Stop Losing Traffic to These Mistakes

You’ve already broken your “no swearing rule” and you’re sorely tempted to throw in the towel because your website rarely sees a blip of traffic. According to Reliable Soft, there may be several reasons you can attribute this to, such as incoming links, social media strategy, and content quality.

Here are five areas that Reliable Soft says website owners could improve on:

Lack Of Good Content

Search engines (especially Google) are extremely efficient at determining the difference between good content and poor content. If your content lacks quality and user relevance, your website’s chances of ranking high in the SERPs and generating traffic are reduced.
Additionally, low-quality content isn’t likely to engage audiences through social media channels.

Want to know which type of content attracts website visitors? Check out the characteristics of high-quality content below:

  • It complies with SEO copywriting tips proven to work after Panda and Penguin (Google algorithms)
  • It’s published on a site with high-quality pages that are indexed
  • It is objective, well researched, and original
  • It’s fresh, engaging, and relevant to user queries

Keyword Strategy

This common mistake is one of the most critical reasons websites don’t get enough traffic (from search engines, anyway). There are only 10 positions available on the first page of the SERPs for every keyword. Search engines try to show trusted websites that meet their ranking criteria in those 10 positions. That being said, competition for prominent keywords is exceptionally high, so if you’re focused only on targeting popular keywords you’ll find it difficult to rank well.

So how do you get traffic if you can’t rank for popular keywords? Consider the following example from Wordstream:

“If you’re a company that sells classic furniture, the chances are that your pages are never going to appear near the top of an organic search for “furniture” because there’s too much competition (this is particularly true if you’re a smaller company or a startup). But if you specialize in, say, contemporary art-deco furniture, then keywords like “contemporary Art Deco-influenced semi-circle lounge” are going to reliably find those consumers looking for exactly that product.”

While the traffic gains might be less than high competition keywords, ranking for several low competition words is still a good way to increase website trust.


Website Load Time

Studies have shown that users will repeatedly visit websites that load fast. On the flip side, users will navigate away from websites that don’t load fast enough. Kissmetrics shares the following statistics on website load times:

  • 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less.
  • 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load.

Even if your website is ranking well and getting traffic from search engines, along with referrals from social media, users who land on slow loading pages will leave without entering. Improving your website’s load time will also help increase traffic as rankings improve.


Satisfying Panda & Penguin 

If you’re not in the SEO world, you may be unaware of how Google’s algorithmic changes (such as Panda, Penguin, or Hummingbird) affect the ranking position and traffic of websites. If you suffer a hit by algorithmic changes, your traffic can drop dramatically from one day to the next. Check out your Google Analytics report to find out when the traffic dropped off, then compare it against Moz’s Google Algorithm Change History to see if your site was negatively impacted during algorithm refreshes or updates.

If you’re fairly certain you weren’t a victim of the Google Algorithm, but you’re still not getting traffic, consider the following:

  • Your website is fairly new (less than 6 months old)
  • You lack content
  • You’re not using social media  
  • Youre making SEO mistakes (more on this below)
  • You’re focusing on getting traffic from search engines only


Improving SEO

Whether you use an SEO firm or do your own SEO, mistakes can ruin your site in the eyes of Google. And it may seem harsh, but with Google, “Ignorance is no excuse,” says Smart Blogger, “You break the rules, you pay the consequences.”

The good news is:

“If you know nothing about SEO, and you’re doing nothing more than publishing awesome content and building relationships with your readers, you’re probably safe.”


Source: Smart Blogger

Don’t spend your valuable time trying to figure out how to manipulate the Google algorithm for better rankings, just concentrate on creating content that deserves to be on the first page, promote the heck out of it, and wait for Google to catch up, suggests Smart Blogger. Google’s goal, after all, is to place the best sites at the top of the pile.


Building Traffic Takes Time

If your website isn’t getting the traffic you’d hoped for, you’re not alone in your struggle. As Think Traffic (now Sparkline) points out, “attracting visitors is easily the least understood aspect of building websites”, plus…building an audience takes time because, according to Hubspot:

  • It takes consistency to rank organically
  • You can’t amass high-quality Inbound links overnight
  •  Reputations are established over time

Be patient. If you start feeling frustrated by the lack of immediate results, read Hubspot’s article on Why Generating Traffic Takes Time (And How to Know You’re On The Right Track).

And remember…building website traffic is a marathon, not a sprint.

Sherene Funk is the author of the contemporary romance Autumn in Your Arms and two small business e-books. She is a voracious reader who owns more books than she can ever read in this lifetime. A graduate of Brigham Young University, she worked in advertising for many years before moving to her current writing position at Rain Retail Software. She researches non-stop to see what successful retailers do and loves to share what she learns with small business owners.

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