Have the number of people visiting your website declined this year?
I have noticed a downward trend in the number of organic site visitors for ChristianPublishers.net, ChristianAward.com, BookCrash.com, and this website since the beginning of 2019. I have also heard from others that they are experiencing the same thing.
This decrease in site traffic has me perplexed. No significant changes were made with the websites, so the downward shift in numbers has been rather disconcerting.
At first, I wondered whether Alexa and smart speakers were part of the problem. Households using smart speakers are increasing and expected to reach 55% of U.S. households by 2022. Smart speakers only give one answer for search questions, so it is easy to not be featured for a question asked of a smart speaker. Yet this did not seem like the right answer since smart speakers have not replaced the use of search engines. Google is still ranked the number one website worldwide.
Then, someone suggested that it might be that Google was ranking websites with links to YouTube videos higher than other websites. Since Google owns YouTube and makes money from the site, that made some sense. However, I was not sure that this was the answer either.
Recently, I ran across an article by Social Media Examiner. In this article, they report that they have also been experiencing a decrease in website traffic. After some research, they discovered that this decline is directly linked to Google and changes Google is making.
The article asserts that, historically, Google has been in the business of providing people millions of answers to any one question. Smart speakers are changing this. Smart speakers—think Alexa—are giving ONE answer to a question. Google is following suit. Social Media Examiner states:
“Google is no longer in the business of delivering up lots of answers. Instead, it’s in the business of delivering a single answer—without the need to click.”
Bingo. This rang true. I believe that this is why website traffic has been declining this year. Google search is changing. It is becoming harder for any website to be “discovered” in a Google search.
If it is becoming harder to get website traffic from search engines, how can you compensate? What can you do to still have people discover you and your books? I suggest that a shift needs to be made in focus. Instead of concentrating on trying to get more website traffic from search engines, focus on what you have.
1. Increase Your Website Conversion Rate
Conversion means that you convince a website visitor to take an action on your website. This action might be to buy your book or sign up for your email news or tips. The average conversion for an e-commerce site in the United States is 2.63%. This means that out of 100 visitors, an average site will have less than three people take an action.
Website traffic is great, but it does not mean much unless you get people to commit. Focus your time and attention on making your website draw visitors in so that they sign up for your email news or tips. Offer freebies—think tip sheet, recipe, or novella— or host a giveaway to encourage people to sign up to receive ongoing helpful information and insights from you. Increase your conversion rate your audience will still grow.
2. Nurture Your Fans
Your email list provides you the opportunity to consistently remind your target audience that you and your books exist. You can nurture this group of interested people and turn them into fans and super fan. Fans and super fans believe in you. They will tell others about you, helping you enlarge your audience without having to rely on traffic from Google search.
I would love to hear from you. Have you been experiencing a decline in organic website traffic this year?
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