You feel as if you’ve done everything right, but your website traffic numbers say otherwise.
Clearly, there’s something wrong.
The Ultimate Guide to Blogging for Small Business
Maybe you’re just a tweak or two away from opening the floodgates?
But the question remains… what is the reason behind your traffic-poor website?
Fortunately for you, you’ve come to the right place. In this post, we’ll show you legitimate possibilities why your website isn’t performing and how to fix them.
Let’s get started.
Here are eight reasons why your traffic isn’t growing.
1. Your SEO game is weak
Google is the best source of free traffic. But getting your content within the top 10 results is a tough task. Only the best of the best manage to be featured up there.
That means your content needs to be top notch. That’s the start.
But there are several other factors at play, including setting up an XML sitemap, installing an SEO plugin, optimizing your content for keyword search terms, and more.
Without all these, your chances at ranking high in search engines are slim. Just missing one important factor can result in very low rankings.
Here’s the fix
Using WordPress SEO is a multi-step process that can be difficult at first. But with a little practice, it can become second nature.
- Install and configure Yoast SEO
Yoast SEO is probably the best WordPress SEO plugin. It’s easy to use and it gets the job done. To get started, install the plugin and use the configuration wizard to help you with the setup.
If you need more help, WP Beginner’s got an easy-to-follow guide.
- Install Google Analytics, Search Console and an XML Sitemap
Everybody knows Google Analytics, Search Console and an XML sitemap are essential.
Google Analytics allows you to keep track of your site’s overall traffic. It’s also used to confirm your website with the Search Console.
The Search Console allows you to keep track of your search presence. And XML sitemaps provide a way for Google’s bots to read your site.
- Use Yoast’s On Page SEO feature to help you optimize your content
This is a neat feature that keeps your on page optimization on par.
First, it starts by asking you for your target keyword.
Then it analyzes your page and shows you how well you’ve optimized it around your keyword.
Green = good. Orange = OK. Red = bad.
Advanced SEO tool – SEMrush
Want to take your SEO-game to a whole new level?
Think about getting an affordable (but agency-level powerful) tool like SEMrush. The SEMrush SEO toolkit is the best in the world. It not only helps analyze your site for technical issues but it also helps you plan ahead with keyword research, competitor analysis, and way more.
Here are some other handy resources on this subject: 13 Super-Easy Ways to Immediately Improve Your SEO Rankings and 10 Things You Should Do Right Now to Improve SEO on Your Blog
2. Your backlink profile is whack
Backlinks play a key role in your search rankings.
Most pages that rank in the top three or so usually have high-quality links directing browsers to them. At the very least, their domain has heaps of authority, meaning that their link profile consists of dozens and dozens of backlinks from their industry’s best.
If you haven’t tried any link building in the past, chances are you don’t have many backlinks.
And if this is the case, that’s likely the #1 reason why you’re not getting any traffic from Google.
Here’s the fix
The best way to get started is by blog commenting. Most blogs give out no-follow links to their commenters.
No-follow links don’t really carry much link juice, which means they rarely help with your search rankings. But that doesn’t matter…
The best link profiles have a good mixture of no-follow and do-follow links.
To perfect your blog commenting technique, here are a few simple steps.
- Go to one of your niche’s top blogs.
- Pick a blog article you’re interested in and read it in full.
- Scroll to the comments section, fill out the form and leave a quality comment.
- Rinse and repeat.
But as I said… blog comment links aren’t exactly going to get you #1 rankings. You need to do better than that.
To build do-follow links, one of the best techniques is to write a guest post. Most blogs allow guest authors a link or two. Usually, one within the content and another in your author bio.
Here’s an example from one of my first guest posts. It’s from a site called Successful Blogging.
See the in-content link?
There are more in my author bio link.
Another link building strategy I’d recommend is using resource pages.
Resource pages are basically link pages. They usually have dozens of links pointing to high-quality content.
I’ve built several quality links using this method myself. Including this one from Page One Power.
Here is some further reading I think you’ll find useful:
- The Ultimate Guest Blogging Guide
- Resource Page Link Building: The Definitive Guide
- Link Building Strategies: The Complete List
3. Your target keywords are out of your league
We all know keywords are incredibly important to search engine rankings.
However, the more times a keyword gets entered into a Google search, the more likely it becomes targeted by the very best writing in an industry. Which means it becomes 100 times harder to beat your competitors for a spot in the top 10.
