This post centers around the ever present importance of traffic for your website.
But you’ve got to do it the right way.
Constant web traffic is something that has to be constantly maintained. It’s the only thing that really matters to a business. It’s simple economics: if you cannot generate targeted visitors to your site, you will not make any sales.
Usually someone connected to the website is the person responsible for driving traffic to the site. Depending on the scale of the site, that person could be you. The main tool in traffic generation is the search engine.
Paid advertising is always an option too, if you have the budget for it. Organic search results, however are always available for free and any business should be looking to maximize this free source of traffic.
Some web masters could do with a reminder of what their priorities should be in the ongoing design and maintenance of their site. While it is important to have a nice looking site that users can interact with easily, more attention should be given to search engine visibility. User experience and search engine visibility don’t always overlap.
Following is a list of common mistakes and misconceptions, many of which used to work in getting higher rankings, but will work no more. These are practices that are best avoided. If you are ever tempted to do any one of these no-no’s on the list. Just remember that any one of them could harm your traffic.
- Ineffective use of keywords.
Keywords are the main criteria by which a search engine figures out what your site is all about. Using well researched and relevant keywords, you will target the exact customer to visit your website. Get this wrong and your traffic will suffer, mainly due to your site ranking in the wrong subject, or worse, not ranking at all.
2. Repeating keywords over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over.
This actually used to work in the early days of the search engines. You could just stuff your keyword as many times as possible and the site with the most number of a certain keyword would rank the highest. Nowadays, this tactic works against you. Don’t even bother with it.
3. Copy pasting pages from other websites.
There’s so much information on the internet, and there’s so much great content that is about your subject. It’s already doing really well, ranking in the search engines and getting people engaged with the content. Why not just copy the best sites directly? Because search engines hate duplication. Duplicate another web page out of context and you will suffer banishment from the likes of Google.
4. Using popular keywords which are not relevant to your website.
This is one of those tactics that tries to “fool” or trick the search engines. I’ve heard of some designers trying this but a small amount of logical thinking should cause them to stop. An example is that they will use the name of a famous celebrity or the words “sex” or “free” in an attempt to gain more exposure for their content, which will be something completely unrelated. If the topic on the page has nothing to do with sex, for example, this strategy will actually cause a drop in rankings. The keywords need to appear in a natural manner on the page in order to be acceptable. For example right here in this paragraph. I’m clearly not trying to spam the search engine even though I’ve used those keywords.
5. Keyword stuffing.
Kind of similar to what was mentioned earlier, but this means to use a keyword absolutely everywhere, such as in alt tags, in hidden text, in every image description. If a search engines finds that this text does not really describe the graphic or layer it will be penalized with extreme prejudice.
6. Invisible keywords.
Another old trick that used to work but will only get your site ejected if you try it these days. At one time you could repeat the keyword tens of thousands of times on your site invisibly by making the text the same color as the background. Funny to think how simple search engines used to be that they would actually fall for that and rank the site higher for those invisible keywords.Today this tactic is search engine suicide.
7. Really tiny text.
Same thing as trying to go invisible. Making the text really really tiny and repeating keywords that way is equally ineffective when it comes search engine ranking. Seriously, the things people have tried and failed to cheat the system.
8. Thinking that one size fits all for search engines.
The big G is by far the most widely used search engine in the Western Hemisphere. Most of our websites are tailored towards that one search engine’s SEO. If you are targeting a specific audience that may use more of another search engine, you need to find out what the rules are for that particular search engine, and how they operate. They are all different in quite a few ways. Sometimes a search engine will not list your site at all, while others have you at the top rank for a keyword.
9. Free web hosting.
I have actually got good rankings before on free hosts, but there is almost certainly a penalty to pay for using these services. They are generally given less weight than an independent domain with original content. You might also have to have advertising that you don’t want or earn from as part of the deal to use the “free” hosting service. Plus you are at the mercy of the hosts. If they want to take your site down, or withhold your content, there would be nothing you could do about it.
10. Allow broken links and missing page elements on your page.
I’ve made a list of chores that you should do every day on your website to make sure everything there is neat and tidy, just how the search engines like to see it. If there are dead links, bad HTML, unclosed tags, etc, this type of thing will retard your SEO progress.
If you are aware of these SEO bloopers, then you should stay out of trouble for the most part. I would suggest not to even bother experimenting with these methods. They are well known by the search engines and will only hold you back
The risk in taking any one of these “shortcuts” is not only wasted time but you could have your site completely delisted from your favorite search engine. In any case, there are lots of legitimate and effective things you can do to crank up the traffic flowing through your site. I suggest you start by reading everything on this website!