Over the years I found that not making a decision is a decision whether is conscious or not. The same holds true with doing nothing, it is a decision and can cost you dearly whether it is conscious or not.
A few months back I had a call from a new client asking for help as he could not understand why he was no longer getting the same amount of traffic/leads that he would normally get in a month. To me when something that suddenly breaks it is a clear indication that something had changed and it is usually some sort of update. So I asked the obvious question – has anything change? and to my surprised got a firm NO and he went on to say that he kept true to his successful strategy. So I asked again, were there changes to your website or Adwords campaign? he replied “Absolutely not, no changes at all”.
At this point I was curious as most strategies usually have a life of year or so as things do change. So, I asked – how long have you been using this successful strategy? and replied “For years, I have not changed thing“.
I found this very strange that suddenly things started to go pear shape on a successful formula where he claimed nothing had change on his side. So I started to investigate and true to his word nothing did change on his side. There were no changes to his website which was created a few years back which was nice, simple and with lots of graphics but was not mobile friendly. There were no changes to his Adwords campaign which generated most of his leads and this campaign has been running for years. So what was going wrong? it just did not make sense.
As I went through the logs, analytic reports, keywords, search results and his Adwords campaign I eventually found the root cause of his problem – he didn’t do anything. Huh? that does not make sense – what do I mean? As strange as it sounds him doing exactly the same things and not doing anything else was the root cause of the problem,
Let’s look at it from this perspective, by not wanting to change he ignored what was going on around him, technology and the environment he was working was changing and passed him by. Let’s have a look at some of the key factors that impacted his site and Adwords campaign:
- Technology changes – in this case Google search and Adword technology changed over the years and the rules had changed. By not responding and adapting to the changes, that gave his competitors the opportunity to out-rank him by taking advantage of the new rules and features now available.
- Competitors – not only there we more competitors that entered the same niche but they were much more savvy. Some of them had dedicated landing pages for their Adwords campaign, they were better design and other were just out bidding him.
- Web Site – his website was quite a few years old and not mobile friendly. Today majority of websites would get at least half their traffic from mobile devices and if your site is not mobile friendly then you can expect a huge bounce rate. Remember – Google has clearly indicated that it will prefer sites that are mobile friendly and have an SSL certificate.
- Content – As I said site was created a while back and the content was the same since it was launched, While it was simple and with lots of nice pictures, compared to his competitors is was far to basic with not a lot of useful information. Remember that you have two types of audiences that come to your site, human and search bots. Search engines cannot interpret pictures yet, so you need to provide content so they can understand your site.
The combination of all of these factors resulted in the huge drop. You may ask why all of the sudden and not gradually? neglect of the site is gradual but it only takes one event to tip you over and start paying the price for such neglect. In the latest BERT update released in Nov 2019 there have been reports of large sites losing 50% of their traffic overnight. I cannot comment as to why but it does illustrate that it does not take much to impact your traffic.
Another case of doing nothing
Just last week I was reminded of another reason why you need to keep an eye your site and actively manage it. This client call me to let me know that he had another site which suddenly stop working and if I could help him, so I did. This time the investigation was quick as I could see the problem as soon as I went on to his site; his website got hacked.
To make sure of my analysis I used a free security scanner for WordPress which confirmed my analysis. The report showed me that he was still using version 4.3.x which was released back in Aug 2015, all his themes and plugins were all out of date what made it worse was the security plugin installed had a flaw and was most likely the source of the breakin. It took hours to remove and restore his site, he was lucky because in other instances I’ve seen these types of breaking meant a complete rebuild as the site as it severely infected the site and it event contaminated the backups.
The number of sites that I have seen that were not updated on a regular basis or maintained is incredible. Let me ask you a question; Would you stop servicing your car once you purchase it? or would stop servicing your main production equipment? your website is just as important and for some of you this is your main business – please don’t ignore it.
- Either allocate time once a week to check for updates and get it doine. Please make sure you backup your site beforehand.
- If you don’t have time then get someone to help you. We offer a range of maintenance plans to suit most small business needs.
- Review on a regular basis just like any anything in your business review how your are going and what else you could be doing better and checkout what your competition is doing. We helped quite a few small business owners review their operations and develop strategies to improve their website and conversions.
Remember that doing nothing is a decision whether it is conscious or not, So be conscious and make active decisions, otherwise it can cost you very dearly.
The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.