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You’ve Lost Your Facebook Traffic… 4 Things You Can Do to Get it Back

Facebook, TRaffic, EdgeRankBy Holly Reisem Hanna

For the past four years Facebook has been a major force in driving traffic to my website. But over the past few months my Facebook traffic has drastically decreased, even though my Facebook audience has increased to well over 7,000+ fans.

I’m not the only one who has noticed this dramatic decrease in traffic from Facebook. In fact bloggers, marketers, and companies alike are concerned that their Facebook Pages are no longer as valuable as they once were for driving traffic, creating brand awareness, and overall engagement.

The reason for this major drop in traffic is due to Facebook’s new algorithm, called EdgeRank, which determines which updates are seen and how high on an individual’s news feed. According to Jon Loomer, a Social Media Consultant, it is currently estimated that only 16% of your audience is seeing your posts.

While there are many different hypothesis for why Facebook came out with EdgeRank, I’m going to guess it that it has something to do with their new sponsored post option. This new option allows Page Owners to pay a predetermined amount, so that their update gets seen by a larger audience. For example, you can shell out $50.00 and your update will be seen by 7,000 – 14,000 individuals.

While I’m not personally thrilled about EdgeRank and what it has done for my traffic, I have learned that just like everything else online, that you need to remain flexible and never ever rely on one single source for your traffic strategy.

So what you can do? Here are four ways to get your Facebook traffic back…

Educate Your Facebook Fans:
Facebook Traffic EdgeRank
Let your fans know about EdgeRank and how it’s affecting what they see in their news feed. There are three different solutions for this, from telling your audience how to get email notifications from your page, to having fans create a special interest group for your page, to simply checking “Show in News Feed”.

By hovering over the Liked Button on any page an individual likes, they will see the options for above mentioned scenarios. Have fans click on the various options that they would like to utilize.

While I’m not certain if these methods will actually produce 100% of your subscribers actually receiving 100% your updates, it is a good start. Another method to use along with educating your fans, is having a strong call to action on your updates. For example, “Click like on this post if you want to work at home”. The more likes and shares that an update receives, the better is fairs in Facebook’s new algorithm and the more exposure you’ll receive.

Create Text Only Updates:

I first read abut this technique on Business Among Moms, and surprisingly it works. I’m not sure why, but when you post a text only update (no photo, no video, and no link) it does much better in Facebook’s new algorithm and it is seen by a greater percentage of your audience. So here’s how it works. If you want to post a blog article, write a short text update, along with a comment telling individuals that the link to the article is in the first comment underneath the original update. Then put the link to the blog post in the first comment area. As you can see in the example below, when I posted the update with the link, it only received 277 views, but when I used the other method, where I posted the link in the first comment, I received 1,205 views.

Facebook EdgeRank

Facebook EdgeRank

Connect in Other Places:

Remember when MySpace was all the rage? Things are constantly changing on the Internet and to keep ahead of the pack, you need to diversify and be flexible. Be available on more than one social network and keep up with the trends. Probably the biggest lesson to be learned from Facebook’s EdgeRank, is that you can never rely solely on one source for your traffic, marketing and/or sales. So if you’re not doing it already, start building an email list. Many email marketing providers offer free services up to 100 contacts, with affordable pricing plans from there on up. Remember to always follow anti-spam rules and laws, and never sign someone up without their permission.

Focus on SEO:

While Facebook has been a major source of traffic for me, my number one source has always been Google. If you’re not familiar with Search Engine Optimization (SEO), now is the time to learn. Basically, when an individual searches for an item (keyword or keyword phrase) on the Internet, search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing search for sites that offer content that is relevant and authoritative in nature. They do this by analyzing a website’s overall content, keywords within the content, and through incoming links from other sites.

So how do you go about incorporating SEO in your website? Start by having high quality copy on your site that incorporates the specific keywords that you’re targeting. Since Google is always looking for fresh new content, having a blog that is updated on a regular basis is a another way to build your site’s credibility and content. Always make sure to focus on quality rather than quantity, and never overuse your keywords just to ensure ranking. Lastly, build reputable back links to your site through guest blogging, interview features, and offering to be a source for other online publications. Like anything else, SEO takes time.

