Launch went well. Traffic is falling. Now what?

Hey friends,

I launched my latest software product a week or two ago.

As you can see in the image, there is a big spike. That was when I launched on Product Hunt and Hacker News. I got a couple of sales, and lots of people were asking me interesting questions.

Since then, I've been gradually optimizing the landing page (it's still not great on mobile, or in general - but it has converted).

But here's the thing - traffic has been falling. It's not like I didn't expect this to happen, and the only reason it hasn't gone to zero is because I've been running search engine ads (via Microsoft Ads).

It's important to note that my conversion rate is far lower with Microsoft Ad traffic than Product Hunt or Hacker News traffic, because my Microsoft Ads are super-targeted for my ideal customer and the people that bought from Product Hunt or Hacker News converted on a way worse version of the landing page.

I have three ideas for why my product isn't converting right now:

  1. There's not a lot of demand for the product. I don't think that the product is terrible - I personally find it very useful and use it myself, as do my customers (even though there are few of them). The search term "accessibility toolbar" has a very low search volume on Google (something like 1,000/month if I remember correctly)

Note: For context, the product in question here is an accessibility toolbar for websites. It primarily competes on price by being an LTD rather than a subscription service.

  1. My ads are poorly targeted. I've tried to optimize them to the fullest extent that Microsoft Ads will allow me - though I do see (some) clicks coming from irrelevant keywords. Also, my CTR is just average - but very little (around 3%) of my search engine traffic actually clicks the CTA or visits the pricing page, let alone purchase the product.

  2. The presentation is bad. The website doesn't have a whole lot of pages and the navbar is a bit... blank? Perhaps that isn't great for credibility and is losing conversions. Maybe it's strange that a somewhat temporary-looking website trying to sell a lifetime software product?

I have three ideas for how to fix this and rebuild traction:

  1. Search engine optimization: it's not that I don't now how to improve my site's SEO - it's just that it takes a good chunk of time - especially to write quality content. If I were to write some content, I'd write some documentation/guides for how developers/webmasters can improve their web accessibility.

  2. Google Ads: though I'm really not a fan of Google, it's a necessary evil. I don't use their products and I have (most of) their trackers blocked and such. But many potential customers use it, and if your product doesn't use Google, you'll likely end up working for or with someone who does. Google Ads offers reach an order of magnitude higher than Microsoft, allowing for better targeting and quicker optimization iterations.

  3. AppSumo: Once I further improve my landing page, I'll give this software deal finding platform a shot as well. Hopefully I'll get more of a "grip" rather than a "spike" in terms of my website traffic.

I'm sure others have been stuck in a bit of a traction rut like this before... any advice?

Disclaimer: I am not trying to use this post as a means of promoting my product - just looking for some advice from seasoned indie hackers!

  1. 3

    I think your website is mostly fine. One thing though: you're value prop is hidden way below the fold. It should be the first thing visible to customers! Now the first thing they see is features, not the value :)

    I think there are no major flaws, but you just need to grind it out and hustle like there's no tomorrow. Blog, post to communities, help people realize why they NEED your product. Promote like a crazy person.

    I'm already intrigued since making my site accessible has been on my list for a long time. But I need to see some numbers like I'm 5 years old. So if I pay $99 for lifetime how many $ do I get from it?

    1. 1

      Thanks for this!

      First, what is the value if not in the features? How might you suggest I go about conveying the value of the product - perhaps by mentioning that there are "x" number of frivolous web accessibility-related lawsuits each year? I already mentioned less than 10% of websites aren't accessible on the landing page, though perhaps it should be the first thing people see.

      Second, as for quantifying how much value you get, what kind of numbers should I provide? The amount of money saved with my app compared to competitors, or something else, like statistics about web accessibility itself?

      Thanks again for your time, I found your input very valuable!

      1. 2

        The value is the direct benefits I get when implementing your accessibility solution. The features will get me to the value, but they're not the same thing.

        Example of the value I could get: decreased bounce rate, increased conversions, increased sales and so forth. Or yes, even law suits avoided (and money saved) if that's the case.

        Examples of features that will get me to the value: WCAG 2.1 compliance, effortless integration, boosted SEO.

        Here's a great example of the difference between features and value: https://s3.amazonaws.com/harrydry/gdmarketing/ctt3.jpg

        And to your second question, yes, I think $ is a safe and an attractive metric that everyone understands. What does it mean if I join the 10% of accessible websites? What's in it for me if I can get some of the 2 billion people with a disability to use my site?

        1. 1

          Ah, I see this much clearer now, thanks for your perspective!!

  2. 2

    Did you test launch the MVP of your product before the main launch to test the demand?

    1. 1

      No - the main launch basically was the MVP. I would have done it separately, though for once development took less time than anticipated.

  3. 2

    Not just because you mentioned the word 'traction' a few times, I'd highly recommend you reading the book Traction. It gives a really good philosophy on the potential channels for your business to grow to the next level, and gives very actionable tips.

    @timosarkka is spot on though - go out there and hustle like there's no tomorrow!

    1. 1

      Thank you for the recommendation, I will have a look!

  4. 2

    I've used Google Ads for my product recently, it has brought a few sign-ups, but no purchases. I'm not familiar with Google Ads a lot yet. But I noticed that more relevant traffic goes from generic search and communities like IH, PH.
    Both I and my co-founder are writing posts on IH, Reddit, post updates on our Twitter. Also, we've created a blog to share useful tips and increase relevant content on our website.
    I am writing to curated list owners to add our product to their lists.

    I think the launch it's not 1 day - it's continuous hard and boring work😄

    1. 2

      Exactly, especially when it comes to search engine traffic, as SEO is exponential in nature. Though it's hard to know if it's worth putting in a lot of time into a certain project if you're yet not sure how big the addressable market is or whether it can convert enough visitors into customers to achieve worthwhile profitability.

      Thanks for the comment!

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