Even if your content is the best, there’s no guarantee you’ll be able to achieve high rankings… the SERPs are unfair like that. They usually give the top rankings to authority websites such as Amazon, Entrepreneur and WebMD.
So if you’re targeting keywords like how to quit smoking, chances are you’ll probably never get a top 10 ranking.
Here’s the fix
You can choose to either gain authority, or target long-tail keywords.
If you want to build an authority website, you’ll need to work very hard and be very patient. Becoming an authority isn’t easy. It can take months or even years.
The type of work you’d have to do includes guest blogging, interviews, massive link building, and creating 10x content.
On the flipside, if you target long-tail keywords, which are search terms containing more than 4-5 words and are highly specific, you will have a much higher chance at driving search traffic.
I’d recommend mixing both of the two options together… target the long-tail, and while you’re at it, do everything you can to grow your authority.
For example, every time you create a blog post, make sure it’s 10x better than your competitors’.
Also, consider setting up some guest posts on your niche’s top blogs. To start, I’d suggest one guest post per month (maybe even per week).
Here’s a great post on How to Generate 20,000 Monthly Visitors Through Long-Tail Search by Neil Patel and another one on 25 Ways To Build Online Authority by Vinny La Barbera.
4. Your content isn’t worthy
Your content is the primary reason why people come to visit your blog.
If you’re only pumping out mediocre blog posts, no one will want to stop by for a read. No matter how great your marketing tactics are, if your content sucks, so will your traffic flow.
Even if you pay for your traffic… no one will stay past a hot minute.
Driving traffic is one thing. Getting them to stay, is another. And doing it on a consistent basis, that’s the million-dollar question.
Here’s the fix
It all starts with high-quality content that’ll make your readers stop and say, “I never thought of it like that before!”
Know what I’m saying?
You should be trying to write incredibly high-quality posts that are optimized for the web.
Here’s a checklist for you:
- Short paragraphs
- No fluff or gobbledygook
- Use bold and italics for emphasis
- Include plenty of images/multimedia
- Include real-life data
- Back up your claims with proof, sources and links
There’s a lot that goes into creating readable (not just scannable) web content.
So find the right topics. Use keyword tools to find highly-searched phrases. Take advantage of Google’s autocomplete and related searches. Explore Quora and other online communities to find questions being asked within your niche.
If you study your target audience, you will find the right topics to write about, which will then generate more traffic.
These content hacks will tell you everything you need to know: How You Can Create Content That Generates 400,000 Targeted Visitors by OK Dork and How to Create 10 x Content: Whiteboard Friday by Moz.
5. You are spending too much time CREATING and not enough PROMOTING
We all know our blogs cannot live without high-quality content.
If you consistently create a blog post every week, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll generate a nice flow of organic traffic.
However, nothing is guaranteed in the blogging world. Especially when it comes to getting fresh eyes on your content.
Have you heard of the saying, ‘publish and pray’? I first heard it from Brian Dean of Backlinko.
Basically, it means a blogger with little to no authority who publishes blog post after blog post, without any promotion, in hopes of magically driving traffic from unknown sources.
It’s like… you hit the publish button and pray someone will read it, without even knowing how that someone will find your blog post.
But the thing is, no matter how epic your content is, if you have no brand/website authority, no one will find it in a search engine or newsfeed.
That’s why you have to aggressively promote your content.
Here’s the fix
Have you ever heard of the 80/20 rule? Well, it applies to content marketing, also. Spend 80% on promotion, 20% on creation.
But how do you promote content, I hear you ask?
Well, there’s more than one way to do it, and there’s more to it than sharing it on social media.
The best way to promote your content is with a little bit of influencer marketing.
Influencer marketing is where you leverage an industry influencer’s reach or audience to gain some exposure for yourself. Which is why it’s perfect for content promotion.
I recommend reading the following resources:
- How Lovers Get More Traffic with This Simple Influencer Marketing Strategy
- Content Promotion Strategies: 50 Ways to Drive Traffic To Your Next Article
6. Your headlines aren’t click-worthy
If your headlines are not compelling, chances are you won’t get many clicks. No matter how well you rank in search engines or how many times you show up in social media newsfeeds.
You see, headlines are the first thing internet users see before making that ultimate decision of whether or not they want to visit your site.
If their minds tell them no, it’s on you.
It doesn’t matter how awesome your blog content is. If no one clicks it, no one sees it.
