Why is nobody visiting my website?

This is a question that many website and business owners ask themselves. “I had the website done by a professional and it has been running for some time. However, when I look at my website statistics, I hardly see any visits”; “Nobody is visiting my website”. If this apply to you as it does to many other concerned website owners, this article may just assist you.

We have heard this question so many times that we thought it necessary to write a blog article to assist our visitors. At the start we have to state that not all the reasons and explanations in this article may be relevant to you. It will however be valuable to consider each explanation carefully.

Your website’s age

Let’s face it. Every website owner would like to see their website on the first page of Google and other Search Engines. According to an old joke that still holds true today, the second page on Google is the ideal place to hide a body. Unfortunately, a large number of new website owners believe the myth that their websites can reach the first page of a Search Engine overnight. In fact, there are companies that base their advertisements on this false premise.  Google the term” rank website overnight” and you will be astonished to see the claims.

Although it should not take a decade for your website to rank high in search engines, we need to understand that it requires a strategy that will take some time based on various factors, most of which we will look into below.

Competition

It goes without saying that the more competition you have in your specific niche the more time and effort it will require to compete with the “big players”. As an example, let’s say I want to open a virtual mall where different vendors can sell their stuff. The idea is simple. Get a website that will allow store owners to list and sell their products on your website, take a commission on every sale and you can retire. Let’s go back to prior your retirement. Have you considered a big player such as Amazon and/or Alibaba. In South Africa, where most of our clients resides, there are established players such as Takealot and BidorBuy. To effectively compete with them will surely be an uphill and time consuming process, not to mention time as referred to above.

Website’s code

All websites contain HTML code and CSS. Some goes a bit further and includes PHP and JavaScript. HTML is used to add content to a website such as text and images. HTML has matured over the years to the extent that it can be used very successfully to inform search engines exactly what content is in a website. For example, if an image is added to describe something or to present your product visually a search engine will not know what is contained in such image unless the code informs the search engine. To continue with this example I will share a tiny bit of HTML here:

Normally an image is  added to a website with this code:

<img src=https://www.website.com/images/image24534.png>

The src is indicating to the browser where the image is stored. A search engine will have no idea what this image is about. If we add just a little extra to the HTML we can tell search Engines what this image is about as follow:

<img alt=”delicious ice-cream” src=https://www.website.com/images/image24534.png>

Now the search engine will be able to understand the relevance of the image and will index it as an image related to ice-cream and may possibly retrieve it when a person search for delicious ice-cream.

This is a very simple example. It is however extremely important that all the content that is displayed on your website via the codes mentioned above is optimized for search engine optimisation. (We will further look at Search Engine Optimisation below) Code can and should also be optimised even further to increase your website’s speed as you will see below.

Website speed

Now that we have partly discussed optimising the code of your website it is time to have a look at further optimisation to address the fact that nobody is visiting a website. This can be achieved by minifying the CSS code. Simply put, this means removing all the blank spaces in the code. Although this may sound obvious developers have developed ways to keep their code structured in order to quickly find a specific piece of code when something need to be changed. In CSS for example many developers/designers, including myself write it as follow:

#ul{

padding-top: 50px;

padding-right: 30px;

padding-bottom: 50px;

padding-left: 80px;

}

It looks neat and help to keep different pieces of code separate. The downside is that it takes time for a browser to read through all the blank spaces which in turn affects the rendering time of a website negatively. The same applies for other code such as JavaScript and PHP. Luckily this can be minified easily by developers in order to speed up a website.

Another big culprit in slowing down a website with, ultimately nobody visiting your website, is the use of large images. We see people uploading images up to 5 MB in size. Many people are not aware that whilst you want to add the best quality images on a website it does not have to be huge files. For printing purposes an image must have 350 or more dpi (dots per inch) whilst you only need 72 dpi (ppi) for display on screens. This is because desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones can only display 72 dpi or ppi. Anything more than 72 ppi is purely a waste of server and users bandwidth resources resulting in a slow website.

Lastly, the server you may be using be too slow and your server may also not have the latest software. If your website is bigger than the normal website with lots of date and other resources a shared server may no longer be the option for your website.

