Site Traffic Down? Do This!

Does your site seem uncommonly…quiet…lately?

It’s not just you. In fact, 60 percent of SEOs are seeing a traffic drop. This is up from 49 percent just a week ago.

Yes, it depends on the industry (for instance, videoconferencing and fitness equipment sites are going gangbusters.) But for the rest of us, things are slow.

As for the reason? You guessed it. COVID-19. Thanks, coronavirus.

I discussed last week how you should take this slow time to ODYCP (optimize your damn content, people!) But, there’s one other opportunity your business can leverage, right now — and it doesn’t even involve Google.

What is it?

Your email newsletter.

For instance…

In my quest of trying to keep my workout game tight, I learned that Powerblock adjustable dumbbells were an awesome alternative. They were sold out on Amazon, so I visited the Powerblock site hoping that I could buy direct. 

I could…but the company was so swamped with orders that they had a huge “we’re backordered and everything is taking an additional 2-3 weeks” banner on their site. 

(Sadly, it’s been replaced with a “we’re shut down until the stay-at-home order is lifted” message.)

That was a bummer, but I was still interested in making a purchase. My next step was to search for a newsletter subscription link. After all, I wanted to know the second their products were back in stock, and I figured their newsletter subscribers would be the first to know.

There was no newsletter subscription link. There was no way to stay in touch with the company. The only way to learn about product availability was by checking the site or their social platforms. 

That’s a huge miss.

Think of all those motivated buyers who are happy to wait — they just need to know when to buy. They aren’t going to check a company’s site or social platforms every day. But they will check their email.

A stylist friend of mine has a similar issue. Hair salons are shut down in Oregon, so she’s not making her normal income. Now is the time that she could sell hair products (that can be mailed), promote touch-up hair color kits (that can be dropped off at her clients’ front door), and give hair styling tips to those of us who haven’t had a haircut in four months (ahem.)

Unfortunately, she’s stuck. She doesn’t have an opt-in list, so she doesn’t have the (easy) option.

On the flip side, one of my friends is a Pilates and nutrition instructor. She was able to send a newsletter out to her clients saying that she was teaching Pilates via Zoom and charging for classes. (Hi, Ishbel!) Another friend took his Pilates studio online and is emailing clients about the new online schedule. (Hi, Dan!)

Their newsletters allowed them to easily get the word out and still make money during this weird time.

Unlike Google, newsletters are 100 percent under your control. You don’t have to worry about algorithmic updates messing with your visibility. You don’t need to think about SEO or keywords. You don’t need an expensive keyphrase research tool.

All you have to do is create content and push “send.” Boom.  

What if you have a newsletter, but you haven’t published in a long time?

What are you waiting for? People gave you their email addresses because they want to hear from you. Why not use this time as an opportunity to reach out to your subscribers and help them through this weird time?

No, I don’t mean hitting them with sales messages. Or, the standard “Here is our COVID-19 policy” that every company is sending right now.

I mean helpful content that solves your readers’ pain points, provides valuable information — heck, maybe even gives them a laugh or two. 

As I said last week, now is not the time to go dark. Your readers need you. It may not result in a sale right now. But, building your “know, like and trust factor” will help people remember you when they are ready to buy.

Plus, writing a newsletter can be immensely satisfying. I can’t see you guys — but I still feel connected to you, even if it’s through an email newsletter. We may not have any in-person get-togethers anytime soon. But, we have email.

And that’s pretty cool.

In this time of uncontrollable situations, sending a newsletter is one of the smartest, easiest things you can do. Show the person behind the brand. Offer to help your readers. Make them laugh. Control what you can control.

Chances are, you’ll even see a little business from it too.

(As a side note, I wrote about email newsletters way back in 2012. Here’s the blog post and video.)

What do you think?

Is your newsletter active or is it gathering dust? How do you feel about sending emails during major world events? Leave a comment and let me know!

Here’s hoping you’re stocked up on T.P. and hand sanitizer! 

I’m here if you need me!


4 replies
  1. Aaron Starc says:

    I like the part about optimizing content but there are so many newsletters out there. Especially, after the COVID-19. Apparently, every other brand is telling their email subscribers how are they dealing with COVID-19.

    • Heather Lloyd-Martin says:

      LOL! I hear you! I’m receiving emails from companies I haven’t heard from in years…

      At the same time, the *right* messages can have an impact. Some companies are doing a great job (oddly, my insurance company is one.) Others, well, if Xfinity sends me one more “Here’s how we’re protecting you” email… :)

      Thanks for your comment!

  2. Lara Fabans says:

    Bare Minerals and Black Angus Steakhouse did a nice job of sending emails of encouragement while they were closed. And Bare Minerals offered online options from Sephora and a few other places so people weren’t scrambling to find their facial lotion. Black Angus gave good updates to set expectations about when you could finally do takeout and then sit in dining. I wish Bare Minerals had done a bit more with letting people know when their boutiques reopened. As you said, we gave our emails for a reason…we want to stay up to date with what’s going on.


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