Back in the day, all you had to do was stuff a few keywords onto a page and you were set with the search engines. Heck, you could put nothing but your keywords on a page and be golden. Today, Google has changed the way content and traffic play with one another – and let’s just say if your content isn’t playing by the rules, traffic won’t come hang out.
If you aren’t getting traffic to your website, it’s probably a multitude of reasons. Although, there are some sites that just need a quick tweak to get the job done. Regardless, you should take a look at your site and see what you’re doing to drive away readers or worse, turn away Google.
Reasons You Aren’t Getting Traffic
We won’t go too crazy here, because the list could be hundreds of things long. But often websites that aren’t getting traffic are offenders of four common things:
They Don’t Give a Crap About Their Content
When you don’t care or put the effort into your content, it shows. When you’re passionate about a topic, it will show to your readers and people will share, send and come back for more. If, however, you don’t care about the topic or niche you’re covering, then there is a good chance you’re putting minimal effort into making the content for it. Caring about the topic is rather important – well, if you want people to visit your site.
Also, a website isn’t something you build overnight. If you haphazardly threw your content together, it definitely will be a turn off to the average reader. Websites can take up to six months to build traffic, so use that time wisely.
They’re Bouncing All Over the Map
Maybe you do care about the topic you’re covering, but perhaps you’ve picked something too broad or you just aren’t sticking to the point. What do your blog posts look like? Are they sticking to a specific niche or are you covering off-topics things? You can’t just go wild when you create content. It needs a purpose and most importantly, needs to be relevant to what you’re marketing at all times.
You’re Not Covering a Topic People Care About
This might sting a little, but the problem very well could be you’re just covering a topic people don’t care about or aren’t searching for it. Choosing a narrow niche is always risky, and if you picked the lucky niche that a limited number of people are searching for or it’s just too boring for the average reader, you’re going to get a trickle instead of a heavy flow of traffic.
You’re Not Using Keywords, Or You’re Using Keywords Too Much
If you aren’t using keyword-focused posts, that’s okay. Keywords aren’t as important these days as the quality of the content, but a keyword should still be sprinkled in here and there to catch those users searching for something specific. If you’re one of those sites spamming your content with nothing but keywords, well, then you know why you aren’t getting traffic – Google probably blacklisted your site.
Once you’re penalized by Google, your life gets a lot harder. KISSmetrics has a great post discussing 50 ways you can get penalized by Google. So if you’re not getting traffic, you might want to check that out too.
One thing you’ll see consistently in these four reasons you’re not getting traffic is your content. Content is king and it has been said over and over again. If you have poor quality content, you’re not going to get traffic, get shared or get anywhere. Period.
Content goes viral fast, according to Search Engine Journal. So if you write the content people are interested in, you’re going to see your traffic jump off the charts. Let’s put it this way: over 2 billion YouTube videos are watched every day, WordPress has over 200,000,000 blog posts read, and there are over 50 million tweets on Twitter every day. You want your content to go viral.
7 Ways Content Drives More Traffic to Your Site
Since you know content is obviously the reason you’re not getting traffic, now it is time to discuss how you can increase your traffic with content. You have probably heard how to write content, but maybe you’re just putting that off until you get more traffic and better visitors to read your content. Well, the right content today means more visitors tomorrow. And here’s why:
1. It Answers the Question Readers are Looking For
People on the internet are always searching for something. Whether they are looking for ways to save money or how to cook dinner tonight – they have a purpose on the web. You are the answer to the searchers question. You will have that article, blog post or tutorial that guides them to the answer they’re looking for. By having the answer the reader needs, you also become their future go-to for additional advice and information in that same niche.
Now, if your content doesn’t answer the question, you’ll be the first site that user avoids in the future. Its’ all about quality content that attracts the reader, but gives them something valuable. The reader shouldn’t be promised something in your headline or through keywords and then be let down when they take the time to click through. Deliver on your promise with high-quality content that drives the point home, gives the reader the answer he or she needs, and is made up of quality information. That means taking time to actually write your web content – including researching when necessary – and showing that you care just as much about what the reader is looking for and that’s why you’re developing the content just for them.
