How to Reverse Declining Website Engagement Metrics ASAP

If you’ve had your website up and running for a while, you’ve probably noticed some ebbs and flows in engagement. One week, plenty of visitors come to your site, but the next week, there’s a significant dip.

Though some fluctuations are normal, you can do several things right now to reverse worrisome website engagement metrics. Here are some factors to consider as you seek to boost your key engagement metrics.

Unique visitors

Each individual (or IP address) that visits your site counts as a unique visitor. After your site goes live, you may notice a steady stream of these visitors. But, if you check your analytics and see a downward trend, especially for several weeks or even months, it’s time to research what’s driving this shift.

It could be that you don’t publish content as much as you previously did, the content you publish no longer resonates with your audience, or that you don’t promote your content as much on social media.

Take a deep dive into your analytics and look for trends. Were earlier posts focused on a specific, popular theme? Does most of your traffic come in the morning or on certain days? Do most of your visitors come from Twitter instead of Facebook?

Once you know the answers to these questions, create a plan of action. You may need to increase your publishing frequency, focus on specific social media channels, or publish guest posts on other popular sites in your niche to increase your site’s visibility.

Page views

The same factors that drive a decline in unique visitors may be responsible for fewer page views. Good content will engage your visitors, and promoting your website will increase click-through rates and, by extension, views.

However, user experience and site performance issues can also lead to declining page views. These performance issues can cause a poor mobile experience, such as site pages that take more than 10 seconds to load and sloppy site organization that makes it difficult for users to find content.

To correct these issues, visit your site on desktop, mobile, and on different browsers (have a few friends and family members do the same, too). Use page speed tools to test your site. Take what you learn to improve your user experience. One quick fix to increase page speed: reduce the file size of images you upload.

Time spent and bounce rate

According to the “Think with Google” site, the ideal page load time is three seconds, but 70% of sites globally are in the seven-second range on mobile.

That’s not only bad news for page views, but it can also decrease the time spent on your site and increase your bounce rate.

Bounce rate measures the percentage of visitors who leave your site after viewing only one page. Research shows that the longer a page takes to load, the more likely it is that someone will leave your site. For example, page load times that exceed 10 seconds increase the probability of a user bouncing by 123%, Think with Google reports.

Examine your analytics and user experience again to see what could be causing people to leave. It may be that your content is repetitive, isn’t written in a user-friendly way, or isn’t presented in an easy-to-digest way (think bullet points, visuals, and bold headers). You also might not have enough internal links. Every blog post should link to other relevant content on your site.

Reversing the trend

Don’t make users endlessly search for what they need. Do everything possible to make your website easy to navigate and direct them to content that answers their question or solves their problem.

Being laser-focused on what your audience wants and needs will help you shift your website engagement metrics back in the right direction.

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Satta Sarmah Hightower

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