By Kevin RR Williams
Why Web Traffic is Decreasing
You have some loyal followers who browse your site. There may also be an influx of new visitors from referrals or online web search engines. Internet behavior has changed dramatically over the years. Few people land on a page and aimlessly click links to discover where it leads. While Internet use is increasing, “surfing” it is passé—unless it’s on social media sites.
Now imagine someone querying an assistant for virtually any type of information and receiving a concise response within a few seconds. It’s nothing new, you say. We have Google, Alexa, and Siri. Google voice queries may return results based on underlying structured data, if you have it in your website. But Alexa and Siri require customized backend development.
Even if you get beyond these hurdles, another game changer is directing people away from your website. In many iterations from multiple companies, it’s called AI chatbot based on ChatGPT. Instead of providing links to websites, it aggregates information and returns a simple response.
Millions of people who desire quick answers are turning to this method of research—rendering entire libraries, and perhaps information on your website, obsolete.
How to Regain Visitors
Rich media—like photos and video—on a quality website with intuitive navigation attracts visitors. With a streamline mobile interface, your competition might not (yet) employ annoying third-party ads. Some may be necessary to offset the cost of doing business. But people should not have to wrangle incessant boxes in order to obtain the information they seek.
If you have a static website, as many companies do, consider hiring writers to provide fresh articles on a regular basis. Commission a programmer to include some unique feature that is lacking among others in your industry.
For those with a Shopify e-commerce shop, a third-party app called Twang is available. It can serve your store to Alexa queries. I haven’t tried it, but it’s worth a look if you feel your customer base benefits from the feature.