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How to benefit from a downturn in traffic

Going through my archives, I found an article I wrote a while ago which contains many valid points about how a downturn in traffic can be beneficial.

Ever banged your head tirelessly on a wall in a darkened corner until you saw tiny rainbow coloured elves after you experienced a sharp decline in traffic on one of your online properties? Well maybe you’re not as bad as me, but it’s natural for a webmaster to experience displeasure and even a feeling of failure after a fall in visitors – heck it’s precisely what drives a lot of people to abandon ship. However, for the record, every single website on the internet that receives genuine visitors, will at one point or another experience this kind of slump, whether it be in response to online or offline factors.

A true entrepreneur can turn a disadvantage into an advantage, and while I’m no Donald Trump – I can definitely say to you without an ounce of doubt in my mind, that a lack of traffic can be transformed into a positive thing. For starters, you’re handed a golden opportunity to re-evaluate your entire operation, and effectively locate and correct the root of the problem. Depending on your personality traits, experiencing a backlash from your visitors may be enough to ignite a savage fire of ambition and motivation, which when handled correctly can be absolutely paramount in getting you over the line and beyond.

Evaluating your website correctly is exceptionally essential in ensuring its continued survival, and while sometimes blunt honesty can hurt, it’s often just what the doctor ordered. There’s an entire series of checks you can perform to rectify the issue that’s sucking the traffic away from you.

1. Re-evaluate your colour scheme, layout and overall website accessibility.

When going over your design, it’s best to keep an open mind. Ask yourself if your visitors are getting lost in your layout, or whether the colour scheme may be driving them into the open arms of your competitors. Ask a friend or two to give their opinions.

2. Ensure your website is compatible with the major browsers.

Make sure you check to see whether your website is compatible with the major browsers – Internet Explorer, Firefox and Opera. A lack of cross-compatibility among browsers can be a significant driving force behind a slump in your traffic.

3. Ensure all links and forms are correctly functioning

A lot of the time, broken links are enough to scare visitors away. They undermine your credibility as an expert in your field and portray your website as amateurish. Make sure you click on every link and submit every form to ensure they’re working correctly.

4. Test your loading time.

With a ton of web hosts springing up overnight, it’s sometimes difficult to determine which one is suitable for you. Employ a third party website uptime monitor and pay attention to the speed of your website.

5. Re-evaluate the relevance and quality of your content.

As much of a cliche as it might be, it goes without saying these days – content is king, and a lack of quality or relevance is without doubt enough to completely destroy your website.

6. Determine your sources of traffic.

A lot of the time you can pinpoint where you’re lacking by locating the source of your traffic. Compare your statistics to statistics captured when your website was receiving an optimal amount of visitors, and visit the sites bringing in reduced traffic in a bid to understand and further solve the situation.

7. Check if all images are loading correctly.

Browse your website in the hunt for broken images. A lot of the time, like broken links, broken images also reduce your credibility with your target audience, and can, therefore, be very damaging.

8. Re-evaluate your niche.

Is your niche dying out? Sometimes you need to be realistic with yourself and bail out before your target audience is diminished. Alternatively, one can attempt to revive the market but introducing an innovative and highly desired service, product or feature into their website.

9. Wonder over to the competition.

Have they introduced something into their site that may be thwarting your attempts are increasing your traffic flow? If so, it’s time to apply some camouflage paint and get down to good old business.

Remember to seek the advice of some friends, and even visitors as gathering a series of opinions is unquestionably paramount in ensuring you hit back twice as hard. Consistency is critical is the online world, and those who continue to get up after every fall, and capitalise on every success will emerge as the winners

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