I went down a rabbit hole with someone’s site this week. I’m a part of a Facebook group that focuses on helping bloggers with their sites.. One of the members asked for help. She said that she’s been blogging for a year and only have 10 visitors a day.
Many people initially reacted with the thought that it’s normal and it does take a while for a site to take off. And they’re right.
It can take a while, but something didn’t sound right about her site. So I checked out her site. She’d posted over 30 articles already. She had great images and nice lengthy posts with helpful content for traveling families.
With that many articles, she should have way more than 10 visitors a day. She should be getting way more than that just from random queries people have, if nothing else.
Also, when I first checked her site, I wanted to leave before the first page even loaded. Not because it was bad or anything. No.
It was the site speed.
It was horrendous. I ran it through GTmetrix, a site that tests your site for speed and other potential technical issues. The average load time was 22 seconds.
People leave a site if takes longer than 3 seconds to load. And lately, even that is pushing it
Her actual content was great. She’s married with kids. Has a full time job and works on the site in the evenings and on weekends, so I was really impressed with how much writing she’d done. And the site had great looking images too. They are probably very large, but they look great.
Unfortunately, many of her visitors are probably leaving before the site actually loads.
Sometimes it’s not about your writing or what you’re doing to your site. You can do all the right things, reach out to the right people and your website can still not grow. Sometimes it’s about the infrastructure that your site is on.
Her site is on Wix. They claim it’s easy to create a website. They even have semi popular people doing ads for them now to sell their sites.
Unfortunately, Wix is horrible with SEO. They ran an SEO contest last year to prove that they could rank #1 for the term “SEO Hero”. None of the top 5 sites were Wix sites.
Wix currently has SEO limitations and if your site relies on being found by the search engines, then you’re better off going with a different solution.
I let her know about the speed issue and the Wix limitations.
I told her to get with Siteground as her hosting provider, use WordPress, add free Let’s Encrypt to secure her site, and set up 301 redirects for all pages.
Since her site is an Australian extension site, meaning it ends in .com.au, I suggested that she move her site to the .com version. Since her traffic is low this would be the best time to move the site so she can appeal to a broader audience.
It’s two months before the new year. I told her if she could spend the rest of 2017 working through the technical aspects of her site, then she’d likely see a large increase in traffic by the new year.
I hope to follow up with her to see how the changes are coming and if she’s made any progress with the site.
The cool part about the rabbit hole is that I love doing these little audits.
It’s totally like a scavenger hunt to see what’s going wrong with a site and what to do to get the site back on track.
I’m trying to see what I can do with that to incorporate it into this site. I think if I share how to improve your site to grow it, then it would be immensely helpful to people who have been running their sites for a while, but didn’t worry about the technical aspects as much as the content.
The fun part about fixing the technical after writing a lot of content first is they tend to have pretty nice jumps in search engine ranking and in traffic within a couple of months.
I also know that I shoved a lot of information into this little post and need to explain things in more detail. I’m working on it. Hopefully I can go deeper about some of this information and I’ll just link to them from here.