Here’s the fix
Play with a bunch of headline formulas. There are tons out there. And all you have to do is fill in the blanks, basically.
One of the easiest formulas I’ve used, which is great for list posts, is this… [number] + [adjective] + [keyword] + [promise]
Here are some examples:
- 21 Effective List Building Strategies That Will Triple Your Email List
- 99 Simple Weight Loss Tips That Could Help You Shed 50 Pounds
- 57 Awesome Halloween Costume Ideas That Will Scare the Crap Out of Everybody
The formula can also be used to craft how-to headlines. But instead of adjectives, you use adverbs. Check it out…
- How to Effectively Plan a Diet That Will Help You Eat Healthier
- How to Easily Find Long-tail Keywords That Could Send You Waves of Search Traffic
- How to Magically Bake Delicious Cookies Everyone Will Love
Try it for youself. If you want more information, Neil Patel has written a great Step-by-Step Guide to Writing Powerful Headlines and Audience Bloom has an inspirational resource on 101 Title Ideas for Your Next Blog Post.
7. Your website’s user experience is horrible
If you’re not consistently getting website traffic, there’s a good chance it might be because of your website’s UX.
If your site isn’t user-friendly, no one will want to visit it. No matter how great your content is.
If you publish something your audience actually wants to read, they might not even come and read it. They’ll just go to someone else for the same information.
That’s how important your user experience is.
Here’s the fix
There’s a lot that goes into a user-friendly website.
One of the main things is the loading time. If your site takes more than three seconds to fully load, you can expect your visitors to hit the ‘back’ button.
Another thing is the mobile responsiveness. A couple years ago, Google put out an update where mobile users were the focus. If your site isn’t mobile-friendly, you likely aren’t going to rank in the mobile SERPs.
Yet another thing is that Google and internet users themselves don’t like intrusive popups. The Big G actually stated in their mobile update that it is against pop-ups that block the reader from reading content (you can read more about that here).
The last thing I want to mention here is blog design. There’s a lot that goes into a well-designed blog that’ll make your visitors visit and your readers read.
So be sure to take a look at the handy links below!
- 10 Tips That Can Drastically Improve Your Website’s User Experience
- 15 Easy Ways To Speed Up WordPress
- Make Your Website Mobile-friendly Now; 3 Ways
8. Your social media presence is practically non-existent
Social media has become a big part of traffic generation over the years. It’s not all about Google and search engines anymore.
So having some presence within your social communities can mean a lot to your traffic.
If you can grow a good following on networks like Twitter and LinkedIn, a single share/post can result in hundreds of website visitors.
And it’s not just the major social networks that matter. There are plenty of online communities out there that aren’t on sites like Facebook.
Take Reddit, for example. There are thousands of ‘sub-reddits’ that get thousands of followers.
There are also forums. For example, if you’re in the marketing space, there’s Warrior Forum. It has thousands of active members. Tens of thousands, even.
But if your social profiles look something like this…
…you won’t be able to get any social media or forum traffic.
Here’s the fix
Become part of a social media community. Be active and contribute.
Start by choosing one or two sites to begin with. For example, Facebook and Twitter.
For networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, you will need to fill out professional-style profiles to do it right.
Why? Because before I follow someone on Twitter, for instance, I usually take a quick peek at their profile. I read their bio and a few of their latest posts to see if there’s anything I can learn from them (or at the very least, to see if we share interests).
To be an active contributor to your chosen social media community, answer questions, provide exclusive tips/content, offer support, build rapport and commenting on other people’s posts.
After a while, you’ll start to gain some influence. When this happens, you will be able to start directing some of your group’s traffic to your own blog.
Here is a great article outlining 12 Proven Tactics for Rapidly Growing Your Presence on Social Media on Entrepreneur and another one on Sprout Social that will teach you 6 Ways to Immediately Boost Social Media Traffic.
Driving traffic every day isn’t just for top-performing sites like Forbes, Authority Nutrition and TechCrunch.
Sure, it can be difficult. But with some hard work, you can get in on the action too.
You just need to master how to do it, and practice makes perfect.
Follow the great points above and dive into the resources I’ve provided. I know you’ll find they work for you.
Guest Author: Julian Sakanee has been in the online marketing game for over three years. He spends most of his time ‘on the field’ finding the best marketing strategies so that he can share them with people like you. You can find him over at Blogging Aid where he publishes most of his work, or on social media: LinkedIn | Twitter | Facebook.