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Why Is My Website Not Getting Any Traffic?

Posted by Jeffrey Cohen on Thu, Aug 13, 2015 @ 02:35 PM
No-Website-TrafficSales have going steady for awhile, and then, out of the blue, Kapow! Your traffic appears to be disappearing before your very eyes. The keyword here is appears. Although your traffic may in fact be down, when you take the time to look at ALL of the factors that impact Web traffic, the cause of the decline in visits may be caused by a holiday weekend, a seasonal (and yes, sadly repeatable) issue, or some other detail that has very little to do with you or your Website.

So you may still be asking, "Why is my Website not getting any traffic"?

Well, in an attempt to analyze your Web traffic like a champ, here’s a handy guide:

Let's Start With The Obvious

1). Are you looking at the correct analytics data set? Frequently, people have more than one Analytics account, and it’s pretty easy to be looking ta the wrong one. A quick check of the UA number in the site vs. the analytics data set can stop you from wasting a lot of precious time.

2). What filters are in place? A lot of analytics tool sets (Google Analytics is notorious for this…) have too many ways to look at your data. This means, you could be inadvertently filtering out something in a specific graph or account level. Worse, you could be focused in on just a segment of the data. Make sure you are looking at the whole picture.

3). It’s all relative, man. A common mistake is to compare too short a period of data (like a single month) to other insignificant data. This can cause you to over react if you don’ t take into account that you may have just had a great month for example. Or this month started off with a long holiday weekend. Or a seasonal trend is out of whack because the nice weather is a couple of weeks late in arriving. The answer? Track a broader range of data. Compare a longer time slice to the same slice last year. You may not have an actual drop on your hands, but the end of a spike or the same annual trend that you always experience.

Did Your Traffic Completely Disappear?

Maybe your traffic is gone. Maybe there are gaps. Here are a few reasons this can occur.

1). Did your domain expire? It’s a little bill, usually under $50 per year, but it’s surprising how often it gets overlooked. No domain name = no traffic!

2). A DNS issue? Was your site being moved to a new server? A new Blogging Platform? A new IP Address? I don’t expect mere mortals and owners of Web sites to understand DNS, (many great programmers don’t even understand it all..!) but simply put, there are a bunch of technical things related to domain names and IP addresses that happen behind the scenes…and if something goes wrong (and in a lot of cases…even when it goes right) your analytics may not be tracking properly for a bit. This MAY not mean the site was down or that it wasn’t getting traffic, just that the traffic wasn’t being tracked by your analytics tool set properly.

3). Did you just make your site secure? Google like to give a tiny bump to sites that incorporate the HTTPS standard. If you switched to the HTTPS protocol, be careful! It’s possible to mess some things up which will reflect poorly in your analytics.

4). Did you update your Website? Sometimes, we programmers can make mistakes, too. Yeah, there it is, I said it. Your programmer may have goofed and accidentally removed the analytics tracking code, or used the wrong code altogether. Again, this doesn’t mean the site was not getting traffic, it just means until the error was caught, it wasn’t tracking properly.

Factors You May Not Have Control Over

1. Simply put, was there an outage of some sort? ISPs and Web Hosting companies have outages all of the time. Usually, they are resolved quickly, and a single outage issue is not likely to cause a real issue with your traffic, but an outage can be a factor and may have contributed to lower than normal traffic patterns.

2. A single traffic source disappears. Have you identified where your normal traffic is coming from? A sharp decline in traffic can often be attributed to a single traffic source that is suddenly not producing traffic for you any longer. If a lot of web traffic was coming from a directory that is no longer online, for example, your traffic is going to drop. The same thing goes for high ranked SEO keywords. Did you just get outranked? Has one of your competitors suddenly outranked you and now the keyword that was generating traffic for you is no longer producing? 3. Infected with malware or hacked. Google frowns heavily on sites that have been hacked or are infected with malware. If you think this might be the case, then have your Web developer take a look and find out if anything nefarious is running in the background.

4. Black Hat Techniques. Ummm….yeah. A black hat technique is defined as “The use of aggressive SEO strategies, techniques, and tactics that focus only on search engines and not a human audience, and usually do not obey search engine guidelines." The paradox here, of course, is that they work. At least in the short term. So there is a highly attractive side to using them. However, most search engines, and let’s face it, "most search" engines means Google, frown heavily on black hat techniques, and will penalized the living daylights out of your site if they suspect you are trying to play with their algorithm. So, if you were getting GREAT results and you suddenly can’t be found anywhere, it may be that your Developer or SEO company was cheating and got caught. Oh, and good luck trying to get re-indexed. Ouch.

5. Change in the almighty Google Algorithm. It’s possible that after you have looked at everything else, nothing jumps out at you, and you still can’t find an issue. It may just be that Google has decided to just change their algorithm. If all of your keywords seem to be slipping down, you may need help from an expert. Algorithm changes are typically released gradually, and can have different effects on different Websites, based on how the Website may have been created.

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