am) guilty of this.
Generating consistent traffic takes time and persistent effort. If your site is new (0-90 days), I suggest you spend more of your time updating the site with useful, unique content instead of obsessing about your stats. With the right methods traffic will come, I promise you!
2. YOUR SITE DESIGN IS TERRIBLE
Site design and usability is very critical if your site is to get any decent amount of traffic. The looks, feel, and functions of your website affects how users engage with your blog.
Usability is all about how users interact with your site once they are on it. For example, most web users are accustomed to seeing site content on the left and widgets on the right. So you want to make things easier for your site visitors by keeping your content prominently on the left.
You want to make sure your font is not ridiculously large but not so small that they hurt the eyes. Keep your paragraphs short and separate them with headers whenever possible. These things make it easier for visitors to stay on your site and revisit often.
3. NO SPECIFIC FOCUS/VALUE TO USERS
Bloggers are most guilty of this mistake. Much focus on making money and firing their boss means most bloggers don’t even know the reason they blog. What value does your site offer to users?
Your website should convey a particular message and everything about your site should focus on that message. If your site is all over the place, users get confused and point their browser elsewhere.
4. ZERO OR INSUFFICIENT SEO
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. SEO recommendations are intended to help your site rank higher and more accurately in search engines, like Google. Search engines are the best consistent traffic generation sources. If you have a website where you promote home cleaning services, for example, you want your site to be listed on the first result page when someone enters home cleaning related phrase in search query.
This is not to say you cannot get any traffic if you do not optimize for search engines. You can, if your domain is very popular like nairaland or Linda Ikeji. But this is very difficult to achieve, especially for new websites.
5. YOU DON’T USE SOCIAL MEDIA ENOUGH
Social media is one of the best free traffic sources available. If you are not taking full advantage of the powers of social media, you are missing out on a lot. Facebook currently has over 1 billion registered users. Think about that.
6. OUTDATED/WRONG TRAFFIC GENERATION TECHNIQUES
If you still use outdated traffic generation/SEO techniques like article submission, buying links, Meta tags, search engine submission, keyword stuffing, etc., you could be sabotaging your own efforts. Things have changed so much in the past couple of years. If you are working on your site promotion by yourself you need to read up on current trends. The only that has not changed is, search engines value useful content above everything else.
7. YOU’VE BEEN BAD
Getting little or zero traffic could mean your site has been sand-boxed by search engines for one violation or another, the most common being plagiarism and search engine manipulation. Things like blatantly copying other site’s content without acknowledging the source, blackhat traffic generation techniques, keyword stuffing, spamming, etc could get your site blacklisted.
8. YOUR SITE TAKES FOREVER TO LOAD
An average web users waits approximately 7 seconds for a page to load, then they hit the back button. If your site takes forever to load you will lose more traffic than you get.
9. YOU DON’T USE COMPELLING TITLES
Your title is the first thing that attracts a web user to click on your link and read your content. Your title should give people enough reason to want to visit your site.
10. YOUR WEBSITE IS NOT MOBILE FRIENDLY
More people use smartphones and mobile devices now more than they use PC. If your site design is not responsive, it won’t look good on mobile. It means mobile users won’t visit your site. It’s that simple.
if your site is guilty of any or more of the above reasons, here are some suggestions on how to fix things up and increase your website traffic.
Make sure your site offers good value to your audience. People get on the web because they are looking for something –entertainment, information, transaction, help, etc. You need to state clearly what value your site offers and ensure you deliver on that.
Create social media fan pages for your site brand. At the very least, create a Facebook fan page, twitter page, sign up with Google+ Communities (this is amazing) and, depending on your location, open an account with Pinterest. You need to promote your site on these platforms. The more fans your pages have, the more people get to see your content when you create them.
Optimize, optimize, optimize. If you haven’t already, register your site with the engine’s Webmaster Tools service. Once registered, follow all the suggestions to remove/fix everything you can. SEO is simple, but could be confusing and takes time. A lot has been written on the subject, so you want to educate yourself as much as you can. If you can afford it, get a professional to optimize your site. It’ll be well worth it.
Get a blog: If your site is not a blog, I suggest you add a blog section. The reason is search engines love fresh, regular content. Because you update a blog regularly with new articles, users have a reason to keep coming back to your site and search engines are happy to send more traffic your way.
Professional website design: it could be tough running a website on a tight budget but as soon as you can afford it, I recommend you get a professional to design your site. This would take care of things like page structure (responsive), page load speed, colors, etc. Some designers also offer SEO services so you just focus on promoting your site and worry less about the more technical side of things.
Write good, compelling titles
Wait: When you have done everything, give it time. Getting good traffic does not happen overnight. Be prepared to wait it out having done everything to keep your site in good standard.
I compiled this list basically out of my own experience and so it does not cover everything, but it is a good place to start. I have struggled with getting web traffic and I have come out of it successful. I’m sure you will, too, if you follow the suggestions in this article.
You can put forward your questions or contributions in the comment box.