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There may be no definitive answer to this question but I thought peer review of the problem might stimulate some ideas on the topic.

We have a boutique sales site that is experiencing low volumes of traffic (both UK and international) between 8AM and 4PM BST. This seems sort of strange since our target audience for the site is UK based, and this would seem to be when people are awake and online.

We are in contact with another boutique site in the same sector who don't experience this issue, so it seems kinda strange.

Later on in the day we are getting traffic from the UK, as well as a fair amount of international traffic, so I'm at a loss to figure this one out.

The site is fairly well optimised including:-

  • sitemap.xml
  • Proper caching policies across the board
  • google merchant
  • dublin core
  • microdata
  • html5
  • pretty urls
  • meta and content are reviewed as an ongoing concern
  • we have decent sitelinks for direct queries thru google on the site name
  • a decent amount of inbound links
  • FB, Twitter, Google +1
  • Google maps listing [verified]
  • site has been selling for ~4 months and is getting ~250 users per day.

So I'm not entirely sure how to explain the mid day dip in our figures....

Any ideas at all would be useful.

Cheers all!

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1  
In Goolge Analytics you are able to view visitors per hour, you should create reports that show you visitors per geographic location for those hours. But in general websites will have time periods of high traffic and low traffic no matter the size. Your best bet is to use Google Analytics, create a few custom reports and see for yourself what the pattern is. –  Anagio Feb 21 '12 at 13:56
3  
What kind of thing are you selling? The dip you're experiencing is during working hours and is quite normal for general sales / utility site. –  toomanyairmiles Feb 21 '12 at 15:22
    
@toomanyairmiles I was thinking perhaps the dip was during nominal working hours, but to be honest the fact that ALL traffic, both UK and non-UK is low at this point in time has me stumped. I'll try building some reporting as Anagio suggests in GA to see what I can figure out, although even just switching to a weeks worth of data and then setting time frame to hours gives a fairly good indication. Cheers for the responses to this fairly open question guys. I appreciate it. –  BizNuge Feb 21 '12 at 16:56
    
@BizNuge it does sound odd, perhaps post the report when you have it, I'd be very interested to see - have you checked the uptime and latency on your site to ensure slow loads are not putting people off? –  toomanyairmiles Feb 21 '12 at 17:05
    
Random thought: assuming the dip in traffic is from a dip in search traffic, are your competitors running ads that only run during those hours? –  Eric Brandel Feb 21 '12 at 17:18

2 Answers 2

From the sound of it you are targeted mainly at end users rather than business-to-business. In this case, 8am-4pm is general working hours and so you are likely to see lower traffic here. This is pretty normal.

Similarly, most of Europe is only 1-2 hours ahead so you will see a similar pattern here.

If you looked at analytics for UK vs all countries then since most of your traffic is UK-based, those stats would be "drowning out" any small rises in international traffic. Also remember that 8am-4pm GMT is nighttime in America so you would experience a large drop there as well.

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Did you add new pages to your website lately ? has your rank dropped ?

Besides checking what google analytics has to offer (like our good fellows suggested above) - you can also use google webmasters:
after registration, go to "Diagnostics" section and then to "HTML suggestions".
You should see there if you have duplicate meta tags and such. another thing is, if you moved from "regular" URL to "friendly" URLs - make sure to use 301-redirect (from the old urls to the new ones).

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