A healthy amount of organic traffic is paramount in making your website financially successful. Organic traffic from search engines are the cheapest and sometimes the most efficient way to draw visitors to your website. However, if you are new to online marketing, it may seem impossible to get people (and Google) notice you. It is very frustrating that you have put in a lot of work and effort, but you write for a ghost town and you don’t know why people don’t visit your website.
In this post I am focussing on the basics, and show you a few tricks to get more traffic with some simple adjustments;
- Part 1: 7 Reasons Why People Don’t Visit Your Website (this post)
- Part 2: 7 Proven Ways to Get More Visitors to Your Website. (click here)
If you already have a website with 100s of articles, don’t worry, you’ll see how easy it is to turn your website around.
If you are just starting out…well, keep up the good work and I hope you will find this article useful.
What Is Good Website Traffic?
First of all, what is considered a good website traffic? Well, it all depends on your niche, and if you’d like to monetise your website or not.
I suppose you do, so in general the first milepost you should hit is 10,000 clicks a month. Why 10,000? It can be less, it can be more, but as an average, 10,000 visitors are the minimum before you can expect some decent money coming in either from paid advertising (e.g. Google AdSense) or through your affiliate links.
You can start monetising well before having 10k visitors a month but be careful. If you come off too salesy, people might avoid your site, or Google might consider you spammy and ‘punish’ your website (later on that)
How Long Does It Take to Get Good Organic Traffic?
Again, on average, it takes 35 weeks for Google to trust your website, and drive traffic towards it. They say that it takes 35 weeks for a post to reach 90% of its potential. So if you have made a website, and then abandoned it 3 months later, there is a good chance that it ‘suddenly’ starts to see the traffic growing exponentially another 6 months later.
In fact, most people who think ‘this does not work’ and abandon or even worse, delete their website after putting in a lot of work, may never come to see how good a website they had built. Simply because they are not patient enough…
In a more competitive niche it can take even longer to finally see the fruition of your work.
Why People Don’t Visit Your Website?
But let’s presume you have put in the work. You have been building your website for a year now, and no sign of significant amount of traffic coming your way.
There can be quite a few reasons for that, but I’d highlight 7 of the most common ones.
1. Not Enough Content – Quantity
You need roughly around 50 articles, averaging around 1800 words each. That’s 90,000 words, which is practically a novel.
I know it sounds terrifying, but building up an online passive income (or whatever the reason you have started your website) takes time and effort.
On the other hand, if you can write only 1 post a day, you will have close to 50 articles posted within 2 months. That sounds much more doable, right? You can do it slower, but consistency is key.
Why you need 50 articles (or so?). Firstly, you need this critical amount internal links, size, authority. It shows Google that you are likely to stay, that you produce content consistently. 9 out of 10 bloggers quit within the first 3 months, so if you keep on creating content you are already ahead of your competition.
If you don’t have enough content, people who occasionally visit your website will just turn back and run another search, instead of staying on your website. This sends a signal to Google that this website is not ready to handle larger number of visitors. So it affects your ranking this way.
2. Content is not good enough – Quality
Another reason people don’t stay is if they don’t find what they are looking for.
Analyse your competition, see who ranks #1 in Google. Read that post and write a better one! If that post is 3000 words long, you should write 4000 words! This is called the skyscraper technique, and I have found it very effective. (Actually, if you happen to click this link to backlinko, have a look around and see how good the content is.)
Don’t copy, use your own words and your own unique perspective!
Use images, media, videos if you can, that affects Google ranking too.
Improve readability! Try using shorter sentences, active tense (rather than passive) and create paragraphs shorter than 5-8 sentences! Readability is one of the most underrated SEO factor, yet, if people find your content hard to read or understand, they won’t stay. Even the best, most valuable content can stay unnoticed if it is difficult to read.
This includes optimisation for mobile screens too, so be careful where you insert images within your post.
Watch your Content Mix! Start building up the content of your website with shorter ‘Answer posts’ that rank easier. Once Google trusts your site you can try ranking for more competitive keywords!
