FAQ: Why is my new site attracting fewer visitors than my old one?
We hear this question from time to time. It’s not uncommon at all for a website renovation project to result in reduced user session volume after the new site launches. Hopefully, your web dept. or partner has reassured you with a few important insights like these.
1. Wait at least a couple of months before you start comparing your new website traffic analytics to your past analytics.
It can take weeks for search engines to find your website. Once your website is crawled, it usually takes another week or two to get indexed. According to GoDaddy, a long time ago submitting your website to the search engines used to be a good way to speed up the process. But these days there are so many requests that the feature doesn’t work. It’s much easier to create inbound links to get the spiders to crawl your site.
Of course, this is assuming your site has been optimized for search engine crawling. Search engines crawl your site for meta content, keyword saturation, relevant content, and many other factors. Be sure the search terms you believe your audiences will use to find your site on search engines are keywords and phrases you’ve used on your web pages. A site map can aid spider navigation as well.
2. Measure the QUALITY of the new website traffic when you compare it to your past analytics.
There are several factors that can indicate a higher quality visitor when you re-launch a website. Pages viewed per user session, time on page, bounce rate, new sessions, organic search referrals and 3rd party site referrals are just a few. If your relaunch involved going from an unresponsive site to a responsive one, you’ll also want to look at mobile and tablet usage.
Looking at how your users are coming in and utilizing your site can be very enlightening. But don’t overlook where they are going once they’re on your site. Most clients come to Responsory with the challenge of poorly crafted website content and navigation that’s not looking out for their target audiences. For these clients, we pinpoint the trouble areas of their old site in terms of navigation and content before we relaunch. Then, post-launch, we’re able to measure exactly how the new site has overcome those obstacles.
Case in point:
Our client, Interfaith Older Adult Programs, was concerned that their first quarter of website traffic from their new site was showing a lower volume of traffic than the same period the prior year. (Scroll down to see Before and After screen shots.) We were able to confidently tell them that the HIGHER quality of the visitors and their engagement with the new site simply could not be compared to the old site. Better yet, we showed them with data that revealed:
1. Pages viewed per user session is UP
2. Time on page is UP
3. Bounce rate is DOWN
4. New sessions is UP
5. Organic search referrals is UP
6. 3rd party site referrals is UP
Another thing that really stood out is that their audience has SIGNIFICANTLY increased its use of mobile technology.
7. Mobile usage is UP 10%
8. Tablet usage is UP 5%
In addition to these universal improvements to the caliber of website users, we have the ability to see content trends, which simply wasn’t possible with the old site.
- Thanks to the new site’s navigation, organization and content, we know that the most popular SENIOR SERVICES for this 3-mo period were 1) transportation, 2) wellness, 3) fee-based personal services, 4) job training prep and 5) minor chores.
- Eliminating the home page, careers and contact page content from the mix, the most popular NON-SERVICE content was 1) Senior Centers, 2) Events, 3) Volunteer Openings, 4) Dining, and 5) Community Resources.
These trends reflect how the new site is achieving the exact goals Interfaith had going into the relaunch of their site. There’s more to this success story! Read about it…
3. The tactics you’re employing to drive good quality website traffic and the quality of your content, messaging and calls to action are always factors, too.
A comprehensive website audit may identify issues, and often there are sensible solutions that can be executed swiftly. If you’re seeking guidance, simply contact Responsory for counsel.