Responsive design

Although (believe it or not) responsive website design has been around since 2004 there are still unresponsive websites that can be found. An unresponsive immediately disqualifies more than 50% (51.65% as at 11 September 2019) of people accessing the internet.

Image sourced from Statista at https://www.statista.com/statistics/306528/share-of-mobile-internet-traffic-in-global-regions/

The above facts speak for itself. If your website is not responsive, people will ‘drop it like it is hot.’ Given the statistics it is scary how many websites are still not responsive or have mobile versions.

SEO Strategy

Everything mentioned above plays into Search Engine rankings and plays an important part in any business’ Search Engine Optimisation Strategy. You can find some of the top most important ranking factors here. A more concise list of SEO Ranking factors can be found here.

A proper SEO discussion can never be justified in one paragraph in a blog article. We will however prompt you to have a good look at making your website’s purpose known to search engines by using focused keywords strategically on your website. These foucussed keywoords will not only tell search engines what your website is all about but will increase your chances of having your website displayed to the public who searches for your product/service.

With reference to the above paragraphs relating to your website’s age and competition it will server you well to read up on long tail keywords to separate you from the competition. A handy article about long tail keywords by renowned SEO STrategist, Neil Patel,  can be found here.

Websites content:

It goes without saying that the content of a website, be it text, video, audio or images should speak to your focused keywords and long tail keywords. If the content does not correspond with the focused keywords Search Engines will have difficulties in indexing your website’s content properly.

If your adept at writing content, you have a good head start. Caution should always be had to not overuse your keyword(s) in your content. This is referred to as keyword stuffing and all search engines’ algorithms will pick this up and “penalise” your website.

Advertising

We have all seen adverts on Google. They are normally the listings at the top of the page. This will undoubtfully assist your website in getting noticed if it is still new. Careful consideration should however be given for the keywords that you choose to include in your Google Ads as a bidding system is used. Depending on size of the competition in your niche there may be a high demand to use a certain keyword or keywords. This may require you to pay more for a specific word to be have your advertisement placed higher than a competitor.

Social Media Exposure/Sharing

Averts on Social Media platforms are cheaper, and you may even define your target audience to ensure that only people interested in your service/products will see your ads. In addition, Social Media affords you with a brilliant opportunity to promote your brand and communicate with your target audience and existing customers. Once your products get shared on Social Media it may open up new streams of revenue you may not have thought possible. Social Media is also a great place to allow your customers to spread the word and get you new customers by ‘word of mouth’. Sadly, many people still do not use Social Media because they do not appreciate its potential. Our advise is to start using it immediately to avoid nobody visiting your website.

Blogposts

This is a topic that we discuss with our clients all to often when they claim to not have the time or the expertise to write blog posts. If you are not blogging you are throwing away golden opportunities to use keywords that will get recognised by Search Engines. In addition it gives you an opportunity to share your knowledge and expertise relating to your product and service. It also creates trust with possible customers if they find your blogs to be knowledgeable. We have an article that may assist you with writing blog posts.

User Experience

A very important concept in website design is User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI). If a visitor lands on your website and do not know how to navigate it to find the information they are looking for they will abandon your website within seconds. If they must follow tedious or complex processes to purchase something on your website, they will abandon the cart. Cart abandonment is a major problem (it varies between 60% and 80% at the time of writing this article) that online store owners experience and there are several strategies to combat this. During May 2019 SaleCycle showed statistics that places cart abandonment at 79.17%. As long as the KISS principle (“Keep it simple, stupid)” is applied you will not have this problem to start with.

In conclusion:

We could have written much more on each topic. In fact, we have written blog articles on some of the items listed above already. This article does not intend to address all factors that may impede on your website’s performance that will lead to nobody visiting your website. They are however, in our own experience with many clients and non-clients the most important factors contributing to an otherwise good website to be less than successful. We hope that some of the mentioned items will help you in remedying some of the issues hampering your website in becoming the popular website it was designed to be.

Eitel Bock

Eitel is the owner and Lead Website Designer at WebScripto Pty Ltd. When not working on a website he loves to write blog articles covering various aspects of Website Design and Maintenance. Please feel free to contact me if you have any comments, questions or suggestions.