Whether you started a blog for your own enjoyment, you have the goal of getting information to an audience, or you’re trying to sell something in the online world, you may be interested in finding ways to bring more traffic to your site.
To that end you have likely tried all kinds of tactics, such as listing with online directories, joining ad shares, networking through industry forums, starting an on-site blog, commenting and guest posting on related blogs, utilizing keywords, and of course, learning the ins and outs of search engine optimization (SEO).
But even with all of these tools in your utility belt you may find that at some point you start losing traffic rather than gaining, despite your earnest efforts.
If this is the case, there could be several reasons behind the setback. Here are a few common ones to watch for and avoid.
- Unreliable web host. No matter how many targeted visitors are being funneled to your website from the many channels you’ve set up, the efforts will be wasted if they can’t access your site. A web host that has limited bandwidth to handle increasing traffic and/or experiences frequent, extended, unscheduled down time is a danger to the continued success of your site. Visitors that are turned away are unlikely to return. And when web crawlers for search engines can’t find you, it could cost you the ranking you worked so hard to build up.
- Shoddy layout and design. There are few things more criticized by visitors than websites that are difficult to navigate. If you have no background in layout and design, either hire a pro to do the heavy lifting for you or simply find sites that are flawlessly intuitive and easy to navigate as a model for your own site. In this way you’ll ensure that the wizard stays behind the curtain, so to speak.
- Bad content. Although this problem is a prevalent one on the worldwide web, with plenty of bloggers and web designers creating content that is not only incorrect (in terms of spelling and grammar, for example), but also untrue or simply outright boring, you might think you can slip under the radar with your substandard content. The internet culture is unfailingly savvy and they have access to so much incredible content that if you’re not competing at a high level, you can kiss repeat visitors goodbye.
- Bad reputation. Whether your reputation is deserved or you’ve been defamed with a bevy of libelous rumors, bad press can spread through the online arena like wildfire, crippling your reputation in the process. While you can’t stop negative rumors from spreading once they start, you can attempt to operate in a positive manner and take steps to combat misinformation and replace it with positive commentary.
- Failure to follow algorithms. SEO comes with a pretty steep learning curve and your web traffic can suffer if you continue to make mistakes. One of the most common is a failure to keep up with changing algorithms, or the criteria by which search engines rank your website (against competitors). They tend to change every few months, so you need to stay up to date if you want to ensure that your traffic continues to grow.