So, you’ve decided to get a website for your business. Smart move. Though it probably took some convincing by people around you. Left to you, getting a website was not really necessary for your business. But here you are, your business now has a website.
The people who convinced you to get a website assured you it was the best move for your business. They told you “customers would be the ones coming to you automatically”. So, you accepted to get a website for this reason – to have customers trooping in without you having to do much.
But your website has been running for a while and these promises don’t seem to be coming to past. Customers are not contacting you not to talk of patronizing you. In fact, your website is not even getting visitors. So, you’re wondering – “Why is my website not getting traffic? Did these people lie to me? Why is google not finding my website? How do I get customers to visit my website?”.
You are not alone in this predicament. Several businesses create websites with high expectations. However, their expectations may turn to disappointment within a short while when their websites don’t get the kind of traffic they expected.
It’s not enough to create a website, it takes some work to attract traffic to the site. This is especially true for new websites. The older your site becomes the lesser you’d have to stress about this.
So, you want to know why customers are not visiting your website right? Here are 7 possible reasons:
Your Website is New
This is the first possible reason why customers can’t find you. If you launched your site less than 24 hours ago, then this is most likely why you can’t be found on Google. This is because, as far as the search engine is concerned, your website doesn’t exist.
There is a simple way to verify this. Go to Google and type in “site: yourwebsite.com”
If you see any result for your website, then Google knows about it. However, absence of result means Google is unaware your site exists.
To fix this, create a sitemap and submit using Google Search Console. Simply create an account on Google Search Console, go to sitemaps, enter your website URL and Submit. This would help speedup the discovery of your website by Google.
You’re Blocking Search Engine from Seeing your Website
Google allows you to prevent it from ranking some of your pages. The search engine understands that you may not want certain data on your website to be in public space. So, you’re able to prevent search engine from seeing such data.
You do this by using the “noindex” tag. This an HTML code that looks like: <meta name =”robots” content=”noindex”/>.
Any page with that code snippet won’t be indexed by Google (even if the sitemap is submitted on Google search console).
But you didn’t add that to any of your pages, did you? Well, that does not mean it may not be there. For instance, checking the wrong box when setting up a WordPress website will automatically add the code to all the pages of your site. See below
Also, a lot of web developers use it to prevent Google from indexing a website when it’s still in the development stage and some of them forget to remove it after launch.
Google Search Console will also help you in diagnosing this about your website when you submit the sitemap. Look out for errors in the “Coverage” report generated after submitting the sitemap in Google Search Console. Go ahead to remove the tag from your page to fix this issue.
Limited High-Quality Backlinks
Think of backlink as word of mouth marketing. It’s the number of people who think your web page or content is good enough that they decided to share or reference it in their website.
It’s not enough to have backlinks; they have to be quality backlinks. Quality in the sense that the websites have contents related to yours plus it has high domain authority.
Like Canadian philosopher, Marshall McLuhan pointed out in his book (Understanding Media), “the medium is the message”. Search engine rates backlink based on the medium they are coming from.
Low-quality backlinks (or low/no backlinks) is another possible reason why your customers can’t find your website. The more quality backlinks you have; the higher your ranking on Google results and the higher the possibility of being found by your customers.
To fix this, create quality contents that people would be glad to share. Also, work on collaborating with other businesses within your niche to build backlinks.
Highly Competitive Keyword
People come online looking for specific information using keywords/phrases. Certain keywords are highly competitive and can be difficult to rank high for if you are a newcomer. Why longtail keywords are usually recommended.
The golden rule is to properly do your keyword research and go for longtail, less competitive keyword that specifically targets your customers.
Google Removed Your Website
Google has rules and violating those rules may lead to punishment from Google. Your website may be temporarily or permanently removed by Google if the site does not meet Google’s quality guidelines or other reasons.
Google removes websites in different ways such as:
- Deindexed – Complete removal of domain from Google
- Penalized – Your domain or page is still on Google but cannot be found via direct search queries. This can be done manually by a Google Quality Engineer or automatically with Google Algorithm
- Sandboxed – Your traffic from Google drops suddenly, though your page or domain wasn’t deindexed or penalized.
Google often sends a notification to site owners if any of the above happens. If this turns out to be why customers can’t find your website, try to make necessary corrections and resubmit your site for reconsideration.
You’re most likely reading this on your smartphone. Similarly, most of your customers search for you using their mobile devices. Findings reveal that 78% of location-based mobile searches lead to purchase offline.
Also, more than 50% of the world web traffic currently comes from mobile devices. So, it’s crucial your website is mobile friendly.
Google Algorithm makes mobile-friendliness a priority. So, your customers probably can’t find you because your website is not mobile-friendly.
Work on optimizing your site to be mobile-friendly and watch your traffic go up.
Another reason your customers can’t find you on Google is probably because your site is not optimized for Local SEO.
Local SEO involves the process of optimizing your website such that it’s easy for customers within close range to find you. 46% of Google search queries are done with local intent. So, when your site is not optimized Local searchers, you are most likely losing out on about 46% of your potential customers.
You can do the following to optimize for Local SEO
- Join Google My Business and Local lists
- Use location keywords in your contents
- Get local feedbacks and reviews
Doing these would further improve your visibility to your customers. Learn more about local SEO.
High Bounce Rate
Bounce rate is another Google ranking factor. The higher your bounce rate, the lower your ranking on Google.
Bounce rate basically refers to the number of visitors who leave your site after viewing just one page. The message a high bounce rate sends to Google is that your site is not good enough or not relevant to a particular query. This is what leads to low ranking on the result page.
You can do the following to reduce bounce rate
- Make your website easy to navigate
- Your call to action should be clear
- Optimize for mobile
- Quality content
Whatever you do on the internet, you should always remember these Bill Gates words – Content is King. After all is said done, don’t be surprised to find out this is the actual reason why your customers can’t find you.
Often times, people come to the internet to find answers to disturbing questions, guides, meanings and a host of others. So, when your target audience come online finding answers related to what you do and they can’t find you, you’ve automatically sent them to your competitors.
Content marketing involves creating and sharing online materials of different forms (blog posts, videos, podcasts and social media posts) with the aim of stimulating interest in a business. It’s a subtle, but highly effective approach to marketing.
If you run a bookshop in Toronto, for instance, your customers may not come to Google with the intention of buying books. Instead, they may be looking for contents on how they can read faster. When you have a content that offers solution to this, you have registered the name of your business in such customer’s mind. You can then go ahead to add a call to action asking them to drop their contacts. There you have yourself a lead.
Invest in content marketing, it works.
This refers to when different URLs display similar or same content. Google doesn’t index duplicate contents because it uses up space unnecessarily. What it does is to index the version of the two pages with the canonical tag.
When no canonical is set, Google uses its discretion to identify the best version of the two and index.
This results in two pages sharing the authority of one page. This leads to the two pages ranking low for relevant keywords when one would actually have ranked higher.
Avoid duplication of contents as much as possible. Create and share on your website high quality, unique and original contents only.
Creating a website is one thing, customers finding the website is another. Constantly look at your website performance and see ways to attract more traffic. Stay on top of the game by reading up on trends and updates that you can adopt for your website.
Google has over 200 ranking factors and it’s quite difficult meeting all of them up. Therefore, rather than focusing on pleasing the search engine, let most of your focus be on your customers. Know what they want and find ways to optimize your website to meet those desires.