Years ago websites were a completely different thing. There was a time when there was no such thing as smart phones or social media. If you have some time take a look at Oddcities. You can relive the old geocities site days where there was no complexity, everything was generally very unappealing visually and you could “trick” Google into ranking you in a top spot. Now, you are competing with millions upon millions of other sites and search engines are smarter. You spent time, effort and money building your website, so why is it that you have no traffic?
1. Your site doesn’t have any SEO (or it’s bad)
You probably get these emails too:
There’s a reason why they do this (besides annoying you). Real Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a process but as with many other things in life you can do it the shady way. Purely Branded has a good article about shady SEO. Besides being shady, if you never start the process or you don’t know the process, then you’ll end up nowhere but at the bottom of Google. Getting to the top of a search listing involves many variables but SEO is one that’s important. Essentially you link words or phrases (called broad match or long tail depending on length) to your website so that search engines know what you are about. These are called meta tags. You can imagine that since there are millions of sites with keywords, just having a keyword doesn’t magically help you move up in the searches. Instead, becoming specific with the words/phrases being used to make sure that they are specific to you creates a good foundation.
In addition SEO involves making sure that your site has content that search engines can match to your meta tags. If all you have is an “about us” section, then there’s not much to go on. The amount of content (relevant, authoritative content) is actually more important than the keywords. A recent study by SEMrush was done ranking SEO/SEM factors. It’s an incredible study that is full of valuable info that you can find here. Essentially it says that the top SEO ranking factors are traffic, cross links, content and then keywords.
2. Your site isn’t mobile friendly
Are you reading this blog on your phone? Probably. So are the majority of people who are on the web now. A couple of years ago Google started penalizing sites that aren’t mobile friendly. Here is Google’s page detailing why, along with some tips. In addition, Google now says that it will be soon penalizing sites with slow mobile load speeds. Your site speed can be tested with Google’s Pagespeed Tool. If you run the test and it looks like this: then Google is automatically ranking your site lower than it could be. Flashy animations and effects that look good on the desktop version of your site can be an attention grabber, but realize that almost none of these can translate to a much less powerful mobile device.
3. Your site isn’t linked to anything else
Unless your business is something really unique, you are going to be fighting for attention with everyone else. On average adults spend 20 hours a week on mobile devices. That is a lot of consumption of media. We have become accustomed to only looking at what looks interesting. Everything else just becomes a blurry background. Without a way to prove that you are worth a look, your website becomes a quiet empty spot on the internet. This is where networking and customer relationships really help. Almost certainly everyone looks up reviews before deciding to make a purchase. These reviews are massively important as they can quickly enhance or destroy your credibility. Social media, other sites mentioning you, blog mentions, influencer vouching and testimonials are all great ways to generate cross links. This network will work in a dual way; first to prove your legitimacy and second to drive traffic to your site.
4. Your site isn’t relevant
Companies that are more successful have a lot to say. They have a fresh and relevant perspective, even if it is controversial. Fresh content from you is critical. This is why social media is so effective. Still, you need a place to educate and promlem solve for your client audience. Blogs are still the best way to do this. Many business owners don’t like to blog because it’s time consuming, you run out of content and after just days or weeks it seems like there is no benefit. Building a blog should be considered an investment in your business; a way for people who don’t know you to find you. Blogs aren’t a place for you to talk about yourself or your business. Instead, blog “secrets” or things that will interest your clients. Then once they trust your knowledge, they will begin to trust you.
Our client Brackney Law is a great example of a business that counters all the 4 reasons above. Their site has great SEO targeting the local area, is responsive, has great internal content and a blog with authoritative, relevant content. Started just a couple years ago, Brackney Law now ranks #1 in Google for broad match terms. Success! (note that the first 2 results will always be paid AdWords listings)