3. Poor keyword use
There are some simple rules you must follow when writing your content around a specific keyword. The thing with keywords is that the more is not the better. If you overstuff your post with keywords, Google will think that you are spammy (again…) and won’t show your website to people.
If you’d like to know more about how to write content that ranks, you may find my post on this topic useful (link here).
You can also check out this video on how to find keywords within your niche that you can target with your posts. Kyle, founder of one of the biggest affiliate marketer community explains it in this free training video (link here, opens in new window).
4. Poor Click-through Rate
Another often forgotten element of traffic is the Click-through Rate aka CTR. So even if you have done everything right, you are ranking high in Google and get tens of thousands of impressions a month, your traffic can remain relatively low.
One reason for this is that people don’t find your title and meta description appealing enough, so they don’t click on it even if they see it on the SERP.
This will affect your ranking over time, so you better be keeping an eye on your CTR through Google Search Console, and also search your own keywords!
You will be surprised that Google often replaces your meta description with something it thinks that fits better…Well, most of the cases it does not, but regardless. You must go back and try to improve you meta description to ensure that it stays the same in the search results.
Another reason is the Title of your post. Of course, it must be catchy, but don’t make it too catchy.
I have found that people actually would like to know what they click on. Lesser the surprise factor, more likely people (who are actually interested) will click through.
5. Technical issues – site speed, large pictures, security, broken links
Often overlooked how important site speed and security are from an SEO point of view. Google wants to give the best user experience so sites that are often off-line, or slow to load, or have many coding errors won’t ever rank high.
The easiest way to check your site speed is by Google’s site speed checker, called PageSpeed Insights. It also tells you where, and how you can improve your site speed. (https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/)
If there is one thing you can start doing straight away is to ensure that you don’t have too large images on your website.
No matter how small you make your pictures in the WordPress editor, when the page loads, it downloads the whole picture. A stock photo, or a normal image taken with a smartphone is at least 3.5 Megabytes or more. If you have 4-5 of them in your post, that can increase the speed of loading in dramatically.
In terms of hosting, and speed of the server, there is not a lot you can do. You can upgrade to a Virtual Server or Private Hosting, however if your website has not seen a lot of visitors yet, this does not make a lot of sense yet.
As for reliability, cheap hosting is often cheap for a reason. What you need at this point in time is a reliable yet cheap hosting service. Transferring your site from one provider to another is not difficult, so you don’t have much to lose.
6. Black Hat SEO
I must admit I do not know a lot about ‘Black Hat’ SEO techniques, ‘cause I have never needed them. But know this: Google is not stupid now and getting smarter every day. If Google catches you trying to game the algorithm, it will punish you and you will never have a chance to get off the blacklist.
There is just no point ‘buying organic traffic’ or ‘buying backlinks’. They will make more harm than use to your website.
7. Monetising too early, coming across spammy
You must be careful stuffing you website with ads too early. Google deems affiliate links as ads, so you must earn Google’s trust and build up your traffic first. What you ‘lose’ in revenue are peanuts anyways compared to the potential you could earn if Google trusted your site and you had tons of traffic.
It is the same with popups, so you must be smart with your opt-in pages if you decide that you need them on your website early on.
There may be many reasons why people don’t visit your website. As you can see, there are plenty of ways you can improve your website, some of them are an afternoon job.
In some cases though, you seriously need to think about turning your website around from bottom up, that may even include moving your website to another host. That’s not a difficult thing to do and it can dramatically increase how much Google trusts your website.
Although content is king, as a minimum, you DO NEED to do basic SEO and keyword research to have the best chance of ranking on Google;
- Research your niche (to know what your audience searches for)
- Research your competition (who else ranks for those keywords)
- Optimise your content for search engines (SEO)
Now that you hopefully have a grasp of why your website might not get as much organic traffic as you want. In PART 2, I tell you how you can fix these issues easily and get more visitors to your website.
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