Many people feel that their web site or blog isn’t getting the amount of traffic that it should. There are countless reasons why this would be, such as low reputation, weak or nonexistent social media optimization, poor SEO services, or stale content. Finding out which reasons are the cause for your low traffic can be just as daunting as solving the problems themselves. This is why it can be helpful to start with a few common causes of low traffic and see which may or may not apply to you. Some of these reasons may seem obvious, and others may catch you by surprise because you didn’t think they had such a significant impact. Fortunately, improvement is always possible.
Your Content Isn’t Up to Snuff
Fresh, recent content is only part of the SEO puzzle. Quality is key, especially since there are fewer and fewer ways to bluff Google’s algorithms. People won’t share, recommend, or revisit your pages if your content can’t meet their needs and be enjoyable to read. To solve this, it helps to go back to the basics:
- What is the main question answered by this article?
- How thoroughly does it give an answer?
- Are there any questions someone would get from reading this article that aren’t answered?
- Are your sources authoritative?
- Are you expressing a bias?
- Is your content original?
Additionally, establishing authority can be tricky for newer sites. To solve this, it can help to get yourself published on more established sites as a guest poster or contributor.
You Are Focusing On the Top Keywords
This can seem counterintuitive. If you want traffic, it makes sense that good SEO means you should aim for the most common search terms, right? Unfortunately, the most common keywords are also the ones that established businesses have spent much more time solidifying their ranking with. There are only so many slots on Google’s first results page, and many aren’t going to be changing substantially any time soon.
The solution, then, is to target long-tail keywords that offer more specific and less frequently contested terms. “How to lose weight quickly” is likely well beyond a new web site’s ability to get on the front page. “How to lose pounds,” conversely, is a relevant but less targeted phrase. Even better is if you identify specific amounts or timeframes: “how to lose 5 pounds” or “how to lose 10 pounds in a month,” for instance.
Your Web Site is Slow
Your audience will not put up with a web site that feels unwieldy or burdensome to use, and load times are a big part of this. A load time of 7-10 seconds may not be long overall, but in the world of the Internet it is unacceptable to most readers. This goes double for any web site that hopes to be mobile-friendly, as load times take on an even greater importance.
Fixing page speed problems and creating a better optimized, streamlined site creates a better user experience. People who click on your links will be more likely to stay and actually see what you can offer instead of giving up out of annoyance or frustration.
You Were Attacked By Zoo Animals
Google has two algorithms, Panda and Penguin, which can penalize your site’s SEO—sometimes severely. Panda is designed to target low-quality sites with shallow or scraped content and it only takes a small number of guilty pages for an entire web site to be downgraded. Penguin is more specific and goes after pages (not entire sites) that violate Google’s guidelines with so-called “black hat” SEO techniques. This usually involves practices like comment spam, link buying, doorway pages, and other practices that you wouldn’t be proud to admit to using.
If you suspect that you have been affected by Panda, the only real solution is to revise your content and redouble your efforts. A good piece of advice—whether you’ve been hit by Panda or not—is to consult Google’s webmaster guidelines for what it considers to be a quality site.
Penguin can be addressed more directly. By going over your pages and cleaning up any bad links or improper SEO techniques, you can file for reconsideration. Since Penguin balances the number of good links on your site against bad ones, cultivating quality links will also help keep the scales in your favour.
You Aren’t Trying Other Sources of Traffic
Google is the king of search engines, but that doesn’t mean it’s the one true path to getting traffic. The Internet is vast and there are many different ways that audiences can find their way to your site. While your SEO is important, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use alternatives as well.
Google isn’t the only search engine in town; Yahoo! and Bing are still used by plenty of people. Ranking on these two can be easier than Google since not as many businesses focus on them. Well, their loss can be your gain as you rank high on Yahoo! and Bing search results. The traffic won’t be as high as the equivalent spot on Google, but it’s hardly insignificant. Just register with Bing Webmaster and get some social media presence going and you’ll catch their eyes eventually.
Social media can be a source of traffic in and of itself as well. Between Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, and more, there are countless social media options for you to engage in to promote your site’s traffic and SEO. Obviously, you will stretch yourself too thin if you try and use all of the possible social media outlets, so pick and choose the ones you can give the most focused attention. A small number of focused, targeted quality profiles let you engage audiences and be approachable by customers.
Numero Uno Web Solutions is a provider of search engine optimization, content marketing, and traffic building solutions to startups and small companies from all industries and fields. We stay on the pulse of industry changes and adapt our practices to produce quality SEO, content marketing, and traffic building plans to fuel the growth of businesses across communities. Click here to learn more about growing organic traffic, different SEO techniques, and how we can help improve your search profile.