We often blog about SEO here and about how to get traffic to your website. That's often a big hurdle to jump over. But what about if there is traffic but no sales?
You might start to wonder what's going on when you look at your website statistics and wonder why you see traffic but the phone isn't ringing or you're not getting any sales on your website. There is a wide variety of things that could be going on. I'll try to cover some of them here.
Content is definitely king, right? People are generally searching for something when they are on the web. They start at Google and want to find a result. Quality content that answers their questions will rise to the top of the search results organically (a topic for another post maybe). Well, that's Google's goal anyway. When a search engine spider makes it to your site and crawls content, it's not looking at the design. It doesn't read text embedded in images or doesn't even rate the design of the site at all. It just reads text. So what if, when people get there after Google tells them it's a great result, they find that the page is ugly or looks too hard to read? They bounce right off the site usually or the bounce rate could be very high.
It's not only the graphics part of a website that is design. Layout of text is hugely important. The text on a page must be scannable. People are looking for something, so help them find the answer.
The use of heading text, bold text, bullet points and even paragraph length all goes into making a page's text scannable or not. They might not want to read your first few points but might find that your third or fourth point on a page is what they're looking for. Make sure it's easy to find.
And, yes, if the website design is ugly or out of date, then that could very well affect the bounce rate as well. Time for a new design?
This one's interesting and a very simple point. If you say too much on your website, then why would someone have to pick up the phone to call you. This is especially important if you're selling services.
If you have good sales people or you're good at talking to people, then you don't want your website to tell the whole story. Hold some of it back so that there's a reason for them to pick up their phone and call. Phone use is on a decline, I've heard. People are texting more now. Getting on the phone is almost seen as inconvenient now in our society and that makes getting them to call you an even tougher task but you have to do it.
We can show you how - just give us a call (see?).
Ok, I can't help but talk about SEO and improving rankings for a minute here but I have a point...
Strange things can happen on the web. That's for sure. Sometimes you'll get a dip in traffic and you have no idea why it happened. That's just life. It could be many things.
We've had a few clients that have watched their stats like a hawk. Nothing would change on the website for a day or two and then they would get a few less calls in a morning and they would instantly blame it on the website and give us a call to find out why. It was difficult to give them a satisfactory reason why anything happened because that's not how it always works.
What you have to realize when watching your stats is that "stuff happens." One time, that client called and I had to remind them that there was a huge power outage on the East Coast of the United States, which is where a good amount of their customers were. With no power, there's no Internet. Things going on in the world will affect Internet usage. Is there a big event on TV? Was there a natural disaster? Is a certain part of the country getting hit with snow or floods?
Also, what is your competition doing? Maybe they have been ramping up their Internet marketing efforts or got a news story on Google News about their new product or something.
Maybe your traffic goes up for seemingly no reason. If that happens and there are still no more calls or sales, then why? Maybe it's not the right traffic. That's a typical reason.
I've seen lots of site get traffic for Google Images. You don't want that traffic. That's just people stealing images off of your website. I even saw an Internet marketing article a day or two ago saying that you can increase traffic by using Google Images. What? Why in the world would you want that traffic unless you're selling images on your website?
More typically, the wrong keywords are being targetted on a page. People are finding a page on your website with a certain keyword but it's for the wrong thing or doesn't relate to what you do. Maybe something was posted on accident or it's just one of those situations where there's a disconnect. That can be fixed but you first have to diagnose this problem correctly.
Maybe one of your competitors fell off the map. Maybe they closed down or Google penalized them for some reason. These kinds of reasons could also cause your traffic to increase. That's good but if you're not seeing any more results, then that's a problem - sort of. Iit's a good problem to have. You can at least work on a fix and convert that traffic. That's where Webstix can come in and help.
To get even more technical about what can go wrong with traffic, bounces and SEO, here's a good article:
Agency SEO Pain Relief (searchenginewatch.com)
We’ve all been here several times, scratched our heads, and sometimes even banged it against a wall, resulting in more than a few headaches trying to find out why tried-and-true SEO methods aren’t working. Despite this self-inflicted mental abuse, most of these dips aren’t the fault of the SEO. These are in fact caused by several different factors which the most frequently seen are listed below.
The first part to finding out where there's traffic but no sales is to do some research and investigation. If there clearly is a trend, then this should be done. If, one morning, for some reason, calls are down, then just be patient until there's a trend forming. The thing about search engine optimization and websites (along with business in general) is that the work you do today might not take effect for a few weeks - although some of it could have affects in the next few days. It's not like in school where you hand in an assignment and instantly get a grade on it. Business and life and SEO don't work like that. To say that "A" causes" B" is often is misstep and includes too much assumption. It's too emotional instead of based in true facts (logical). If you do make changes based on emotion, then you're basing your movements on the wrong information in most cases and you could not end up where you want.
The world of web analytics and statistics can be pretty confusing. I mean, the great thing about the web is that almost everything can be tracked but you end up with a lot of data. Sorting through it to find out the reasons can be tricky but worth it.
Since changes you do today take effect in a few weeks, it's better to find things out earlier than later. Your competition is probably figuring things out today, which means they'll be ahead of you in a few weeks. What are you doing?