The Lighter Side

How to Kill Your Website’s Traffic

Because there are so many guides out there to how to improve your website traffic, I figured that once again I would take the other perspective and show you how to self-destruct, online style. As always, it much easier to ruin something than it is to build it up. It’s also just as helpful to see how you can “accidentally” ruin something.

I love these lists.

4 Ways to Hurt Your Own Traffic

1. Put a picture of some scary, creepy-crawly, or other graphic image on your site and don’t warn people. As most of you know, yesterday I wrote a post about how to spot a work-at-home scam. Easy as finding the “5” key on a calculator. But what I did not intend to do was make squeamish people run for the hills with my “graphic” picture of fake slugs.

Incredibly, my bounce rate, exit rate, and time spent reading that particular article were all TERRIBLE. In fact, traffic on this entire site was down during the last two days lower than it has been in a month.

I’m not saying that the slugs did it (for all I know it might have just been a normal fluctuation in traffic), but I am saying that you will want to be careful with what images you post!

2. Make your site difficult to navigate. If nobody can find the FAQ and your toolbar is in the lower-right hand corner and in another language, you have some work to do. Clarity and simplicity are two of the most important elements in a site. It doesn’t matter how pretty the page is if nobody can find anything. I promise you that your traffic will improve if you make things clear. If you aren’t certain about a particular site, as a few of your friends to “surf” your site and get feedback. This is often very helpful.

3. Choose the wrong URL. This is a very important thing, and you only get one shot at it. When you go to name your site, make sure that the name relates to your product/online business/blog. My site has a central theme to it that focuses on self-employment, escaping your job and living more simply. They all tie together, and the name fits. Make sure that you give a lot of thought to your URL, or it will not get off the ground easily.

4. Over-submit your site to search engines. If you do this too much, you will actually get banned from some search engines and your traffic will suffer greatly. A good rule of thumb is to submit once per search engine (or use a multi-submit form like they have at this site.) Never overdo it.

1 Way To Completely Destroy Your Own Traffic

1. Stop updating your site. It sounds obvious, but your traffic will slowly die off more and more if you don’t work on it, keep it fresh, and continue to post new links. Most search engines have algorithms that detect how often contact gets updated and they will index accordingly. The only sites that are exempt from this are ones that have so much popularity that users log-in every day because they are part of that site’s community. Facebook is a good example of this.

Final Thoughts

I think my traffic got slugged yesterday!



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