Why An Increase In Website Traffic Could Be A Bad Thing [DATA]

Increase In Website Traffic

After long hours and tireless work, you’ve finally seen an increase in your website traffic month to month. Let me go ahead and guess your reaction:

You’re stoked, right? You finally improved!

But don’t celebrate yet. First, you need to make sure that increase in website traffic isn’t a bad sign.

Before you click away and continue to revel in your success, take a look at data we pulled from our own website.

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We examined website traffic to 25 of the top-viewed web pages on Nectafy.com during two different timeframes: The first six months of 2016, and the first six months of 2017. (By examining the same six months, we removed the seasonality factor). We already knew our website traffic had increased quite a bit from early 2016 to mid-2017;  in fact, our top 25 pages grew in views by 76%! On the surface, this looks great. But we wanted to see specifically where the growth was coming from, so we decided to analyze the report further.

Here’s what we found:

  1. Our homepage and one of our HubSpot review posts both declined in visits by 16% each—and both of these pages are critical for us in terms of generating quality leads.
  2. Our How To Write A Professional Bio post increased in views 206%—but it doesn’t bring in the right leads for us.
  3. Our team page increased in views by 151%—but we were hiring during the 2017 period, not during the 2016 period.

So while our web page views are growing a lot, examining web page views alone is misleading. When we dug down to the page level, we found that traffic to our important pages was shrinking and traffic to our less important pages was increasing—indicating that we had some problems to solve.

To return to our headline: An increase of traffic to your website really can be a bad thing if those page views are from leads that aren’t helping you. If you find this to be the case on some of your web pages, you’re likely wasting time and effort bringing in low-quality leads instead of the leads that will make an impact on your business.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to analyze your pages and ensure you bring in high-quality (not high-quantity) leads—and we’ve laid them out for you here:

3 Steps To Analyzing The Increase In Your Web Traffic

1. Start by using this analysis template.

Before you can determine whether your website traffic increase is a good thing or not, you need to be able to determine which of your web pages attract high-quality leads. You can do this in one of two ways: Use this free automated analysis template, or follow the step-by-step instructions listed here. Either way you’ll end up with a spreadsheet that outlines which pages bring in higher quality leads than others.

2. Compare data between two chunks of time for your top-viewed web pages.

We recommend analyzing at least two six-month time periods, as we did.

If you’re using HubSpot, go to Page Performance and set the timeframe to your first chunk of time. Export that report to Excel. Then repeat this process for your second chunk of time, and export those results to Excel as well. You’ll want to compare both time frames in one Excel sheet—so we suggest lining up your columns in both documents, left to right, as follows: URL, Views During Period 1, URL Views During Period 2, Change, and Percent Change.

From the analysis template and this data comparison, you’ll be able to see which pages bring in the right kinds of leads and how those pages are performing. And that brings us to the final step.

3. Improve the important pages.

For blog posts, you can either rewrite them (if they’re old or outdated) or add to them and republish. Either way, they’ll likely regain both rankings and views, since Google favors fresh content and often gives priority to newer content.

For web pages, first determine why overall views are dropping. Perhaps you’ve redesigned your site and fewer people are able to find a particular page. Or, your keyword rankings have dropped for that page and fewer organic visitors are making it there.

If your keyword rankings for a critical page are steady, take a look at views by source. Has one source (like paid search) dropped off completely? If so, you may want to stop spending on that source because it likely won’t hurt your quality leads.

If you see increased website traffic, dig deeper.

It’s tempting to celebrate when you see a gradual uphill climb in visits and leads, but what’s really worth celebrating is an increase in top-grade leads that will actually impact your business.

Blog-Lead-Analysis-Template

  • Great article Megan, thanks for the share.

    I want to ask you.

    How did you notice and how long did it took you to realize that receiving traffic from leads that aren’t helping you are bad?

    Kind regards,
    Filip

    • Henry O

      Hi Filip,

      I think it started as a “feel” thing: Article X never brings in any leads that we want to work with, but Article Y brings through quality leads. I think you can always be looking for those intuitively.

      Then, you can do this analysis Megan mentioned (#1 in the article above) at any point to find out statistically if that is true. I will say, though, there needs to be enough of a sample size to make a determination. I think having at least a few thousand leads is a good start.