Business owners are well aware of the fact that running a successful business requires a lot of time and hard work. They must be able to find and fill a need, providing a desired product or service to consumers. Needless to say, businesses succeed when they not only find and fulfill an important service, but also when consumers can easily find them. Website traffic is one such indicator of that success.
In today’s day and age, a business’ high visibility to consumers requires that they establish and maintain a strong online presence. That said, some business owners feel that simply establishing a website will serve their purposes well. But even custom website development does not automatically translate into success, as one must have website traffic in order to connect with consumers. Obviously, the more traffic a business has on their site, the more individuals learn about their brand, form relationships with the business, buy products or services and spread valuable word-of-mouth. It is for this reason that declining website traffic is always a cause for concern for any business, no matter how large or small it is.
Resolving Website Traffic Issues
There are some normal reasons for why website traffic will naturally increase or decrease, including seasonal trends and business cycles. These types of changes to website traffic flows are not really concerning, as they don’t mean anything is necessarily wrong and needs to be remedied. However, a business does need to be able to tell the difference between these natural traffic changes and the ones that indicate there is a problem that must be resolved. This means that the business must first establish a website traffic baseline to help them determine what is normal. Where a decline in website traffic is determined as unusual, there may be many different causes. Following are five highly common causes for declining website traffic.
1. Recent Changes to the Website Can Affect Traffic
Many businesses correctly assume that website development is not a one-time thing, but rather a constant evolution. However, making changes to a website can sometimes cause declining website traffic. It’s important to determine whether there are any issues with hosting and resolve these first. Google Analytics can be used to determine whether all website traffic sources have decreased or just a specific one or ones. Then, you can determine whether design changes have affected load times and thereby a reduced rating with search engines. It’s also helpful to monitor search engine result pages to determine whether ranking has dropped.
2. Technical Issues
Technical issues like 404 errors, long load times and more can prevent users from accessing a website or can cause them to bounce right back out of it. Tools like Google Analytics, Google Webmaster Tools, and more can be used to detect these problems so they can be resolved.
3. Website Structure
A poorly structured site with an ineffective internal link strategy and poor design can definitely cause declining engagement. This is where a well-executed website content development plan is essential.
4. Server Overload
The servers that support websites can easily overload when they are unable to keep up with demand. This creates downtime that results in declining traffic. This can be resolved through website optimization and preparation for high traffic spikes and flows.
5. Low-Quality Content
Google has regularly updated its basic search algorithm over the past few years in an effort to improve search results. This algorithm is more commonly referred to as Penguin and Panda. Penguin is responsible for analyzing the quality of website links and will penalize those sites that have unnatural links. Alternatively, Panda is responsible for analyzing the quality of website content and will penalize those sites that have low-quality content. A website drops in the search engine rankings when it suffers a penalty.
Finding and resolving the true cause for declining engagement should obviously result in an improvement in site activity. Although, in some cases the solution may take time to implement.