Being thorough matters too. If you just write a 100 word blog post, it is unlikely that you’re covering everything about the topic. That means your readers will have to go to another site to find answers that you didn’t get to. Instead of going for super short posts, use your content as a way to answer everything a reader is looking for. Cover the topic fully and be the only site the reader needs to go to. When readers don’t have to leave your site to find additional information, your traffic will ultimately increase.
2. It Entertains
Sometimes an internet user is there to be entertained. Sometimes they had no intention, but they stumbled across that special blog that did it anyway. That could be you! Content that entertains could get your content shared over the web or just encourage a visitor to come back in the future and see what more entertaining posts you will cook up next.
You can’t, however, entertain the reader if you don’t put effort into the content. It takes time to write something up that is truly witty and unique. But, that is what readers are looking for and even more importantly, what Google expects from websites. So, before you just slap any piece of content up, think of the person who is actually reading the content. Are they likely to enjoy it or pass out of boredom? Let’s face it; users that are bored on a site will not only bounce as fast as possible, but they won’t come back. Google looks at bounce rates, according to OSTraining, so you want users to actually stick around and read rather than bounce right back and never visit your site again.
3. It Can be Shared Instantly – Going Viral
Crappy content doesn’t get shared. Now does it? Have you ever found that piece of content online that just hit you so hard you were compelled to share it with everyone on your Facebook and Twitter? Think of all of the blog posts you have pinned on Pinterest. It’s highly unlikely they were boring or offered you up nothing. Right?
That is because great content is content that is shared. And, when you share content via social media, it could go viral in a matter of seconds. It’s all about writing that post that people see, share and share again. If your content is boring or doesn’t offer any meat to a reader’s meal, it won’t get shared and it won’t have the potential to go viral.
But, when you write something great and it is shared, your content could increase the number of hits your website gets in a matter of just a few days.
4. It Can Make Your Brand More Appealing
Content doesn’t just make your website fun to look at; it makes your brand more appealing to buyers. If you are selling something with your site, you want content that makes your brand more appealing and helps consumers trust it enough to buy from it. The right content can do that. It’s all about finding a balance between offering customers information and selling them what you’re selling. Your posts should be thorough, high-quality and give readers something to take away, but also compel them to click through and make a purchase.
High-quality relevant content is more likely to make your brand appealing and convert a reader into a buyer than boring, poorly written content.
5. It Can Be Customized to Your Personality
Content is unique and should be unique. The right type of content can showcase your personality, your own style and make you stand out among the hundreds (if not thousands) of blogs and websites out there covering the exact same topic. Your content can make you seem like the only website to go to when readers are looking for something in that niche. That’s what makes unique content so great. You’re not spouting off the same boring stuff that everyone else is – you’ve taken it and spun it into a different direction that takes readers a step back.
When you write unique content that offers a piece of personality, you’re going to see an increase in traffic. Users are going to share your content, come back for more and you’re more likely to go viral just for being yourself.
6. It Can Make a Really Boring Topic Super Awesome
Let’s face it; there are some topics out there that are extremely boring. You can’t run from it – it’s your business. But, the right content can make even the most snooze-worthy content seem like a hip rock concert (okay, maybe that’s too far). If you’re writing boring posts on a boring topic, no wonder you have no traffic coming to your site. People aren’t searching the internet to find a way to take a nap, they are looking for information.
Even the most boring topics can be a little more interesting with the right copywriting. Just add a little humor or add some personality. If the topic is truly doomed, then it might be time to switch and try something a little easier.
7. It Can Use the Right Keywords
Yes, keywords still matter, but they aren’t the save-all for more traffic. Once you know the keywords you do need to use or the keywords that your searchers are likely using, create content that specifically addresses those keywords. Don’t stuff a page with the keywords, get in-depth and really give the reader something to take away. Also, use keywords in your headers if you can. These are great for increasing traffic and search engine visibility. By using the right keywords in your content, you can increase the chances your site is seen and your traffic increases. But, like we said, stick to a safe density – such as 1 to 3 percent – to keep yourself from being penalized by Google. Because once that happens, you won’t see traffic at all.
Getting more traffic isn’t rocket science. It’s all about striking a balance between the right content, keywords and just being yourself. If you take these steps and implement them today, you’re going to see your traffic start to increase. While we can’t promise results overnight, we can promise you’re going to see higher traffic in the coming months just by taking more time with your content.