Stuck with your website traffic generation? Can’t seem to overcome the plateau and make it really big? Probably you’re still following some outdated strategies, or have fallen prey to the most common myths of the game. Here, we debunk 10 of them, for you.
Myth 1: Blogging will Solve Your Traffic Problems without Costing Much
Sorry, the statement is too good to be true in the real world. Of course, creating your high quality blog and regularly posting great stuff will benefit you, but can you call it free traffic? Agreed, you don’t have to spend a fortune on a blog, particularly if you’re creating the content yourself. But, you’ve got to account for the dozens and then hundreds of hours you will put in:
- idea generation
- content creation
- posting and scheduling
- replying to comments
- content marketing
Now, compare the incremental traffic with the time investment. Only then can you make an informed judgment on whether blogging is an inexpensive means of traffic for you. Unfortunately, for most, it’s not the best investment of time, if traffic generation is the sole purpose.
Myth #2: Social Media Content Marketing Is A Big Success Factor
Well, it sure is, but you’ve got to consume this statement with a pinch of salt. Particularly for beginners in the field of blogging, it can be disorienting to note how many social media platforms other bloggers appear to be present on. Questions such as these will undoubtedly mess your brain up:
- Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter – How many social media profiles do I need?
- What should my mix of social media content marketing be?
- How much time and money should I invest in social media promotions of my websites?
- Which social media traffic generation tools and aids to invest in?
For many website owners, the answer is – forget it. Yes, instead of thinking on ‘how’ to master social media content marketing for traffic generation, think on ‘how much’ of it is actually worth the effort for your website, target audience, market, traffic goals, and resources (time, money, skills) in hand. For instance, if you have a network of DIY or design websites, 80% of your effort is best invested in Instagram. Journalism and news websites prefer the terse and telling Twitter platform. Similarly, map your requirements to the best that a social media platform can offer, and then take the leap.
Myth #3: Getting website traffic is easy
Ha ha! Probably you’ve purchased a website that already clocks hefty traffic. On a serious note, increasing web traffic is no joke, especially with so much competition even in micro-niches. Trust us, you have to make peace with the fact that your traffic improvement efforts will need to continue and evolve, all the time.
Myth #4: Huge Traffic Will Result in Huge Success
Let’s step off the strategies and rethink everything. Ask yourself, what would you rather have, a million visitors a month, only 5% of which ever return to the website? Or, 100,000 visitors, 80% of whom subscribe to your RSS feed and newsletters? Any monetization advantage that you link with huge traffic, is actually only going to materialize if that traffic is sustainable.
This understanding will help you in the following ways:
- The next time you read a blog post about a trick that doubles your traffic, you will know better than jumping onboard immediately.
- Your focus will be aligned towards useful traffic, and not merely ‘traffic’.
- This eventually results in a ‘quality over quantity’ approach, which not only improves your websites, but cleans all your traffic generation strategies of the clutter and unnecessary activities purely focusing on numbers.
- You will breathe easy even when you see competitor websites ‘reporting’ huge numbers (nobody can fool Google, so unless the traffic is relevant and permanent, you haven’t fallen back in the race).
Myth #5: Tactic X Is the Best Way to Improve Traffic
Do a quick Google search on ‘the best way to improve traffic’, and you will soon have alist of more than dozen entirely different, but ‘best’ rated tactics of website traffic improvement. C’mon, you’re smarter than that. If a tactic were the best way to improve traffic, why would the inventor or discoverer make it public? Then, if it is public information, wouldn’t every blogger use the same tactic, and very soon, dilute the impact of the tactic?
What we’re calling for is a bit of healthy skepticism in the way you consume information about ‘best’ tactics of traffic generation. It was article marketing a few years back, it was social media promotion then, it’s influencer marketing today, and it will be something else very soon. Does this mean you ignore all these tactics? Absolutely not.
This means that you should objectively weigh the benefits, and don’t commit more resources than necessary. More importantly, be agile, and ready to make rapid changes in your tactics, staying committed to a broader strategy of leveraging trends in the market to get regular boosts for your website traffic.
Myth #6: Get an Influencer to Share A Link to Your Website, and Its Traffic Will Increase Significantly
Influencer marketing is the buzz these days. The premise is, identify highly followed leaders relevant to your market, and market your content to them. Eventually, influencer marketing is about getting the guru to share a positive word about your website.
Whereas influencer marketing does get a lot more exposure for your website (which is great), it will be naive to regard it as a solution to your traffic woes. In some cases, the influencer’s social followers will even take the time to visit your website. But like we explained earlier, that results in a temporary surge in the number of visitors to specific page on your website.
Eventually, you have to tie the traffic and viewership to business outcomes, whether it’s the number of subscriptions to your newsletter, or higher price from Google Adwords for your website’s advertisement space. These positive business outcomes will only materialize if you get relevant traffic, and those visitors stick to your website.
So, do invest effort in influencer marketing, but only with the realization that eventually you want relevant and targeted traffic, that sticks.
Myth #7: There are dozens of traffic building methods out there
Quite literally, this myth does hold on to its own. Indeed, you will be able to list more than a 100 distinct ways of traffic building. The big question to ask yourself is – how many of these are worth doing? The truth is that there are 5 major channels of traffic building.
- Search engines
- Social media platforms
- Social Bookmarking (Reddit, Pinterest, etc)
In most cases, it is possible to categorize any method of traffic building into one of these 5 categories. Use your judgment to decide where you want to focus more, and experiment with tactics that fall under the chosen categories.
Myth #8: Got Something That’s Working Well? Keep On Doing It
This connects, at its core, to all the myths that we’ve debunked till now. The only thing constant about web traffic generation ideas is that they will keep on changing. Article marketing used to be big a few years back. Soon, everyone started doing so, and the advantage was dissolved. Also, even the target audiences change their behaviors soon, and stop giving the same kind of attention to channels that earlier seemed to be their favorites. If infographics seem to be working great today, be smart, and make the most of the phase. However, know that the trend will change soon enough, so you can’t commit yourself to one method, even if it’s been working great for you all this while.
Myth #9: ‘Optimize your Website for Search Engines’ – This Works Always, for Everyone
Now, let’s be clear, search engines will, invariably, be the biggest contributors of traffic for your websites. How is it a myth then, you ask? Well, we admit, not all of it is wrong. But if you believe that it’s alright for you to not think of anything else and get on with the SEO job, you’re in for a rude shock. Like we explained in myth #2, you need to understand several factors about your website, such as:
- the niche of your websites
- intensity of competition for your target keywords
- sophistication of your competitors
- browsing preferences of your target audiences
- the amount of money and time you have for SEO versus other means of content marketing
For many bloggers, advertisements work much better than SEO. So, it’s okay if you believe this myth only to the extent of motivating yourself to keep basic housekeeping in check (tags, sitemap, speed of page loading, etc.). Anything advanced needs to be backed up with thorough understanding of potential benefits, compared to other means of traffic generation.
Myth #10: I’ll just outsource website traffic generation and breathe easy
This approach might work initially, particularly when you don’t have any skills in digital marketing, SEO, and social media promotions. However, in the long run, you will always need to adopt a collaborative approach, while working with agencies and specialists of website traffic improvement. There is a thriving community dedicated to scientific research, digital marketing knowledge sharing, and technical understanding of web search algorithms out there; so keep on educating yourself, and fine tuning your website traffic improvement strategies.