While Facebook traffic across the board has fallen, businesses, bloggers, and marketers don’t have to throw up their hands in defeat. By expanding your horizons through experimentation, alternative marketing methods, and continued education, you can easily replace and even surpass the results that Facebook once brought you.

Posted in Social Networking

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8 Responses to “You’ve Lost Your Facebook Traffic… 4 Things You Can Do to Get it Back”

  1. 1
    Jane says:

    Wondered why you were posting links in the comments section instead of the status! Re: educating your fb fans unfortunately there’s no way of “adding to your interests” or “show in news feed” if you are following pages as a page yourself. I follow your facebook page as Ilove2blog4you, trying to keep business and my personal profile separate. I also manage clients facebook pages and have noticed how many business/organisation pages have dropped out of sight on their news feeds. I’d be interested to know if anyone has any ideas of how to get around this. Jane

    • 1.1
      Holly Hanna says:

      Ahhh, I didn’t know that you couldn’t add an interest group or click on “show in news feed” if you’re following as a Page… interesting. I think for right now, the only way to ensure that your update is seen, is to pay FB for greater exposure. Perhaps if Facebook’s traffic drops drastically, because of peeved businesses and marketers – maybe they’ll change it back to the good old days.

  2. 2
    Anna says:

    As per your suggestion I have tried doing text updates for the most part on my Facebook feed. It definitely does work! I get a lot more views when my posts are shared that way. Thank you!

  3. 3
    Ti Roberts says:

    Hi Holly,

    This is a great post and I enjoyed reading it. I’ve just relaunched my blog the beginning of Oct. and I’ve been focusing on driving traffic to it without the use of SEO and only utilizing social media and other high leveraged traffic outlets. This has worked phenomenally for me and I’ve been able to drive a large amount of traffic to my blog is a very short amount of time.

    Facebook is in my top 3 referrers and although the Edgerank update had been an issue for some, I don’t really see where my traffic has dropped from them, other than when I’m not as active on their platform as I usually am.

    Thanks for your “post text only” tip. I may try this as well. I’ve been testing another tactic to get more views to my posts by posting large pictures with a short description, a link to my blog post and a call to action and this seems to working rather well for me too.

    I agree that’s it’s very important to diversify your traffic sources. And, Facebook actually making you pay $50 to reach the rest of your OWN fans in my opinion is quite ridiculous. As you mentioned, list building and email marketing is pivotal – you can drive more traffic from your own email list and a much higher quality.

    I found your article on BizSugar.com. This website has been a great source of traffic for me as well and is actually in my top 5 referrers. Thanks for sharing this with our community. I appreciate your insights!

    Ti

    • 3.1

      That’s awesome that you haven’t noticed a drop in your traffic from Facebook. Biz Sugar is a good source for traffic for me too, but Google remains king. I’m also kind of geeky, I like watching my stats and how much SEO plays into keywords that I use.

  4. 4
    Judy says:

    I don’t have a web site as I’ve just started a year ago but I have noticed a drop in traffic. Many of us “dog folks” played Save a Dog in the evening. Although we were all over the world we responded to everyone in the group. After Dog Time took the app and now uses it to just post dogs for adoption like Pet finder. That is when my site stopped having likes and comments. Although I still post almost daily I have really seen interest drop.
    Unfortunately I’m not of the computer knowledge that you all have so I’m not sure what your telling us to do but I’m willing to learn if you can tell me how. I understand a lot of it but not all. I thought I’d try to send this post to all of my people on my Facebook page and Dog sitting page. Hope that’s a good idea. Part one going now.

  5. 5
    Carrie Smith says:

    As a social media coordinator and editor I noticed a big drop off in Facebook traffic too. I tested out a few different things and also noticed the text posts did the best. I never thought about adding the link into the first comment. Great idea!

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