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How to Deal with Bad Website Traffic

What is bad traffic?
One of the challenges many small business owners face is getting traffic to their website, so the idea of having good or bad website traffic may seem alien. But, what happens if you realize that the traffic you’re getting to your site is completely unrelated to what your website is about? This is what we refer to as “bad traffic.”

How can I find out whether my website has bad traffic?
You can find out whether this is happening to your website by looking at which search terms are driving you the most traffic. Most analytics tools will provide you with this report, if you’re using Google Analytics you can find this information by looking in the Traffic Sources search report, under “Keyword.” This report shows you what people have searched for on search engines in order to find your website and how many visitors came to your site via that search term.

google analytics
Why is bad traffic an issue?
Let’s say you have a Tumblr blog about real estate and selling and buying property on your website and are getting a lot of traffic to your site, but when you look though, the majority of traffic is coming to your website and blog via the search term “good landlords,” “adorable horses” or other search term unrelated to your core business. This is could be because on one or more pages you had these words on your website.

This is causing you a problem because:

a.  People searching for “good landlords” or “adorable horses” won’t be interested your real estate website.
b.  People searching for “good landlords” will leave your site immediately, thereby increasing your website bounce rate and skewing your site statistics.
c.  You are measuring the success of your website and making business decisions based on data that is not representative of the visitors that are actually interested in real estate.
d.  It’s demoralizing, because you have spend hours of time creating good relevant content associated with your industry and an unrelated search term is driving you the majority of traffic.

What should you do?
If you find yourself in this situation, you have two simple options:

1.  Change it
One way is to tackle problem head on. Find the content on your website or blog that is causing the issue and change it or take out the keywords and phrases that are causing the issue.

If it is an image that is causing the issue, change the alt tag. Make sure that all SEO attributes, such as title tags, meta data, image tags and link text are correct. Include the keywords you’re targeting and remove all references to the unrelated keywords that are causing you issues.

Alt text
2.  Optimize it
Turn a negative into a positive, optimize that page for that keyword by turning the main call to action of that page to speak to those users. For example, if someone searched for “good landlords” you could send them through to an image gallery of properties you’ve sold or manage with good landlords or tips on how to be a good landlord for your investment property. This could help guide those users become more engaged with your site and therefore are likely to remember it in the future, when they are interested in real estate.

For the search term “adorable horses,” you might want to just remove it. Or, you never know, it may turn out that some of those users have horses and are also searching for a new home; and your website is relevant.

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