A website is of no real use to anyone if it doesn’t have plenty of traffic. Given that having a website has become a basic necessity…
A website is of no real use to anyone if it doesn’t have plenty of traffic. Given that having a website has become a basic necessity for businesses and the main avenue for artists to express themselves and showcase their work, knowing how to optimize a website so that it gets as much traffic as it can is a very important skill set in the modern world. That being said, effective SEO isn’t really a weekend DIY project that anyone can just do for themselves. There are certain practices that have been shown to work well when it comes to boosting traffic – and most SEO professionals will recommend them – but search engine algorithms change all the time and we need to keep up with those changes in order to stay on top. To do that, you have to avoid the common mistakes and that requires some myth busting.
The best strategy is to keep up with the latest trends and let go of misconceptions
The best piece of advice anyone can give you is to focus on thinking like the average internet user, and then, try to provide quality content that is useful for the users and design a website that is easy to navigate and naturally leads visitors to your main pages, where they can find plenty of relevant information. Search engines are slowly adapting better and better methods of weeding out spammers and enabling people to find only truly relevant and useful content so, many of the SEO myths that persist have to be laid to rest before you can focus on boosting traffic and improving conversion rates. Here are some of the most damaging myths.
1. It is an all-powerful tool that provides instant results
When people first hear about how SEO can help them rank higher in SERP’s, they invest their money thinking that they will get to see some immediate results. The thing a lot of them don’t understand is that there is a reason why the term “organic results” is used. Sure, the traffic boost to your website happens very naturally – due to quality content, good backlinks from reputable sources, some cunning social media marketing, some web design changes based on testing, etc. – which is great, but this also means that everything will happen gradually. There’s no reason to panic if you don’t see any serious results a week after starting to work on your SEO. It can take a month or two before you experience a substantial positive change, and it is not a matter of doing something and then sitting back and waiting. Good SEO means constant work, week after week, and this requires a certain level of devotion and patience.
2. SEO is easy and inexpensive – anyone can do it
We’ve already mentioned that SEO is not a mere DIY project, but a lot of people think that they can get by with a very small initial investment, something to get them started and a few useful pointers, and then manage by themselves after a couple of months. While it is recommended that you as the website owner get involved in the project to a certain degree – e.g. you can write some content for the website yourself if the topics you are covering are related to a very specialized niche and you can become more involved with social media – it is best to leave most of the work to SEO professionals who know what they are doing. As with anything else, a high-quality professional service will cost you, there is no way around this, and if you try to cut corners, don’t expect good results.
3. Only do follow links from other websites are valuable
There is nothing wrong with looking for some additional link juice for your website, but focusing on search engine bots and ignoring the value of a link on a reputable blog that thousands will click on, driving a lot of traffic to your website, just because it is no follow, is not a good way of thinking. There are still a lot of people that will contest the value of a link in a viral article on a major blog – with hundreds of thousands of views and thousands of shares on social networks – arguing that because the search engine crawlers turn a blind eye to it, that link won’t positively affect your website. Think about that kind of reasoning for a second: thousands and thousands of additional visitors that flood your website within the week or two of an article going up and blowing up won’t positively affect you in any way, because – logic.
4. You need to stuff your content full of keywords for best results
The most infuriating thing you can come across when doing an online search for some useful information is an article that was obviously stuffed with keywords by some self-declared SEO expert with no regard for logic, basic grammar and proper sentence structure. It is incredibly easy to spot such articles, even for a bot, so they won’t really do you much good. Just try to be informative when talking about your company, the services you offer and the important facts about your niche – the keywords will come naturally when you try to inform your visitors about a particular topic, there is no need to shove them and repeat them over and over. This is especially true for guest blogging, where your main goal should be getting backlinks from respected and popular, high-traffic blogs.
5. All you need is to get more people to your website
This is usually an excuse to be cheap and lazy, opting not to invest any more money into web design. A great deal of traffic is useful, particularly for bloggers who get most of their money from ads, but what you should be looking at more closely is the conversion rate. How many of those visitors are actually buying something on your website, contacting you about your services, subscribing to your newsletter, sharing content on social media and so on? You need effective calls to action and easy navigation that allows people to access all important areas of the site within a couple of clicks. SEO experts rely on A/B split test and other analytics tools to get an idea of what can be changed to improve conversion rates.
These and similar SEO myths are keeping people from optimizing their websites and getting the best possible results when it comes to traffic and conversion rate, so be sure to do some more research and don’t take any information for granted.