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Guaranteed Traffic?

trafficI first wrote this post in May of 2005. Funny how things just don’t change isn’t it? Here’s the post again with a few updates. I’d love to hear what you think!

Have you been getting emails from companies promising “huge traffic” to your website? We see them almost daily, either through the sites we own, or forwarded from clients wanting to know if it’s worth it to invest time and money in these schemes. While there are reputable companies who work closely with you to optimize content and on-page and social search engine optimization, there are plenty who promise the moon and deliver worthless false traffic.

What’s “False Traffic”?
False traffic is generated through a number of strategies that drive traffic, but that traffic may not be even remotely interested in your content.

Casino or lottery link ads to trick users to click through to enter the site.

Social “click bait” links with titles that entice users to click, but  then annoy the user by having nothing to do with the site they link to.

Even spam emails with phony remove links that ‘hit’ your site when clicked. Imagine how that makes those users feel about your business?

Oh, and then there are the robots, simply hitting your site over and over again as they crawl lists of links provided by the traffic company. Is that the kind of traffic you want to bring to your company? No. No it’s not.

If you want traffic to your website, you need to do some work first
Targeting your market effectively means you must know who that is. What they like, what they dislike, ideas or designs that will appeal to them. Spend some time listening to existing customers. Talk to your sales teams and look for opportunities to answer questions and add value.  More than anyone else, your team should have a clear idea of who they serve and what they want.

Are you an architect? What style do you want to project? Modern? Craftsman? Work with your content team to create relevant, essential and high-quality content for your market. Think generously and share the secrets of the business they need to know in order to build the home of their dreams. Share projects as case studies that fit the various scenarios the reader can expect to encounter. Solve their problems.

What about link building?
Link building used to consist of getting as many inbound links to your website as possible. The links came from anywhere remotely related to your topic as long as you got a lot of hits. Search engines saw through that long ago. Now if you want to use link building it can still be a good strategy, but you really need to have a concise plan. Here’s a great case study on link building to learn from, including  tips on creating content that will drive organic (unpaid) traffic.

Social media
Social media can drive a lot of traffic to your website. Search engines take the popularity of the social accounts, relevancy to the topic and whether the followers of that account also share the link. (AKA viral reach) into account.  Brands reach out to influencers on social networks to share links to their website nd encourage their fans to share too, helping increase the quality of inbound social links. They create social accounts and encourage conversation around topics relevant to the market, increasing the opportunity to share inbound links and social sharing. Again, providing valuable content with a generous heart to help your market is key, and will repay you with targeted traffic that actually cares about what you have to say!

Bottom line?
There is no easy way to shoot to the top of the search engines and stay there. It’s hard work, and needs constant maintenance to keep up to date with the latest search engine strategies. There are ethical Search Engine Optimization (SEO) experts out there who can help with this, but take a long hard look at their plan before you hand over your credit card.