Once upon a time all you needed was to have simple website, host some semi-decent content, drop a few keywords here and there and hey presto, you could be in the top rankings and get all the traffic you wanted!
In 2015 however, with 3.17 billion people using the WWW and 955,654,255 websites online the moment this is being written, the competition out there is mind-boggling.
There are numerous reasons why your website may not be as popular as it used be, from bad SEO and poor content to shifts in the market landscape, anything could be affecting the number of incoming visitors.
Let’s take a look at 5 common reasons your website is losing traffic:
1.Your website has been hit by a Google algorithm update
The Google algorithm affects how visible your website is in the search engine results aka how many visitors can reach you organically.
Organic traffic is a major source of visitors, so if your audience can’t find you on Google (or any other search engine of choice), it’s as if you don’t even exist online!
Google now has a much more sophisticated algorithm to rank sites than it used to. It now takes into account the important qualitative signals as well as the overall responsiveness and user experience.
In a nutshell, it penalizes spammy websites, with poorly written or duplicated content, non mobile-ready and websites that generally provide a poor experience to the user.
The latest major update that may have affected you is the Panda 4.2 refresh from this summer, which gradually rolled out in the months following the announcement.
Either way you should always stay updated with the latest changes to the algorithm and make sure your website is fresh and relevant both inside (code) and outside (design and content).
For a full calendar of the algorithm changes refer to Moz’s Change History.
2. Your content is not getting enough traction
Your content quality and quantity may be up to scratch but that doesn’t mean you can just sit back and enjoy the ride!
The vast majority of brands have jumped on to the content marketing wagon ages ago, so we have now reached a stage of content saturation or content shock as some may call it.
In other words, you have to put extra effort into putting yourself out there and driving traffic back to your website. Moreover, to stay on Google’s “radar”, you have to regularly create new content and update older pages and articles so you maintain the freshness factor.
The fact of the matter is that content still counts. It just can’t do much on its own, no matter how good it is. It needs to be promoted and distributed in various methods from multiple channels in order to reach enough people to make an impact.
3. You don’t optimize for search
Even if you haven’t been hit by a Google update, there is no excuse for not optimizing your website for search engines.
SEO should be an integral part of your digital marketing techniques and not just something you do on the side.
All your content production, social media and paid advertising efforts should be aligned with an overall strategy for search, otherwise you won’t be able to rank for the terms you want and your organic traffic won’t be targeted.
Having a solid SEO strategy in place is a long-term investment that is more cost effective than other quick fixes that will only bring in occasional bursts of traffic.
4. Your marketing is not working like it used to
With slashed budgets on one hand and marketing diverging to so many different channels and networks on the other, it is difficult to keep track and maintain a constant stream of success.
All of your marketing efforts – from Social Media, and Content Marketing to Advertising, everything should be data driven and focused around where your users “hang out” online if you want results. Just because you used to spend X amount on paid advertising campaigns 3 years ago doesn’t mean that it will still work as efficiently now.
The times call for innovative ways of marketing and promoting your business and taking full advantage of the array of tools and platforms available.
Brands are constantly re-adapting based on how the digital landscape transforms, how users interact and how they behave online. Who would have imagined a few years ago that a politician would actually use Snapchat as part of an electoral campaign? (check Hilary Clinton’s snapchat)
5. Too much competition
Another factor to take into account is how many competitors you have. In certain industries new companies are coming up like mushrooms and the once ruling players are not kings anymore.
If you are competing with a larger number of websites than what you used to, for the same audience, that means you need to maximize your efforts and performance.
Perhaps your competitors are more in touch with current digital marketing trends and have mastered techniques that you are still a novice at.
That is why all of the above (1-4) matter so much! Having an optimized website, creating ultra-fresh and relevant content that you promote and distribute with all the current marketing techniques are key to success.
Only a well rounded strategy can engage and captivate your audience, bringing in a constant flow of new and repeat visitors!