It’s one thing to build up a successful website, and another to keep it going. Thanks to a variety of changing factors, your website that once pulled in high traffic numbers could suddenly be looking more like a ghost town, or at least be headed in that direction if you don’t take action.
While that’s not a fun scenario to face, it doesn’t mean you have to cut your losses and start up something new. Not every situation is the same, but it is possible to revive a once-popular website, breathing in new life and reaping the financial rewards.
It should go without saying that if a strategy that once was effective is no longer bringing in the crowds, you need to switch things up. Continuing to do the same thing, while expecting different results isn’t logical in the least.
Make Better Use of Internal Linking Opportunities
Check your internal linking practices. Every time you write a blog post, create new page content, etc., there should be at least two or three internal links. In case you’re not aware, internal links send people to other blog posts or portions of your site.
Appropriate use of internal links can increase value for your visitors, by directing them to additional information, which also keeps them on your site longer, boosting “dwell time,” an important SEO factor.
Not only should you be using internal links faithfully; you need to be doing it properly. The anchor text should make sense, meaning it should lead to what it says, not misdirect the reader. Poor user experience can occur when link anchors are created primarily for SEO advantage, rather than to help the user find relevant resources. Ideally, a good anchor text will help direct the user, while using keywords that assist the SEO.
Conduct an internal linking audit on your site, checking each page and blog post for links used properly. If you find gaps, correct them quickly.
While internal links are important, you shouldn’t ignore the importance of outbound links. Each page or blog post should have at least one link to an authoritative site as a reference, if it makes sense to do so. Excellent resources include government, university or news organizations.
Everyone knows the right keywords are critical to getting traffic to a website. The problem is the keywords that worked a year or two ago might not now, thanks to increasing numbers of competitors using them as well. The reality is there’s a reward for being different.
Instead of targeting wildly popular terms, go after words or phrases that net a respectable volume of searches. You should also check that your keywords are a close match to whatever services or products are offered through the site.
Take your content up a notch or two. Instead of relying on passable content for your website, bring in the big guns and get some professional help. This might mean if you or someone else in your organization was writing the content when your traffic was dropping, you need to hire a professional writer.
On the other hand, if you’ve been using a professional, it might be time to upgrade to one who’s more experienced, even though it will cost extra. Even the subtlest details in copy can make a big difference when it comes to keeping people on your page, and boosting SEO.
Review Your Website Design
Falling traffic could also be the result of poor website design. A layout that worked great two years ago might feel overly dated or cumbersome today. Not paying attention to mobile optimization for your site is a common blind spot, which can cost you big since many people surf the Internet on phones or tablets. Now is the time to spend some money and overhaul, if not completely redesign, your website.
When you find that your website is no longer pulling in huge crowds, don’t give up. Instead, start experimenting to see what gets the needle moving again. It might take some time, as well as trial and error, to produce serious results, but consistent effort pays off.