Declining Web Site Traffic?!
September 21st, 2009 by
I have most recently become a fan of “ProBlogger”, Darren Rowse. His website problogger.net contains rich insight and useful tips that can be used by both a blogger newbie up to a more seasoned one. I have found that his suggestions transcend to Internet Marketing and are easily applied to one of our favorite topics – increasing site traffic.
We always want our clients to have a steady increase in website traffic, the reality is that there will be occasions when a dip may occur. A recent post published by Rowse offers explanations and suggestions to better understand declines in blog, or in our case, website traffic, 6 Reasons Your Blog Traffic Might Be Declining [And What to Do About It].
I found this post especially helpful as I am always monitoring my Client’s website traffic and I don’t ever like seeing lulls occur. So instead of fretting when I see a dip I can use this post as a check off list. There will be certain factors that we can take control of and improve to boost traffic and others that will just have to run their course before we can once again increase site traffic.
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Small business owners take note of reason #1 – Seasonal Traffic Trends.
Most local businesses have seasonal trends in demand for their products or services. The goal then is to increase your share of the available traffic with each successive peak season. But in your second year of a good web marketing campaign, after you’ve seen the big benefits, don’t forget that it will again die down.
I have a client that got a little too caught up in the growth he saw this year. Happy with last years too, my first year working with them, but was ecstatic with this years growth. Even in the depths of a recession, that had them deeply worried before their main season began, they ended up seeing record sales numbers this summer. Having geared up and hired more staff he decided to up his PPC budget by 50%, just as his main season was coming to an end. Increasing bids, adding new campaigns, ads, keywords and landing pages simply could not fight the fact that the general public was no longer in buying mode. Instead of increasing the PPC spend by 50% it declined by 25% instead. Business is still up over the same period last year but the summer peak was just not sustainable. After a couple months of spinning my wheels trying to get more out of PPC traffic I had to tell the client we we’re wasting effort, and his money, fighting a loosing battle and instead should be switching focus back towards SEO and Maps in preparation for next spring. Took some convincing but he later saw the logic.
Another client I’ve been with for 3 years saw big increases the first two summer seasons for their services. For year 3 traffic growth was not as big as we already have top rankings for most their relevant keywords. Not much room left to improve. Instead we focused on increasing conversion rates. With only a 10% increase in traffic we saw a near 100% increase in leads this year. Not too shabby.
The lesson here is that there are limits, especially at the local level where your market is constrained by your population base. Doubling traffic and business from your website cannot continue year after year, indefinitely. It’s also important to realize when to shift tactics and resources accordingly. Once you reach market leader status it’s not so much about increasing traffic, it then becomes about maintaining your leadership position.
Thanks for the insight from your client base. We’ve got a great example right now of a market leader who is taking the back-to-school season (a slow time) a little too personally.
Ultimately we have to bring them back to what’s important – leads, sales and revenue – with an historical perspective.
Thanks for taking the time to comment.
Yes, Back to School is a big one for many local businesses. For a few weeks in September and into October the household dynamic changes drasticly for those with kids. The landscaper, air conditioning guy, or even plastic surgeon, are the last things on many peoples minds during that time.
After your first year of collecting traffic data you may not identify a reason for certain ups and downs but when they repeat again the next year you can then identify what the seasonal trigger is. Then get prepared for a mini traffic surge as these things sometimes create a pent up demand for things people know they need or want but have been putting off for a few weeks. Major holidays and long weekends sometimes have that effect too.
thanks mate.! Thanks for the share.! Problogger has real substance.!!