Lisa Robbin Young

Website Not Getting Any Hits? Here’s How To Fix It

Websites are both easy and hard to create these days. Sure, it’s simple to sign up for a web building service and "have a website" in just a few clicks, but that doesn’t always make for a good website. Even if you hire a web designer like my brilliant friend, Tracy, you'll only end up with a Stepford Website if you don't include the elements that make your site truly effective for your business.

So in this post, we’re going to explore what’s really important for a website and how you can start pulling in more visitors.

Source: Unsplash (CC0)

What Value Does Your Website Bring?

One of the biggest reasons why people won’t visit your website is because they don't recognize the value you offer them. A store has value because it sells products. A blog has value because the opinions within it attract readers. There are loads of reasons why people might visit a website, but if you don’t have a reason or if there’s nothing on your website that people would want to see, then it’s not going to get views. It’s really that simple.

So how can you add value to your website? For starters, fixing your content can be a good way to get more people to visit your website. Your content might not be relevant to current trends, or maybe your content isn’t very well organized which means it’s hard for people to find anything of value in your web pages. Alternatively, it could just be that nobody is hearing your opinion because your voice isn't being heard in the marketplace. Anyone can start a blog, but getting people to actually care about what you have to write takes patience, persistence, and a willingness to show up consistently to share your voice.

You could try different types of media. We have a podcast, blog, and YouTube videos. You could invest more of your dedicated social media time in engaging with people and having discussions - you know, being "SOCIAL". You can even partner with other creatives and cross-promote each other. There are lots of ways to grow your reach and there are many platforms to make it easier.

You may also want to consider how you structure your content. The right keywords help you get found for the topics that matter most to your audience. Good search engine optimization can help you get noticed on Google and by other search engines. Your use of keywords and the way you structure your sentences can have a huge impact on how easy or difficult it is for people to find your website.

Is your website a pain to navigate?

This has been a problem for me, on and off, over the years. When I launch a new site, everything feels perfect inthe navigation, but then I create new things, launch new offers, and now I want to put EVERYTHING in my navigation.

Whoa there! That won't work because a confused mind always says 'NO!'

Even if you have a lot of great content on your website, navigation can become an issue if you’re not thinking smartly about how people browse your website. Website navigation practices are important to learn because they’re essential for building fast and accessible websites (Riley can help diagnose your website accessibility issues!). The general rule of thumb is that you don’t want to click more than three times to access something from the main page. If you need to click a dozen links just to reach what you want, then it’s going to be a bad experience and people are going to hate it. But you also don't want seventy-jillion links from your home page to everything on your site!

So what can you do to improve your website’s navigation?

For starters, you need to prioritize. What are the MOST important actions you want a new visitor to take from your home page? More often than not, your home page is being seen by people who've never visited your site before, so what's the "first impression" you want them to have? Returning visitors are usually coming to some internal page of your site via some link they've found (or that you've shared with them), so you might want to consider a different navigation for your home page than from the rest of your site.

Having some kind of search function is also important. For instance, if your audience knows what they want to search for, then they should be able to just enter a few words into a search bar at the top of the page, hit enter, and then be given a bunch of results. On a wordpress site there are several ways to "hide" pages that you don't want to be found via search, so there's no reason to not have some kind of search functionality on your website.

It’s also a good idea to split your content into meaningful categories. For example, if you have a blog, then you’ll want to organize your content by subjects. If there are further categories, then you can organize them underneath the main subject. There are loads of small techniques like this that can make your website a much more pleasant experience to browse. Organizing your website content can seem time-consuming at first, but it’s honestly quite easy to manage if you’re willing to put in a bit of effort to categorize everything.

Is your website a tech fail?

There are several tech issues that could make your website a pain to visit. Here are the big ones:

  • Website speed - If your website takes too long to load, people click away. A site that loads quickly and efficiently helps visitors stick around. Large files, too many plug-ins and overloaded hosting servers are just a few things that can slow your site speed. Check your site regularly to make sure everything is running cleanly and efficiently.
  • Responsive design - More than 40% of my website visitors are using a mobile device to access it. At one time, that meant people had to re-size the pages manually in order to read anything on my site. Now, thanks to my amazing designer, we've got a site with responsive design, meaning that the content should automatically adjust to fit whatever size device you're on. Make sure your website is suitable for both small and large devices. If you don’t, Google won’t consider your website to be mobile-friendly, and may exclude it from certain searches.
  • Dead links - If your website has been around a while, then there’s a good chance that there are at least a few dead links on your website: content from other sites that are no longer available. Or maybe you previously used a content provider (for your videos, images, or podcasts) that is no longer available. This often happens when people migrate to a new provider, but don't update the existing links on their site to reflect the change. At least once a year, make a sweep of your site to check for dead links and update or remove them.

Building a functional website is one thing. Building a website that makes an impact, increases your reach, and grows your income is another. It takes more than a few clicks on a site builder. It takes a strategic approach to design that both engages new visitors and invites them to become customers.

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