Building a successful website obviously involves attracting visitors to the site. There are any number of ways to draw visitors to your site, but if you’re not having success it’s important to know what is causing the problems. Here we’ll take a look at 9 common reasons that websites aren’t getting visitors, as well as what can be done to correct the issue.
1 – Poorly Optimized
The leading traffic source for most websites is search engines, particularly Google. In order to maximize the quantity and quality of visitors a site receives, it should be built to be search engine-friendly. A poorly constructed site can cripple its chances of getting visitors from search engines, while a well-constructed site can reach targeted visitors every day by earning high rankings in the SERPs.
SEO of course goes far beyond simple on-page optimization, but without that foundation other efforts, such as link building will be a waste of time. A spider simulator can help you to find issues that may cause problems for search engines as they crawl your site. If you’re not familiar with basic on-page SEO, see The Web Developers SEO Cheat Sheet.
2 – Targeting the Wrong Keywords
In order to maximize search engine traffic your site should be targeting specific keywords and phrases. Ideally you’ll find words and phrases that have a high search volume and low competition. Of course this is easier said than done, but some solid keyword research can really help to boost your effectiveness with search engines. For more information and resources see 30 Keyword Tools to Use for Your Website.
3 – No Inbound Links
Link building is a key to gaining traffic from click-throughs and from search engines. Because search engines use the number and quality of inbound links in their determination of the search rankings, link building should be a priority for every website owner.
Building links is a huge topic that could warrant a number of blog posts, but if you’re looking for more information see Andy Hagan’s Ultimate Guide to Linkbaiting and SMM.
4 – Lack of Content
Very small websites with only a few pages and very little content will have a difficult time drawing significant traffic through search engines, and it will also give other website owners and bloggers less of a reason to link to them. Because content is so valuable for drawing traffic, blogs are a great addition to just about any website. The content published through the blog will add up over a period of time and should continually lead to increased traffic.
5 – Visitors Have No Reason to Keep Coming Back
One of the keys to increasing overall traffic numbers is to get more of your visitors to come back on a regular basis. In order to achieve this you’ll need to give visitors a reason to keep coming back. In many cases this is done with new content being added. Other methods may include a game, poll, video, user interaction, etc.
Think about your site from the perspective of a first-time visitor. Is there anything that would make you want to bookmark the site in order to find it in the future? Blogs are also great for this purpose as a blog with a decent subscriber base should always be receiving some repeat traffic.
6 – Not Updated Frequently
Part of giving visitors a reason to come back is updated the site on a consistent and frequent basis. Simply having a lot of content may not be enough. I think we’ve all been to websites that haven’t been updated in 5 years, and that kills any chance of getting repeat traffic.
7 – No Audience/Very Small Niche
If you’ve read anything about building a successful and profitable website you’ve probably heard that you should target a smaller, less competitive niche to avoid competition with larger websites with more resources. While this is true to some extent, you also need to be careful that you don’t choose a niche that is too narrow. If there are only 100 people in the world that are actively searching for what you’re providing, it will be almost impossible to ever get any type of significant and targeted traffic.
8 – No Marketing Plan
Every website owner that wants to create a profitable site needs to have some type of plan for promoting the site. This can be an informal plan or it can be a very detailed plan that covers all aspects of marketing. Each website owner will have different needs here, but the important thing is that you have some kind of plan. Don’t simply rely in creating a great site and having visitors just find you on their own.
9 – Visitors Can’t Remember Your Domain Name
As your site is around for a while longer, hopefully direct traffic will increase as some of your visitors will begin to arrive at your site by simply typing your URL into their browser. In order to benefit from this, you’ll need to have a domain that they can remember. For help with choosing a domain, see The 7 Characteristics of Good Domain Names.
What’s Your Opinion?
What issues do you see causing you the most difficulty? Are there others that you feel should be added to this list?