5 reasons why no one visits your small business website
You paid thousands of dollars for your website and even did an office party to launch it. That was months ago. Every month you look at the reports for the number of visits to your website. It makes your stomach turn. How is it that this asset is not delivering the clients you were promised it would?
The first thing to understand is that building a website is parallel to opening a business in a physical location in many ways. Just because you are open does not mean your clients will come pouring in.
You need to let them know you’re open – by spreading the word using media that reaches your target market. You need to direct them to your location. And once they get there, you need to help them take the final step of actually buying your product.
The same applies to your small business website. You need to let people know about your website – by using media and strategies that reach your target market. You need to convince them to click on the link to your website. And then you need to convert them to clients.
If your website is not getting any traffic, here are some reasons why:
1. Your website is all about you
Many small business websites are full of content that focuses on them. They talk about all the great products and services that the business offers, the great team the company has, and even give some background on the company; its incredible founding story, how it has weathered many storms, etc.
There is nothing wrong with all of this content. It just needs to be framed in the context of solving your potential clients’ most pertinent problems.
You want to think about your clients’ pain points and address them in how you present your content.
Search engines index this content and serve up pages that seem like they have the best solutions for searchers.
2. Your website content has nothing to do with what potential clients are searching for
When potential clients go onto a search engine (most of them will use Google) and do a search, there are certain words that most of them will use.
For instance, when a client has a blocked drain at their home, they will go online and may type in something like, “blocked drain plumber Amherst MA.”
Through an algorithm feature known as ‘search intent,’ Google understands that this person is probably looking for a plumber in Amherst MA who can help them fix a blocked drain. I know this sounds so obvious, but that’s where the problem is. If you’re a plumbing company and have no text on your website that specifically states that you clear blocked drains and that you attend to clients in the Amherst MA area, you are likely to appear lower in search results than the plumbing company that states these things.
This is a very simplified version of how it all works. The idea here is that the company that is paying attention to not only what client pain points are, but how clients present those pain points when looking for help, will win when it comes to ranking on search engines.
3. You are not paying attention to reviews
If your company does come up in search results, the next thing potential clients are looking at is credibility. They are presented with a list of businesses that could solve their problem. They need to decide which of these companies will deliver a solution most painlessly and, depending on the product, most cost-effectively.
How do they do this? The first stop, before they click on any website links, is a quick look at your Google reviews. Potential clients are looking to see how often you get reviews, how recent the reviews are, and how high the rating is.
When you see a small business that gets regular reviews, you can be sure they have a system in place to make sure they are pinging their customers and asking for reviews. It doesn’t happen automatically.
According to Bright Local, which does annual consumer surveys, Consumer use of Google to evaluate local businesses has leapt from 63% in 2020 to 81% in 2021. Only 2% of people surveyed said they never read online reviews.
So if you have a great $12,000 website, but have no reviews or have bad reviews, many potential clients stop at the Google search. Even if your business name comes up, won’t click on the link.
4. You’re not generating regular content for your business
It sucks, I know, to think that on top of all the things you have to take care of as a business owner, you need to add regular website content development to them. If you want to generate great leads from Google search, yes, great content is up there among the top things to work on.
This is known as content marketing; the use of content to show your expertise and experience in an area as a way of getting the attention of potential clients.
And this is a strategy that many small businesses in New England and right here in Western Massachusetts are using. Take a look at New England Blogs to see just how many businesses in the region are using content marketing.
And right here is where you can win. Of those businesses that are using content marketing, very few are doing it right. You need to be consistent, among other things, for this strategy to work, and many businesses are not there yet.
Do you really need to do content marketing? The quick answer is no. If your strategy is to pay for traffic and you are sending that traffic to specific landing pages optimized for conversion for specific products, then you don’t need to worry about content marketing. But it’s not quite that simple. See my next point for some nuance to this point.
5. You’re relying on organic traffic or social media
There is this notion that stuff on the Internet should be free; free downloads, free news, free videos on YouTube, free traffic to your website…
It doesn’t quite work that way. Any traffic you get for ‘free,’ you or someone else has worked hard to get. And free traffic is unpredictable. One day you have a ton of it and then Google makes changes to its algorithm, and poof, it’s gone.
It’s also hard to scale on free traffic because all the big players who own that traffic; Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc, don’t want to give it away for free. In 2009, when I started my first Facebook page, every post I made got a ton of organic reach.
Now the reach for most Facebook pages is less than 2% of all the people who like the page. And here’s the kicker; many businesses pay to get more followers on their pages. So even the audience you paid to acquire, you have to pay to speak to.
Similarly with Twitter. From 2010-14, I ran a Twitter page that grew by thousands of followers each month. This was mostly through posts that were automatically posted from a Facebook page. I hardly ever logged in to Twitter, but the follower count was still growing. That doesn’t happen anymore unless you have serious engagement with your Tweets.
So what one method of online advertising generates consistent traffic? Even for businesses that have no followers on social media and no content that ranks on search engines? Paid advertising.
If done right, paid online advertising (also known as Pay Per Click [PPC]) gives you a consistent source of traffic. This sort of traffic, you can turn on and off at will by adjusting your budget. And that’s a good point to note here. When you stop your PPC campaigns, your traffic dries up. So, long term, it’s a good idea to think about running PPC in conjunction with other strategies like social media and content marketing.
Want to find out how to get more traffic to your website?