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Spotting trends and opportunities in your lockdown data

It really has been a crazy few weeks, but you already knew that. We hope you are safe and well. Over the lockdown period, we have been working with a number of our existing clients to maintain brand presence and visibility across their channels. Whilst e-commerce businesses have seen big increases in their web traffic, understandably, many service-based businesses have not experienced the levels of website traffic that they’d hoped for over the past few months. Instead, they have seen a gradual reduction since mid-March.

Some businesses may be thinking “People are probably spending more time online, why are they not on my site?”. If this is you, do not push the panic button just yet. It’s not all bad news and there could be some hidden opportunities to increase the visibility of your site.

Ourselves, and a lot of our client base, are service-oriented businesses and from analysing our own website insights we spotted some trends that might have gone otherwise unnoticed.

New content ideas

When we compare lockdown to the same time period pre-lockdown, we noticed a 438% (!) increase in traffic to our old blog post about website security. This makes sense considering the worries around Zoom calls and the headlines about people getting hacked. On top of this, businesses are already feeling vulnerable and want to clamp down on their own security – a loss of data from a lack of site back-up could be detrimental at this point.

This re-surge of interest in one of our old articles highlighted to us a new topic that people are looking to learn more about and could be an idea for a future post. It’s worth finding out which blogs are doing well right now – if they’re out of date (due to change in law, perceptions or new technology) then keep the post but direct people to a new and updated one.

You can do some further exploration in Google Search Console to see what queries people are using to arrive there – check your meta descriptions to make sure they’re relevant. When you find out which pages are gaining traction, also check for an appropriate call-to-action and a link through to the relevant service page.

More mobile users

One thing that we noticed from our own insights, and something that clients have queried us about, is a drop in desktop traffic. Do not jump to conclusions, if you’ve noticed a drop in desktop users it could well be because they’ve moved over to mobile.

On the Cargo site, we noticed that the percentage of mobile users has increased since the lockdown, and we’ve noticed a similar trend across our clients as well. This is understandable considering people may be spending less time at a desk and more time browsing on their handheld device. This is another opportunity for businesses though, to check their mobile speed.

Even though a full site overhaul is not something people are looking for at the moment, there can be some small changes that you can make to improve mobile speed. This could be decreasing the size of on-page files or getting rid of website plugins that are no longer needed.

There are also AMPs (accelerated mobile pages) which could be useful if you are pushing out some new content. These are faster loading pages that tend to be favoured over regular pages when it comes to Google rankings on a mobile device – something to consider implementing during downtime.

People have longer to spend online

Let’s face it, most of us have some extra time on our hands and although we might be taking up new hobbies or chatting to our friends more, we’re also likely to be spending more time online. When we looked at our own site, we discovered that people are spending more time browsing around the site – the average time spent on page is up 57% and average session duration up 55.91%.

Although service-based sites may not have seen an increase in traffic, it’s worth investigating if the users you are attracting are spending longer on the site. In our opinion, people have more time to browse, perhaps to get to know the business and the types of services that they offer.

Now is a great time to curate content, showcase your work and revisit your service page content, does it need to be more detailed?

Starting to think ahead

Despite an uncertain March and April, we have seen visits to our contact page up by 24% over the past two weeks and new leads filtering in. With talk of operations starting up again, are people feeling optimistic that work will pick up soon? We have certainly seen an increase in inbound leads this week which is positive.

Again, this presents another opportunity for businesses – is the user experience from landing page to lead generation as straight-forward as possible? Whether it’s playing around with font size and designs or tweaking the content, the next few weeks could be a good opportunity to carry out some A/B testing on your enquiry page and see if any improvements can be made.

Unfortunately for many service-based businesses, it could be a few weeks, or even months, before website traffic resembles how it should. In the meantime though, it’s worth reviewing your website data (or considering some of the trends we’ve found) to make the most of the people who are heading to your site. Update your content, optimise for mobile and play around with some testing – it’s all good preparation for when we can get back to work.

If you want to chat about what you’ve found, or need help delving into your data – get in touch.