8 Ways To Ensure Your Website Or Blog Never Reaches Its Search Traffic Potential

image credit:  jinaa

Search engine traffic is the lifeblood of many websites and blogs.  If you’re not getting any of it, you’re missing out on highly targeted traffic and attention that is instead going to your competitors.

The common question people ask is:  how do I get search engine traffic to my blog or to my website?  There are tons of strategies for that, and at the end of this post in the related links sections I’ll point you to some great resources.

Instead of answering the obvious question (most people do know how to draw search engine traffic at this point), let’s go through the opposite so you’ll know what to avoid:

8 Ways To Ensure Your Website Never Reaches Its Search Traffic Potential:

1)  Design your site using lots of animations or flash

Google cannot find you for what doesn’t exist on your .com.  It is as simple as that.  Also, tons of flash, graphics or games take time to load (not everyone has high speed connections and/or patience) and diminish user experience and usability.  They’re also shunned by the social web and an entire generation of web professionals.  Google claims they spider flash pages but I have yet to see many (any?) all flash pages ranking first for major terms.  Besides, once you’ve experienced a flash site once why would you go back?  Avoid flash like the plague.

2)  Don’t track your analytics or use the data to your advantage

I’ve tapped into a few interesting keywords by noticing I was picking up traffic for phrases within articles of my site or unique tags on my site.  The results for that traffic were actually on page 2 of Google, but by writing an article about the topic (and the fact that the topic was of interest to people reading this site) I now am on page one for the result.  Never would have seen this if I wasn’t paying attention to the analytics data.

3)  Don’t link out

By hoarding link-juice, you will not inspire as many people to link to you as you would if you also linked out to people.  This is just good form, plus in time it will be reciprocated to you.  In addition to inspiring more links to your .com which helps your site’s PageRank, you’ll get referral traffic too.

4)  Don’t have a plan

You should have a long term strategy for building sustainable traffic to your .com.  Don’t count on search traffic to continue to build if you do nothing.  The competitors for the phrases you rank for today are working hard to take your position.  What are you doing to stay ahead of them?

5)   Don’t add a blog to your static website

A blog is the perfect way to manage infinite content in an organized manner and allow you to tap into the long tail of search.  By not adding a blog to your .com, you’re letting your competitors move ahead of you not just in search traffic, but in terms of branding themselves as the brand of choice in the social web.

6)  Don’t pay attention to on-site SEO

Carefully auditing your on-site SEO is a must (hopefully this is already strong), and you should continually be strategic with how you add new pages and ensue proper page tags, URL permalinks, etc.

7)   Link out to spam sites/spam blogs/link farms

This hurts your SEO and site credibility.

8)   Change link structure, take down pages, alter your site without setting up redirects

Over time you hopefully will accrue links from other sites/blogs to specific pages on your .com directing readers to content.  When you take a page down, change link structure, etc. this not only will send those visitors to a 404 page, you’ll kill all the link juice flowing to those pages and your rank for those specific pages you’ve built.

There’s plenty more you should avoid, feel free to add more in the comments…

Related articles from The Future Buzz 

A Blog Search Engine Optimization Strategy – Maximize The Long Tail

Shouldn’t SEOs Rank Well?  Shouldn’t Web Pros Blog?

Findability, The Long Tail Of Search, And Building Deep Interactions

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