Web Analytics

Is Your Website’s Traffic Trending Down? Here’s Why.

by Jason Unger, Founder
cars in traffic

Your website has a purpose.

It exists to achieve a goal – to increase donations, to sell products, to generate leads, to disseminate information – and every metric that you track should be in service of that goal. Remember: only track the stats that matter.

If you’re seeing the number of quality people coming to your site trending down, that means the number of opportunities you have to convert a user to your goal is going down as well.

It’s not always obvious why your website’s traffic might be going in the wrong direction, but here are a few reasons why.

Your Digital Marketing Isn’t Working

Every organization and every business has a story, and your digital marketing exists to connect that story to your community.

Whether it’s email marketing or social media marketing (or even offline marketing), if you’re telling the wrong story – or telling a story that your community doesn’t care about – then you’re failing.

Out of all of the potential reasons your website’s traffic is down, this, unfortunately, is usually the toughest to determine. For every Apple iPad commercial immediately criticized by its target audience, there’s countless campaigns, stories, and ad buys that receive absolutely no feedback – and still don’t perform as expected.

If you’re seeing a drop in your website traffic, go back and investigate when it started and try to map that to any changes in your digital marketing strategy. You’ll need to be smart and thoughtful to discover any correlation or causation between when your traffic started trending in the wrong direction and the marketing you were running at the time.

Did you update your brand? Did you start sending fewer (or more!) emails per week? Did you focus on growing one area of your business at the expense of another?

There aren’t a lot of technical ways to fix this – your storytelling comes from your heart and needs a creative spark to connect with your community, and sometimes marketing misses when you think it should hit.

You can, however, get smarter about testing your messaging. Use A/B testing for your emails to see which messages click. Adjust your paid social media marketing to different segments of your audience or test different ads and see which get you results.

The more information you can gather, the more likely you can create digital marketing that works.

External Factors are Affecting Interest

If your organization solicits donations, then you know exactly how the calendar affects what you do.

You can’t control that most people make their donations in the last 6 weeks of the year, and that January is often a barren month. That schedule is built in to your expectations, and you know you’ll see a drop-off in traffic.

External factors usually affect more than just your website’s traffic – they normally affect your entire organization – so it’s not something that you, the marketing decision-maker, are dealing with alone.

At the beginning of the pandemic, how many businesses shifted their products or services to ensure they were providing value at that unique time in history? You can’t control most external factors, but you can control how you prepare for and react to them.

While the seasons of the calendar are easy to prepare for, and a worldwide pandemic is an obvious event you need to react to, sometimes the external factors aren’t as apparent. Perhaps donations aren’t as high this year because your community is feeling the pinch of inflation. Perhaps your buyers already have a working model, and don’t need the latest and greatest product you sell.

Some of that can be handled with an adjusted story for your digital marketing, but it requires recognizing that it’s not always about you – sometimes it’s about someone else.

Getting to know your customers through the use of personas can go a long way to figuring out what external factors are affecting them, and how you can react accordingly.

You Have Technical Issues with Your Site

While your website’s technical issues can sometimes be cumbersome to overcome, they’re often the area where you have the most control and can make the quickest adjustments.

There doesn’t need to be a secret sauce to ensure that your website performs well – there are clear guidelines on how to build and maintain a website that is helpful to your users and follows all of the best practices for search engine optimization.

These technical fundamentals – along with useful content – will go a long way to helping your website climb in search engine results. There’s never a guarantee with Google about how and where you’ll end up in search results, but there are clear guidelines and recommendations that they make available to ensure you’re “doing SEO” correctly.

(Not sure if your site has technical issues? Use these tools to test your website for common problems.)

Need someone to come in and assess why your website’s traffic is down? Reach out and let’s schedule a time to chat.

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About Jason Unger

Jason Unger is the Founder of Digital Ink. He built his first website on Geocities, and hasn't looked back since. Digital Ink tells stories for forward-thinking businesses, mission-driven organizations, and marketing and technology agencies in need of a creative and digital partner.

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